Proverbs
1-5 Where and to Whom Wisdom Calls 6-9 What Wisdom Is Calling 10-21 The Value of Wisdom 22-31 Wisdom Is an Eternal Person 32-36 The Blessing of Listening to Wisdom
Where and to Whom Wisdom Calls

1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2On top of the heights beside the way
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.

After the tempting and deceiving strange woman has spoken (Pro 7:14-2114“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.
), now “Wisdom” lifts up Her voice (verse 11Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
; cf. Pro 1:20-2220Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21At the head of the noisy [streets] she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
22“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
). Wisdom is represented here again as a Divine Person. Wisdom is Christ. The same goes for “Understanding”. That also is a personification of Christ. Verses 1-211Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2On top of the heights beside the way
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.6“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips [will reveal] right things.
7“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.10“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge [and] discretion.
13“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15“By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield [better] than choicest silver.
20“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
refer to the Lord Jesus. He has called in His life as Wisdom to the people and as the Understanding He lifted up His voice to them. Now that He is in heaven, He does that through His servants.

The interrogative form in which verse 11Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
is written, emphasizes the fact that nobody has a legal excuse to ignore the call of Wisdom or Understanding. The answer to the question cannot be otherwise than confirmative. Nobody can withdraw himself from Her calling voice, for it penetrates to everyone. She does not speak mysteriously, in the darkness, like the adulterous woman (Pro 7:7-207And I saw among the naive,
[And] discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and [in] the darkness.10And behold, a woman [comes] to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
12[She is] now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
14“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.
19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;
20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”
), but “calls” loudly and “lifts up Her voice”. ‘To call’ and ‘to lift up one’s voice’ have both the meaning of raising one’s voice. We see in this verse again the Hebrew parallelism, whereby the second line confirms the first line with other words.

The places where She takes Her stand, are chosen carefully. Those are places where She is to be seen by everyone, “on top of the heights”, and where people from all directions are present: “beside the way” and “where the paths meet” (verse 22On top of the heights beside the way
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
). She also lifts up Her voice “beside the gates, at the opening to the city” (verse 33Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
). Those are places where people make transactions and where justice is provided, so a place where many people are. Everyone who enters or leaves the city, hears Her. She also stands “at the entrance of the doors”, whereby we could think of the doors of the temple or of the houses. She is everywhere where people are around.

She calls to the “men” and Her voice is “to the sons of men” (verse 44“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
). Everyone is addressed. Wisdom does not only address a select group of intellectuals or religious insiders as if She would only like to speak ‘in a high level’. No, She is available for everyone and does not exclude anyone. It is like with the mission order to proclaim the gospel all over the world, without any exception to reach every individual (cf. Mk 16:1515And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.).

All people indeed know what is good or evil. They however do not do the good, but the evil. This is what Wisdom tells to all people. Nobody who has to give account before the judgment seat of Christ could say: ‘I did not know that.’

Wisdom addresses in the midst of all people with a special message to “the naive ones … and fools” (verse 55“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
). They are the ones who need Her the most and are the most inclined to ignore Her. In Her grace She says to the naive ones, the stupid ones, that they still may understand “prudence” and know what life is all about. She wants them to repent of their stupidity and allow Her into their lives. Then they will not die.

The same goes for the fools. The fools are already further away from Wisdom than the naive ones. Still Wisdom involves them also in Her call. It is still not too late to understand “wisdom” which means that they may see their foolishness and come to their senses. When they come to their senses, they will realize and gain understanding that they are approaching judgment and that they should repent.


What Wisdom Is Calling

6“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips [will reveal] right things.
7“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

Wisdom calls upon all people to listen to Her (verse 66“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips [will reveal] right things.
). She is there for everyone. There is no special intelligence needed to understand what She is saying, but a willing heart. The content of her words is of the greatest purity and extremely valuable. What She says are “noble things”. Those are excellent things, things of high quality and of a noble, superior character. When She opens her lips, She says “what is right”, which means what is upright and just.

