The Rival Banquets
Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars:…

(with verses 13-18): —

I. The RESEMBLANCES between them are set forth in a very striking manner.

1. It is the same class of men that is invited. They are in both cases "the simple," "the void of understanding."

2. The invitations are similar in —

(1)  Their universality;

(2)  their publicity (vers. 8 and 14); and

(3)  their urgency. Wisdom sends forth her messengers, and so, presumably, does Folly.

II. But the DIFFERENCES are no less marked.

1. In the banquets themselves. Wisdom has built her grand, substantial palace or temple (ver. 1), in virtue of her share in creation (Proverbs 8:30), and she has provided a satisfying, nourishing, and gladsome feast (ver. 2). Not so Folly. In consistency with her parasitic nature, it is not her own goods that she creates and prepares, but she invites to the abuse or illicit enjoyment of the goods God has already bestowed. Wisdom sits as a princess in her rightful home; Folly is hardly more than at the door of her house, which is not described.

2. In the inducements presented. These are not the feasts themselves, but additional commendations setting forth their relative advantages. In the one case satisfying and nourishing viands are offered, whose result is life; in the other, the thing presented is pleasure, and that which is to give it is only spoken of in a mysterious, allusive way. It is the illicit and secret enjoyment that is the charm. But if the Queen of Sheba declared that "the half had not been told her" of the true wisdom, how much of the truth is kept back in the promises and fair speeches of Folly! Those who are once within her house are to all intents and purposes dead men, and are as if they were already "in the depths of Sheol!"

(St. J. A. Frere, M.A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

WEB: Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars.

The Divine Invitation
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