What does Proverbs 9:1 mean?
ESV: Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.
NIV: Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.
NASB: Wisdom has built her house, She has carved out her seven pillars;
CSB: Wisdom has built her house; she has carved out her seven pillars.
NLT: Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns.
KJV: Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
NKJV: Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars;
Verse Commentary:
Chapter 8 depicted wisdom as a woman, calling out to anyone who would listen (Proverbs 8:1–4). Here, the imagery continues. Wisdom is imagined as a wealthy, generous woman who has built a fine home. The main implication here is of success, and an attractive situation.

The house built by wisdom has seven pillars. Bible scholars are uncertain if there is meant to be some deeper meaning for these seven pillars, other than that the house is very large. Some commentators think the pillars represent the seven days of creation; this would demonstrate that God is all-wise. God created everything in six days, and on the seventh day He rested, observing that everything He created was good. Others suggest the seven pillars represent the sun, moon, and five planets that people in early history knew existed.

The simpler and more applicable meaning is that Wisdom's house is large and spacious enough to accommodate all who wish to live there. No one is shut out from the invitation to come and mingle with godly wisdom (Proverbs 9:2–6).

In chapter 7, an adulterous woman was described extending an illicit invitation to her home (Proverbs 7:18–21). Later in chapter 9, a twisted reflection of wisdom—referred to as Folly—will make similar claims in an effort to snare victims (Proverbs 9:13–18).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 9:1–6 continues from chapter 8 by depicting wisdom as a woman. Here, she is a refined lady who has built a grand house and prepared a lavish feast. She calls out everywhere for those who are simple and lack judgment to participate as guests at her feast. This passage begins the chapter on a positive note, but a negative tone quickly follows. Foolishness, also depicted as a woman, will make similar invitations to those who lack sense.
Chapter Summary:
Wisdom is portrayed as a dignified woman who prepares a spacious house and feast. She invites those who are gullible and lacking judgment to improve their wisdom, by accepting her invitation. She urges invitees to abandon their simple ways and walk in the way of insight. Solomon then contrasts the attitudes of those who sincerely seek truth, compared to those who hate being corrected. The chapter ends with a description of Wisdom's mirror image: Folly. She is seductive and ignorant. She invites the gullible to enter her house, promising that immorality is enjoyable and pleasant. Sadly, those who are seduced do not realize her invitation leads to ruin and damnation.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 7, Solomon portrayed an evil woman (Proverbs 7:7–27). In chapter 8 he portrays wisdom as a refined lady who offers instruction to all who heed her call. Chapter 9 contrasts Lady Wisdom with the evil Woman Folly, who lures the foolish to their ruin. This extended warning about the dangers of rejecting God's wisdom leads into an extended collection of standalone proverbial comments, beginning in chapter 10.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
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