I know it is popular and interesting to view WISDOM in Proverbs 8:22-31 as a
reference to the pre-incarnate Word (Jesus). However, upon close examination
it seems better to interpret it as a personification of wisdom as being that
which, upon absorption into the soul, becomes our guide, guardian and
The word is chokmAh. It occurs 39 times in Proverbs.
It always refers to knowledge of God's viewpoint and standards for both
moral and spiritual living.
Beginning at Prov. 1:20 and then all throughout the book, wisdom refers to
the power and influence of God's knowledge. And this is exactly what it
means in Proverbs 8:1ff.
This is certainly a reference to the viewpoint of God which beckons to each
and every believer.
Acceptance is fulfilled by the believer who learns and applies the standards
and principles of divine viewpoint that is found only in revelation from
1. First and foremost through the oral teaching from the bona fide inspired
communicators appointed by God. Prov. 8:1-3.
These proclaim God's word all throughout the city.
2. And then the written text as transmitted from the communicators.
The remaining verses, 2-36 personifies wisdom as she "invites" herself into
This is usually not disputed except for verses 22-31, where some want to see
a reference to the pre-incarnate WORD, the Lord Jesus Christ.
But upon careful examination, the "person" in view is the personified wisdom
of God that reflects His perfect knowledge; His viewpoint and policy for the
universe that He created.
There is no reason to find some interpretation of the passage that does not
add any significant theological understanding to the persons of the Godhead.
There is no reason to find an interpretation that is different from that
which is established at Proverbs 1:20 and which is clear throughout the rest
of the book.
1.Yahweh possessed me: qAnnAh occurs 80 times.
Some translations render it "created me." In fact it seems that the two are
almost evenly divided among all the various translations. This is strange to
The word means to get, acquire, possess, and even purchase. It simply does
not mean, to create.
Gen. 14:19, "Blessed by Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and
QAnnAh, qal active participle. He is the owner, possessor and therefore the
source of all blessings that emanate from creation and the creator.
Deut. 32:6, "Is He not your Father who bought (qAnnAh, acquired) you."
He has MADE you (AsAh), and established you."
Yahweh possesses divine knowledge (wisdom) as in being an integral part of
His very essence.
2. at the beginning of His way: reshiyth derek
Since God has no "beginning" this gives us a temporal and human point of
reference in regard to the existence of the world.
That is, at the time in eternity past when God "began" to implement His
"plan of the ages" via creation as per Gen. 1:1. "in the reshiyth God
created the heavens and the earth."
Before His works of old: human point of reference - BEFORE creation of the
From eternity: After a reference to "time" we are given a reference to
Prep. min (from) + OlAm. perpetuity. Psalm 90:2, "from OlAm to OlAm you are
I was established: nAsak, to set up, install, establish. niphal perfect.
Established as the viewpoint and policy by which the entire universe would
Established - not as in created, but established by virtue of the fact that
wisdom is part and parcel of the divine essence.
Verse 23b, another mention of a temporal point of reference.
From the beginning: reshiyth. In the reshiyth God created.
From the earliest times of the earth: Another way to say from the time that
the earth was created.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
1. God has absolute knowledge. Is. 46:9-10; 40:28
2. Knowledge that cannot be opposed. Proverbs 21:30
3. Knowledge that knows the intricate details of all creation. Heb. 4:13;
4. Knowledge that sees the hearts of men: Ps. 44:21; Pr. 15:11; 1
Chron.28:9; 1 Sam. 16:7; Rev. 2:23
5. Knowledge that sees every detail in man's life. Ps. 33:13-15; 139:1-6;
6. Knowledge that dictated the creation of the universe. Jer. 10:12
7. Knowledge that is based on absolute presence. Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:24
8. The principle of foreknowledge:
A. Salvation: Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2, 20
B. Experience: Mat. 6:8, 32
C. See topic: Foreknowledge
9. Application to the believer in the Christian way of life:
2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 31:15; Rom. 8:28; Mat. 6:31-33; Heb. 13:5-6; Ps. 139:1-4,
13-16, Therefore, v. 23-24.
Proverbs 8:24-29 All reference to various aspects of the physical creation.
Thus from the time of Gen. 1:1 and in regard to all aspects of the physical
I was brought forth: two times
Chul, 61 times total.
The verb basically means to whirl, dance, writhe in pain.
It is used sometimes to writhe in pain and labor and even child birth.
But it does not MEAN to give birth.
Here it is a polal perfect. 4 times as a polal. BE MADE to whirl, writhe,
Ps. 51:5. In sin I was caused to writhe (in birth, based on context).
Job 15:7, "were you the first man to be born
or were you CAUSED TO WRITHE (in birth) before the hills?"
Job 26:5, (polel perf) "the departed spirits are caused to writhe
under the waters and their inhabitants."
Not directly pertinent to this study.
However, in reference to the creation of the heavens and the earth,
wisdom was not "caused to writhe and be born."
Wisdom was caused to writhe in the sense that it was PUT INTO ACTION.
Prov. 3:19, "Yahweh by wisdom founded the earth." Jer. 10.12, Ps. 33:6; Jer.
Jesus was not caused to be put into action.
He is the one who CAUSED wisdom to be put into action.
Furthermore how can one justify this a reference to the 2nd member of the
Even as THE WORD, He was not "brought forth." The Word has an eternal status
and equality within the Godhead. He was not "brought forth" until the virgin
Verse 25, as in verse 24.
I was born: I was caused to whirl; caused to function and put into action.
Verse 27 When He established the heavens:
I was there: Of course divine wisdom was there.
Wisdom was the divine blueprint of creation and thus the standard
by which the universe would be built.
1. Then I was beside Him:
Nothing inconsistent here. Of course, wisdom was "beside" - within, part and
parcel of. Wisdom was
the very FINGER of God that He (The Word) directed TO (pointed at) the work
2. a master workman: And as the blue print and the STANDARD by which the
universe was created, God the Word used it (His own wisdom) to put
everything into place exactly where it was designed to go. Psalm 33:6
3. Still poetic personification. There is no "person" here "rejoicing."
And I was His delight daily, Rejoicing always before Him:
Of course the Godhead would be joyfully occupied with HIS own knowledge.
1. Rejoicing in the world, His earth:
And WISDOM personified would ever find fulfillment by being used to
accomplish every aspect of the plan of the Godhead.
2. And having my delight in the sons of mankind:
And the ultimate fulfillment of WISDOM is when believers learn and live out
the viewpoint and standards of God.
AND NOW (weAttAh) - LISTEN TO ME.
In view of the divine quality of WISDOM, the believer should be motivated to
learn and live out the word of God on a daily basis.
And that of course continues to be the exhortation throughout the rest of