Preceded by a confirmatory “for” She says: “My mouth will utter truth” (verse 77“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
). She speaks the truth, which means God’s truth, about all things. When the harlot tells the young man what her bedroom looks like and how it smells (Pro 7:16-1716“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.
17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
), she doesn’t lie about anything, but she speaks the truth about that. However, it is not God’s truth, though. In the light of God’s truth people can know how things are, whether they are good or bad, and how they are related to one another.

The opposite of the truth that Wisdom speaks, is therefore not the untruth or lie, but “wickedness”. “Wickedness” means that God is missing in life; He is not considered. Therefore, speaking wickedness is “an abomination” to the lips of Wisdom.

It is of the greatest importance to listen to the truth from the mouth of Wisdom. “All the utterances” that She speaks “are in righteousness” (verse 88“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
). You may absolutely trust each of Her words. Those are words that do justice to every person and every case and they lead to the right way. In Her words nothing contradictory is to be found. There is absolutely “nothing crooked or perverted in them”, nothing that is against the truth of the Scripture or in contrast to the sound teaching.

He who has the right mind, understands that Her words are “straightforward” (verse 99“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
). Whoever already walks in the path of wisdom, is more able to understand Her. Straightforwardness is needed to understand wisdom, and not intelligence, scholarship or cleverness. The accuracy of Her words is understood by all who desire to find knowledge.


The Value of Wisdom

10“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge [and] discretion.
13“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15“By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield [better] than choicest silver.
20“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

When someone receives the instruction (or the teaching) from Wisdom, that will make him richer than silver could ever do (verse 1010“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
; cf. Psa 119:7272The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver [pieces].

). Receiving instruction leads to “knowledge”. The possession of knowledge is to be chosen above “choicest gold”. “Wisdom” goes far beyond the value of “jewels” (verse 1111“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
). Whatsoever a person may desire of earthly wealth, it is not to be compared with Wisdom and what She delivers. Because of the value that Wisdom has for life, She is more to be desired than anything else.

Her dwelling place, where Wisdom is at home, is with “prudence” (verse 1212“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge [and] discretion.
). This implies that She is shrewd, that she has a sharp and clear sight in both men and things and events. She finds the right knowledge to act by “discretion” or thoughtfulness. Discretion is the ability to make good plans and to make thoughtful decisions. She doesn’t allow Herself to be tempted to act hastily, and in that way do the wrong thing. She has the knowledge to know what She is supposed to do because She is thoughtful.

We see these features – prudence and discretion – in perfection with the Lord Jesus. He always knew what to do and when He had to do it. Therefore He paid the temple tax, in order to prevent an unnecessary offense, although He as King was free from paying taxes, from which He also declared His disciples free (Mt 17:26-2726When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt.27However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”). As far as man is concerned, He knew what was in him and did not let Himself to be deceived by appearances (Jn 2:23-2423Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.24But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men,). Here we see some of the many treasures of wisdom and knowledge which are hidden in Him (Col 2:33in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.).

Prudence and discretion (verse 1212“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge [and] discretion.
) will only work when they are guided by “the fear of the LORD” (verse 1313“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
). At the same time, the fear of the LORD will lead one to hate “evil”. Evil is to be seen in the temptation of the adulterous woman in the previous chapter. In a more general way, it involves hating arrogance, pride, an evil way and evil words.

“Arrogance” and “pride” are in the nature of man, in the sinful flesh. When we allow these sins to have their way and we do not judge them when they want control over us, they will lead us to “the evil way”. In the evil way are people with “a perverted mouth”, which God hates. Worldly people have a totally different concept of things which we are to hate. They speak about ‘another way of life’, about making ‘another choice’, and force us to tolerate their way of life, which they certainly do not allow us to label them as evil and sinful.

Wisdom is expressed in counsel and wisdom, understanding and power (verse 1414“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
). They are present with Wisdom. Understanding is not only a feature of Her, but She is Understanding; it is Her Being. What is present with Her, is what characterizes Her. With Her is “counsel and wisdom”. With Her is also “power” to do, whatever She considers necessary according to Her counsel and wisdom. We see here again that Wisdom is Christ. One of His Names is “Counselor” (Isa 9:66For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
). The Spirit Who leads Him, is “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” (Isa 11:22The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
).

