Wisdom performs here for the last time in these introductory chapters (verse 11Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
). This Wisdom is also called the highest Wisdom, which means that in Her the fullness of wisdom is found, all wisdoms are in Her. Again we see herein a clear picture of Christ “in Whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden” (Col 2:33in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.).
Of Her is said that She “has built her house”. It is about something new, which was made by Her and which is available for everyone who accepts Her invitation. It is Her house. She has not built it only for Herself, but to welcome others into it and make them feel at home. Her house forms an enormous contrast to the house of the harlot. The harlot does not build her house, but tears it down.
Wisdom has also “hewn out her seven pillars” so that Her house may rest on them. The number seven speaks of fullness, without any lack, and perfection, without any shortage. The building has been established on a perfect foundation, which makes it stand unshakably. James mentions seven characteristics of “the wisdom from above” (Jam 3:1717But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.), which we can apply to the seven pillars. Those are the features which are perfectly seen in the Lord Jesus.
1. The first feature of wisdom is that she is “pure”. James emphasizes its importance by saying about purity that it takes the “first” place. The next features flow out of it. Purity is the first condition, because it is about Christ Who is pure.
2. Wisdom is “then peaceable”. Christ is the great Peacemaker. He who accepts Him and becomes wise, will also become a peacemaker. In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus speaks also about purity first and then about peace (Mt 5:8-98“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.).
3. The next pillar of the house of the Woman of Wisdom is called “gentle”. It is a house wherein nobody defends his own rights. How gentle was Christ.
4. He who is wise, is also “reasonable”. Christ obeyed His Father in all things, which means that He perfectly followed the will of His Father. That will also be the case with everyone who accepts the invitation of Wisdom.
5. In His relation to others, Christ was “full of mercy and good fruits”. He was and is compassionate with others who are in trouble and is a blessing to them. Everyone who is wise, will act like Him.
6. Christ was and is in His dealing with others “without partiality”. He knows no favoritism and does not exclude anyone. He doesn’t look at the outward appearance, as it is neither with those who are wise.
7. Finally He was and is “without hypocrisy”. He knows no hypocrisy. He doesn’t masquerade Who He is, but He is Who He says to be. That also goes for everyone who is wise.
Wisdom has not only prepared the house and its pillars. She also has prepared everything by Herself in that house to welcome the invitees and to give them food (verse 22She has prepared her food [Lit slaughtered her slaughter], she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
). The menu consists of meat and wine, of food and drink of the highest quality.
That “She has slaughtered her slaughter” shows that She uses Her own cattle. Herein we could see a reference to Christ Who has given Himself in death as a provision for sinners. Only on the ground of His death, they are able to come to the banquet. It is, so to speak, not a vegetarian banquet, but a banquet for which blood has been shed and where meat is eaten.
Metaphorically, or regarding its spiritual meaning, it is about eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood. By eating of it, one receives eternal life, but that should be followed by eating it continually (Jn 6:53-5653So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.54He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.55For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.). Because, in view of the invitation of the Woman of Wisdom, this meat can be eaten by others, we could think of Christ as the peace offering. The peace offering represents Christ in His work on the cross, on the ground of which fellowship with Him, with God and with one another, is possible (cf. 1Cor 5:7-87Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are [in fact] unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.).
This banquet, where fellowship is experienced, besides life also gives joy. We see that joy in the wine which She has mixed. Wine is a picture of joy (Jdg 9:1313But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’; Psa 104:15a15And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make [his] face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
). She has also been engaged with wine. She has mixed it with water or with herbs, so that it makes the best quality. Wine speaks of full happiness which is enjoyed when there is fellowship with the Father and the Son and with one another (1Jn 1:1-41What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—2and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.4These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.).
Then we see that She has “also” set Her table. The word “also” points to an extra activity. A “table” speaks of fellowship, a joint possession and sharing it. That there is mention of “Her table”, means that Her concern is not only about supplying the guests with food and drink, but to eat and drink together with them also. “Her table” speaks of having fellowship with Her, of taking part of what Her portion is.
When Wisdom has made everything ready to welcome the guests, She sends out “Her maidens” (verse 33She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:
). Through them She calls “from the tops of the heights of the city”. The maidens are Her voice. She makes every effort to reach everyone with Her invitation. Everybody can hear Her, for She “calls”. Everybody can see Her, for She has taken a high position in the city. This is how Christ sends out His servants with His invitation to come to His banquet.
And who does She invite? Everyone who is naive and acknowledges it, for it is asked of him to turn in to Her (verse 44“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks understanding she says,
). What She makes, Her house, is large and has an unshakable foundation (verse 11Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
). What She offers, Her meal, is royal (verse 22She has prepared her food [Lit slaughtered her slaughter], she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
). Those whom She invites do not fit there. They are the opposite of royal, for they come from the street and lack every qualification to fit there. The Lord Jesus uses in a parable the same metaphor (cf. Lk 14:21-2321And the slave came [back] and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’22And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’23And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel [them] to come in, so that my house may be filled.).
Therefore something should happen first, before a person accepts the invitation. The call to come actually implies also a call for repentance. That resonates through the words “let him turn in here”. What Wisdom offers, can only be enjoyed when the path of sin is forsaken. He who realizes that he “lacks understanding”, will turn away from his foolish way; he will forsake that way, repent and come to Wisdom.
She invites, not only to come and see, but to eat of Her food and drink of the wine She has mixed (verse 55“Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
). How many people remain standing at a distance looking at what Christ offers, without actually accepting the eternal life which He offers. Some think that it is too easy. You can’t accept it just like that. They think that they have to do something first. Others want to enjoy life first. They think that they can determine themselves when they want to come. But it is an invitation without conditions and also an invitation which should be accepted unconditionally. The only thing that the invitees have to do, is to come directly (cf. Isa 55:11“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
Every excuse for not accepting the invitation (cf. Lk 14:18-2018But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’19Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’20Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’) is a part of the “folly” which has to be forsaken. Whoever forsakes them, will live. As long as repentance has not taken place yet, one finds himself heading into death. But he, who listens to the voice of Wisdom, which is the voice of the Son of God, will transcend from death into life (Jn 5:2424“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.). This is life in the true and in its full sense, which is offered with repentance.
He who repents and lives, goes “in the way of understanding”, which is the way in which one shows understanding: a behavior and walk which is determined by understanding. It is the way in which the believer seeks fellowship with God and with the ones who are His Own. In that way the Scripture is being read and consulted and God’s guidance is asked in prayer. Also the counsel or instruction of fellow believers is appreciated. These things testify of understanding.