Chapter 9

1Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn her seven pillars.

khokh-MOT ba-n'-TAH vay-TAH kha-tz'-VAH a-mu-DE-ha shiv-AH

אחָכְמוֹת בָּנְתָה בֵיתָהּ חָצְבָה עַמּוּדֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה׃

 9:1   She has hewn her seven pillars

Rashi (1040-1105)

The number seven is a recurring motif in the Bible, typically representing nature. It is used in the book of Mishlei as a way of expressing multitudes, so here it means wisdom has many pillars. According to the medieval commentator Rashi, in this context the number seven represents the seven days of creation. When Hashem created the world, the “house” referred to in the first half of this verse, He created it with wisdom.

2She has prepared the feast, Mixed the wine, And also set the table.

בטָבְחָה טִבְחָהּ מָסְכָה יֵינָהּ אַף עָרְכָה שֻׁלְחָנָהּ׃

3She has sent out her maids to announce On the heights of the town,

גשָׁלְחָה נַעֲרֹתֶיהָ תִקְרָא עַל־גַּפֵּי מְרֹמֵי קָרֶת׃

4“Let the simple enter here”; To those devoid of sense she says,

דמִי־פֶתִי יָסֻר הֵנָּה חֲסַר־לֵב אָמְרָה לּוֹ׃

5“Come, eat my food And drink the wine that I have mixed;

הלְכוּ לַחֲמוּ בְלַחֲמִי וּשְׁתוּ בְּיַיִן מָסָכְתִּי׃

6Give up simpleness and live, Walk in the way of understanding.”

ועִזְבוּ פְתָאיִם וִחְיוּ וְאִשְׁרוּ בְּדֶרֶךְ בִּינָה׃

7To correct a scoffer, Or rebuke a wicked man for his blemish, Is to call down abuse on oneself.*

זיֹסֵר לֵץ לֹקֵחַ לוֹ קָלוֹן וּמוֹכִיחַ לְרָשָׁע מוּמוֹ׃

8Do not rebuke a scoffer, for he will hate you; Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

חאַל־תּוֹכַח לֵץ פֶּן־יִשְׂנָאֶךָּ הוֹכַח לְחָכָם וְיֶאֱהָבֶךָּ׃

9Instruct a wise man, and he will grow wiser; Teach a righteous man, and he will gain in learning.

טתֵּן לְחָכָם וְיֶחְכַּם־עוֹד הוֹדַע לְצַדִּיק וְיוֹסֶף לֶקַח׃

10The beginning of wisdom is fear of Hashem, And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

יתְּחִלַּת חָכְמָה יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה וְדַעַת קְדֹשִׁים בִּינָה׃

11For through me your days will increase, And years be added to your life.

יאכִּי־בִי יִרְבּוּ יָמֶיךָ וְיוֹסִיפוּ לְּךָ שְׁנוֹת חַיִּים׃

12If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; If you are a scoffer, you bear it alone.

יבאִם־חָכַמְתָּ חָכַמְתָּ לָּךְ וְלַצְתָּ לְבַדְּךָ תִשָּׂא׃

13The stupid woman bustles about; She is simple and knows nothing.

יגאֵשֶׁת כְּסִילוּת הֹמִיָּה פְּתַיּוּת וּבַל־יָדְעָה מָּה׃

14She sits in the doorway of her house, Or on a chair at the heights of the town,

ידוְיָשְׁבָה לְפֶתַח בֵּיתָהּ עַל־כִּסֵּא מְרֹמֵי קָרֶת׃

15Calling to all the wayfarers Who go about their own affairs,

טולִקְרֹא לְעֹבְרֵי־דָרֶךְ הַמְיַשְּׁרִים אֹרְחוֹתָם׃

16“Let the simple enter here”; And to those devoid of sense she says,

טזמִי־פֶתִי יָסֻר הֵנָּה וַחֲסַר־לֵב וְאָמְרָה לּוֹ׃

17“Stolen waters are sweet, And bread eaten furtively is tasty.”

יזמַיִם־גְּנוּבִים יִמְתָּקוּ וְלֶחֶם סְתָרִים יִנְעָם׃

18He does not know that the shades are there, That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

יחוְלֹא־יָדַע כִּי־רְפָאִים שָׁם בְּעִמְקֵי שְׁאוֹל קְרֻאֶיהָ׃