She has prepared her food; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table
Solomon mentions three aspects of the preparation of wisdom to receive guests. These give us a metaphorical picture of what wisdom does when you become its student.
It has food prepared
It has drink prepared
It has a table prepared
she has prepared her food
The word translated prepared is actually the Hebrew word for slaughter. In fact, the actual Hebrew phrase is she has slaughtered her slaughter. The idea is that real meat has been prepared for this wisdom banquet. The question is raised as to what the food is when pulled out of this analogy. It is clearly wisdom. Wisdom offers to its students meaty chunks of wisdom to nourish the soul and to give strength. In many ways the book of Proverbs is the meat for it is deep wisdom that must be meditated upon and contemplated and used for energy and action.
she has mixed her wine
This is interesting in that it can mean that the wine was diluted which was the typical Jewish custom as straight wine would be too strong for the average Jewish taste and sensibilities. Or it can mean that wisdom has mixed wine with other juices or alcohol to make it stronger as in Isaiah 5:22. It would seem that in this analogy that wisdom prepares wine in the common way just as the slaughter of meat is in the common way. Therefore, this is most likely a diluted wine which was the custom of that day. What is the wine? It is also wisdom and/or understanding or counsel or prudence or one of the other aspects or partners of wisdom.
she has set her table
Wisdom is not impulsive and unprepared. There is a table set. This speaks of preparation and desire to entertain. This is contrasted with the impulsiveness with the woman of folly. She counts on the impulsiveness of desire to draw her guests. Wisdom has been planning to have students and she has a table prepared. Also note that in Proverbs 7 the woman of folly prepares her bed and not a table. Wisdom does not do illicit things, and the preparation is for discussion and at a table where relationships and information are gained.
The point of this section is that wisdom wants people to learn how to live better. There are results to show that have stood the test of time. Wisdom is projecting potential but has real wisdom to share that comes from the rough and tumble of real life. There are real discussions about how it applies in business, at home, in friendships, etc.
Too often what is passing as wisdom in our colleges and places of higher learning today are new theories that have not been proven. When you are listening to teachers and the supposed wise, keep asking yourself whether what they are saying has really been tried in the real world. Has it accomplished something? I grow weary of theories and ideas about leadership, marriage, families, business, friendship, normal life that has never been tried or comes from a person who has only failed at the very thing they are trying to help us with.
Don’t get your marriage wisdom from someone who has been divorced three times.
Don’t get your parenting wisdom from someone with rebellious kids who hate their parents.
Don’t get your business wisdom from someone who keeps failing in business even if they do it spectacularly.
Don’t get your view of meaning in life from someone whose life is a train wreck of marriages, failed business, abandoned friends, and addictions
Don’t get your spiritual advice and wisdom from someone who has no prayer life or who is more greedy than godly.
Get your wisdom from those whose lives have stability and look like what you want yours to look like. They will have something to say that is meaty and worthwhile.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.