The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
3:13-18 - "Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare to her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. her ways and ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy."
4:3-4 - "When I was a son with my father, tender, and my mother's favorite, he taught me and said to me..."
4:6-9 - "Do not forsake [wisdom] and she will keep you; love her and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight. Prize her highly and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown."
4:13 - "Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life."
5:3-6 - "For the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol. She does not keep straight to the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it."
5:8 - "Keep your way from her, and do not go near thee door of her house."
5:18-20 - "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all times; may you be intoxicated always by her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another son, by another woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress."
Wow, notice how hands on you apparently need to be with the lady wisdom. "Lay hold of her" "Keep hold of" "Get wisdom" "Embrace her" "Hold her fast"
Talk about assault. Even our metaphorical ladies must be wrested hold of, guarded from others and held with the expectations of getting their wealth and treasure from them. Even being a bold and powerful concept, Wisdom doesn't stand above a man for long. Oh, she may try, but once you "hold her fast" she gives you her riches, she gives you power, she puts a garland on your head and becomes a servant to you. Wisdom, after all, is nothing but another woman to dominate and control.
Also, before I start delving into Proverbs 5, I want to mentioned that the first line is: "My child, be attentive to my wisdom." Notice how now it is a man's wisdom here, not the female portrayal of Wisdom that we have been waxing poetic about for the past 4 chapters. I am not certain if this is why this chapter seems to be dedicated to the "loose" women of the world. There does seem to be a connection though. Wisdom herself has not yet spoken directly about these "loose" women. In chapter 2, these "loose" women were brought up by the speaker as an opposition to Wisdom, but not by Wisdom herself. Is this because men did not think women could be wise enough to know how evil their own kind is? Or even how evil they themselves can be? Even Wisdom doesn't seem to be that trusted in these books, since she is handled so tightly and guarded, as if the men fear Wisdom being loose and turning on them if they do not keep her under their thumb.
It may, perhaps, not really mean anything, but anything that starts to become a pattern is worth examining in its implications.
The "loose" women show up again, showing us that one of the major impediments to a man's wisdom and morality is really just an entire half of the human race. I guess that must be why we (or really just men) have to be constantly reminded of it because danger here is literally around every corner doing the housework. The best part is these women don't even know it. That must be why these men are offered these bits of "wisdom" so that they know to keep these ignorant and evil "loose" women in check. I mean, if they weren't there to stop us the world would just descend into chaos. So remember, ladies, when you're reading the Bible and you see stories about non virginal women being stoned at the city gates, or women trying to gain a little power being fed to the dogs, or even just a concubine who happened to be staying in the wrong city at the wrong time and get's thrown to a gang by her husband JUST REMEMBER: The men do this for us. It's a service, really. Imagine where we'd be if we didn't have those hoards of men keeping us in our place, even if their methods happen to involve rape, abuse and murder.
Yeah, a world where women aren't being threatened with violence by men on a daily basis because the women may dare step out of line sounds like a horrible place.
Oh yeah, and remember that the women you should love and honor are the ones who act as passively as game animals. They shy away from people yet at the same time are there to fill your needs, which is really creepy to think about since a game animals purpose is to be eaten. I'm sure they ate deer at this time, so it's weird to compare the perfect women to something you literally consume. But women are treated as mere commodities to be used up and thrown out, so it may be weird but it keeps with the general theme.
Really, how do people not realize that calling an entire gender a threat to men's morality and souls is problematic? That this doesn't make suspect every single woman out there, even the ones who play along with the patriarchy? Because these women don't even know their evil so you never know when one you trust is just gonna turn on you and try to turn you to the dark side.
The Bible wants men to constantly ere on the side of caution. Best to keep any woman of yours locked up with Wisdom. Held tight and guarded. Never allowed to do anything that doesn't benefit you.
Monday: More Proverbs