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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Proverbs 8

 

 

Verses 1-36

CHAPTER 8

1. The call and appeal of wisdom (Proverbs 8:1-11)

2. What wisdom is and what wisdom gives (Proverbs 8:12-21)

3. Wisdom; the Person, who He is (Proverbs 8:22-31)

4. The renewed appeal (Proverbs 8:32-36)

Proverbs 8:1-11. This is one of the most interesting chapters in the entire book. It begins with a call and appeal of wisdom, much like the call and appeal of the first chapter. If wisdom calls, has a voice, then wisdom must also be a person. Who personified wisdom is we learn most blessedly in this chapter. Wisdom calls to the sons of men; wisdom speaks of plain and excellent things; she speaks the truth; her words are the words of righteousness; wisdom is better than rubies.

Proverbs 8:12-21. This section may well be looked on as an introduction to the sublime revelation in Proverbs 8:22-31. Wisdom is a person and what wisdom gives, the power wisdom has, makes it clear that wisdom is a divine person. Kings and princes rule by that person, as well as the nobles and judges of the earth. The powers that be are ordained by this wisdom. And that person says:

I love them that love Me

And those that seek Me early shall find Me.

This wisdom has riches and honor to bestow; has durable riches and righteousness; the fruit of it is better than fine gold; those that love the wisdom will receive an inheritance. In the next place we hear who that person is.

Proverbs 8:22-31. The Wisdom is the Son of God. The personification of wisdom is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This wonderful passage is a great prelude to the incarnation and the subsequent redemption work of the Son of God. Here Solomon beheld the highest of all; he had a vision of the Messiah of Israel, the Son of David, whose wisdom, peace and kingdom of peace and glory he but faintly foreshadowed. The critical school must of course deny this application to our Lord. “The passage played a great role in subsequent thought, for it lies at the back of much of the speculation of Philo, and at a subsequent period was greatly employed by Christian theologians in support of their doctrine of the person of Christ through their identification of wisdom in this passage with Logos (the Word) of the fourth Gospel” (New Century Bible).

Wisdom was possessed by the Lord in the beginning of His ways, before His works of old. But that is the beginning without a beginning.

In the beginning was the Word; and because the Word, the Son of God, is God, He like God has no beginning. The word “possessed” has also the meaning of “formed”. “This word has been a battleground of controversy since the days of the Arian heresy. But it is well to remember that, all theological questions apart, it is impossible to understand the word, whatever rendering of it we adopt, as indicating that wisdom ever had a beginning, or was ever properly speaking created. Wisdom is inseparable from any worthy conception of Him who is “the only wise God” (1 Timothy 1:17), and therefore is like Him “from everlasting to everlasting” (Perowne). Wisdom, the Son of God, was always with God from everlasting. Before there ever was anything created, before the mountains were settled, or even the earth had been made, He was. And when creation began He was there. He, the Son, was by Him, as one brought up with Him. From the greater revelation in the New Testament we learn that all things were created not only for Him, but also by Him (Colossians 1:16). Wisdom speaks: “And I was continually His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” This can only be true of God the Son. And furthermore He says: “Rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and My delight was with the sons of men.” His delight was so great, that He laid by His glory, and left His eternal dwelling place to become man and redeem man by the death of the cross.

It is interesting to observe that this glimpse, this adumbration of a great truth, which was only to become fully clear in Christ Jesus our Lord, was advanced a tittle in clearness and completeness by a book which is not considered to be inspired, the so-called Book of Wisdom, in a passage which must be quoted: “For she (i.e., Wisdom) is a breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty; therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God and the image of His goodness. And being but one, she can do all things; and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new; and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God and prophets. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with Wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars; being compared with the light, she is found before it.”

Proverbs 8:32-36. Then follows the renewed appeal. Wisdom says, “Whosoever findeth me findeth life.” How true of our Lord; in Him we find and have life. note the two occurrences of “blessed” in this paragraph.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Proverbs 8:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/proverbs-8.html. 1913-1922.

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