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1. Shun the Strange Woman and Sinful Lust. Verses 1-14. It is a warning against literal fornication and the accompanying spiritual fornication, turning away from the worship of Jehovah and worshipping idols. The dreadful results of sinful lust are vividly described. How many a young man has found out the truth as given in these words in his licentious life.

“And thou mourn at thy latter end

When thy flesh and thy body are consumed.” Solomon received these repeated warnings, yet after great prosperity and honor came to him, and his glory spread in every direction, like many a rich and successful man of today, these warnings were not heeded and he had to experience in his own life the truths of these words he had penned by the Spirit of God.

2. The Life of Chastity. Verses 15-23. Here we have a sweet exhortation and picture of marital fidelity and a picture of true love in family life. How the Christian family should manifest something greater than this is revealed in Ephesians v.

CHAPTER VI.

1. The Surety. 1-5.
2. The Sluggard. 6-11.
3. The Naughty, Good-for-nothing Person. 12-19.
4. The Strange Woman. 20-35.

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1. The Surety: Verses 1-5. These are instructions concerning contracts, in being surety for a neighbor and the danger connected with it.

2. The Sluggard. Verses 6-11. The sluggard is commanded to go to the ant for a lesson. (See also xxx:25.) The ant is a marvellous little creature. That which modern science has found out by close observation of the life of this little insect is here tersely stated by the words of the Lord, the Creator. They swarm in the woods and in the fields; they work day and night; they capture, train and

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nourish aphides, which they use as a kind of slave. They build vast and symmetrical mounds, which they use as homes and barns, and which are, relatively to the size of the tiny builders, three times larger than the Egyptian pyramids. They march and labor in unison, have their own wars, nourish their sick, and all is done without a chief, an overseer or a ruler. Yet man with a higher intelligence and a higher work to do can be a sluggard.

3. The Naughty, Good-for-nothing Person. The description of the sluggard is followed by that of a worthless person. It is a son of Belial (the term used in the Hebrew) whose picture is drawn. lle is a naughty person, a good-fornothing, a man of iniquity; he has a lying mouth. A minute description of his way and work is given; everywhere he makes mischief and causeth division. But suddenly there comes the calamity upon him. He shall be broken and that without remedy. Such is the way of the man who despiseth wisdom, follows his old nature and plunges ultimately into the outer darkness. Finally there will yet appear “the man of sin,” that wicked one, in whom all these evils will culminate and he shall suddenly be broken without remedy. (See Daniel xi:45.) We do well to read carefully the six things which the Lord hateth (16-19).

The Strange Woman: Verses 20-35. The words of the Lord, the commandment and the law as stated here, are of unspeakably great importance. They are to be in the heart and about the neck.

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When thou walkest, it shall lead thee;
When thou sleepest, it shall watch over thee;

And when thou wakest, it shall talk with thee." They are a lamp and a light; they are the way of life. Then follows another description of the evil woman, a warning not to lust after her beauty nor to be taken by her eyelids. These oriental women painted their faces; by plucking their eyebrows they made them almond-shaped. Alas! that in the society of the Twentieth Century the women and girls of a so-called Christian civilization should do the same thing, and we fear, for the same purpose as the whorish woman described in this chapter.

CHAPTER VII.

1. The Description of the Strange Woman continued: Verses 1-27. The entire chapter is a continuation of the strange woman and the warning against her. The Word and the Law of the Lord will keep the obedient son from her. If Solomon had obeyed the Word of God, not to multiply wives (Deut. xvii:17) his end would not have been spent in the degrading fellowship with the harlots of other nations. The description is very graphic. What the word pictures is as prominent in the great centers of Christendom as it was thousands of years ago in Babylon and Egypt. And so it is still true:

“She hath cast down many wounded;
Yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Her house is the way to hell,
Going down to the chambers of death.”

But think of Solomon after having received these inspired descriptions and warnings, that he should have been forgetful of them all.

CHAPTER VIII.