Wisdom is also the source of all earthly power and authority. By Her the kings reign (verse 1515“By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
), not because She allows it, but because She determines it (Rom 13:1-61Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.6For because of this you also pay taxes, for [rulers] are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.). She establishes kings (Dan 2:2121“It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
). A king often has the awareness that he can reign rightly or wrongly. Reigning can only happen rightly by Wisdom. He who does not ask Wisdom, will reign wrongly, as we see with the kings of Israel and some kings of Judah.

Wisdom makes monarchs (possibly provincial rulers, lower governments) ordain righteousness. These monarchs prescribe matters and make them to be documented; these are matters that serve the righteousness, the justice of God. Without Wisdom they are not able to prescribe anything that is in line with the justice of God; it is only possible by Wisdom.

As the kings also the monarchs reign by Wisdom (verse 1616“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
). This also goes for the “nobles”, the prominent men, when they exercise leadership in a benevolent way. Also all those who all over the world exercise their function as a judge, are only able to do that rightly, meaning righteously, in accordance with the justice of God, by Wisdom. From their own they are not able to. How wise and righteous must Wisdom be, when the mightiest men on earth are not able to rule in a righteous and benevolent way without Her.

One will only esteem Wisdom when he loves Her (verse 1717“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
). Then there will be a relation with Her. So it is about the attitude of the heart towards Wisdom. Where there is love for Wisdom, that love is answered by Her through reciprocal love. Love for Wisdom appears from “seeking” Her “diligently” or seeking Her seriously. That’s what Solomon did (1Kgs 3:99So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”). The promise to him who does that, is that he will find Her, meet Her, possess Her (Jam 1:55But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.).

Wisdom holds up a rich reward in prospect for those who seek Her for She points out that “riches and honor” are with Her (verse 1818“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
). In that way She really makes it very attractive to seek Her diligently. In addition She says that also “enduring wealth and righteousness” are with Her. It is clear that it is not about earthly wealth here, for one can suddenly lose that (Pro 23:55When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.). It is about treasures in heaven that no one can ever take away (Mt 6:19-2019“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;).

Enduring wealth can by definition only mean eternal wealth and not the temporary wealth and therefore will ultimately be enjoyed after this life and not in the life here and now. Also righteousness is something that does not make itself to be translated into terms of gold and silver. You can receive or inherit gold, but not wisdom. Wisdom can only be found by those who seek Her. Also righteousness is a quality which is not related with the earth, but with God. It is a characteristic of God in His dealing with men. In the way He deals with men, He is always in accordance with His own righteous Being.

Those who have found Wisdom, will enjoy Her “fruit” (verse 1919“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield [better] than choicest silver.
). Her fruit is what She produces, everything that comes out of Her. Thereby we could think of all blessings that have been given to us by grace, like redemption, atonement, forgiveness, righteousness, sonship, eternal life. We can also think of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,), which He gives to everyone who is related with Wisdom. That fruit belongs to Her, but She gives it to everyone who finds Her. That fruit “is better than choicest gold, even pure gold”. It is clear that it is not about earthly prosperity, but about spiritual fruit.

That also applies to Her “yield”. Yield is a concept of the market place, of the trade, a concept that is to be applied spiritually here. What Wisdom delivers of fruit and yield, has no material wealth, for Her fruit and yield are better than what gold and silver deliver in their purest form (cf. Job 28:1515“Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it,
Nor can silver be weighed as its price.
). The product of wisdom, that originates from wisdom, is better than what you can gain with gold and silver.

Wisdom walks (verse 2020“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
). It is the intention that we follow Her like children follow their parents, soldiers follow their general, pupils follow their teacher and sheep follow their shepherd. She leads Her followers “in the way of righteousness”. Those who follow Her, are walking in the same path. She leads them “in the midst of the paths of justice” and in that way avoids a deviation to the right or to the left. The follower of Wisdom is neither formal nor lawless. He stays far away from both extremes. He is not following a dry, dead system, nor some exaggerated, non-binding principles.

