The Book of Proverbs - Chapter 9 - Personal Bible Study - The Two Banquets

This is the last chapter of before we get into the shorter bits of wisdom which comprises the rest of The Book of Proverbs.  I need to put a disclaimer here.  This is my own personal study of this book.  I am not an expert.  I am not a biblical scholar.  I am not even wise.  I am just doing my best to interpret it.  I am putting it here because I would love to open it up for discussion.  I would love to see your thoughts in the comments.  But nobody reads it anyway.  

The two titles in this chapter are The Way of Wisdom and The Way of Folly.   In my own personal Bible, it uses the title: The Two Banquets.  

Wisdom and Folly are personified and are inviting you to their banquets.  

Folly is the opposite of wisdom.  Wisdom is living wisely, and Folly is living recklessly and foolishly.  

The other word here to consider is the "Way".  In a college class I took on Eastern Philosophy, the Way (Tao) had a significant meaning.   It had to do with the natural order of things or excellence or mastery of something.  When one masters "The Way," they become good at it achieving a level of excellence or perfection.    Kind of like Bruce Lee playing Ping-Pong with Nun chucks.   

So the way of Wisdom has to do with the excellence or mastery of living wisely.  I should point out that the Eastern version of this lacks anything to do with getting closer to God, whereas the book of Proverbs is all about walking with him.

The Way of Wisdom

1 Wisdom has built her house; she has carved out her seven pillars.

Wisdom built her house and made it strong, so that it will last.  The pillars makes it strong.   

2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

She takes care of everything.  She is ready for what is to come.  Her gifts are plentiful.

3 She has sent out her maidservants; she calls out from the heights of the city.

4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” she says to him who lacks judgment.

5 “Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have mixed.

She tries to get through to you.  She wants to share her blessings and virtues.

6 Leave your folly behind, and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

Live wisely, don't be reckless and you will live longer.

7 He who corrects a mocker brings shame on himself; he who rebukes a wicked man taints himself.

8 Do not rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

9 Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning.

There is an old saying that goes, "Never argue with an idiot because it would be hard to tell the difference."  The idiots defend their idiocy.  Sinners justify their sins.  They tend to turn it around on you.  A wise man always makes room for more wisdom.  He is always willing to gain more.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

To fear the lord means to avoid evil because God will turn his back on those who are evil.  Then you will be left to your own devices.  You will be left to pay the price.  Understanding is getting to know him.  Reading scripture and learning to understand his ways.   

11 For through wisdom your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.

With wisdom, you can rest assured that you are doing the right thing, therefore living in peace and happiness.  

12 If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage; but if you scoff, you alone will bear the consequences.

Living wisely is to your advantage.  It has its rewards and blessings.  A peaceful and honest life with love and loyalty.

The Way of Folly

13 The woman named Folly is loud; she is naive and knows nothing.

Folly is the opposite of wisdom.  She is loud and stupid. 

14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the heights of the city,

15 calling out to those who pass by, who make their paths straight.

She tempts you to come to her.  

16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” she says to him who lacks judgment.

17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is tasty!”

Like a spider luring you into her trap.  She offers you a taste of darkness.  It can be fun.  It can be pleasurable.  Short term pleasures can bring long term misery.  Misery loves company.

18 But they do not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

And those who come to her are fools who will pay the price for their sins.  And the punishment for sin is death.


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