The original title of this blog was “Wisdom as a bitch”. For those who have just dropped in, my premise is to examine Wisdom in Proverbs as female, wise and loving in the way that Jesus described his ‘Father’, not Joseph but God. The chapters I am use specifically define wisdom as female. Proverbs 1:20-33, 8:1-36 and 9:1-18.
Sticking with the theme from ‘Folly to be Wise’ .. our first example of folly is in deciding that this is an appropriate example of the behaviour of a loving God, or even a creation of God (discussed more in the next article “The nature of Wisdom”); the God who Jesus tried so hard to convince us was watching over us and loving us unconditionally (1 Corinthians 1:1-13). Paraphrasing … ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13:34, 15:12). If Wisdom is the example, it is no wonder living people do not get along with each other.
Wisdom as a female prophet
In Proverbs 1:20-23 Wisdom, as a woman, was outside yelling in the streets, demanding attention. She called everyone ‘simple ones’.
I shall extend this a little and suggest she meant ‘simple-minded’ in our language, given that she later refers to fools or foolish people. The dictionary meaning of simple-minded is: “not very intelligent, or having or showing a lack of good sense or judgement” (1). Is she calling to fools in hope they will listen to her, or the innocent who will not look past the covering of sweet words and promises?
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.
Is this Wisdom, wise and kind? She turns her back on those who do not listen to her. She laughs and mocks. Is that what a loving creation of God would do? Is this what God does to those who believe in him? And even to those who don’t? If God loves all of his creations unconditionally, then those who do not believe are loved as much as those who do. They are all given the opportunity to choose another path – the one that leads back to him. Whether God loves unconditionally or not is not a discussion for today, but it will become another blog in the future.
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,
Humanity chooses not the fear the Lord, but Wisdom is not ‘The Lord’ so her anger at them is on God’s behalf, or is it? Given that we are supposed to pay attention to ‘her’ (Proverbs 22:17-18, 5:1-6) and give her the same respect as God, where does she place herself in the hierarchy?
Her behaviour is not God’s behaviour – “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”. (Matthew 7:7-8 & Luke 11:9-10)
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.
A reference to Genesis 3:6 when Eve and then Adam ate the fruit and they were both expelled from the “Garden”. Humanity was foolish then, and if they do not listen to ‘her’ they will remain that way.
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.
Having done many years research into the concept of fallen angels, I can perfectly see here the storms and rages of an invisible being acting in the mirror image of her* true nature as Wisdom.
- Please note that when I say ‘her’ I am doing two things, following the theme of wisdom as a female (all emotion) and also that fallen angels (demons) are also driven by emotion (ego). I am not classifying the female human race as either all emotion or demons.
The nature of Wisdom is to learn and teach. This being called ‘Wisdom’ offers so much with one hand, and takes it back with the other. She is, if you like, in two minds. The angel of Illumination (2) would swap from teaching Love and Wisdom to teaching Hatred and Confusion. She would act out her dissatisfaction with those who refuse to follow her – in a way that is exactly opposite a loving God, but more like the behaviour of Jehovah, who is not to be trusted.
The Blessings of Wisdom
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil …
I could write a whole page on this very short sentence. To me it has one meaning. Every commentary I have checked either ignores it, or tries to rewrite it, sometimes in great depth, or explain that it means something it doesn’t say. They refer to Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction”; and 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”. But it does not say either of those things. It says ‘The fear of the Lord .. is hatred of evil’ .. as if this Lord fears that people will “hate evil”? Who is this Lord? 9:10 makes perfect sense if it is an entity that should be avoided, such as Wisdom and ‘him’self. (Lord being a male title). The rest of 13 is … pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
14 – 17 are all “I am” statements, demonstrating her power. Like God in Job 38, 39 & 41, some of which appears to be incoherent rantings. For example, 41:1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook …?” when Job calls God to account for his suffering.
And then there are these:
Wisdom offers …
18 Riches and honour are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
Jesus offers …
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth; where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Who is this being called Wisdom? There is more to follow ….