Proverbs Chapter 8
Chapter 8 is the continuation of the 16th of the 17 lessons given from the father to his son(s), BENIYM. If I were setting the Chapter breaks, I would have begun Chapter 8 at Chapter 7 vs. 24, because those last four verses are really an introduction to Chapter 8 contrasting the message of Chapter 7. This pattern has been used throughout the book thus far, cf. 7:1-5; 5:1-6, etc. And in fact, in Chapter 8 vs. 32-36, we have another “BENIYM” which introduces the 17th and final lesson of the prologue to the Book of Proverbs found in Chapters 1-9. Therefore, I would have begun Chapter 9 at Chapter 8 vs. 32.
With that said, before we begin Chapter 8, I want to point out, once again, an important word usage in Chapter 7 vs. 32. There we had the word “victims” which is the noun CHALAL, חָלָל, that means, “slain or pierced.” It is a technical military term for “pierced” in battle, though it can be used for anyone murdered or executed. What I found fascinating about this word is that its cognate CHALAL, חָלַל, is used in Isa 53:5 for the prophecy of our Lord’s “piercing” upon the Cross.
Isa 53:5, “But He was pierced (CHALAL) through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”
In Isa 53:5 CHALAL is spelled with a short second “a” (Pathach) rather than the long “a” Qamets as in Prov 7:26, but means the same thing, “pierced or wounded.”
Therefore, the “many and numerous victims” that Satan has struck down due to their sins, were gathered and placed upon our Lord while upon the Cross, who became the “many and numerous victim” for all of mankind, so that man could live. In other words, He was slaughtered having taken on the sins of the entire world, purchasing us from the slave market of sin, and giving eternal life to all who would believe, John 3:16-18; 1 Tim 1:16.
Now to Chapter 8.
In Chapter 8, we have a discourse on the attributes of “wisdom” personified as a woman. This personification is given in contrast to the seductive adulterous woman of the previous chapters. In this chapter the woman “wisdom” is described for us concerning her excellence, gifts, virtue, value, and rewards. Contrasted with sensual allurements of the adulteress woman are the advantages of Divine wisdom, which too publicly invites men, yet it offers the best principles of life, and the most valuable benefits for both time and eternity for those who receive her counsels.
This chapter’s general structure, opening appeal, narrative (or descriptive motivation) and closing appeal are identical to Chapter 7. Both chapters begin by describing wisdom’s benefits and value, Prov 7:1-5; 8:4-21, and conclude with an appeal and warning, Prov 7:24-27; 8:32-36.
This penultimate lecture functions to compare the virtuous woman called “wisdom” to the unfaithful wife of “the world.” It looks back to the preceding lectures against the unfaithful wife, and points out the benefits of embracing the virtuous woman “wisdom” as did the messages of Chapter 1 and those sprinkled throughout the other chapters. This pairing of the unfaithful wife with personified “wisdom” prepares the way for the confrontation of personified “wisdom” with the foolish woman in the final lesson of Chapter 9.
This Chapter describes the woman “wisdom” by telling of her geography, character, and speech, as Chapter 7 did regarding the adulteress woman. So we will see the contrasting parallels of each.
Although very different in style and content, these poems form one picture of contrasting beings, the ying and yang as it were.
Chapter 8, with its strong mythic overtones, is written largely symbolically, while Chapter 7 used a real life image to tell of the spiritual truths of the Angelic Conflict. The unfaithful wife functioned as a symbol representing a seductive worldview of sin, Satan and his cosmic system, foreign to; true Israel, the believer, those walking in Christ consistently.
One commonality is that just as the adulteress woman in Chapter 7 comes near to men in a human way, seeking to win them by her gifts, so does “wisdom”, Prov 8:1-3, (i.e., God’s Word / Bible Doctrine), so that they are all without excuse, cf. Rom 1:20.
We also see that there is a change from the constant exhortation to listen to human teachers, e.g., 4:1-5; 7:1ff, 24, to listening to “wisdom” herself, that demonstrates they are one and the same, assuming rightly that the father was teaching God’s Word to his son(s).
This Chapter demonstrates that “wisdom” is unique and unrivaled, more desirable than anything, 8:4-21, (especially vs. 11), and more necessary than anything, vs. 36.
It focuses on “wisdom’s” value because it is true, vs. 6b-9, offers many valuable benefits, vs. 15-21, is Divine in origin, comes through antiquity, and played a role in creation, vs. 22-31.
This chapter is similar to “wisdom’s” first speech, Prov 1:20-33, since they both begin with descriptions of her public location, 1:20f; 8:1ff, speaking of her ever-presences of nature, and end by the fundamental contrast of sin versus righteousness, though in juxtaposition, cf. Prov 1:32-33; with 8:35-36.
The juxtaposition is that in the conclusion of Chapter 1, it begins with the negative exhortation and ends with a positive one, while Chapter 8, begins its conclusion with a positive exhortation and ends with a negative one.
In addition, both chapters are a plea from “wisdom” for acceptance though in contrasting styles.
- In Prov 1, “wisdom” speaks primarily as a prophet, warning those who reject her of the disaster that will come with their rebellion, given in mostly negative terms. Yet, if they had responded, they would have been saved.
- However, in Chapter 8, “wisdom” emphasizes her blessings and benefits in order to encourage those whom she calls to listen to and learn from her, yet warns of consequences of those that do not!
