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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Proverbs Chapter 9

Proverbs 9:1

pro 9:1

A parable full of beauty, and interesting in its parallelism to the parables of our Lord Mat 22:3-4; Luk 14:16.

Seven pillars - The number is chosen as indicating completeness and perfection. God revealing Himself in nature, resting in His work, entering into covenant with human beings - these were the ideas conveyed by it.

Proverbs 9:2

pro 9:2

Mingled her wine - i. e., with myrrh and other spices, to give flavor and strength.

Proverbs 9:3

pro 9:3

Wisdom and the "foolish woman" Pro 9:13 speak from the same places and to the same class - the simple, undecided, wavering, standing at the diverging point of the two paths that lead to life or death.

Proverbs 9:5

pro 9:5

A parallel to the higher teaching of the Gospels (compare Joh 6:27; Mat 26:26).

Proverbs 9:7

pro 9:7

These verses seem somewhat to interrupt the continuity of the invitation which Wisdom utters. The order of thought is, however, this: "I speak to you, the simple, the open ones, for you have yet ears to hear: but from the scorner or evil doer, as such, I turn away." The words are illustrated by Mat 13:11 ff.

Proverbs 9:10

pro 9:10

The holy - The word in the Hebrew is plural, agreeing, probably, with אלהים 'elohı̂ym understood (so in Pro 30:3). The knowledge of the Most Holy One stands as the counterpart to the fear of Yahweh.

Proverbs 9:12

pro 9:12

The great law of personal retribution (compare Mat 7:2). The Septuagint makes a curious addition to this verse, "My son, if thou wilt be wise for thyself, thou shalt be wise also for thy neighbors; but if thou turn out evil, thou alone shalt bear evil. He who resteth on lies shall guide the winds, and the same shall hunt after winged birds, for he hath left the ways of his own vineyard, and has gone astray with the wheels of his own husbandry. He goeth through a wilderness without water, and over a land set in thirsty places, and with his hands he gathereth barrenness."

Proverbs 9:13

pro 9:13

The picture of the harlot as the representative of the sensual life, the Folly between which and Wisdom the young man has to make his choice (Pro 9:3 note). "Simple," in the worst sense, as open to all forms of evil. "Knoweth nothing," ignorant with the ignorance which is willful and reckless.

Proverbs 9:14

pro 9:14

Contrast with Pro 9:1, etc. The foolish woman has her house, but it is no stately palace with seven pillars, like the home of Wisdom. No train of maidens wait on her, and invite her guests, but she herself sits at the door, her position as prominent as that of Wisdom, counterfeiting her voice, making the same offer to the same class (compare Pro 9:16 with Pro 9:4).

Proverbs 9:17

pro 9:17

The besetting sin of all times and countries, the one great proof of the inherent corruption of man's nature. Pleasures are attractive because they are forbidden (compare Rom 7:7).

Proverbs 9:18

pro 9:18

Compare the marginal reference. With this warning the long introduction closes, and the collection of separate proverbs begins. Wisdom and Folly have each spoken; the issues of each have been painted in life-like hues. The learner is left to choose.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 10