We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
9:1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. 9:2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. 9:3 She has sent out her servant girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, 9:4 "You that are simple, turn in here!" To those without sense she says, 9:5 "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 9:6 Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight."
A couple of years ago, someone noticed I was reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). They asked me what the title meant.
There was a time once when a Biblical allusion such as Lawrence's title would have been instantly recognized by a solid cross-section of society, but no more.
I have no doubt that when Johnny Cash started singing Belshazzar to an audience in an out-of-the-way rural community somewhere in Tennessee in the late Fifties, there would have been very few adults who would not have been familiar that story.
Today, ignorance of the Bible and its cultural, social and historical influence on Western society is endemic, even amongst the putative intelligentsia.
I should have added that I'm not touting Christianity per se (though I'm perfectly happy to do that too).
If someone were to tell me that they were about to embark on a lengthy study of the Arab world, or the Middle East, I would counsel them to get a good translation of the Quran and read it from cover to cover.
The Way of Wisdom
1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. 2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, 4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" To him who lacks sense she says, 5 "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight." 7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. 8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
The Way of Folly
13 The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, 15 calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, 16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" And to him who lacks sense she says, 17 "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant." 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Hell.
In Hebrew, the word for wisdom (roughly transliterated: khokhma) is feminine. It is also feminine in Greek (sophia) and Latin (sapientia).
And so when these verses were translated into English, it made good stylistic sense to personify wisdom as female. Compare the deadening effect on the line had the translators opted to be more grammatically strict:
"Wisdom has built its house, it has hewn its seven pillars."