Solomon begins the book of Proverbs by personifying wisdom as a woman (Proverbs 1:20-33). Since there is a natural, yet mysterious attraction between males and females (Proverbs 30:18-19), Solomon is implying that his son ought to be innately interested in and a willing pursuer of wisdom. In his description of this woman of interest, Solomon states several important truths about wisdom.
Wisdom is needed by and available to all. She is no respecter of persons. Everyone “in the street”, in the marketplace, in the chief concourses, and at the gates (1:20-21) is invited to hear and heed her words. Those who especially need to listen to her—the naïve, the scornful, and fools—are specifically addressed and exhorted to save themselves from the grave danger they are in (1:22).
Wisdom is not always pleasant to one’s ears. “Turn at my rebuke” (1:23) is a necessary requirement of embracing wisdom. “Itching ears” (2nd Timothy 4:3) are never found on a wise head. Wisdom does not waste her time and resources on such a person. She pours out her spirit and makes her words known to those who correct their ways when she rebukes (1:23).
Wisdom is persuasive, not coercive. She does not force herself on those who are uninterested. Those who refuse her call, disregard her offer, disdain her counsel, and ignore her rebuke (1:24-25) are free to do so. She does not coerce.