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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

October 11, 2023

The Bible Edge

Practical Points to Ponder from Proverbs

Proverbs 9:1

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

Do not be fooled. No one knows what the “seven pillars” of wisdom are. In building a house there needs to be support for the house. In building a life there needs to be support for that life. Support keeps something from falling. What is the support of your life? Intellect, strength of will, work ethic, personality, or a combination of things? These are all subject to fail. But God is not.

Something interesting to think about. In the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, three times the “seven spirits of God” are mentioned. They are mentioned but not listed, but in Isaiah 11:2 there are seven spirits listed: the spirit of the Lord, of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. It could be that these seven spirits are the seven pillars of wisdom; at least that is the best conclusion that can be reached from the totality of Scripture.

Even with that, we really don’t know, we can just suppose. But there are seven pillars of wisdom. It could be that this is a simple literary device meaning that wisdom is securely supported. Not by one pillar, or two, or three, but by seven. This device was used by Jesus when asked by Peter how many times he should forgive someone, …till seven times? he asked. To which Jesus replied: …I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:22) The Lord did not mean this literally. He was not saying, “Count the times you forgive someone and after the 490th time do not forgive them anymore.” 6In that statement the Lord is saying to always forgive, forevermore forgive, over and over forgive, as many times as it takes forgive. After all, that is how God forgives us.

Think about it. If a person is “born again” at twenty and lives until they are 80 that is 21,900 days. If they only sin one time a day for each of those days that is 21,900 sins. Upon confessing our sins daily (as we are taught in the Lord’s Prayer) that means God forgives that person 21,900 times. This is simply an example of the literary device the writer of Proverbs 9:1 uses.

Remember Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Wisdom, true Bible-based wisdom, wisdom from God, is the principal thing. There are many rich people who live on the interest gained from investing principal. If a person has $1,000,000 and somehow places it into an investment that yields 10% per year that person would have an annual income of $100,000. They could live on that interest and never touch their principal (capital). The same is true with a person who makes wisdom their principal. They can live off the benefit of that wisdom, while never touching, or even fully understanding the seven pillars of wisdom. A Bible Edge is to get wisdom, at the youngest age possible, and invest it wisely. The return on that investment will be better than gold. Just as Proverbs 8:19 proclaims: My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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