Wisdom has built her house,
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
“You that are simple, turn in here!”
“Come, eat of my bread
Lay aside immaturity,
~ Proverbs 9:1-6
I am struck by the gender-bendedness of this passage. "Lady" Wisdom (the word is in the feminine in both Hebrew and Greek) has hewn pillars and slaughtered animals... decidedly not the traditional actions of a woman in the ancient Near East. In fact, the slaughtering issue... the utter (traditional) inappropriateness of woman to the task of slaughtering (i.e., Temple sacrifice) ... is one of the underpinnings of the Roman Catholic refusal to consider women "proper matter" for ordination. Since the mass is a re-enactment of the sacrifice of Jesus... you follow the logic.
So. Here is Lady Wisdom, and watch out when she has a knife in her hands! Or a... hewing tool, whatever on earth that might be. A Xena-like figure begins to materialize in my head. This is one buff Lady. She is strong, capable, not exactly waiting around for a man to rescue the little woman from whatever needs to be done.
And, she is setting the table, mixing wine, and dispatching her serving girls. She is pulling people out of their tubs and off their bar stools and whatever other places they are holed up in. She has set the table for them, and what she is serving, she is sure they will want. They will need. Wisdom.
Lay aside immaturity, she says. And live. Live. Walk in the way of insight, understanding.
Wisdom seems to be a blend of the strengths we often attribute to one sex or the other, whether we do so consciously or not. Strong and domestic and smart and capable... none of which adjectives are the exclusive province of people with one kind of plumbing or another. That's wisdom. When we finally get that through our skulls (and hearts). That's wisdom.