This final chapter of the first section of Proverbs is one of comparisons and contrasts, here contrasting between “wisdom” and “folly.” As throughout this first section of Proverbs, here both qualities are also personified as ladies.
First is Lady Wisdom (:1-12). She “has built her house” and also “hewn out its seven pillars” (:1), an image well-known from archaeology.
It was a standard house plan known from Solomon’s time to the Babylonian Exile. The pillars were central – but not standing in a row on the front porch, like an antebellum-style southern mansion.
Instead they sat in two rows holding up the second floor of this typical Israelite house. These two rows created three rooms between them. With a fourth room long-ways along the back side, this plan is known as a “pillared 4-room house.”
While the number and spacing of pillars in these two rows was generally equal and symmetrical, the number “seven” here would be symbolic – suggesting completion or perfection (God’s number). God’s wisdom will always create the perfect plan and construct just the right building for every situation.
Many of these ancient houses had wooden posts standing on stone bases for their pillars, but not this house. With these seven stone-hewn pillars it would have been strong, solid, secure and expensive! God doesn’t cut corners!
A final thought about Lady Wisdom’s house. It wouldn’t necessarily be someone’s “dream home.” It wasn’t a palace covered in gold, filled with every imaginable gadget and plaything. But it would have everything we need and would be totally adequate for our lives.
Many of us are very blessed and already have so much. In most cases, we are thoroughly equipped to have a great life – we just need to realize it and embrace it! Lady Wisdom can help us with that, too!