Proverbs 9:13
A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knows nothing.
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(13) A foolish woman.—Rather, the Foolish woman; Folly personified, in opposition to Wisdom described above.

Clamorous.—Not of dignified mien, as her rival.

Simple.—Heb., simplicity, i.e., she is simplicity itself.

And knoweth nothing.—And so leaves room for all evil to enter in and dwell with her (Matthew 12:45); thus she perishes, like Israel, for “lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

Proverbs 9:13. A foolish woman, &c. — “Here we have another allegorical picture, describing folly under the person of a harlot, who fascinates with her enticements, and offers also her dainties to her guests; but dainties tainted with the most subtle poison.” The Hebrew, אשׁת כסילות, is literally, the woman of folly, or folly herself compared to a woman, and bearing the character of a harlot. This is opposed to that wisdom of which he has been so long discoursing, and so may include all wickedness, whether in principle or practice. Is clamorous — Speaks loudly that she may be heard, and vehemently that persons may be moved by her persuasions. She is simple, and knoweth nothing — Namely, aright; nothing that is good, nothing for her good, though she be subtle in little artifices for her own wicked ends.9:13-18 How diligent the tempter is, to seduce unwary souls into sin! Carnal, sensual pleasure, stupifies conscience, and puts out the sparks of conviction. This tempter has no solid reason to offer; and where she gets dominion in a soul, all knowledge of holy things is lost and forgotten. She is very violent and pressing. We need to seek and pray for true wisdom, for Satan has many ways to withdraw our souls from Christ. Not only worldly lusts and abandoned seducers prove fatal to the souls of men; but false teachers, with doctrines that flatter pride and give liberty to lusts, destroy thousands. They especially draw off such as have received only partial serious impressions. The depths of Satan are depths of hell; and sin, without remorse, is ruin, ruin without remedy. Solomon shows the hook; those that believe him, will not meddle with the bait. Behold the wretched, empty, unsatisfying, deceitful, and stolen pleasure sin proposes; and may our souls be so desirous of the everlasting enjoyment of Christ, that on earth we may live to him, daily, by faith, and ere long be with him in glory.The picture of the harlot as the representative of the sensual life, the Folly between which and Wisdom the young man has to make his choice (Proverbs 9:3 note). "Simple," in the worst sense, as open to all forms of evil. "Knoweth nothing," ignorant with the ignorance which is willful and reckless. 13. foolish woman—or literally, "woman of folly," specially manifested by such as are described.

clamorous—or, "noisy" (Pr 7:11).

knoweth nothing—literally, "knoweth not what," that is, is right and proper.

A foolish woman; by which he understands, either,

1. Folly, which is opposite to that wisdom of which he hath been so long discoursing; and so it may include all wickedness, either in principle, as idolatry, heresy, &c., or in practice. Or,

2. The harlot; which, with submission, seems most probable to me, partly because all the following description exactly agrees to her, especially what is said Proverbs 9:17, as also Proverbs 9:18, which in effect was said of the harlot before, Proverbs 2:18 5:5; and partly because such transitions from discoursing of wisdom, to a discourse of harlots, are frequent in Solomon, as we have seen, Proverbs 2:16 5:3 7:5.

Is clamorous; speaks loudly, that she may be heard; and vehemently, that persons might be moved by her persuasions.

Knoweth nothing; to wit, aright, nothing that is good, nothing for her good, though she be subtle in little artifices for her own wicked ends. A foolish woman is clamorous,.... Some by this woman understand folly itself, as opposed to wisdom; others blind reason, ignorant of divine things; others carnal sensual pleasure, which entices and draws men to that which is evil; others heresy and superstition; others the old serpent, the devil; she seems to be the same with the strange woman and harlot before described, Proverbs 2:16, &c. and being set in direct opposition to Wisdom, or Christ, seems to design antichrist, who is described in the book of the Revelation as the great whore; and all the characters here agree with the same. Antichrist is represented as a "woman", Revelation 17:3; and is "foolish"; for whatever worldly cunning and craft, and wicked subtlety, there may be in the Romish antichrist, yet he is destitute of all spiritual wisdom and knowledge; and is "clamorous" and noisy, has a mouth speaking great swelling words of vanity and blasphemy, boasting of infallibility, works of supererogation, merits, miracles, wealth, and riches; and very pressing and importunate to gain proselytes to his religion; the priests and Jesuits are compared to noisy, clamorous, croaking frogs, Revelation 16:13;

she is simple, and knoweth nothing; a woman of follies, extremely foolish and simple, and most grossly ignorant; knows nothing that is good, as the Targum; that is, spiritually good; knows not God aright; is without the fear and love of him, and faith in him; nor knows Christ, and the way of righteousness and life by him; nor the Spirit of God, and the operations of his grace upon the heart; nor the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; nor the ways, worship, and ordinances of God. The Septuagint and Arabic versions are, "she knows not shame"; but is bold and impudent, having a whore's forehead, and on it written, "Mystery, Babylon, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth", Revelation 17:5.

