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Proverbs Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Proverbs 8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

wisdom. The eighth and ninth chapters of Proverbs are the climactic chapters in the first section of Proverbs, written either for Solomon, by David, or by Solomon for Rehoboam. They provide a remarkable exposition of the divine Wisdom, personified as the virtuous kinswoman, then also at its central heart, identified with Christ Himself (Proverbs 8:22-36).

Proverbs 8:2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

Proverbs 8:3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

Proverbs 8:4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

Proverbs 8:5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

Proverbs 8:6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

Proverbs 8:7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

Proverbs 8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Proverbs 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

fear of the Lord. Although there are fourteen references to “the fear of the Lord” in Proverbs, this is the one reference that in effect defines what it is. The true fear of the Lord is to hate evil!

Proverbs 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

Proverbs 8:15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

Proverbs 8:16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

seek me early. Superficially this seems to conflict with Proverbs 1:28: “they shall seek me early but shall not find me.” However, the subjects of the first promise are “those that love me;” those of the second are those who “have set at nought all my counsel” (Proverbs 1:25).

Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

Proverbs 8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

Proverbs 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

Proverbs 8:21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

possessed. “Possessed” is the same word as “acquired.” The Lord Jesus Christ was not merely the only Son of God, but the only begotten Son of God. He was “in the beginning” with God, and He was God (John 1:1-2). At the same time, He is the “only begotten” (John 1:18; 3:16; etc.), eternally proceeding from the Father (Micah 5:2). The doctrine of the “eternal generation” of the Son from the Father is beyond human comprehension, but can be apprehended by faith as the only way to explain all we know about the Father and the Son.

of old. God's “ways” were before His “works.”

Proverbs 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

set up. “Set up” is the same word as “anointed.”

Proverbs 8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

no depths. “Depths” is the same word as “deep;” this is a reference to the primeval “fountains of the great deep,” which provided the antediluvian water supply before they were “broken up” at the Flood (Genesis 7:11).

brought forth. Another reference to the “eternal generation” of the Son. He was before the earth, or anything.

Proverbs 8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

Proverbs 8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

highest part. The “dust of the world” probably has the same meaning as the “dust of the ground,” from which Adam's body had been formed by God (Genesis 2:7). The “highest part” [that is, 'chief part'] of this dust of the world—that is, the basic elements of matter from which all things are made—could be either the most complex combinations of matter or, more likely, the particles of dust high in the earth's upper atmosphere.

Proverbs 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

compass. “Compass” (Hebrew khug) is the same word as “circle” in Isaiah 40:22, as well as “compassed” in Job 26:10. All three clearly refer to the roundness of the earth, especially to the spherical nature of sea level, defining, as it were, the global shape of the earth. The Bible never teaches a flat earth, though the charge is frequently made.

depth. “Depth” is the same word as “deep.”

Proverbs 8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

the clouds. The word for “clouds” is also the word for “sky,” and means “thin vapor.” This seems to be a reference to the “waters above the firmament” in the original creation (Genesis 1:7), most likely an extensive canopy of water vapor.

fountains of the deep. A reference to the “fountains of the deep,” originally “strengthened” to provide firm conduits from the sub-terrestrial “deep” which provided water for the lands in the primeval hydrologic cycle.

Proverbs 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

not pass his commandment. These events evidently refer to the work of the third day of creation week, when the solid land materials emerged from the ubiquitous waters.

foundations of the earth. The “foundations of the earth” were not appointed until the third day. Compare Job 38:4-7, which speaks of the angels—who were created on the first day—as shouting for joy when the foundations of the earth were laid.

Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

his delight. Presumably this is a reference to the joyful fellowship within the Godhead, dating from eternity past and expressed outwardly in the great work of Creation.

Proverbs 8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

habitable part. “Habitable part” is one word in Hebrew, normally rendered “world.” The joy of the Creator in His creation focused especially on “the sons of men (i.e., 'Adam'),” those created in His image.

Proverbs 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

Proverbs 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

findeth life. This is a clear reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, the very personification of the divine wisdom, in whom alone a lost sinner can find eternal life.

Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.