Proverbs 9

Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

1 Wisdom has built her house; she has set up[a] its seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city,
4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says,
5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom[b] your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
13 Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way,
16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

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Proverbs 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

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.

Cross References 26

  • 1. Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5
  • 2. Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 62:8
  • 3. Luke 14:16-23
  • 4. S Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 8:1-3
  • 5. ver 14
  • 6. S Proverbs 1:22
  • 7. ver 16; S Proverbs 6:32
  • 8. John 7:37-38
  • 9. S Psalms 42:2; Psalms 63:1; Psalms 143:6; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 55:1
  • 10. S Proverbs 8:35
  • 11. S Proverbs 3:1-2
  • 12. Proverbs 23:9; Matthew 7:6
  • 13. Proverbs 15:12
  • 14. Psalms 141:5
  • 15. Proverbs 1:5,7; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 14:6; Proverbs 15:31; Proverbs 19:25
  • 16. Job 28:28; S Proverbs 1:7
  • 17. Psalms 22:3; Proverbs 30:3
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 4:6
  • 19. S Genesis 15:15; S Deuteronomy 11:21; S Proverbs 3:1-2; Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 10:27
  • 20. Proverbs 7:11
  • 21. S Proverbs 5:6
  • 22. ver 3; Ezekiel 16:25
  • 23. S Proverbs 1:20
  • 24. S Proverbs 1:22
  • 25. Proverbs 20:17
  • 26. S Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 7:26-27

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew "has hewn out"
  • [b]. Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew "me"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 9

In this chapter, Wisdom, or Christ, is represented as having built a stately house or palace for the entertainment of his guests, Pr 9:1; as having made large and suitable provisions for them, Pr 9:2; and as having sent his servants to invite them to come and partake of them, and quit all other company but his, Pr 9:3-6; When it is observed who are and who are not to be reproved, with the reasons of it, Pr 9:7-9; and what is the sum and substance of true wisdom; and what the advantages of it both here and hereafter, Pr 9:10-12; And the chapter is concluded with the description of the foolish woman, the opposite of Wisdom; who is represented as clamorous, simple, and ignorant, Pr 9:13; and plying passengers that go by her door, and inviting them in to partake of her provisions, Pr 9:14-17; the consequence of which is sure and certain death and destruction to her guests, Pr 9:18.

Proverbs 9 Commentaries