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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 9

 

 

Verses 1-18

Proverbs 9:1. Wisdom hath builded her house. This chapter opens with a sublime allegory. We see the princess, the mother of angels and men, enthroned in her temple, “the church which is the pillar and ground of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15. It presents a front of seven pillars, a favourite and mystical number in the Hebrew sanctuary. She prepares a royal festival, and invites a world to be her guests. She stands in every form of grace; she spreads her hands and cries in all high places, inviting the misguided and the poor to eat of her bread and drink of her wine. Oh, vile is the heart, perverse is the mind, which, for a moment, lingers or delays! See how the world run in myriads to feasts: and shall the feast of wisdom be slighted by fools, that know not what they do? How long, alas, shall scorners hate the man that would make them wise?

Proverbs 9:2. She hath mingled her wine. It was usual with the ancients to mix their wine with water in various proportions; generally two parts wine to three parts water. Wisdom is represented as so doing. The Hebrew word מסךְ masac also signifies wine mixed with the lees, which was turbid and intoxicating. They also mixed the wine with spices and with drugs, both to flavour it, and to give it a stupifying effect. This was the cup of the strange woman, whose guests are in the depths of hell: Proverbs 9:18.

Proverbs 9:10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; words of frequent occurrence, which mark their excellence. The fear of the Lord is to depart from evil; to say in temptation, How shall I do this wickedness, and sin against God! The fear of the Lord marks piety of the highest degree. The deceased prophet feared the Lord. 2 Kings 4. Obadiah feared the Lord greatly from his youth. 1 Kings 18. Religion always begins with wisdom.—The knowledge of the Holy, Hebrews קדשׁים Kadoshim, the Holy One, is understanding. That man only is wise who makes God his portion, and his hope: yea, he who glories in being called a fool by the world, sacrificing unhallowed interests for the bright rewards of the world to come.

Proverbs 9:13. A foolish woman is clamorous. The LXX, “A foolish woman is bold, wanting bread, and devoid of shame.” Here is another allegory, full of dark shades. She calls to passengers, and like the syrens, allures the unwary to destruction.

Proverbs 9:17. Stolen waters are sweet. The feast of the harlot, who beguiles the unwary by saying, “I have peace-offerings at home, and the good man is gone a journey.” But by and bye the gall operates in his belly; a guilty conscience, an angry God, a body wasting with disease, a character abhorred by the chaste, and hell prepared for the soul. The thief also must disgorge his prey, and be refused admission to glory.

Proverbs 9:18. He knoweth not that the dead are there, רפים the rephaim, who seized the daughters of the poor, and filled the earth with violence and crimes. Genesis 6:4. And that her guests, all who followed the course of criminal indulgence, are in the depths of hell.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 9:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/proverbs-9.html. 1835.

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