The inheritance is the part of all who love Wisdom (verse 2121To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
). It is not an achievement nor a gift, but a right. It is a given right, because it is related to the Lord Jesus Who has acquired this right. The inheritance is He Himself. He also fills the “treasures” of the hearts of those who possess Him as their inheritance (Lk 6:4545The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil [man] out of the evil [treasure] brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.). What He puts of Himself in their hearts, is not subject to value-reduction.


Wisdom Is an Eternal Person

22“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields
Nor the first dust of the world.
27“When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30Then I was beside Him, [as] a master workman;
And I was daily [His] delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And [having] my delight in the sons of men.

In the previous verses we heard Wisdom calling. Her call has without exception come to every man. In verses 22-3122“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields
Nor the first dust of the world.
27“When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30Then I was beside Him, [as] a master workman;
And I was daily [His] delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And [having] my delight in the sons of men.
Wisdom tells us about Who She is. In these verses we find a beautiful description of the Lord Jesus, for it is all about Him. He, the eternal Son, is Wisdom in Person. If we would ask the question how long God has already been wise, the answer simply is that Wisdom has existed as long as God exists, which is forever. After all, we cannot think that God was not wise for a moment and became wise afterwards at a certain moment. In this way a satisfactory reply is given to the question of how long the Lord Jesus exists.

That appears from what Wisdom firstly says about Herself. She was with God, the LORD, even before anything was visible of God’s works (verse 2222“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
). Before the foundation of the world Wisdom had been a distinctive Person with God. John, the evangelist, confirms that. He writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). “The Word” is also the Lord Jesus.

It is remarkable that Wisdom begins with speaking about the LORD, the God of the covenant with His people. With Him She is related at the closest. How close, She explains in the next part. The LORD possessed Her “at the beginning of His way”. A wrong and deceptive translation says that the LORD ‘created’ Her instead of ‘possessed’ Her. But Christ, the Son, says as Wisdom that the LORD possessed Him “at the beginning of His way, before His works of old” (cf. Mic 5:22“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
[Too] little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
).

When God began His way with the world, when He established His works, He did that through the Son, Who “of old”, which is from eternity, was with Him. Christ is the beginning of God’s creation, which means that He stands at the beginning of all God’s creation works, which He began with the creation and which He also accomplished (Gen 1:1-311In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.6Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.8God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.9Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.10God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.11Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, [and] fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; [He made] the stars also.17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.20Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”23There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.24Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.25God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”29Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, [I have given] every green plant for food”; and it was so.31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.; 2:1-31Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.2By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.; Jn 1:33All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.; Col 1:16-1716For by Him all things were created, [both] in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.; Heb 1:22in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.). The whole creation came forth from Him. He was with God as Wisdom of all God’s works. All of God’s works have been established by His wisdom. Wisdom Herself has therefore not been created, but has been with God eternally.

Wisdom was established from everlasting (verse 2323“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
). The establishment or anointment has to do with the destiny for a certain goal. In the Old Testament kings and priests were anointed to be what they were intended to. In the same way Wisdom, Christ, had been intended from the beginning by God to a certain work. Something similar we see with regard to the propitiation work of Christ, to which He “was foreknown before the foundation of the world” as the Lamb (1Pet 1:2020For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you). The work which is told about here, is the work of creation. Wisdom was present “from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth”.

That Wisdom was “brought forth” – it is said twice: in verse 2424“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
and in verse 2525“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
–, means that Christ started to act as Creator at a certain moment. What is present in God, becomes visible. It is comparable to what happens at the birth of a child. A child that is born, is already present in the mother’s womb, but becomes visible at the birth. Wisdom proves Her pre-existence by starting to act when there is nothing yet, when there “were no depths” and “no springs abounding with water” (verse 2424“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
). The same goes for “the mountains” and “the hills” (verse 2525“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
) that also owe their existence to Him Who was (Psa 90:22Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
).

