Proverbs 9:1-18

  1. Divisions of the chapter:

    1. Verse 1-12 – A recapitulation of the character and blessing of wisdom.

    2. Verse 13-18 – Solomon’s final appeal (in this section of Proverbs) to his children to seek wisdom.

  1. Introduction:

    1. There are rivals for our life, even our souls.

      1. God will always bring his children home to him.

      2. Satan will continually strive to take God’s children captive by confusing them, and using their own sinful nature against them.

      3. There is also an internal battle every believer has as is related in Romans 7:14-25.

    2. These two divisions are contrasted with each other to determine the best end result.

      1. The building.

        1. The first division has built good things, and desires others to participate in these good things.

        2. The second division creates nothing good, but calls to simple ones, to turn in to their destruction.

      2. The preparation.

        1. The first division has everything prepared for those that seek wisdom.

        2. The second division has nothing prepared for the simple, but will take away even that which they have.

      3. The cry.

        1. The first division cries upon the highest places of the city.

          1. The thought here seems to be that wisdom is not possessed by those in the high places of the city.

          2. It could be that those in high places do not have enough wisdom, which fits all of us.

          3. There is always a need for more wisdom.

        2. The second division sits on the high places of the city.

          1. A person elected to a high place in the government is not necessarily wise.

          2. The populous elects that person, and the populous probably does not possess Godly wisdom.

      4. The result.

        1. The first division promises peace, and prosperity in this life, and eternal life in the future.

        2. The second division promises fleeting pleasures, which bring torment on this earth, and eternal destruction in the future.

Verse 1-12 - Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. 7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

  1. Verse 1,2 – There is a special house for wisdom, much grander than an ordinary house.

    1. The house of wisdom is already built, the one entering does not have to build it.

      1. Accepting the wisdom of God is to enter into the house he has build for us.

      2. If we attempt to build our own wisdom, we must also build the house we dwell in, which is completely impossible.

      3. There are too many things we are ignorant of.

    2. The pillars are hewed, or specially build for that house, not only for strength, but also for beauty.

      1. There are seven pillars, or columns, which give ample support, which speaks of multiple ways the truth of wisdom will give strength to every person who seeks and apply Godly wisdom to their lives.

      2. The house of wisdom is ready to withstand the storms of life, and all who enter this building can dwell with safety and perfect tranquility.

    3. Not only is the house furnished, but the necessities of life are also supplied.

      1. The beasts are killed and prepared to eat.

        1. Many today believe it is wrong to kill and eat animals, but they refuse God’s provision of meat for food, Genesis 3:9.

        2. Indiscriminate killing of animals is forbidden, of course.

      2. The wine is mingled.

        1. The word mingled speaks of mixing, or to produce by mixing.

          1. Wine is mixed with other wine in order to produce a constant flavor and quality.

          2. The word mingled does not speak of anything bad.

          3. Major tea companies “mix” or “mingle” more than 40 different kinds of tea in order to produce a consistency of flavor.

          4. Matthew 27:34 – They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

        2. The word “wine” speaks of intoxicating wine, not grape juice.

          1. The word indicates a banqueting, not getting drunk.

          2. The verse before us speaks of enjoying the best of this world, which God has prepared for all those that seek his wisdom.

      3. The food furnished, and the table is set; we are ready to eat.

      4. All are invited to enter the house they have not prepared, sit at the table they have not prepared, and eat food they have not prepared.

        1. Deuteronomy 8:7-10 speaks of God bringing the nation of Israel to prosperity they have not prepared for themselves, but is given to them by God.

        2. Deuteronomy 6:10-11 records that God will provide houses, lands, vineyards, wells and crops which Israel did provide for themselves.

  2. Verse 3-6 – The invitation and warning of wisdom.

    1. Who are the maidens?

      1. These are servant girls, who do nothing but the biding of the master of the house.

      2. All faithful servants of God call everybody, indiscriminately, to the masters house to receive wisdom and partake of the wealth of the master.

      3. We should all be maidens, calling every person to God’s great storehouse of wisdom.

    2. The cry to come to Godly wisdom extends even to the highest places of the city.

      1. It would seem natural that those in the lowest parts of the city would need wisdom, but it is unnatural to know those in the highest places of the city need Godly wisdom.

