Proverbs 7: This chapter continues the theme from the previous chapter which was to avoid dangerous and cunning women. The father encourages the son to rely on wisdom and understanding in order to avoid people like this. The father then tells what happened to a man who didn’t do this and was seduced by a married woman. Apparently the man died.
Proverbs 8: According to the notes in both the CEB study bible and the NRSV study bible, this chapter “contains the most detailed description of Woman Wisdom in the Bible” (p. 1017 OT). I plan to include a screenshot from p. 1019 OT addressing Woman Wisdom and the Mysterious Woman.
The gist of this chapter, at least in the beginning, is that wisdom is the most precious and important thing we can get. I like this description that wisdom provides of itself:
12 I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence;
I have found knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
I hate pride and arrogance,
the path of evil and corrupt speech.
14 I have advice and ability,
as well as understanding and strength.
15 By me kings rule,
and princes issue righteous decrees.
16 By me rulers govern,
and officials judge righteously.
17 I love those who love me;
those who seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
as well as enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold;
my crops are better than choice silver.
20 I walk on the way of righteousness,
on the paths of justice,
21 to provide for those who love me
and to fill up their treasuries.
It’s such an interesting way to describe wisdom. The emphasis here is on how important wisdom is to success.
The next part of this chapter emphasizes that the first thing God made was wisdom. The text drives this home by including several different examples of things made by God and how wisdom occurred before all of them. The chapter ends with a discussion of the importance of listening to wisdom. This just made me think about how sometimes I really do struggle with listening. It is something I continue to work on. But I am definitely not the only one to struggle with listening.
Here’s the sidebar about woman wisdom and the mysterious woman (p. 1019 OT). Pretty interesting read:
Proverbs 9: This chapter ends the first collection of Proverbs. It starts with an invitation by Woman Wisdom. This invitation is a good and positive invitation. It ends with an invitation from “woman folly” or mysterious woman. This one is dark and sinister. I don’t really have much else to say about that.
Matthew 3: Enter John the Baptist. John willing received “ordinary” people who came to him for baptism. They confessed their sins and he baptized them in the Jordan River. But John challenges the Pharisees and Sadducees. He calls them out saying that they haven’t truly changed their hearts and continue in their wicked ways. The chapter ends with the baptism of Jesus.