Proverbs 1:21
She cries in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she utters her words, saying,
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(21) Crieth.—She cannot bear to see sinners rushing madly on their doom. (Comp. Christ’s weeping over Jerusalem, Luke 19:41; and Romans 9:2, sqq; Philippians 3:18, sqq.)

Proverbs 1:21. She crieth in the chief place of concourse — Where there is most probability of success. The LXX. render it, επακρων τειχεων κηρυσσεται, she preacheth upon the tops of the walls, or houses, a translation which Houbigant approves. Schultens, not improperly, renders the Hebrew, בראשׁ המיות, at the head, or beginning, of the most frequented streets. In the opening of the gates — Where magistrates sit in judgment, and people are assembled. So she crieth, both to the wise and to the unwise, as Paul preached, Romans 1:14. In the city she uttereth her words — Not only in the gate, but in every part of the city. Or, in the cities, the singular number being put for the plural.1:20-33 Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken to the temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is not to hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1. Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of good and evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, and flatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud, jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers at religion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3. Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, and have a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept is plain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use of reproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. The promises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one. It may well be asked, how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when the uncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christ are considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow at defiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to hear their prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yet despisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey the Lord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidence in God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.Wisdom is personified. In the Hebrew the noun is a feminine plural, as though this Wisdom were the queen of all wisdoms, uniting in herself all their excellences. She lifts up her voice, not in solitude, but in the haunts of men "without," i. e., outside the walls, in the streets, at the highest point of all places of concourse, in the open space of the gates where the elders meet and the king sits in judgment, in the heart of the city itself Proverbs 1:21; through sages, lawgivers, teachers, and yet more through life and its experiences, she preaches to mankind. Socrates said that the fields and the trees taught him nothing, but that he found the wisdom he was seeking in his converse with the men whom he met as he walked in the streets and agora of Athens. 21. The publicity further indicated by terms designating places of most common resort. The chief place of concourse; where there is probability of most success.

The opening of the gates; where magistrates sit in judgment, and people are assembled. So it crieth both to the wise and to the unwise, as Paul preached, Romans 1:14.

In the city; not only in the gate, but in every part of the city. Or, in the cities, the singular number being put for the plural. She crieth in the chief place of concourse,.... Where a multitude of people meet together; the Targum is,

"on the top of palaces;''

but rather it is to be understood of the synagogues of the Jews, where Christ frequently preached; and which, from hence, they build in the highest part of the city (c); and best of all the temple, whither the tribes of Israel went up to worship in great bodies, and to which the Jews daily resorted; here Christ taught publicly, as he himself says, John 18:20;

in the opening of the gates; either of the city, at which people went in and out in great numbers; or of the temple, where they passed and repassed continually on account of worship; see John 10:23; in allusion hereunto the public worship of God's house is signified by the gates of Zion, and also of Wisdom, Psalm 87:2;

in the city she uttereth her words; the doctrines of the Gospel; even in the city of Jerusalem literally, and in other cities of Judea and Galilee, the singular being put for the plural; and figuratively in the church of God, often compared to a city; and so all these expressions of "without", in the "streets", in the "chief place of concourse", "the opening of the gates", and "the city", may denote in general the openness and publicness of the Gospel ministry, both by Christ in his apostles, in Judea, and in the Gentile world; more especially the former;

saying, as follows.

(c) Maimon. Hilchot Tephillah, c. 11. s. 2.

She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
21. in the chief place of concourse] Lit. at the head of the noisy places (turbarum, Vulg.). The expression head of the streets occurs Isaiah 51:20; Lamentations 2:19. Comp. at every head of the ways, Ezekiel 16:25; the place where the street branches off and so has its head or beginning. The LXX. (with a slightly different Heb. reading) ἐπʼ ἄκρων τειχέων, on the top of the walls.

openings] Rather, entering in. Just within the gate of an oriental city was the principal square, or open space, where public business was transacted and courts were held. See, for example, 1 Kings 22:10; Ruth 4:1.Verse 21. - She crieth in the chief place of concourse. The chief place is literally the head (רלֺאשׁ, rosh); here used figuratively for the place where streets or roads branch off in different directions, as in Ezekiel 16:25, "the beginning of streets," or "the head of the way;" comp. Genesis 2:10, where it is used of the point at which the four streams branched off; and the corresponding expression in Proverbs 8:2, "She staudeth in the top (rosh) of high places." Of concourse; הֹמִיּות (homiyyoth) is the plural of the adjective, הומִי (homi): literally, "those who are making a noise," or "the tumultuous;" here, as in Isaiah 22:2 and 1 Kings 1:41, used substantively for "boisterous, noisy places" (compare the Vulgate, in capite turbaram). The variation in the LXX., "on high walls," or "on the tops of the walls" (ἐπ᾿ ἄκρων δὲ τειχέων, super summos muros), which is adopted also in the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic Versions, arises from reading חומות (khomoth), "walls," for the Masoretic homiyyoth. In the openings of the gates. The opening (פֶתַח pethakh) is the opening of the gate, or the entrance by the gate (שַׁעַר, shaar), i.e. of the city, the introitus portae of the Chaldee and Syriac Versions. The openings of the gates would be thronged, as courts of justice were held at the gates (Deuteronomy 16:18; 2 Samuel 15:2); business was carried on there, as the selling and redemption of land (Genesis 23:10-16; Ruth 4:1); markets were also held there (2 Kings 7:1-18); and the same localities were used for the councils of the state and conferences (Genesis 34:20; 2 Samuel 3:27; 2 Chronicles 18:9; Jeremiah 17:19; comp. Proverbs 31:33, "Her husband is known in the gates"). In place of the expression, "in the openings of the gates," the LXX. reads, Ἐπὶ δὲ πύλαις δυναστῶν παρεδρεύει, "And at the gates of the mighty she sits" - an interpolation which only partially represents the sense of the original, and which is adopted in the Arabic. In the next clause, for "in the city" is substituted ἐπὶ δὲ πύλαις πόλεως, "at the gates of the city." The Vulgate combines the separate clauses of the original in one - in foribus portarum urbis, "in the entrances and openings of the gates of the city." In the city (בָעִיר, bair); i.e. in the city itself (so Aben Ezra, ap. Gejerus), as opposed to the entrance by the gates, and so used antithetically (as Umbreit, Bertheau, Hitzig). The publicity of the teaching of Wisdom, observable in the places she selects for that purpose, also marked the public ministry of our Lord and his disciples, and finds an illustration in his command, "What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops" (Matthew 10:27); i.e. give it all the publicity possible. The spirit of Wisdom, like that of Christianity, is aggressive (see Wardlaw, 'Lectures on Proverbs 4,' vol. 1. pp. 40, 41). After the men are described against whose enticements a warning is given forth, the warning is emphatically repeated, and is confirmed by a threefold reason:

My son! go not in the way with them.

Keep back thy foot from their path.

If בּדרך (in the way), taken alone, cannot be equivalent to בדרך אחד (in one way), so is אתּם (with them) to be regarded as its determination.

(Note: The Arab. grammarians regard this as half determination, and call it takhsys; that אתּם has with them the force of a virtually coordinated attributive; while, according to the Arab. gram., it is also possible that בּדרך, "in one way," is equivalent to on the common way, for in the indetermination sometimes there lies the conception not merely of âhad, but of weahad.)

Foot (not feet), as eye, hand, etc., is used where the members come less under consideration than what they unitedly bring about (Proverbs 4:26.). נתיבה, from נתב, signifies properly that which is raised, especially the (raised) footstep.

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