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Warning against an adulteress.] CHAP. VIII. [Divine wisdom personified.
streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed bim, and with an impudent face said unto him,
14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows.
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
19 For the good man is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
21 With her much fair speech she
caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the share, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (G)
DOTH not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
(G) Warning against an adulteress.After a brief introductory address, this chapter presents us with the full-length portrait of a Jewish adulteress, in which we may observe-1. She was a gay and dressy woman; she wore the attire of an harlot, loose and gaudy: in consistency with which her bed was dressed with tapestry, and perfumed with myrrh, &c. 2. She was bold and impudent in her address, loud and stubborn in her behaviour, fond of the streets and places of public resort, "her feet abide not in her house." 3. Her Just was covered under the holy veil of matrimony, and her husband seems to have been so far deceived by her, as to intrust her with his house and property. He appears also to have lived in credit, and to have had a bag of money to take with him on his journey; and it is very evident from the preparation she had made for her lover, that she had no excuse of necessity for her.
licentiousness. 4. She affected to be religious. She had offered peace-offerings, and performed her vows; so that she had cleared (as some ignorant persons suppose) : her account with heaven, and was ready to open a new score of sin. Never is sin so sinful as when dressed up in the garb of a religious profession. Her friendship was hypocritical as her religion; she pretended an intimate acquaintance and attachment; "I came diligently to seek thy face,”which may be so far true-she came to look for a fool and found one. A sketch of his character follows, and the chapter concludes with the earnest entreaty of Wisdom to listen to her admonitions, and keep at a distance from the adulteress.
"Turn to the prudent Aut thy heedful eyes, Observe her labours, Sluggard, and be wise: When fruitful summer loads the teeming plain, She crops the harvest, and she stores the grain, How long shall Sloth usurp the useless hours, Unnerve thy vigour, and enchain thy powers?" Johnson.
Ver. 10. The attire of a harlot-Bp. Patrick ex- plains this, "In a gaudy lascivious dress."
Ver. 13. With an impudent face - Heb. "She hardened her face."
Ver. it. I have peace offerings. The greater part of the peace offerings, whether of the herd or flock, was returned to the offerer, to feast with his friends, Dent. xii. 6,7. So Bp. Patrick,
Ver. 20. At the day appointed-Marg. "In the new moon;" which was a public festival.
Ver. 22. Straightway-Heb. "Suddenly."--As a fool to the correction of the stocks. Dr. Hunt, "As an hart boundeth into the toils." So Holden and Boothroyd. But Dr. Hodgson adheres to the present reading, which he translates, "Yea, like a fool he runneth on to punishment,"
2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4 Unto you, Ὁ men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righte
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judg ment:
21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth :
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
CHAP. VIII. Ver. 1-5, Doth not wisdom, &c.Compare chap i. 20-23.
Ver. 7. Wickedness is an abomination to my lipsMarg. "The abomination of my lips."
Ver. 8. Nothing froward-Heb. "Wreathed," or crooked.
Ver. 11. Rubies.-See chap. iii. 15. and Note Ver. 12. Dwell with prudence-Marg. “Subtilty," --Witty inventions-"Plans, or devices," Gesenius. There is no adjective answering to "witty," and Dr. Boothroyd translates, every invention."
Ver. 14. Counsel is mine, &c.-Heb. "With me is counsel and sound wisdom; with me, understanding and strength." The word rendered sound wisdom, is quite different from "wisdom" in ver. 12; and is the same used chap. iii. 21. It strictly signi fres "substance," or reality.
Ver. 20. I lead-Heb. “Walk ;” i. e. walk before, to show the way.
Ver. 22. In the beginning-“At the beginning." Hodgson and Boothroyd; but there is no preposition in the original, which reads literally, The Lord possessed me the beginning," &c. intimating that wisdom was the source of all God's works. Ver. 23. I was set up-Heb. “ anointed.” See Note on Ps. ii 6. Apply this to divine wisdom personified, it means that she was enthroned over all the works of God.
Ver. 24, 25. I was brought forth-Holden, &c. "I was born."
Ver. 26. The fields-Marg. "open places;" per haps the atmosphere.- -The highest part—namely the hills. See Gen i. 7, 10.
Ver. 27. Set a compass-Bp. Lowth, "Described a
Ver. 29. His commandment-Heb. "His (or "its " mouth." Applied to God, the pronoun means ** ka: command;" to the sca, "its limits."
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were
with the sons of men.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
[and invites her guests.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (H)
(H) Divine wisdom personified.-There are two ways in which Wisdom may be considered as a quality conferred on man, and as an attribute inherent in the divine Being. The wisdom personified in this chapter includes both. It must be the former which says, "I Wisdom dwell with Prudence, and find out the knowledge of witty (or, according to some, of all) inventions. By me kings reign," &c. But when the description is carried higher, and this Wis dom is represented as the companion of the Eternal, even before the creation of the world, we are constrained to consider it as an attribute of the divine Being.
