I find this chapter of Proverbs very interesting.
There is a contrast between the teaching of wisdom and the teaching of folly.
Note that they have exactly the same promise/advertising/promotion (verses 4 and 16: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith…)
They both promise to provide wisdom and understanding: how should we know which teaching to follow?
Well, consider the teachers — wisdom is very active: read verses 1-3 and see all of the action words (builded, hewn, killed, mingled, furnished, sent). Folly, by contrast, is merely sitting around and calling to people who pass by: beware the teaching of someone who is indolent.
It appears that wisdom has reaped the rewards of wisdom and is better off than folly (wisdom has ‘maidens’). I’m sure folly has some excuse, blaming others for preventing her from doing well. We probably all know someone who refuses to acknowledge his own shortcomings, and blames his lack of progress on others.
Also, wisdom offers better things: her drink and her bread; folly offers stolen water and bread (bread eaten in secret because it was stolen).
Furthermore, the teaching of wisdom encourages the learner to improve himself (forsake the foolish, go in the way of understanding, and so on), but folly only appeals to one’s sensual appetites (bread and drink). Wisdom also offers bread and drink, but not only bread and drink.
By the way, we hear foolish talk about “Judge not”; a preacher once said that this is the sole Bible verse most people know (whether or not they are Christians). To make this passage say that no one should ever use their mind to make decisions is just ripping this verse out of context. In fact, a few verses later, disciples are told to judge possible teachers (ye shall know them by their fruits [in context, these words are instructions for recognizing false prophets]). So, it’s perfectly permissible to consider the lives and circumstances who would teach us.