A {l} foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

(l) By the foolish woman, some understand the wicked preachers, who counterfeit the word of God: as appears in Pr 9:16 which were the words of the true preachers as in Pr 9:4 but their doctrine is as stolen waters: meaning that they are men's traditions, which are more pleasant to the flesh than the word of God, and therefore they themselves boast of it.

13. A foolish woman] Rather, The foolish woman. Lit. A woman of folly. Some would render (e.g. R.V. marg.) Folly, as a personification, over against Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1), but the introduction of the word “woman” here, which is wanting there, and the language of Proverbs 9:17 seem to make it clear that one particular form of vice, and not vice in the abstract, is again in view.

clamorous] Comp. Proverbs 7:11, where the same Heb. word is used.

simple] Lit. simplicity. She is simplicity itself, in its worst aspect, entirely without safeguard or restraint, see Proverbs 1:4, note.

knoweth nothing] leaves entirely out of consideration the consequences of her action. Comp. “he knoweth not,” &c., Proverbs 9:18.

Proverbs 9:13-18. The Introduction, or first main division of the Book, ends with the contrasted picture of Folly. She too has her house, at the door of which she sits (Proverbs 9:14); she too, though the charm of secrecy is added to her enticements (Proverbs 9:17), is seen flaunting shamelessly, in the high places of the city (Proverbs 9:14), and bruits abroad her noisy invitation, not only to attract the vicious (Proverbs 9:16), but to beguile, if it may be, the passers by who are going right on their way (Proverbs 9:15).Verses 13-18. - This section contains the invitation of Folly, the rival of Wisdom, represented under the guise of an adulteress (Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 5:3, etc.; Proverbs 6:24, etc.; Proverbs 7.). Verse 13. - I 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 Proverbs 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." In what now follows the discourse of Wisdom is continued; wherefore she directs her invitation to the simple, i.e., those who have not yet decided, and are perhaps susceptible of that which is better:

7 "He who correcteth a scorner draweth upon himself insult;

   And he who communicateth instruction to a scorner, it is a dishonour to him.

8 Instruct not a scorner, lest he hate thee;

   Give instruction to the wise, so he will love thee.

9 Give to the wise, and he becomes yet wiser;

   Give knowledge to the upright, and he gains in knowledge."

Zckler thinks that herewith the reason for the summons to the "simple" to forsake the fellowship of men of their own sort, is assigned (he explains 6a as Ahron b. Joseph: הפרדו מן הפתאים); but his remark, that, under the term "simple," mockers and wicked persons are comprehended as belonging to the same category, confounds two sharply distinguished classes of men. לץ is the freethinker who mocks at religion and virtue (vid., Proverbs 1:22), and רשׁע the godless who shuns restraint by God and gives himself up to the unbridled impulse to evil. The course of thought in Proverbs 9:7 and onwards shows why Wisdom, turning from the wise, who already are hers, directs herself only to the simple, and those who are devoid of understanding: she must pass over the לץ and רשׁע dna , because she can there hope for no receptivity for her invitation; she would, contrary to Matthew 7:6, "give that which is holy to the dogs, and cast her pearls before swine." יסר, παιδεύειν (with the prevailing idea of the bitter lesson of reproof and punishment), and הוכיח, ἐλέγχειν, are interchangeable conceptions, Psalm 94:10; the ל is here exponent of the object (to bring an accusation against any one), as Proverbs 9:8, Proverbs 15:12 (otherwise as Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 11:4, where it is the dat. commodi: to bring unrighteousness to light, in favour of the injured). יסר לץ is pointed with Mahpach of the penultima, and thus with the tone thrown back. The Pasek, placed in some editions between the two words, is masoretically inaccurate. He who reads the moral to the mocker brings disgrace to himself; the incorrigible replies to the goodwill with insult. Similar to the לקח לו here, is מרים tollit equals reportat, Proverbs 3:25; Proverbs 4:27. In 7b מוּמו is by no means the object governed by וּמוכיח: and he who shows to the godless his fault (Meri, Arama, Lwenstein: מומו equals על־מומו, and thus also the Graec. Venet. μῶμον ἑαυτῷ, scil. λαμβάνει); plainly מומו is parallel with קלון. But מומו does not also subordinate itself to לקח as to the object. parallel קלון: maculam sibimet scil. acquirit; for, to be so understood, the author ought at least to have written לו מוּם. Much rather מומו is here, as at Deuteronomy 32:5, appos., thus pred. (Hitzig), without needing anything to be supplied: his blot it is, viz., this proceeding, which is equivalent to מוּמא הוּא ליהּ (Targ.), opprobrio ipsi est. Zckler not incorrectly compares Psalm 115:7 and Ecclesiastes 5:16, but the expression (macula ejus equals ipsi) lies here less remote from our form of expression. In other words: Whoever correcteth the mockers has only to expect hatred (אל־תוכח with the tone thrown back, according to rule; cf. on the contrary, Judges 18:25), but on the other hand, love from the wise.

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