Proverbs 9 is short and to the point. The first few times I read it nothing stood out to me except for verse 10. But what did come alive for me were the similarities and differences between the two women in the chapter, ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Folly’.

They both sit in prominent places. They both call out. Their offer to those who pass by begins the same way, “Whoever is naïve let him turn in here! To him who lacks understanding she says . . .” but the food they offer is different. Wisdom says, “eat of my food and drink of my wine.” Folly says, “Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” Wisdom offers food she prepared. Folly seems to offer food she took from others. The results of turning to Wisdom or Folly are also comparative in nature. One offers life while the other offers death. One offers understanding, the other condemnation.

Another thing occurred to me after reading 9 several times today. At an earlier reading, some other month ago, I penciled in a note next to verses 7-12 that said, “Why are these verses in the middle of this chapter?” Those verses seemed to interrupt the comparison of Wisdom and Folly. But today, those verses seem to be the distinguishing factors between those to respond to Wisdom and those who respond to Folly. I still don’t think I have that right, but there is something there along that line.

Re: verses 7-12, I do think they layout a template for the basic principles of discipleship. I feel like it is saying only disciple those who are willing to learn, take instruction and respond. Walk away from those who don’t. Is the author suggesting that life is too short to invest into those who are not serious about discipleship?

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