      2. After all, those living in the highest places of the city are wealthy, educated, and have “status”.

      3. There is a vast difference in earthly wisdom and heavenly wisdom, which should be clearly exhibited and seen.

    3. Verse 4-6 – The invitation is to all.

      1. All the simple are invited to come into the house God has prepared and freely partake of his riches.

      2. There must be a turning, as described in verse 4.

        1. The simple are going the wrong way, and must purposely turn toward God’s house of wisdom.

        2. There must of necessity be a repentance, or change of mind.

      3. Verse 4 – Those that desire understanding will find physical food and drink, provided by God himself.

        1. Many seem to believe Godly wisdom is not good for earthly necessities.

          1. The opposite is true – only Godly wisdom will provide earthly necessities without strife.

          2. It is true that a person can provide all the necessities of life without God’s wisdom, but it is untrue there will be contentment without God’s wisdom.

        2. There must be a desire for God’s understanding before a person will turn from his own understanding.

          1. I know only God can put this desire into any person.

          2. But I also know every individual must see the frailty and weakness of their understanding before they will turn to the wisdom of God.

      4. Verse 5 - The person who rejects his own understanding and turns in to the house of wisdom will be provided for out of God’s vast storehouse of provision.

      5. Verse 6 – Every individual must determine within themselves that they will forsake the foolish (not the way of the foolish) and live, and go in the way of the understanding.

        1. Every person must reject foolish friends, refusing to keep company with them, because foolish friends will soon make fools of them.

        2. Every person will be judged by God for the way they lived, and the various decisions they have made.

        3. According to verse 6, if we do not forsake the foolish, we shall die! And we shall not be able to go in the way of understanding.

  3. Verse 7-9 – Wisdom in rebuking.

    1. Verse 7 and 8 – It is one thing to reprove a scorner, or rebuke a wicked man, but quite another to inform the scorner and wicked person, and inform them of the truth and how he can help himself.

      1. Verse 7 – The person who rebukes a scorner will be shamed.

        1. The scorner could be a conservative or a liberal, politically speaking.

        2. The scorner will try to shame the person who rebukes them, because that is their only defense.

      2. Verse 7 – The person who rebukes a wicked person receives a blot from that wicked person.

        1. A blot is a blemish or a moral stain on their character.

        2. Again, the only defense a wicked person has is to defame their accuser.

      3. Verse 8 is not saying, “Do not say anything negative to the scorner, or the wicked person.”

        1. There is a difference between reproving, rebuking and simply informing.

        2. Reproving and rebuking puts the scorner and the wicked on the defensive, but informing is “neutral” on our part.

      4. Verse 8 records the profitability of rebuking the wise man, because that wise man will not only become a closer friend, but also he will correct his erroneous thoughts and actions.

        1. Be careful how you reprove or rebuke any person.

        2. Most people will listen to what you have to say if you do not embarrass them, or put them on the defensive.

    2. Verse 9 – The proper method of giving wisdom.

      1. There is always somebody more and less wise than ourselves.

      2. Regardless of how wise a person is, there is always more wisdom to be learned.

      3. The word “give” and “teach” indicate a perfection of transferring knowledge and wisdom to another.

        1. Knowledge and wisdom cannot be “rammed down the throat” of any person, as that force will be rejected.

        2. There must be a willing acceptance on the part of the recipient for knowledge and wisdom to be gained by them.

      4. The words “teaching” and “giving” indicates the skill of the instructor, not the willingness of the learner.

      5. There is a difference between teaching and learning.

        1. The teacher teaches facts, but the teacher cannot make the learner learn.

        2. Often a “learner” can learn even when a fool teaches.

        3. My brother once told a real bad manager that he had learned much about managing while working for him.

        4. My brother did not tell that bad manager he had learned how not to manage while observing his continually failing and failed policies.

  4. Verse 10-12 – A final recommendation of the benefits of Godly wisdom.

    1. Verse 10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

      1. A person will never seek Godly wisdom if they have no fear of God.

      2. Having a fear of God comes as a gift of the Holy Spirit of God.

      3. A fear of God will lead to a fear of the coming judgment by God, and the one who fears God will desire to be prepared for that judgment.

