“He knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”
Proverbs 9:18
          The several verses of which verse 18 s the final statement speaks of “Folly’s enticement”. Here we can see that, as in other passages, “Folly”, too, is personified, here as a foolish woman, and those who choose her instead of our Lord court death and hell.  Solomon was very good at painting pictures of what it was that he was trying to get across to us.  He sought to draw either pictures or to use, as here, personification concerning human attributes that are familiar to use so we can readily grasp his point.  These verses are not intended to be demeaning to women in general, but apply to a certain type of woman, the foolish and immoral woman.
         It is important that we see this last verse in its’ context:
13 The woman Folly is loud;
  she is undisciplined and without knowledge.

14 She sits at the door of her house,
  on a seat at the highest point of the city,

15 calling out to those who pass by,
  who go straight on their way.

16 “Let all who are simple come in here!”
  she says to those who lack judgment.

17 “Stolen water is sweet;
  food eaten in secret is delicious!”

18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
  that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

          As we have said, verse 9:13–18 These last six verses stand as the counterpart to verses 1–6. Like a Woman, Wisdom, Woman Folly finds the most prominent place in the city to issue her invitation (v. 14; cf. v. 3). She issues the same invitation as Woman Wisdom, “Let all who are simple come in here!” (v. 16; cf. v. 4). Whereas Woman Wisdom calls on individuals to leave simplicity, Woman Folly invites them to capitalize on it and develop this “quality.”
         We see the reference to “A foolish woman”; literally, the woman of folly, the genitive being that of apposition, so that this may well be rendered, in order to make the contrast with Wisdom more marked, “the woman Folly.” She is regarded as a real person; and between her and Virtue man has to make his choice. “Is clamorous”; turbulent and animated by passion (as ch. 7:11), quite different from her calm, dignified rival. She is simple; Hebrew, “simplicity,” in a bad sense; she has no preservative against evil, no moral fibre to resist temptation. And knoweth nothing which she ought to know. Ignorance is the natural accompaniment of Folly; in this case it is wilful and persistent; she goes on her way reckless of consequences. Septuagint, “A woman foolish and bold, who knows not shame, comes to want a morsel.”
         So she is boisterous and restless. She is easily distracted, her attention span short. Unlike Woman Wisdom who is clear about her purpose and actively pursues it, Woman Folly is inactive. She does not build a house; she does not prepare a meal because the food she offers is stolen (v. 17). She only sits at the door of her house (v. 14). Hers is a dysfunctional world.

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Comments

Remember your beloved people who are dead now because that will be your proof of love to them. Always include them in your prayer to prove that you really love them specially if they are your parents.

Reply
09/05/2016 4:05am

It is sad that one can always readily attribute all immoral acts to women. If they get abused, we take it as the women's responsibility and that men are naturally weak to resist sin. I think in this verse, they only use women as a symbol. In reality there are more men who commit sin against women than women being careless. There's just too much work for women to do. We should end all disguises.

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Pastor Bill Farrow
09/05/2016 10:35am

Solomon, writing under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spriit frequently uses the mechanism of personification to enable his readers to more easily understand what it is he is saying. He actually uses the male reference more frequently that the female, but it is clear that he is not referencing gender but the more general human tendencies and failings. Though it can surely be taken wrongly and applied in a harmful fashion, it is important to understand that Solomon (and thus, the Inspirer of the treat, the Lord) means no specific gender failing in particular. Thus, it is true that we ought to take care not to do so ourselves. There is no sin or failing that can be attributed, all the way back to both Adam and Eve, to either only. Even when God speaks of our fall in Adam, this is not to exclude Eve from her part. As in all of Proverbs, it is not so much that the reference is a symbol, but as a reference to all humankind. Neither men nor women are "weak to sin" in any sense and there is nowhere in Proverbs (or in the rest of the Bible either) where this is even hinted. The reference to woman here, as we have mentioned, is a personification, referring to ALL humanind, not exclusively to a propensity to sin belong to the sin of the gender. As you say, it is important to remember this here and everywhere else that such make\female references are seen but must not, unless, as in Paul's references to husband and wife (along with other places in the Bible), the context clearly indicates such. But, I suspect, these clear references are few in number and the generic references far more numerous. I suspect we ought also to show care with any hint that men are worse sinners that women. What we DO need to do is simply allow the Scripture to say what it says and to interpret it careful;lily and, thus, properly in their fashion God intended it. It is my view that NEITHER men nor women are more predominant in their sin, either against one another or generally as they walk though life.

Reply
Pastor Bill Farrow
09/05/2016 10:43am

BTW - Sorry for the misspellings in my prior answer - Darn autocorrect!




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