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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 9

Verses 1-18

The Rivals

Folly and Wisdom invite guests to their respective houses. The consequences of accepting either of the two invitations are described. We are reminded of the Greek parable, ’The choice of Hercules,’ which related how the hero, at the beginning of his career, was accosted by two fair women, Virtue and Vice, who would have him tread, one the rough, the other the flowery way.

1-6. Wisdom’s invitation.

1. The word Wisdom is in the plural, to indicate her variety and perfection. She has a house, and therefore is always ready to entertain. The seven pillars—a complete number—are in the courtyard, supporting a gallery.

2. The wine was mixed with spices (Isaiah 5:22).

3. Messengers are sent when the meal is ready (Luke 14:17).

4. Simple] i.e. inexperienced, easily led, capable of being turned either way. Hence Folly (Proverbs 9:16) has equal hopes of influencing them.

5. Bread] The name for food in general (Proverbs 9:2).

6. Read, ’Forsake folly.’ 7-12 are out of their proper context.

7. He will insult and revile you.

10. The holy] RV ’the Holy One.’

12. Cp. Ezekiel 18:4; Galatians 6:5.

’From David’s lips this word did roll,

’Tis true and living yet:

No man can save his brother’s soul,

Nor pay his brother’s debt.’

13-18. Folly is personified as a woman, the traits of whose character are drawn from the description already given of the lewd woman; and unchastity is looked on as the supreme exhibition of folly.

13. She is ’loud’ and ignorant. We speak of a ’loud,’ meaning a vulgar woman.

17. The forbidden is attractive.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 9". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.