    2. Verse 10 – The knowledge of the holy is understanding.

      1. There must be diligent study of the Word of God to gain a knowledge of the Holy One and that which is holy.

      2. Finding out about God leans toward a vast storehouse of understanding, which is not gained by education, but by inspiration.

      3. An increased knowledge of the holy causes a person to realize how unholy they are, and how undeserving they are of the blessings God continually provides for them.

      4. An increased knowledge of God and his eternal wisdom does not cause any person to be puffed up with pride, but humbles them before a most holy God.

    3. Verse 11 – By wisdom, length of days is obtained.

      1. Length of days refers to eternal life.

      2. Psalms 21:4 – He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.

      3. Proverbs 3:2 – For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

    4. Verse 11 – By wisdom, the years of our life is increased.

      1. Proverbs 3:16 – Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

      2. Wisdom not only provides eternal life, but also riches, honor, peace, and contentment in this present life.

    5. Verse 12 – Wisdom is to ourselves only.

      1. Every person must gain wisdom for themselves.

        1. It is impossible to gain wisdom for others.

        2. It is impossible for parents to gain, give, or cause to inherit, wisdom for their children, or loved ones.

      2. The only person who gains from obtaining wisdom is ourselves, even wisdom does not gain when we gain wisdom.

        1. The wisdom we gain in this world will be carried with us into the world to come.

        2. We will all leave our earthly possessions, which go to another, but we will always carry heavenly wisdom with us – all the way into eternity.

    6. Verse 12 – The scorner shall bear his own damnation.

      1. The scorner will not only bear the loss of that which he has scorned, he will also suffer in this life, because he has scorned the good things offered to him by God.

      2. Luke 16:25 states, But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

        1. The rich man refused to believe what he knew to be true, therefore did not receive eternal life, although he did receive the good things of this life.

        2. There came a day in hell, when the rich man regretted spending his life in the riches of this life, rather desired his brothers not to come to this place of torment.

        3. In hell, the earthly riches and comfort of the rich man plagued him.

Verse 13-19 – A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

  1. Solomon is here presenting one last instruction to his children.

    1. Solomon gives one final comparison between wisdom and those without wisdom.

    2. Solomon does not end his lesson with a positive statement, but rather with another warning concerning the end result of not seeking and obtaining wisdom.

  1. Similarities between the wise and the unwise.

    1. Both the wise and the unwise have a house.

      1. There is no record of where the house came from, but it should be noted that it did not come from personal effort.

      2. The unwise often have a place to live, but often that place does not come as a result of their own efforts.

      3. The unwise often live off the emotions of the wise, because the wise are often more compassionate toward them than they are toward themselves.

      4. Often, the wise will help provide for the unwise because the wise often feel guilty, and believe they should help those that will not help themselves.

    2. Both the unwise and the wise prepare.

      1. The unwise prepare for sin, while the wise prepare good things.

      2. The unwise use their energy for sinful, wicked things, while the wise use their energy for the benefit of all.

    3. Both the unwise and the wise are in high places: often the place where high, broad, governmental decisions are made.

      1. The unwise sits in a high place in the government.

        1. The unwise sitting in high places in government doesn’t mean they have God’s wisdom, or that the people who voted them into that position have Godly wisdom either.

        2. People with Godly wisdom often are not interested in politics, because of all the corruption involved, which results in good governmental officials often hearing only the loud, boisterous cries of injustice from the unwise.

        3. The unwise cries to the simple people so they will join together in wicked ways.

      2. Proverbs 9:3 records that wisdom cries in high places, so all the simple will receive the wisdom of God and receive the just recompense of that wisdom.

    4. Both the unwise and the wise cry.

      1. The unwise cry for passersby to join in their evil and so suit themselves for destruction.

      2. The wisdom of God cries to all the simple to seek the wisdom of God for the eternal benefit.

  1. Verse 13.

    1. The word “clamorous” means loud, disquieting, troubling, causing an uproar.

      1. That sounds like a lot of people today.

        1. Revelation 13:1 states that the Anti-Christ arises from the sea, while John is standing on the sand of the sea.

        2. According to Revelation 17:15, the abiding place (where the whore sitteth) are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

        3. Luke 21:25 states that in the last days, the seas and the waves will be roaring, which is what is happening today with all the uproar of citizens against whatever they think is against them.

