Our text passage is unusual in that the same identical language is recorded twice only a few verses apart. Both are voices that we are told are calling the Christian pilgrim. First we are told that wisdom "hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city" (v.3). Next we note that the foolish woman "sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways" (vv.14-15). How is the Christian pilgrim to distinguish between these two invitations that employ the same urgent language?
Note the prescription offered by the foolish woman, who typifies the allurements of this world and the tempter's false facade: "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant" (v.17). Some of the simple do fall for such a ruse because we are told that the guests at her banquet "are in the depths of hell" (v.18).
But wisdom has also prepared a banquet: "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table" (vv.1-2). She also extends the invitation to "Whoso is simple." But the difference is one of worldview. The tempter begins by appealing to personal pleasure while wisdom begins elsewhere: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (v.10). The end result is also dramatically different: "For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased" (v.11). The Christian pilgrim would do well to evaluate the counsel coming his way lest he be fooled by pretty rhetoric that is unscriptural. DW