Proverbs 9:13
A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth 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." Proverbs 9:13The poet now brings before us another figure, for he personifies Folly working in opposition to Wisdom, and gives her a feminine name, as the contrast to Wisdom required, and thereby to indicate that the seduction, as the 13th proverbial discourse (chap. 7) has shown, appears especially in the form of degraded womanhood:

13 The woman Folly [Frau Thorheit] conducts herself boisterously,

     Wantonness, and not knowing anything at all;

14 And hath seated herself at the door of her house,

     On a seat high up in the city,

15 To call to those who walk in the way,

     Who go straight on their path.

The connection of אשת כּסילוּת is genitival, and the genitive is not, as in אשׁת רע, Proverbs 6:24, specifying, but appositional, as in בת־ציון (vid., under Isaiah 1:8). הומיּה [boisterous] is pred., as Proverbs 7:11 : her object is sensual, and therefore her appearance excites passionately, overcoming the resistance of the mind by boisterousness. In 13b it is further said who and how she is. פּתיּוּת she is called as wantonness personified. This abstract פּתיּוּת, derived from פּתי, must be vocalized as אכזריּוּת; Hitzig thinks it is written with a on account of the following u sound, but this formation always ends in ijjûth, not ajjûth. But as from חזה as well חזּיון equals חזיון as חזון is formed, so from פּתה as well פּתוּת like חזוּת or פּתוּת like לזוּת, רעוּת, as פּתיוּת (instead of which פּתיּוּת is preferred) can be formed; Kimchi rightly (Michlol 181a) presents the word under the form פּעלוּת. With וּבל (Proverbs 14:7) poetic, and stronger than לאו, the designation of the subject is continued; the words וּבל־ידעה מּה (thus with Mercha and without Makkeph following, ידעה is to be written, after Codd. and old editions) have the value of an adjective: and not knowing anything at all (מה equals τὶ, as Numbers 23:3; Job 13:13, and here in the negative clause, as in prose מאוּמה), i.e., devoid of all knowledge. The Targ. translates explanatorily: not recognising טבתּא, the good; and the lxx substitutes: she knows not shame, which, according to Hitzig, supposes the word כּלמּה, approved of by him; but כלמה means always pudefactio, not pudor. To know no כלמה would be equivalent to, to let no shaming from without influence one; for shamelessness the poet would have made use of the expression ובל־ידעה בּשׁת. In וישׁבה the declaration regarding the subject beginning with הומיה is continued: Folly also has a house in which works of folly are carried one, and has set herself down by the door (לפּתח as לפי, Proverbs 8:3) of this house; she sits there על־כּסּא. Most interpreters here think on a throne (lxx ἐπὶ δίφρου, used especially of the sella curulis); and Zckler, as Umbreit, Hitzig, and others, connecting genitiv. therewith מרמי קרת, changes in 14b the scene, for he removes the "high throne of the city" from the door of the house to some place elsewhere. But the sitting is in contrast to the standing and going on the part of Wisdom on the streets preaching (Evagrius well renders: in molli ignavaque sella); and if כסא and house-door are named along with each other, the former is a seat before the latter, and the accentuation rightly separates by Mugrash כסא from מרמי קרת. "According to the accents and the meaning, מרמי קרת is the acc. loci: on the high places of the city, as Proverbs 8:2." (Fl.). They are the high points of the city, to which, as Wisdom, Proverbs 9:3, Proverbs 8:2, so also Folly, her rival (wherefore Ecclesiastes 10:6 does not appertain to this place), invites followers to herself. She sits before her door to call לעברי דרך (with Munach, as in Cod. 1294 and old editions, without the Makkeph), those who go along the way (genitive connection with the supposition of the accusative construction, transire viam, as Proverbs 2:7), to call (invite) המישּׁרים (to be pointed with מ raphatum and Gaja going before, according to Ben-Asher's rule; vid., Methegsetz. 20), those who make straight their path, i.e., who go straight on, directly before them (cf. Isaiah 57:2). The participial construction (the schemes amans Dei and amans Deum), as well as that of the verb קרא (first with the dat. and then with the accus.), interchange.

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