      2. The unwise are further described:

        1. Proverbs 7:11 - (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

        2. Proverbs 9:13 - A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

        3. Proverbs 20:1 - Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    2. The word “simple” mean naïve or without understanding.

      1. She is without understanding because she has not sought Godly wisdom.

        1. Her actions prove her naïveté.

        2. Her being simple and without understanding does not stop her from being loud, drawing attention to herself.

      2. She is completely ignorant of her ignorance!

        1. Her clamorousness reveals that she thinks her thoughts, desires and ambitions are as valid as those with Godly wisdom.

        2. Matthew 6:7 states, But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

        3. The Pharisees are as ignorant of their ignorance as the clamorous woman is of her ignorance.

    3. The unwise know nothing.

      1. A person without God’s knowledge knows nothing!

        1. There is a chosen ignorance of knowledge!

        2. A person can be highly educated and highly intelligent, but know nothing if they do not have God’s wisdom.

      2. This is a personal choice which rests with them, and with them alone.

        1. Wisdom could have been their, but they choose to not seek wisdom.

        2. They might have chosen education, because they are intelligent.

        3. They might have much common sense, or horse sense.

      3. God’s wisdom is what gives spiritual wisdom, which is the foundation of all wisdom.

  1. Verse 14.

    1. The verse begins with the word “for”, which modifies verse 13.

      1. The foolishness of the clamorous, simple, ignorant woman is revealed by her actions in verse 14.

      2. She enjoys nothing better than sit at the door of her house, watching people and calling to them, encouraging them in foolishness and sin.

    2. She sitteth at the door of her house, much as Lot sat the gate of Sodom in Genesis 19.

      1. The door is open to all simple enough to enter.

        1. She is doing nothing productive, but everything counter-productive.

        2. She is doing all she can to encourage simple people to follow her, as she knows people with Godly wisdom will not follow her, nor will they listen to her.

      2. The house, door and seat are in the high places of the city, which could refer to high government positions, or to the upper echelon of society, which is fully corrupt because of their riches and power.

        1. Anyone who would doubt the corruptness of high society should take a quick look at the government officials of the United States of America.

        2. Then they can take a quick look at the throne of England.

        3. After that they can take a quick look at the corruption in the United Nations, or any of the other nations of this earth.

        4. Another glimpse into corruption can be seen in Hollywood.

        5. Corruption is everywhere, except in the pure kingdom of God.

  1. Verse 15.

    1. The call is to passengers, which is not referring to a passenger as we think of a passenger, as in a car, or train, or plane.

      1. The word “passengers” speaks of those passing through, or passing by.

      2. The phrase …go right on their ways: indicate these simple people have other things on their mind, when they are distracted by the clamorous woman, who calls them into sin.

      3. These people are on their way to do something else when the unwise clamor to them to stop and turn in a little while.

    2. There seems to be no intention on the part of the passers-by to remain long.

      1. This ungodly detour will lead them completely astray from their appointed and desired round.

      2. Because they are simple, without Godly wisdom, they will turn into the paths of wickedness, and will do things they never thought they would do.

        1. The first step into crime seldom begins with the end in mind.

        2. The first step into adultery is often a smile and a “flirt”.

        3. Seldom does a person decide they are going to ruin their lives by taking illegal drugs.

      3. They will finalize their trip with the clamorous woman in the very depths of hell.

  1. Verse 16.

    1. Who are the simple?

      1. The simple are not necessarily those we think are simple.

        1. The simple are those that do not have Godly wisdom, which reveals the end result of things.

        2. The simple are those that think their actions will bring them no evil consequences on them or those they love.

        3. The simple are those that believe they can commit sin, then continue living as if they had not committed any sin at all.

      2. Simplicity and Biblical doctrine.

        1. A person can have good understanding of Biblical doctrine, yet be simple as far as Godly wisdom is concerned.

        2. A person might be ignorant of many Biblical doctrines, yet have much Godly wisdom.

          1. I am saying that outward faithfulness in church services and Christian duties does not guarantee that a person has Godly wisdom.