There is another view, however, in which Christian divines, of all ages, have explained this passage as referring to the Son of God himself, and as affording proof of his divinity; under this consideration, the chapter may be viewed in a light similar to the donble sense of prophecy in David and in Isaiah; and there seems No more difficulty in considering the same
description as application to a divine attri bute and a divine person, than in explaining the same text as an historical fact in reference to David, and a divine prediction as relating to David's Son and Lord. We would caution Christians against resting their faith in Christ on such disputable evidetice, when they have far more clear and certain proofs in other parts of Scripture. It is highly probable, however, that the apostle John alluded to this passage in the introduction to his gospel, where he speaks of his divine Master under the character of the Logos: which may be rendered either the Wisdom, the Reason, or the Word of of God. (See lutrod. to St. John's gospel.)
If we were deeply imbued with the spirit of primitive Christianity, we should be pleased in every where finding, both in nature and revelation, some image of our Saviour's glory, though at the same time we must confess with the inimitable Watts,
Ver.30. As one brought up with him. Bp. Lowth, "As his offspring." But this is a very difficult verse. Parkhurst thinks the Hebrew (Amon) shou'd be rendered adverbially, "Then was I by him eenstantly." Taking it for a noun, Dr. Hodgson Ter ders it," companion; Boothroyd, "workman;" Holden, by the strange word" fabricator." It can not be denied that Amon is used for a skilful (perhaps trusty) artificer, or artist, Sol Song, vit. 2. but Gesenius objects to the application of this to wisdom, as wanting a female termination. He inclines, therefere, to render Amon, (as being of the common gender a foster child," which is the idea of our translators; "one brou ht up with him," faithful and steady to his interests, which is not very different
"Nor earth, nor seas, nor sun, nor stars,
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 him self 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.
13 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. (I)
... CHAP. X.
THE proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
3 The LORD will not suffer the soul
(1) Wisdom makes a feast and invites her guests.-Preserving the allegory, we should consider the house which Wisdom builded as a temple, and the pillars to be the several branches of science by which it is supported. The beasts killed intimate a great sacrifice, and the invitation given a feast upou that sacrifice; all which circumstances may direct us to the Christian church, as about to be erected, of which Jesus himself (the Wisdom of God) is the foundation, and his first ministers its pillars. The sacrifice alluded to, can be no other than the great atonement offered upon Calvary, and the sacrificial feast, that" feast of fat things" foretold by the prophets, and exhibited in the gospel, the ministers and missionaries of which answer to the servants sent forth to invite the
guests. Such are the outlines of this admirable allegory, which may be filled up by referring to the parable of the marriage feast. (Matt. xxii. 2—4.)
Another character is here introduced as a contrast to the preceding, which answers to the adulteress described in chap. vii., though some think it no other than a personification of Folly in the character of a harlot, who is ignorant and clamorous, sitting on an elevated seat at the door of her house, and no less earnestly inviting the passers-by to partake of her secret and forbidden pleasures. But her sacrifices? Ah! "her guests" are themselves sacrificed-they are "in the depths of hell!"'
Here then are two opposite characters soliciting our attention with great earnestness, namely, Wisdom and Folly, God and the world. O let us choose Wisdom and life, that we may live for ever!
Ver. 5. Drink of the wine.-See Isa, Iv. 1, &c. Ver. 7. He that reproveth a scorner, (that is, a hardened profligate) getteth himself shame, &c.-He will be laughed at, and reproached.
Ver. 8. Reprove not a scorner.-Upon the same principle our Lord directs us," Cast not your pearls before swine," &c. Matt. vii. 6.
Ver. 10. Of the holy-Heb." Holy ones; i. e. the blessed Trinity. So Mr. Holden, and Dr. J. P. Smith, Messiah, i. 349. Compare Dan. iv. 14.
Ver. 14. A seat — An elevated and conspicuous seat; a throne. Mr. Pitts describes the courtezans of Grand Cairo, as sitting at their doors, or parading the streets, very richly dressed. Mahom. p. 99.
Ver. 17. Stolen waters-that is, illicit commerce.
CHAP. X. Ver. 2. Righteousness delivereth from death-that is, a good character is a better protection than riches.
of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
6 Blessings are upon the head of the just but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. 8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city the destruction of the
poor is their poverty.
16 The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool..
19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. 22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.
26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the month of the wicked speaketh frowardness. (K)
(K) Miscellaneous proverbs.-Here begins the second part of this book, being
a collection of aphorisms more exactly answering to that title. Those in this chapter relate chiefly to the difference between wis
Ver. 3. The Lord will not, &c.—See Ps xxxvii. 20.-He casteth away the substance of the wicked. The wicked for their wickedness."
Ver.8, 10. A prating fool (Heb. a fool of lips.") shall fall-Marg. " be beaten," but the text is preferred.
Ver. 19. He that winketh- See chap. vi. 13.
Ver. 21. For want of wisdom-Heb. “ of heart” Ver. 26. As vinegar to the teeth.-As acids to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so troublesome and disagreeable is a loitering messenger.
Ver. 27. Prolongeth-Heb. "addeth."
Ver. 30. Not inhabit (or “ inherit”) the earth.— See Ps. xxxvii. 29, 34,