Proverbs 9:4
Whoever is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, she said to him,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Whoso is simple . . . as for him that wanteth understanding.—So God does not call many “wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” (1Corinthians 1:26); but chooses the “foolish,” “weak,” and “base,” whom man might overlook; not being willing that any should perish (2Peter 3:9), especially His “little ones” (Matthew 18:14). who are liable to fall through their inexperience and want of judgment.

Proverbs 9:4-6. Whoso is simple — Ignorant, weak, and liable to be deceived, but willing to learn; let him turn in hither — For there is no man so ignorant but he is welcome to come and receive instruction. By this manner of speaking, Wisdom shows that she rejects those scholars who are proud and self-conceited. As for him that wanteth understanding — Hebrew, that wanteth a heart, which is put for understanding, Jeremiah 5:21; Hosea 7:11, and elsewhere. She saith to him, Come, eat of my bread — Partake of the provision which I have made; my nourishing and strengthening instructions; and drink of the wine which I have mingled — Receive my refreshing and invigorating comforts. Forsake the foolish — The ignorant and wicked; shun their company and their practices; converse not with them; conform not to their ways; have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, or with those that do such works. The first step toward virtue is to shun vice, and therefore to avoid the company of the vicious. And live — Arise from the dead and live indeed; not a mere animal life, such as brutes live, but now at length live the life of men, the life of Christians. Live a spiritual life, in union with God, and you shall live an eternal life in the enjoyment of him. And go in the way of understanding — Govern thyself by the rules of religion and right reason. It is not enough to forsake the foolish, but we must unite ourselves with those that walk in wisdom, and walk in the same spirit, and the same steps.9:1-12 Christ has prepared ordinances to which his people are admitted, and by which nourishment is given here to those that believe in him, as well as mansions in heaven hereafter. The ministers of the gospel go forth to invite the guests. The call is general, and shuts out none that do not shut out themselves. Our Saviour came, not to call the righteous, but sinners; not the wise in their own eyes, who say they see. We must keep from the company and foolish pleasures of the ungodly, or we never can enjoy the pleasures of a holy life. It is vain to seek the company of wicked men in the hope of doing them good; we are far more likely to be corrupted by them. It is not enough to forsake the foolish, we must join those that walk in wisdom. There is no true wisdom but in the way of religion, no true life but in the end of that way. Here is the happiness of those that embrace it. A man cannot be profitable to God; it is for our own good. Observe the shame and ruin of those who slight it. God is not the Author of sin: and Satan can only tempt, he cannot force. Thou shalt bear the loss of that which thou scornest: it will add to thy condemnation.Wisdom and the "foolish woman" Proverbs 9:13 speak from the same places and to the same class - the simple, undecided, wavering, standing at the diverging point of the two paths that lead to life or death. 4-6. (Compare Pr 1:4; 6:32). Wisdom not only supplies right but forbids wrong principles. Simple; ignorant, and weak, and subject to delusion, and willing to learn; to show that wisdom rejects those scholars who are proud and self-conceited.

Understanding, Heb. heart, which signifies understanding, Jeremiah 5:21 Hosea 7:11. Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither,.... Into Wisdom's house, so well built and furnished; the church of Christ, as a house of instruction; a school, where such who are "simple", weak, and foolish, may learn. Here are many instructors; saints instruct one another; ministers of the word are teachers; yea, Father, Son, and Spirit, here teach and instruct, and none teach like them. Here many lessons are to be learned concerning themselves, concerning Christ, and concerning their duty to God and men; all sorts of persons may learn here, such who know ever so much or ever so little. Or let him turn in here, as into an inn, into which passengers or travellers turn for accommodations; see Proverbs 9:15. The saints are travellers here, at a distance from their Father's house, and need refreshment by the way; the church of God is an inn of good accommodations; here is room enough to entertain them; here are good lodgings for rest and safety, and good provisions, and all of free cost. And now these are the words of Wisdom, or Christ, either in person, or by his maidens, his ministers, inviting such who are "simple" to turn in hither, and partake of the provisions in it; that is, not such who are quite stupid and insensible, sottish, incorrigible, and irreclaimable; but who are sensible of their folly and simplicity; who are but of weak capacities, apt to be credulous, and so easily imposed upon and deceived;

as for him that wanteth understanding; not the natural faculty of the understanding, nor an understanding of things natural and civil; but of things spiritual and evangelical, as of the grace of God; of salvation by Christ; of the work of the Spirit; of themselves and their state; of the Gospel, and the mysteries of it; and who are sensible of their ignorance and want of understanding; which is the first thing the Spirit of God convinces men of; or who are so in comparison of others, are weak in knowledge and experience. Now these Christ does not despise, but invites them into his house for instruction; and where can they be better? and who so fit and proper to be here, and be with Wisdom, than such as these?

she saith to him: as follows.

Whoever is {e} simple, let him turn in here: as for him that lacketh understanding, she saith to him,

(e) He who knows his own ignorance, and is void of malice.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 4-12. - Here follows the invitation of Wisdom, urging the attendance of guests at the sumptuous banquet which she has prepared (comp. Revelation 19:9). Verse 4. - Whose is simple, lot him turn in hither. This is a direct address to the imprudent and inexperienced (see on Proverbs 7:7), calling them to turn aside from the way on which they are going, and to come to her. Vulgate, si quis est parvulus veniat ad me, which reminds one of Christ's tender words, "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish" (Matthew 18:14). As for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him what follows (so ver. 16). Wisdom's own speech is interrupted, and the writer himself introduces this little clause. She calls on the simple and the unwise, both as necessarily needing her teaching, and not yet inveterate in evil, nor wilfully opposed to better guidance. "The world by wisdom knew not God" and he "hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen" (1 Corinthians 1:21, 26, etc.; comp. Matthew 11:25). The אשׁרי here following שׁמעוּ is related to it as assigning a motive, like the ואשׁרי (Proverbs 8:32) following שׁמעו; according to the Masora, we have to write אשׁרי with Mercha, and on the first syllable Gaja (vid., Baer's Torath Emeth, pp. 26, 29; cf. under Psalm 1:1). לשׁקד signifies to watch, not in the sense of ad vigilandum, but vigilando, as Isaiah 5:22; Isaiah 30:1; Ewald, 380d. In contradistinction to העיר and הקיץ, which denote watching as the consequence of wakefulness or an interruption of sleep, שׁקד signifies watching as a condition, and that as one which a person willingly maintains (Psychol. p. 275), the intentional watching (cf. Arab. shaḳidha, to fix penetrating eyes upon anything), with על of the place and object and aim (Jeremiah 5:6; cf. העיר על, Job 8:6). The plurals דּלתות (fores, as חמות, Jeremiah 1:18, maenia) and פתחים are amplifying plurs. of extension, suggesting the idea of a palace or temple; מזוּזת (postes portae, in quibus cardines ejus moventur, from זוּז, to move hither and thither) is intended to indicate that he to whom the discourse refers holds himself in closest nearness to the entrance, that he might not miss the moment when it is opened, or when she who dwells there presents herself to view. "The figure is derived from the service of a court: Wisdom is honoured by her disciples, as a queen or high patroness; cf. Samachschari's Golden Necklaces, Proverbs 35:Blessed is the man who knocks only at God's door, and who departs not a nail's breadth from God's threshold" (Fl.).
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