TWO WOMEN OF PROVERBS: A COMPARISON STUDY
Proverbs 7, 8 & 9 reveals the wisdom of a father passed down to his son. Later in Proverbs 31, we see the wisdom of a mother passed down to her son. Solomon uses personification to paint a picture of the sharp contrast between wisdom and foolishness, and the graphic results of choosing the wrong path. Let’s observe some comparisons between the Woman of Folly and the Woman of Wisdom. I’ve included some questions to think about at the conclusion.
Wisdom, The Teacher
“All the words of my mouth are righteous, there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 8:8-11
Folly, The Rebellious Wife
“The woman Folly is loud; undisciplined and without knowledge.” Proverbs 9:13
“I had to offer sacrifices today. I have paid my vows” Proverbs 7:14
“Come, let us take our fill of love til morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will be home.” Proverbs 7:18-20
Wisdom’s Invitation: She calls for a student.
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live and walk in the way of insight.” Proverbs 9:4-6
Folly’s Invitation: She calls for a victim
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” and to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there; her guests are in the depths of the grave.” Proverbs 9:16-18
Wisdom’s Method: Instruction
“Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:33-36
Folly’s Method: Seduction
“So I came out to meet you, I looked for you and have found you!” Proverbs 7:15
“With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.” Proverbs 7:21
Wisdom’s Preparations: The Dining Room
“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.” Proverbs 9:2
Folly’s Preparations: Her Bedroom
“I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.” Proverbs 7:16-17
Wisdom’s First Offering: A Meal
“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.” Proverbs 9:5
>>Food strengthens a man in preparation for what comes next.
Folly’s First Offering: Sex
“Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love.” Proverbs 8:18
>>Sex drains a man of his strength and leaves him vulnerable to what comes next.
“By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; By me princes govern, and all nobles rule the earth” Proverbs 8:15-16
“All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose til an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.” Proverbs 7:22-23
Wisdom: Harsh Realities then Reward
“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you away from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.” Proverbs 6:23-24
“To fear the LORD is to hate evil, I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” Proverbs 8:13
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.” Proverbs 8:17-21
Folly: Reward then Harsh Realities
“For the lips of the adultress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.” Proverbs 5:3
Sin’s Seductive Nature
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
>>Whoever gets our attention has the potential to gain our affections. Whoever gains our affection has power over our destiny.
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.” Proverbs 7:24-25
What stands out to you most as you study these comparisons?
Read Proverbs 7:24-25 again. Why the urgency to “listen” and “pay attention”?
Is there anything or anyone who has caught your attention and perhaps your affections that you know are not wise?
What can you do today to place yourself under the instruction of the wise?
Scott & Dawn Smith