He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Solomon explains how those who are foolish and those who are wise accept correction. When corrected, the foolish and wicked will attempt to abuse and assault the one who does the correction. The way in which an individual reacts to rebuke is an index of their character. Instead of resenting criticism, a wise individual takes it to heart and, thus, becomes wiser.
Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Solomon gives a picture of wisdom building a house and preparing a great feast for those who will answer her invitation. A feast is a time of joy, fellowship, and satisfaction and this is what wisdom can provide. The seven pillars that wisdom uses for the house could be the seven characteristics that James uses to describe wisdom that comes from God – pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to request, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Solomon reveals the eternal value when people respond to wisdom – there are blessing on those who listen to her instruction and walk in her ways and happiness to those who wait daily on her and are faithful to keep her close to them.
Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Wisdom has creative energy in the one who has it. It rejoices in its might and strength. But it finds its greatest joy when individuals pursue it.
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Wisdom pre-dates creation. Solomon stresses that the wisdom we should pursue is a wisdom that pre-dates all we see.
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Wisdom has always been available because the One who provides it, is eternal. Wisdom has existed before time.
Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
Solomon mentions the benefits of wisdom – good counsel (v14a), sound judgment (v14b), understanding (v14c), moral strength to do what is right and to resist evil (v14d), leadership ability (v15a, 16a), judicial skill (v15b, 16b), affection and companionship (v17a), enduring riches, with honor and righteousness (v18), good character (v19), and guidance in the right direction (v20-21). We need all of these to live a life that is pleasing to God.
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Wisdom and discretion are compatible with one another. Both are needed for the management of the affairs of life. The things that wisdom does not dwell with is evil, pride, arrogance, wicked behavior, and lying speech. If we have wisdom, we are to avoid those things that God hates.
Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
The value of wisdom’s instruction is incomparable. It is to be desired above silver, the finest gold, rubies, and whatever else we may value.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Solomon reveals the characteristics of wisdom. It speaks things that are excellent, right, truthful, and righteous. It avoids speaking things that are evil, crooked, and perverse. The one who has wisdom will have a measure of discernrnent and understanding, which will keep them straight and just.