PROVERBS CHAPTER 8.
Of the Messiah, the Personal Wisdom.
THE RICHNESS OF WISDOM’S GIFTS. — V 1. Doth not Wisdom cry, calling aloud to men to hear, and understanding put forth her voice, in an effort to reach all men? V. 2. She standeth in the top of high places, on the top of high places along the way, easily to be seen by all who pass by, by the way in the places of the paths, at the cross-roads. V.3. She crieth at the gates, standing where the roads converge and many people come together, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors, at the outside of the gateway, where multitudes were wont to assemble. V. 4. Unto you, O men, I call, and My voice is to the sons of man, the implication being that not one human being is excepted from the message herewith proclaimed. The sum of the proclamation is now offered: v. 5. O ye simple, understand wisdom, in order to be able to apply it properly, and ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart, using prudence and discrimination in all situations of life. V.6. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things, stated in plain terms, but with noble and princely contents, and the opening of My lips shall be right things, uprightness in every respect. V. 7. For My mouth shall speak truth, literally, “My palate meditateth truth,” reflecting upon it, considering it always, and wickedness is an abomination to My lips. V. 8. All the words of My mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them, nothing twisted or distorted, such as might lead men astray. V. 9. They are all plain to him that understandeth, so that the way of salvation is clear, and right to them that find knowledge, teaching them the duties of sanctification. V. 10. Receive My instruction and not silver, for true wisdom is to be preferred above the greatest wealth of this world, and knowledge rather than choice gold. V. 11. For wisdom is better than rubies, the finest coral jewelry, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. Cp. chap. 3, 14. 15. This entire section clearly speaks of the divine wisdom in a most peculiar sense, as personified in the person of the Word of God, Jesus Christ, for He it is who, in His revealed Word, teaches all men the true understanding of His person and office and the way to salvation. V. 12. I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence, skill in making use of every situation in life in the proper manner is His constant companion, and find out knowledge of witty inventions, of sagacious counsels, He Himself having this ability by virtue of His essential Godhead and teaching it in His Word. V. 13. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, or “the fear of Jehovah hates wickedness,” that being the result and outflow of faith; pride and arrogancy, a proud and supercilious behavior, and the evil way, wickedness in any form, and the froward mouth, crafty and malicious speech, do I hate. V. 14. Counsel is Mine, that basic knowledge, the essential wisdom, which is able to give real advice, and sound wisdom, that is, penetration, which goes to the bottom of things and tests them for their soundness and strength; I am Understanding; I have strength, that is, the energy necessary to put wisdom in action. V. 15. By Me kings reign, making use of wisdom in their rule, and princes decree justice, for its full and proper administration is possible only by means of the knowledge from on high. V. 16. By Me princes rule and nobles, even all the judges of the earth, the officials of the government of every degree. V. 17. I love them that love Me, exercising this love in all the circumstances of life, and those that seek Me early, as they do for the first evidences of the dawn in the East after a dark night, shall find Me, John 5, 39. V. 18. Riches and honor, of the true and lasting kind, are with Me; yea, durable, that is, increasing, riches and righteousness, the latter especially being the lasting possession of those who cling to the personal Wisdom in true faith. V. 19. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold, the riches which the believers obtain from Christ exceeding the wealth of Croesus in desirability, and My revenue than choice silver, exceeding it in costliness and real worth. V. 20. I lead in the way of righteousness, literally, “I am walking,” that being the standard of His conduct, in the midst of the paths of judgment, all His dealings being in agreement with the demands of divine justice, v. 21. that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance, true and lasting blessings; and I will fill their treasures, giving them possessions which outlast this world, the happiness of those who are united with Christ by the bonds of love, who receive the fullness of His merciful gifts and the blessings of His grace in His Word, which teaches true wisdom. Having thus spoken of His work, of His office, Christ next gives information concerning His person.
THE ORIGINS AND THE BLESSINGS OF THE PERSONAL WISDOM. — V. 22. The Lord possessed Me, brought Me into being, the reference being to the eternal begetting of the Father by which the Son was brought forth from eternity, Ps. 2, 7, in the beginning of His way, as a revelation of His innermost essence, before His works of old, before the creation of the world. V. 23. I was set up from everlasting, ordained, inaugurated, established, from the beginning, or ever the earth was, from the primordial times of the earth, the eternity of the personal Word being asserted again and again. V. 24. When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when the great oceans had not yet been made; when there were no fountains abounding with water, that is, the hidden springs from which the floods of the deep broke forth, Gen. 7,11. V. 25. Before the mountains were settled, placed in position by the Creator, as He laid the foundation of the earth, before the hills, was I brought forth, v. 26. while as yet He had not made the earth nor the flelds, literally, “the open spaces,” the deserts, as distinguished from the habitable part of the earth, nor the highest parts of the dust of the world, literally, “the first of the dust particles of the world,” that is, the first clods of the earth. V. 27. When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a compass upon the face of the depth, the horizon all around serving as a circular boundary with reference to human eyes; v. 28. when He established the clouds above, fixing and securing them in their place, to prevent a sadden outpouring of their contents; when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, subduing them, setting their bounds, keeping them in check by His laws; v.29. when He gave to the sea His decree, setting its bounds after the division of water and dry land, Gen. 1, 9. 10, that the waters should not pass His commandment, no farther than He permitted them to go; when He appointed the foundations of the earth, settling its foundation pillars in the work of creation: v. 30. then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him, as the Artist, Director, or Overseer of the work, Himself actively engaged in the creation of the earth; and I was daily His delight, that is, there was delight day after day on account of the wonderful relation between the Father and the Soa in their creative activity, rejoicing always before Him, v. 31. rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth, the land where man lived; and My delights were with the sons of men, Gen. 1,10,12.18.31. Thus the divine attributes of the personal Wisdom, His eternity, His omnipotence, are set forth, while at the same time it is emphasized that He was even then interested in all the sons of men, that they were the special objects of His loving care. He therefore closes this message of revelation of Himself with another admonition, v. 32. Now, therefore, hearken unto Me, O ye children; for blessed are they that keep My ways, fashioning their entire conduct in life in agreement with the instruction given in the Word of God. V. 33. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not, rejecting it in foolish rebellion. V. 34. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, in willing obedience, watching daily at My gates, eager to find out snore and more about the fundamental truths of true wisdom, waiting at the posts of My doors. V.35. For whoso findeth Me findeth life, wisdom teaching him the fullness of true life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord, gaining it, bearing it away as a reward of grace. V. 36. But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul, bringing everlasting harm upon it. All they that hate Me love death, their behavior showing that they prefer destruction, that they deliberately plunge into their own misfortune. Christians, in seeking true wisdom, will follow the advice of the eternal Word, their Lord Jesus Christ, and thus be made wise unto salvation by faith in Him alone, 2 Tim. 3, 16. 17.