Lady Wisdom

In Proverbs 9, Solomon contrasts the Lady Wisdom and the foolish woman, Folly. Together they cry out to the simple from the high places in town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

After the invitation to come in, Wisdom instructs,
“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.”
But Folly seduces to pleasure,
“Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
The “stolen water” refers back to chapter 5,
“Drink from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.”
So, Folly calls to a life of adultery, a leaving of “the wife of your youth,” and running after foreign gods. It is the same as the “teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.” It is a call against “the fear of the Lord” which is “the beginning of wisdom.”
Folly’s call to eat bread in secret is a call to individualism, and is a direct attack on the communion meal of bread and wine offered by the lady Wisdom. Wisdom calls us to the table, the shared meal of Christ with his body.
Come, eat!

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