I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly…
It is generally considered that in this language we have the conclusion reached by Solomon, End that his polygamy was largely the explanation of the very unfavorable opinion which he formed of the other sex. A monarch who takes to himself hundreds of wives and concubines is scarcely likely to see much of the best side of woman's nature and life. And if marriage is divinely intended to draw out the unselfish, affectionate, and devoted qualities of feminine nature, such a purpose could not be more effectually frustrated than by an arrangement which assigns to a so-called wife an infinitesimal portion of a husband's time, attention, interest, and love. For this reason it is not fair to take the sweeping statement of this passage as expressing a universal End unquestionable truth. What is said of the bitterness of the wicked woman, and of the mischief she does in society, remains for ever true; but there are states of society in which good women are as numerous as are good men, and in which their influence is equally beneficial.
I. THE INJURIOUSNESS OF BAD WOMEN EXEMPLIFIES THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE ABUSE AND CORRUPTION OF GOOD THINGS IS OFTEN THE CAUSE OF THE WORST OF ILLS.
II. THE WICKEDNESS OF BAD WOMEN DISPLAYS ITSELF IN THEIR HABIT OF ENSNARING THE FOOLISH; FOR THEY WILL NOT AND CANNOT SIN ALONE.
III. THE PRESENCE OF BAD WOMEN IN SOCIETY IS THE GREAT TEMPTATION TO WHICH MEN ARE LIABLE, AND THE GREAT TEST BY WHICH THEY ARE TRIED.
IV. THE BITTERNESS OF BAD WOMEN MAY BY CONTRAST SUGGEST THE EXCELLENCE OF THE VIRTUOUS AND THE PIOUS, AND MAY PROMPT TO A GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS OF SOCIETY TO HOLY AND KINDLY FEMININE INFLUENCES. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: