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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 9

 

 

Verses 1-18

Proverbs 9. The Invitations of Wisdom and Folly Contrasted.—This section closes with a couple of graphic pictures of Wisdom and Folly personified, each bidding for the attention of the passers-by with offers of hospitality. The two pictures, each consisting of six stanzas, are now separated by six stanzas of unconnected proverbs (Proverbs 9:7-12).

Proverbs 9:1-6. Wisdom's Invitation.—The parable of the Great Supper in Matthew 22 and Luke 14 may perhaps be modelled on this passage. Wisdom's house, with its seven pillars, her preparations for the feast, and her message of invitation are described. The appointments imply a city life and setting to the scene, but whether Jewish or Greek is not determined by the details. The pillars, viands, and messengers naturally offer themselves to allegorical interpretations, and commentators from Rashi to Hitzig have revelled in the opportunity (see ICC and other commentaries).

Proverbs 9:7-12. Disconnected aphorisms, apparently inserted by a later scribe, either to separate the two pictures of Wisdom and Folly, or (so Toy) because this was a convenient place for the preservation of this small collection, though the convenience is not entirely apparent.

Proverbs 9:7-9. The results of instruction given to the scoffer and to the wise man respectively. It is wasted on the scoffer, but bears fruit and increase in the wise.

Proverbs 9:10-12. The beginning of wisdom, its benefits, and the responsibility it brings.

Proverbs 9:13-18. The Companion Picture of Folly and her Invitation.

Proverbs 9:13. The Heb. is obscure and uncertain. Literally it can only be rendered "the woman of folly is boisterous, simplicity, and knows not what." Toy reads "Folly is loud and seductive, she knows no shame." Obviously the stanza forms a contrast to the quiet forethought of Wisdom in Proverbs 9:1. Folly offers to the fool those delights, described in detail in Proverbs 9:7, which lead to the inevitable fate so repeatedly pointed out.

Proverbs 9:15. right: there is no implication of moral rectitude, but simply a reference to those who are passing by along the highroad.

Proverbs 9:18. dead: read "shades" (cf. Proverbs 2:18*). For the juxtaposition of Rephaim and Sheol, cf. Isaiah 14:9.

LXX has several additional stanzas in this chapter, after Proverbs 9:12 amplifying the idea of responsibility and the consequences of neglect of wisdom, and after Proverbs 9:18 giving an exhortation to avoid folly's invitation. Both are probably from the pen of a scribe, and illustrate well the possibility and the motive of similar additions in Job and Ec.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 9:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-9.html. 1919.

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