A few years ago I did some study in the book of Proverbs on the different kinds of women. In the process I read quite a bit from Â Charles Bridges’ Commentary on Proverbs. Here is a very short summary of just aÂ few of his many insights, mixed in with my observations.
In Proverbs Lady Wisdom is contrasted with the woman Folly. Both women offer an invitation: Lady Wisdom is like a hostess seeking guests, and Folly is like a hunter seeking prey. Folly flatters, offering food, wine, sex, and pleasure. Lady Wisdom requires obedience, concentration, hard work, and loyalty. Those who respond to Folly’s invitation lose their strength, their health, and ultimately their lives; but those who respond to Wisdom’s invitation find beauty, order, life, peace, a good reputation, longevity, honor, wealth, and blessing.Â Lady Wisdom is training students to set them free, while Folly is enslaving her captors. Though Folly begins as a seductress, she ends as a de-feminized executioner. Lady Wisdom is a mother figure who invites, reproves, teaches, protects, blesses and exalts her children.
Lady Wisdom produces inner strength, individuality, self-respect, reverence for God, excellence in skill, and depth of insight. The woman of Folly rejects authority, won’t listen to reproof, and has a loose tongue. Those who find initial pleasure at her table end with bitter regret.
BothÂ Folly and Lady Wisdom invite fools to come sit at their table, but they serve up entirely different menus.