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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs

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FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 8

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading summary as a description of what is happening)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Proverbs 8: Wisdom Personified cries out

 

[Preliminary Comments: Turning away from the unsavory subject of promiscuous women, Solomon again personifies wisdom [‘she'] and suggests she can be seen or heard everywhere [v.1-5]. Everything about her is good [v.6-9], so good in fact that she is worth more than any valuables you can think of [v.10-11]. She comes in different forms [v.12-14] and it is by her that rulers rule well [v.15,16]. Verse 17 challenges us that it is only those who seek for her who will find her, but when they do they will also find the riches she brings [v.18-21]. She originates from God and existed before Creation [v.22-26] and worked with Him to bring into being all that is [v.27-31]. The chapter concludes with a list of the blessings that follow wisdom [v.32-36]. It is a chapter for those who would seek after meaning and purpose in life who are challenged to find it in finding wisdom and all that goes with ‘her'.]

 

 

v.1-3 Wisdom & Understanding can be found everywhere

v.1  Does not wisdom call out ?
    Does not understanding raise her voice ?
v.2  At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
v.3  beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud :
   

v.4,5 ‘She' calls to everyone

v.4  ‘To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all humanity.
v.5  You who are simple , gain prudence ;
    you who are foolish , set your hearts on it .
   

v.6-9 The characteristics of wisdom found by the wise

v.6  Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right .
v.7  My mouth speaks what is true ,
    for my lips detest wickedness .
v.8  All the words of my mouth are just ;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
v.9   To the discerning all of them are right ;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge .
   

v.10,11 She is more valuable than riches

v.10  Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
v.11  for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

   

v.12-14 Her various expressions

v.12  ‘I, wisdom , dwell together with prudence ;
    I possess knowledge and discretion .
v.13  To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behaviour and perverse speech.
v.14  Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight , I have power .
     

v.15,16 She is attested to by kings and other rulers

v.15  By me kings reign
    and rulers issue decrees that are just;
v.16  by me princes govern,
    and nobles – all who rule on earth.
   

v.17 Those who will find her

v.17  I love those who love me ,
    and those who seek me find me.
   

v.18-21 The things wisdom brings with her

v.18  With me are riches and honour ,
    enduring wealth and prosperity .
v.19  My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
v.20  I walk in the way of righteousness ,
    along the paths of justice ,
v.21  bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.

   

v.22-26 Wisdom originated with God before all else was created

v.22  ‘The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
    before his deeds of old;
v.23  I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
v.24  When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
v.25  before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
v.26  before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
     

v.27-31 She was there in the Creation

v.27  I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
v.28  when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
v.29  when he gave the sea its boundary
    so that the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
v.30      Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
v.31  rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in the human race.

   

v.32-36 The promise of blessing for those who find wisdom

v.32  ‘Now then, my children, listen to me;
     blessed are those who keep my ways .
v.33  Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
v.34   Blessed are [i] those who listen to me,
    
[ii] watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
v.35  For those who find me find life
    and receive favour from the Lord .
v.36  But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.'

    

[Additional Note: Although we have referred to wisdom as ‘she' [see v.2,3], the apostle John in his Gospel in the first chapter refers to the Son of God as ‘the word' meaning reason or even wisdom, and reveals him as working with the Father in the acts of Creation so v.30,31 convey a beautiful picture of Father & Son working together to create the world and mankind on it. Jesus was, as various Creeds put it, “begotten of the Father” and ‘begotten' simply means ‘out of' so thus Jesus, who was and is God, came out of the Father, an expression of the Father, before anything material existed, the expression of divine wisdom [v.22-26]

 

    

    

Continue to Proverbs 9