The emphasis in this whole section lies on the everlasting (pre-)existence of Christ. It is of great importance to hold on to that. Everything that is, has been created by Him. It has therefore a beginning, while He Himself has no beginning. There is no such thing as ‘eternal matter’. Only the triune God is eternal. The Son was there “while He had not yet made the earth and the fields” (verse 2626While He had not yet made the earth and the fields
Nor the first dust of the world.
). After the depths and heights of both previous verses, it looks like this verse is about the more habitable parts of the earth. With “the dust of the world” the elements are meant of which the earth consists, including the natural resources. All things have a beginning and that beginning is through Him.

The Word was in the beginning, which means that He was there with everything that has a beginning and that He Himself has no beginning. He is the beginning of all things (Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). God is the great Architect, Who has built everything by Wisdom. He has created all things through the Son (1Cor 8:66yet for us there is [but] one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we [exist] for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we [exist] through Him.). All things became by the Word. This portion from Proverbs 8 is explained in the first verses of John 1.

The Son is also involved with the preparation of the heavens (verse 2727“When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
). He was not a spectator, but the Executor (Heb 1:1010And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;). He has given the heavens its form, splendor and clothing of sun, moon and stars. The heavens were drawn by Him like an umbrella that covers the water streams as a firmament, like drawing a circle with a pair of compasses (cf. Isa 40:2222It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
; Job 26:9-109“He obscures the face of the full moon
And spreads His cloud over it.
10“He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.
). In that firmament He made the clouds firm, that they may hold the water so that at His time and in the places He chooses, they may pour out water over the earth (verse 2828When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
; Job 26:88“He wraps up the waters in His clouds,
And the cloud does not burst under them.
; 36:27-2927“For He draws up the drops of water,
They distill rain from the mist,
28Which the clouds pour down,
They drip upon man abundantly.
29“Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
The thundering of His pavilion?
; 37:1111“Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud;
He disperses the cloud of His lightning.
). Also “the springs of the deep” can flow by the power that He gives to them.

The place of the sea is not determined by evolution, but is given to it by the Son (verse 2929When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
). Thereby He also has commanded that the sea keeps the boundary that was set by Him and that it will not transgress this boundary (Jer 5:2222‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the LORD.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
; Job 38:10-1110And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
11And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?
). He has ordained the foundations of the earth in such a way, that the earth will stand unshakably (Psa 104:55He established the earth upon its foundations,
So that it will not totter forever and ever.
).

All the creational acts that were just described by Wisdom, testify of the Divine wisdom, on which it is founded. That proves the pre-existence of Wisdom before creation. God has designed His work and has executed it with Wisdom, which is by His Son.

In verse 3030Then I was beside Him, [as] a master workman;
And I was daily [His] delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
it is not anymore about creation, but about the relation between the LORD, Yahweh, and Wisdom. Wisdom was “beside Him” eternally. She is loved by God, for Wisdom is the Person of Christ. He is the Word which was with God in the beginning (Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). In the New Testament we see again that same relationship of love in the love between the Father and the Son. The relationship between the Father and the Son is one of eternal love (Jn 17:5,24b5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.24Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.).

While there is no time in eternity, it is still expressed in such a way that the Son was “daily” the Father’s delight. In that way He allows us to share the feelings of His heart for His Son. It is at the same time an example to us to be occupied with the Son daily, to see Him and to rejoice in Him. There cannot be another object of love and delight for us than He to Whom the heart of God goes out, can there?

From all eternity He had been “a master workman” and His “delight”. These expressions indicate how much God loved Him and how much He rejoiced in Him. There has never been a time that it was otherwise. God looked at Him with the greatest and deepest love and joy eternally. The cause of that is the full unity in nature, features and desires, which is between Them. There was and is perfect harmony in thoughts and feelings. Everything that God is, He saw and sees in His Son.

That did not change when the Son became the Creator, for His creational work is the execution of the intention of God. When He created the heavens and the earth, He was playing a game as it were, which He played with great joy. It makes us think of the satisfaction He had when after He had finished the creation, saw everything and then observed that it was “very good” (Gen 1:3131God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.).

