The invitations of Wisdom. (1-12) The invitations of folly. (13-18)
Verses 1-12 Christ has prepared ordinances to which his people are admitted, and by which nourishment is given here to those that believe in him, as well as mansions in heaven hereafter. The ministers of the gospel go forth to invite the guests. The call is general, and shuts out none that do not shut out themselves. Our Saviour came, not to call the righteous, but sinners; not the wise in their own eyes, who say they see. We must keep from the company and foolish pleasures of the ungodly, or we never can enjoy the pleasures of a holy life. It is vain to seek the company of wicked men in the hope of doing them good; we are far more likely to be corrupted by them. It is not enough to forsake the foolish, we must join those that walk in wisdom. There is no true wisdom but in the way of religion, no true life but in the end of that way. Here is the happiness of those that embrace it. A man cannot be profitable to God; it is for our own good. Observe the shame and ruin of those who slight it. God is not the Author of sin: and Satan can only tempt, he cannot force. Thou shalt bear the loss of that which thou scornest: it will add to thy condemnation.
Verses 13-18 How diligent the tempter is, to seduce unwary souls into sin! Carnal, sensual pleasure, stupifies conscience, and puts out the sparks of conviction. This tempter has no solid reason to offer; and where she gets dominion in a soul, all knowledge of holy things is lost and forgotten. She is very violent and pressing. We need to seek and pray for true wisdom, for Satan has many ways to withdraw our souls from Christ. Not only worldly lusts and abandoned seducers prove fatal to the souls of men; but false teachers, with doctrines that flatter pride and give liberty to lusts, destroy thousands. They especially draw off such as have received only partial serious impressions. The depths of Satan are depths of hell; and sin, without remorse, is ruin, ruin without remedy. Solomon shows the hook; those that believe him, will not meddle with the bait. Behold the wretched, empty, unsatisfying, deceitful, and stolen pleasure sin proposes; and may our souls be so desirous of the everlasting enjoyment of Christ, that on earth we may live to him, daily, by faith, and ere long be with him in glory.
Proverbs 9:1-18 . The commendation of wisdom is continued, under the figure of a liberal host, and its provisions under that of a feast (compare Luke 14:16-24 ). The character of those who are invited is followed by a contrasted description of the rejectors of good counsel; and with the invitations of wisdom are contrasted the allurement of the wicked woman.
1. house--(compare Proverbs 8:34 ).
her--or, "its" (the house).
seven pillars--the number seven for many, or a sufficiency ( Proverbs 6:31 ).
2. mingled--to enhance the flavor ( Proverbs 23:30 , Isaiah 5:22 ).
furnished--literally, "set out," "arranged."
3. maidens--servants to invite (compare Psalms 68:11 , Isaiah 40:9 ).
highest places--ridges of heights, conspicuous places.
4-6. (Compare Proverbs 1:4 , 6:32 ). Wisdom not only supplies right but forbids wrong principles.
7, 8. shame--(Compare Proverbs 3:35 ).
a blot--or, "stain on character." Both terms denote the evil done by others to one whose faithfulness secures a wise man's love.
9. The more a wise man learns, the more he loves wisdom.
10. (Compare Proverbs 1:7 ).
of the holy--literally, "holies," persons or things, or both. This knowledge gives right perception.
11. (Compare Proverbs 3:16-18 , 4:10 ).
12. You are mainly concerned in your own conduct.
13. foolish woman--or literally, "woman of folly," specially manifested by such as are described.
clamorous--or, "noisy" ( Proverbs 7:11 ).
knoweth nothing--literally, "knoweth not what," that is, is right and proper.
14. on a seat--literally, "throne," takes a prominent place, impudently and haughtily.
15, 16. to allure those who are right-minded, and who are addressed as in Proverbs 9:4 , as
simple--that is, easily led ( Proverbs 1:4 ) and unsettled, though willing to do right.
17. The language of a proverb, meaning that forbidden delights are sweet and pleasant, as fruits of risk and danger.
18. (Compare Proverbs 2:18 Proverbs 2:19 , 7:27 ).