          2. I know there will be those that object to the above statement, but I must affirm that statement because there are many who are “doctrinally sound”, yet morally corrupt.

        3. During my ministry, I have known many preachers who have revealed their simplicity by leaving their wife and children for another woman, who also leaves her husband and children.

          1. I have heard of this many times during my short ministry.

          2. The simple are those that do not have the proper application of Godly wisdom, even though they might have full understanding of correct Biblical doctrines.

    2. Those that are simple – that do not understand the end result of wickedness and sin – will turn and enter in.

      1. They think they are going be pleasured for a season, then they can return to their appointed tasks.

      2. They do not understand there is a “hook” in the temptation from which they cannot escape.

      3. They are like fish, who take hold of bait, thinking they are going to get a quick meal, but they get a hook in the mouth instead, which holds them in a “death grip” until they are taken in their own wickedness.

    3. The words “turn in” indicate a movement away, a departing, or a removing from a predetermined position.

      1. This evil “repenting” is in the opposite direction of Biblical repentance.

      2. We could use the word “turn in” to mean repentance from wickedness toward God.

      3. Verse 16 indicates this “turning in” is away from an appointed destination to another place, which is to destruction.

    4. Words are spoken to the one that lacks understanding.

      1. It is evident to me that words are also spoken to the one who has understanding, but that person takes no heed, because they understand the end result, knowing they will face calamity if they yield to the cries for wickedness they hear.

      2. The word “wanteth” indicates a lacking, a void, and a need of understanding.

      3. The word “understanding” speaks of understanding of the inner mind, soul, or heart, not the understanding of the brain or intelligence.

  1. Verse 17.

    1. The statement is true (as far as the flesh is concerned) – yet deadly.

      1. Sin gives temporary pleasure and satisfaction to the flesh.

      2. Temporary pleasure soon turns into permanent and inevitable destruction, even of the flesh.

        1. Alcoholics soon discover that alcohol has a “bite” they cannot get away from.

        2. Tobacco users discover too late their habit is hard to break.

        3. Sex abusers are never satisfied with their abuses, but must abuse God given sex more and more to satisfy their empty pleasure.

        4. People that desire power are never satisfied with the power they have, rather constantly desiring more power.

    2. The terms “water” and “bread”.

      1. These items are necessary to life.

      2. The temptations seem necessary to life, but they are only fit for destruction.

    3. Compare what wisdom offers to what foolishness offers.

      1. Wisdom offers the prepared beasts and mingled wine, while foolishness offers bread and water; and calls that sweet and pleasant.

      2. Wisdom offers the beasts already slain and ready to eat, with the mingled wine, which is the very best.

      3. We are all prone to that which is forbidden, as Adam and his wife saw the forbidden tree as a …tree to be desired…

    4. The act must be hidden for “integrity” to be retained.

      1. “Stolen waters” are drank in secret, for if it is discovered, the person will be defamed.

      2. “Bread eaten in secret” is only to the destruction of the flesh, and cannot be rightly enjoyed because it must be hidden and kept secret.

  1. Verse 18.

    1. The unknown.

      1. The simple do not know the end of the clamorous woman is death and eternal destruction.

      2. If the simple had chosen Godly wisdom, they would have known the end of turning in and would not suffer destruction of the flesh, nor of the spirit.

      3. The tempter will not allow the knowledge that the dead are there, and those are now in hell who have been there.

      4. The participant, because they have refused God’s wisdom, does not see the dead that are presently there, nor the souls that have already gone into hell.

    2. The word “know” has to do with “perception” or “coming to the knowledge of”.

      1. This thought takes us back to seeking wisdom, therefore avoiding the destruction of wickedness and sin.

      2. If a person would seek the wisdom of God, they would have understanding about the end result of temptation and how evil works.

    3. Guests.

      1. These are temporary visitors, not permanent dwellers.

      2. It is impossible to continue to dwell in the house that leads to destruction and hell.

      3. The house of temptation is only a passageway to another place, which is the final dwelling place.

        1. A simple person does not expect to stay long in this house of temptation, but remains long enough to receive eternal destruction.

        2. The results of falling or jumping into temptations remains with the simple forever.