Contrasted with sensual allurements are the advantages of divine
wisdom, which publicly invites men, offers the best principles of life,
and the most valuable benefits resulting from receiving her counsels.
Her relation to the divine plans and acts is introduced, as in Pr 3:19,
20, though more fully, to
commend her desirableness for men, and the whole is closed by an
assurance that those finding her find God's favor, and those neglecting
ruin themselves. Many regard the passage as a description of the Son of
God by the title, Wisdom, which the older Jews used (and by which He is
called in Lu 11:49),
1:1, &c., describes Him
by that of Logos, the Word. But the passage may be taken as a
personification of wisdom: for, (1) Though described as with God,
wisdom is not asserted to be God. (2) The use of personal attributes is
equally consistent with a personification, as with the
description of a real person. (3) The personal pronouns used accord
with the gender (feminine) of wisdom constantly, and are never changed
to that of the person meant, as sometimes occurs in a corresponding use
of spirit, which is neuter in Greek, but to which
masculine pronouns are often applied (Joh 16:14), when the acts of the Holy Spirit are
described. (4) Such a personification is agreeable to the style of this
book (compare Pr 1:20; 3:16, 17; 4:8;
6:20-22; 9:1-4), whereas no
prophetical or other allusions to the Saviour or the new dispensation
are found among the quotations of this book in the New Testament, and
unless this be such, none exist. (5) Nothing is lost as to the
importance of this passage, which still remains a most ornate and also
solemn and impressive teaching of inspiration on the value of
1-4. The publicity and universality of the
call contrast with the secrecy and intrigues of the wicked (Pr 7:8, &c.).
5. wisdom—literally, "subtilty" in a
good sense, or, "prudence."
fools—as Pr 1:22.
6. excellent things—or, "plain,"
opening … things—upright
7. For … truth—literally, "My
palate shall meditate," or (as Orientals did) "mutter," my thoughts
expressed only to myself are truth.
wickedness—specially falsehood, as
opposed to truth.
8. in righteousness—or, "righteous"
froward—literally, "twisted," or
contradictory, that is, to truth.
9. plain … understandeth—easily
seen by those who apply their minds.
that find—implying search.
10. not silver—preferable to it, so last
clause implies comparison.
11. (Compare Pr 3:14, 15).
12. prudence—as in Pr 8:5. The connection of "wisdom" and
"prudence" is that of the dictates of sound wisdom and its
find … inventions—or, "devices,"
"discreet ways" (Pr 1:4).
13. For such is the effect of the fear of God,
by which hatred to evil preserves from it.
froward mouth—or, "speech" (Pr 2:12;
14. It also gives the elements of good
character in counsel.
sound wisdom—(Pr 2:7).
I … strength—or, "As for me,
understanding is strength to me," the source of power (Ec 9:16); good judgment gives more efficiency to
15, 16. of which a wisely conducted government
is an example.
17. early—or, "diligently," which may
include the usual sense of early in life.
18. durable riches …
righteousness—Such are the "riches," enduring sources of
happiness in moral possessions (compare Pr 3:16).
19. (Compare Pr 8:11; 3:16).
20, 21. The courses in which wisdom leads
conduct to a true present prosperity (Pr 23:5).
22-31. Strictly, God's attributes are part of
Himself. Yet, to the poetical structure of the whole passage, this
commendation of wisdom is entirely consonant. In order of time all His
attributes are coincident and eternal as Himself. But to set forth the
importance of wisdom as devising the products of benevolence and power,
it is here assigned a precedence. As it has such in divine, so should
it be desired in human, affairs (compare Pr 3:19).
possessed—or, "created"; in either
sense, the idea of precedence.
in the beginning—or simply,
"beginning," in apposition with "me."
before … of old—preceding the
most ancient deeds.
23. I was set up—ordained, or
inaugurated (Ps 2:6). The
other terms carry out the idea of the earliest antiquity, and
illustrate it by the details of creation [Pr 8:24-29].
24. brought forth—(Compare Ps 90:2).
abounding—or, "laden with water."
25. settled—that is, sunk in
26. fields—or, "out places," "deserts,"
as opposite to (habitable) "world."
highest part—or, "sum," all particles
27. when he set … depth—marked out
the circle, according to the popular idea of the earth, as circular,
surrounded by depths on which the visible concave heavens rested.
28. established … deep—that is, so
as to sustain the waters above and repress those below the firmament
(Ge 1:7-11; Job 26:8).
29. commandment—better, the shore, that
is, of the sea.
foundations—figuratively denotes the
solid structure (Job 38:4; Ps 24:2).
30, 31. one brought up—an object of
special and pleasing regard. The bestowal of wisdom on men is
represented by its finding a delightful residence and pleasing God.
32-36. Such an attribute men are urged to
34. watching … waiting—literally,
"so as to watch"; wait, denoting a most sedulous attention.
35. (Compare Lu 13:23, 24).
36. sinneth … me—or better,
"missing me," as opposed to "finding" [Pr 8:35].
love death—act as if they did (compare