As seen regularly in Proverbs, verse 1 pairs the qualities “wisdom” and “understanding” together. With wisdom being the key concept in Proverbs, it appears that a connection with wisdom naturally leads to connecting with understanding, as well.
The key concept in Proverbs, we define wisdom as “seeing life from God’s point of view.” Defining understanding as “realizing how right choices lead to a meaningful life,” it’s easy to see how, together, they could make life really meaningful for anyone.
In keeping with the father-son discussions in the book, both qualities are depicted in the feminine. Dad tells his boy to appreciate and treat them like “Lady Wisdom” and “Lady Understanding.”
In our verses, these two “Ladies” are seen yelling (“call out” and “raise her voice”) at key locations around ancient cities — “on the heights along the way,” “where the paths meet” and “beside the gates leading into the city.”
Israelite cities in Solomon’s time had no temples (only Jerusalem) or synagogues (not yet in existence), so these would be the best places to get the attention of the most people (note 1:20-21).
It suggests that Ladies Wisdom and Understanding are out in public, totally accessible and available, actively seeking to develop a relationship with any and all who will pay attention!
We don’t have to be intellectuals, highly educated, rich, famous, powerful or know all the right people to hook up with them. Instead they’re in the streets looking for us!
We’re familiar with immoral women in the streets, so it’s good to know that these two great character qualities – personified as women – are also out there actively seeking anyone who might be interested.
It happened to me!
The only explanation for all that’s happened in my life the past four decades can only be explained by the truth that God’s Wisdom and Understanding are really available to anyone willing and ready to receive them.