While reading this month’s Magnificat, the Catholic magazine of daily devotionals, I came across this wonderful little poem that is in Proverbs. Now as I’m slowly reading my way through the Old Testament in sequence, I have not gotten up to Proverbs yet. I’m not aware of how its organized or its significance. I've only been exposed to bits of readings quoted, read in church, or placed in devotionals. I was surprised that this was in the form of a poem.
Wisdom has built her house,
She has set up her seven columns;
She has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,
Yes, she has spread her table.
She has sent out her maidens; she calls
From the heights out over the city:
“Let whoever is simple turn in here;
To him who lacks understanding, I say,
Come, eat of my food,
And drink of my wine that I have mixed!
Forsake foolishness that you may live,
Advance in the way of understanding.”
The line “She has dressed her meat, mixed her wine,” reminds me of my mother with her meats that go into her Sunday Italian gravy. I believe “mixing of wine” refers to the ancient practice of adding water to wine to adjust the taste. At least they did that in the Roman world, so I’d assume they did it in ancient Israel as well.
The gist of the verse is with the line “Let whoever is simple turn in here.” Wisdom rests in simplicity, so “forsake” sophisticated foolishness.
And I absolutely love the lines, “Come, eat of my food,/And drink of my wine.” Isn't that a phrase used in a song? Probably. Of course it echoes Christ, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood” from John 6:54.