For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
The danger is great. The temptation is powerful. The threat is everywhere. Though Lady Wisdom had offered fabulous blessings and security to men (Pr 9:1-12), a competing woman, deceitful and seductive, allures and invites men to their destruction (Pr 9:13-18).
Who is this other woman? Who is this competitor to Lady Wisdom? She is Lady Folly, Solomon’s personification of sin and worldly pleasure, who is represented by a foolish and whorish woman inviting men to commit adultery with her, literally and figuratively.
Proverbs 8 personified wisdom. Solomon introduced Lady Wisdom (Pr 8:1-9), listed her benefits (Pr 8:10-21), showed God possessing her before creation (Pr 8:22-31), and concluded with another appeal (Pr 8:32-36). In Proverbs 9, he compared Lady Wisdom’s offers of blessings to Lady Folly’s enticements to destruction. Compare especially the two invitations (Pr 9:4,16), the two meals (Pr 9:5,17), and the two results (Pr 9:11,18).
Personification is a figure of speech in which an abstract concept is represented by a person. The features of the concept to be learned are found in the actions or traits of the representation. For example, Lady Liberty, the statue welcoming immigrants to America, has seven spikes in her crown for the seven seas or continents of earth, holds aloft a torch to guide the way to freedom, holds at her side a tablet representing just laws, is clothed in a toga for the Roman republic, and stands on the broken chains of slavery.
The personification of folly – sin and worldly pleasures that destroy men – is represented by a foolish and loud woman, who leaves her husband and home to seduce strangers for adulterous liaisons (Pr 9:13-18). This attractive and tempting creature without morals or knowledge is a fatal snare for men. Seeking to seduce men as intensely as Wisdom tried to save them, the powerful language calls on men to embrace Wisdom and reject Folly!
What is the character of this woman? “She sitteth at the door of her house.” She is lazy, opposite Lady Wisdom’s diligence (Pr 9:1-3). She despises staying home for her husband and family, because she is discontent with marriage (Pr 7:11-12; I Tim 5:11-15; Titus 2:3-5). She is idle like the women of Sodom, whom God burned alive (Ezek 16:49-50). She has no conscience, for she calls strangers even from her husband’s house (Pr 30:20).
She sitteth “on a seat in the high places of the city.” She leaves her place at home to sit boldly in the city’s nobler places (Pr 7:11-12). She has no purpose there but to seek men. Good men avoided her house, and are going right on their way, but she finds them where they least expect her (Pr 9:15). Rather than use the city slums like a cheap prostitute, she enhances her appeal and finds nobler victims in the places of commerce and government.
How does this traitorous adulteress represent folly? Sin and worldly pleasure offer an escape from duty and labor. This wicked woman clamors for your attention, so she can distract you from your duties and destroy your character, reputation, and productivity. She lies about the pleasures of folly and sin by making them appear very enjoyable while hiding the horrible results and consequences for those that join her in worldly living.
Sinful living is avoided by faithfulness to one’s calling and rejecting any situations that create opportunities for the flesh (Rom 13:13). If David had been fighting with his men, he would not have even seen Bathsheba (II Sam 11:1). Sin and worldly pleasure will be encountered everywhere in this sinful world, so the whole armor of God must be worn every day, and the heart kept with all diligence, in order to stand (Pr 4:23; Eph 6:10-18).
False religion, best seen in the Great Whore of Rome and her Protestant daughters (Rev 17:1-6), rejects the business of holiness and truth, but sits at her doors to call men into her bed for spiritual adultery (Jas 4:4; Rev 2:20-23). She takes her seat in the religious community, though her doctrines and goals are from hell (II Thess 2:9-12; I Tim 4:1-3). There the innocent are snared by her beautiful appearance and warm embrace, not seeing that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell (Pr 9:18; 21:16).
Jesus Christ, the King of glory and the holy Groom of His church, calls to all His people in Rome and her daughters, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev 18:4). The Lord is jealous, and rightfully so. He hates spiritual adultery. Come out today, reader, lest there be no tomorrow. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding (Pr 9:6).