Monday, August 15, 2011

Proverbs 9: 1

When I started to read Proverbs 9 to prepare for this weeks study, I couldn't get past the first verse. So today we are going to just discuss the Proverbs 9:1. Go ahead and read it now. 

 Why do you think that Wisdom has 7 pillars? What is significant about the number 7 in this particular passage? Any ideas? I have read through Proverbs countless times...and never took the time to think about there being a 7 there. There must be some reason that there are 7 pillars; instead of just 'pillars' in general. So I did some research. I am so glad that we are doing this study because this was a very interesting topic to research.

Today, we are going to talk construction. No hard hats needed!

To understand what these 7 pillars are, we are going to do a bit of page flipping in your Bible.

What is the very first thing that one must put down before building a house? Yes, of course, a foundation. Read Proverbs 9:10--what is the foundation (or beginning) of Wisdom?

A foundation cannot be laid without first preparing the way. Ground work must be done. Wisdom cannot be obtained and you cannot lay the foundation to obtaining that wisdom unless you do your ground work first. Read I Corinthians 3:11. What is the groundwork that must be done in your life?

Ok, so once we have done our groundwork (accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior), laid our Foundation (Fear of the Lord)...then it is time to build our supporting structures.

We look at Proverbs as the Old Testament book of Wisdom; does anyone know what the New Testament book of Wisdom is? The book of James! (Refer to James 1:5 and 3:13).

The seven pillars of wisdom are listed in James 3:17. Turn there and list the pillars in your journal. 

Lets talk a bit about each.

1) PURE--this is the first pillar. The passage even emphasizes that it must come first. So it is the main, center support. The other pillars are built around this one.

2) PEACEABLE--look in 2 Timothy 2: 24-26 to see the Bible's definition of 'peaceable'.

3)GENTLE--the literal Hebrew translation means "appropriate". We must be appropriate at all times.


5)FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS--helpful, considerate, kind

6)UNWAVERING--I originally thought this to be unwavering in our belief but it could also mean 'without partiality' or being truly humble

7) WITHOUT HYPOCRISY-- Or sincerity; Always sincere whether it is what we say, what we do, or how we do it.

If we first do the groundwork, then lay the foundation, then build our life with these pillars of support...such a house will not fall!

(While I actually used several resources in writing today's post, I found the Institute for Creation Research to be the most helpful and need to give credit to them. You may visit them by visiting


Belinda said...

I knew the number seven was significant, and did a search to get my thoughts straight on it. The number seven symbolizes God's holiness and perfection. I could list examples, but don't want to chase a rabbit here.

What translation are you using Tonya? On number 6, are you referring to "no partiality" when you say "unwavering"?

Tonya said...

Yes the number 7 is certainly significant in the Bible. The number 7 being used starts with Creation and continues through out time even to Revelation. The number 40 is also significant. I just researched why this time.

Also I use NASB but I did notice that several of the resources I used said 'Without partiality' but that even in that it means to truly be humble. Sometimes translating from the original Greek can be tricky.

Tonya said...

Oops...I think I attempted to hop down that bunny trail you mentioned. I like bunnies though!

Belinda said...

Someone teaching a Bible study once told us that the number 40 means testing. As in 40 years of wandering...what say you?

Tonya said...

Yes, each and every time it was a period of trial or testing...but each time it was followed by a period of time or blessing.

I am 42---must mean I am in my blessed years and my years of trial are over?? (Probably not..)

Belinda said...

Hmmm, maybe you will have seven good years first...

Jennifer said...

God has been using building metaphors in different aspects of my life in the last two weeks. Guess I need to learn a little more about building. We all know you have to build a solid foundation in everything you do or you will be like the foolish man who built his house on sand. Without a foundation in God's word you only sink into the world's way, justifying your actions, saying tomorrow you'll do better but knowing in your heart you won't, etc. This Sunday in our Sunday school class a question was asked, if you knew you wouldn't get caught would you do something you knew is wrong. (We all know God see's all but what if he didn't how would we live?)
Coming back to point, building a foundation in God's word helps us to know right from wrong and the path that God expects us to take even if we choose not to. Each of the pillars of wisdom help us stand firm on our foundation.

As a side note I use on my computer to look up the verses and it lets you see 2 translations at once. I find it helpful to be able to look at 2 versions if I don't quite understand what they are saying, one may put it in a way I can understand.

Tonya said...

Jennifer...perhaps YOU should invest in a hard hat?? You had some great insights, thank you. I didn't even think to include the wise man/foolish man verses! (Now that song keeps going over and over in my head.)

I use Bible Gateway but it doesn't do side by side. I will check out that other site, thank you.

Snoodles said...

This was a great study today, Tonya...thank you for studying and laying it out for us. I had forgotten about the passage in James, and they fit together so nicely. God surely meant for us to study and remember them.
I would appreciate prayer for both my sons...I have shared with you, Tonya, about my middle son. I don't mind anyone knowing that he is estranged from our family, and our efforts to reach him, to reconcile, to move past the misunderstandings and hurt (on both sides) have failed so far. My oldest son is having medical issues...testing at a gastrologist in the morning. Please bear him up in prayer that God will bless him with renewed health. With gratitude to all of you,

Tonya said...

I really got excited last night when writing today's study. It just seems to tie everything all together in our study of Wisdom. From the groundwork to the foundation to the pillars. I need to put them on a sticky to remind myself to try to achieve these things.

I will certainly pray for your family. Lots going on there. And I will add it in to the prayer page.