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Proverbs 1:20-33 – The Call of Woman Wisdom

Summary

Wisdom is personified as a woman.

Analysis

The text here seems to indicate an actual practice where women are portrayed as street teachers or preachers. Especially significant in Proverbs is the personification of wisdom as a woman, found especially in chapter 8. In the first chapter of the book it becomes apparent that the production, teaching, and promoting of wisdom is not just a matter for the male of the species. The Bible tells us that women also were "wisdom teachers" (2 Samuel 14:2; 20:16).

Proverbs 1:20-33

The Call of Wisdom


20 Wisdom cries out in the street;
   in the squares she raises her voice.
21 At the busiest corner she cries out;
   at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 ‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
   and fools hate knowledge?
23 Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
   I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
   have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
25 and because you have ignored all my counsel
   and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
   I will mock when panic strikes you,
27 when panic strikes you like a storm,
   and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
   when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
   they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
   and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel,
   and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
   and be sated with their own devices.
32 For waywardness kills the simple,
   and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but those who listen to me will be secure
   and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.’

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10 February 2011

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