Through what the Son has created, a new territory comes to being, in which the Son Himself finds His delight (verse 3131Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And [having] my delight in the sons of men.
). He Who has always been the delight of God’s heart and before Whom He always rejoiced, also rejoiced in the world of God’s world. Then it looks like He discovers something in there that fills Him with joy, which are “the sons of men”. He calls them “His delight”.

He delights in all His creation works, but in man He has a special delight. His delight in man appears in the clearest way from the fact that He has become Man. The angels rejoiced when He created the world (Job 38:6-76“On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
7When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
). But when the Son becomes Man, they see God’s delight in men and without any jealousy they praise Him for that with the words: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Lk 2:1414“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
).

God has His pleasure with men. Therefore Christ became Man. God has no delight in sinful men. He is pleased with that one Man, His Son Jesus Christ, Who came as the expression of God’s delight in all men, for He came to save people from the eternal judgment. Each individual who confesses his sins and believes in Christ and His redemption work on the cross will share in God’s pleasure. God is pleased with every individual who is related with His Son through faith in His work.

World history is not an accident, in which spontaneously the Son of God once entered. At the beginning of all the ways of God is Wisdom, the personification of the Lord Jesus. This is the profound meaning of the world and its history. This is shown in a nutshell in Hebrews 1 (Heb 1:2-32in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,). Christ is the center of God's ways.

Knowing His Person not only answers the questions of our heart, but takes us into the world of the Father and the Son. By the speaking of Wisdom out of that eternity we get an impression here. We are not just spectators in this majestic and sovereign acting of Wisdom, but in His grace, we are involved in this eternal plan of God. We are introduced in the house of Wisdom, as we see in Proverbs 9.

It is this Wisdom Who has accompanied any act of God with this earth, whether it concerns the creation or salvation history. All things are made through Him and for Him. This glory as Mediator is here before us in the joy that God has in him. And he is not a Mediator of angels, but his delight is with the children of men (Heb 2:1616For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.).


The Blessing of Listening to Wisdom

32“Now therefore, [O] sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect [it].
34“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35“For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.
36“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

After the description of the Person of Wisdom and Her work, the logical conclusion, introduced by “now therefore”, should be that the sons listen to Her (verse 3232“Now therefore, [O] sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
). Therefore She calls upon the sons who have Her nature, who are wise. She declares all those who “keep Her ways”, to be “blessed”, for they show that they are not only hearers, but also doers.

She appeals to them to heed instruction, for in that way one can become wise (verse 3333“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect [it].
). As an extra exhortation, the appeal sounds not to neglect the instruction. Not listening means neglecting. He who does that, shows that he is a fool. He will not escape the eternal punishment.

He, who listens to Wisdom, is “blessed” (verse 3434“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
). He who listens, will make all effort not to miss a word that Wisdom speaks out. He watches “daily” at the “gates” of Wisdom, in order to catch and treasure each word that She speaks out. With the “gates” and the “doorposts” we could think of the entrance of the city and the temple of God (cf. Lk 21:3838And all the people would get up early in the morning [to come] to Him in the temple to listen to Him.). To watch and to guard means that we focus on something by paying full attention. It speaks of an expectation with greatest concentration on what Wisdom, the Word of God, will say.

This patiently waiting on Wisdom, watchfully and close to Her house, is rewarded with finding life (verse 3535“For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.
). Wisdom and life are at the closest related to one another. The purpose of wisdom is that the true life, which is life in fellowship with God, is lived. “To obtain favor” means to be accepted by God. It is the awareness of the kindness of or recognition by God.

What a fool is somebody who sins against Wisdom (verse 3636“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”
). To sin means to miss the goal, so here it means missing Wisdom, which is Christ. Christ is the center of all God’s plans. We see that in the Scriptures. He who sins against Him, so misses Him, misses everything that is important to God. That lack is fatal. He who accepts this lack because he refuses Wisdom, harms himself tremendously. It proves hatred against Wisdom and love for what will be his death. Sinners die because they choose against Christ (cf. Hos 13:99[It is] your destruction, O Israel,
That [you are] against Me, against your help.
).


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