1. The Call and Appeal of Wisdom. 1-11.
2. What Wisdom is and what Wisdom Gives. 12-21.
3. Wisdom; the Person, who He is. 22-31.
4. The Renewed Appeal. 32-36.

1. The Call and Appeal of Wisdom: Verses 1-11. This is one of the most interesting chapters in the entire book. It begins with a call and appeal of wisdom, much like the call and appeal of the first chapter. If wisdom calls, has a voice, then wisdom must also be a person. Who personified wisdom is we learn most blessedly in this chapter. Wisdom calls to the sons of men; wisdom speaks of plain and excellent things; she speaks the truth; her words are the words of righteousness; wisdom is better than rubies.

2. What Wisdom is and what Wisdom Gives: Verses 12-21. This section may well be looked upon as an introduction to the sublime revelation in verses 22-31. Wisdom is a person and what wisdom gives, the power wisdom has, makes it clear that wisdom is a divine person. Kings and princes rule by that person, as well as the nobles and judges of the earth. The powers that be are ordained by this wisdom. And that person says:

I love them that love Me

And those that seek Me early shall find Me.

This wisdom has riches and honor to bestow; has durable riches and righteousness; the fruit of it is better than fine gold; those that love the wisdom will receive an inheritance. In the next place we hear who that person is.

3. Wisdom, the Person; Who He is: Verses 22-31. The Wisdom is the Son of God. The personification of Wisdom is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This wonderful passage is a great prelude to the incarnation and the subsequent redemption work of the Son of God. Here Solomon beheld the highest of all; he had a vision of the Messiah of Israel, the Son of David, whose wisdom, peace and kingdom of peace and glory he but faintly forshadowed. The critical school must of course deny this application to our Lord. "The passage played a great role in subsequent thought, for it lies at the back of much of the speculation of Philo, and at a subsequent period was greatly employed by Christian theologians in support of their doctrine of the person of Christ through their identification of Wisdom in this passage with the Logos (the Word) of the fourth Gospel" (New Century Bible).

Wisdom was possessed by the Lord in the beginning of His ways, before His works of old. But that is the beginning without a beginning. In the beginning was the Word; and because the Word, the Son of God, is God, He like God has no beginning. The word "possessed" has also the meaning of "formed". "This word has been a battleground of controversy since the days of the Arian heresy.

But it is well to remember that, all theological questions apart, it is impossible to understand the word, whatever rendering of it we adopt, as indicating that Wisdom ever had a beginning, or was ever properly speaking created. Wisdom is inseparable from any worthy conception of Him who is "the only wise God” (1 Tim. i:17), and therefore is like Him "from everlasting to everlasting" (Perowne). Wisdom, the Son of God, was always with God from everlasting. Before there ever was anything created, before the mountains were settled, or even the earth had been made, He was. And when creation began He was there. He, the Son, was by Him, as one brought up with Him. From the greater revelation in the New Testament we learn that all things were created not only for Him, but also by Him (Colossians i:20). Wisdom speaks: “And I was continually His delight. Rejoicing always before Him." This can only be true of God the Son. And furthermore Ile says: "Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delight was with the sons of men." His delight was so great, that He laid by His glory, and left His eternal dwelling place to become man and redeem man by the death of the cross.*

4. The Renewed Appeal: Verses 32-36. Then follows the renewed appeal. Wisdom says, “Whosoever findeth me findeth life.” How true of our Lord; in Him we find and have life. Note the two “Blessed" in this paragraph.

*"'It is interesting to observe that this glimpse, this adumbration of a great truth, which was only to become fully clear in Christ Jesus our Lord, was advanced a little in clearness and completeness by a book which is not considered to be inspired, the so-called Book of Wisdom, in a passage which must be quoted: "For she (i. e., Wisdom) is a breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God and the image of His goodness. And being but one, she can do all things; and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new; and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God and prophets. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with Wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars; being compared with the light, she is found before it.”

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