“The author has now almost exhausted the ethical material; for in this introduction to the Solomonic Book of Proverbs he works it into a memorial for youth, so that it is time to think of concluding the circle by bending back the end to the beginning.” (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)
Outline for Chapter 8.
Introduction: Wisdom’s Availability, 8:1-3.
First Exhortation: Discern and Listen, 8:4-6a.
1. Reason: Wisdom is Trustworthy, 8:6b-9.
Second Exhortation: Choose Wisdom Above All Else, 8:10.
1. Reason: Wisdom is Most Valuable, 8:11.
2. Reason: Wisdom has Immediate Benefits, 8:12-21.
3. Reason: Wisdom’s Origin, Antiquity, and Work, 8:22-31.
Third Exhortation: Listen and Heed, 8:32-33.
1. Reasons: A Matter of Life or Death, 8:34-36.
This chapter, unlike the others that preceded it, focuses on wisdom’s enabling gifts, rather than on what it prevents or protects people from doing.
Paul may have had this passage in mind when he described Jesus Christ as the wisdom of God, Col 1:15ff; 2:3; cf. John 1:1-4; 1 Cor 1:24, 30.
In vs. 4-5 we see who “wisdom” is addressing, “men” (ISH), “sons of men” (BEN ADAM), “naïve ones” (PETHIY), and “fools” (KESIYL). So by means of the message of this chapter, in His mercy, the Lord continues to call to sinners because He is, as it states in 2 Peter 3:9, “…patient (longsuffering) toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
That is why we see here “wisdom” returning to the crowded places of the city and calls out so that everyone may hear. But note that even though she addresses the naïve and the fools, she does not call out to the scorners, cf. Prov 1:22 with 8:5. Why? Because, they had laughed at her message and turned away from the truth, so their opportunities were over, not because God was not speaking but because their hearts were too hard to hear.
Heb 4:7-8, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS. 8For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.”
Heb 12:25, “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.”
After the introduction of the woman “wisdom” in vs. 1-5, her message in the remaining sections of Chapter 8 has three very clear points, followed by a call to decision. (Based on the outline by Warren Wiersbe in, “Be Skillful”, Bible Exposition Commentary.)
You Can Trust My Words, vs. 6-9.
There are five adjectives used here to describe the character of the message Wisdom declares: “Noble” vs. 6; “Right(eous)” vs. 6, 8, 9; and “truth”, vs. 7; vs. 9
Her words in vs. 6 are “noble things”, (“excellent” KJV), NAGID, a word that is often translated “prince, leader, captain, or ruler” in the Old Testament. The NIV reads “worthy things.” Since God’s message is the Word of the King, it is indeed noble and princely and should have authority and rulership over your life.
The message also contains “right things”, MESHAR in vs. 6, and YASHAR in vs. 9, and “straightforward” NAKOAH in vs. 9. These are all words that describe something “straight or right or even.” The English word “right” comes from the Latin RECTUS which mean, “straight.” This root is also seen in words like, “direct and correct.” So the message here indicates that God’s Word / Bible Doctrine has integrity and commands respect being right, straightforward, and correct in all its teachings.
We also see in these verses that God’s Word is “true” EMETH in vs. 7, that means, “faithfulness, reliability, firmness, truth”. So it tells us that God’s Word is reliable and trustworthy, something we should use and apply each and every day in faith rest.
So to walk in the truth, on the “straight and narrow” path of righteousness, TSEDEQ in vs. 8, we must have God’s Word resident within our souls. And whatever God’s Word says about anything, we know that it is right and correct and can absolutely be trusted, Psa 119:128.
Psa 119:128, “Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything…”
Yet, “folly” uses deceptive, wicked, crooked, and perverted words to achieve her purposes, as we would say today, “double-speak” or “sensationalism” that includes lying, gossiping, maligning, slandering, etc.
“Wisdom’s” words are plain, spoken clearly and openly so that there can be no confusion. Of course, those who reject the Lord do not understand what God is saying, 1 Cor 2:12-16, but this is not because the Word of God is confusing or unclear. It is because sinners are spiritually deaf and blind, Mat 13:14-15. The problem is with the hearer, not the speaker.
1 Cor 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “It is not what I don’t understand about the Bible that worries me, but what I do understand.”
You Can Receive True Wealth, vs. 10-21.
This passage deals with enrichment, not riches in the material sense.
Wisdom is not promising to put money in the bank for you, as many of our churches today are preaching a “prosperity gospel” in error and to their shame, but instead she is urging you to seek eternal wealth instead of the gold, silver, and precious stones of a materialistic Cosmic System, vs. 18-19; cf. Prov 2:4; 3:13-15 and 1 Cor 3:12; Rev 3:18.
Rev 3:18, “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.”
This is the Old Testament equivalent to Mat 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Some Israelites during the Old Testament times, (as do many Christians of our day), had the idea that wealth was a sign of God’s blessing, while poverty and trouble were evidences that you were out of His favor. Because Job’s friends held to a “prosperity theology,” they concluded that Job was a great sinner, or he would not be suffering so much.
That is why when Jesus said “it was harder for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle”, His astounded disciples asked in Mat 19:23-26, “Who then can be saved?” If rich people do not make it to heaven, who will?
Money may be able to satisfy your lusts, but it cannot buy you true love, the love of God that saves.
The point is, “wisdom” has better gifts to offer than perishable riches. It has blessings like prudence, knowledge, discretion, discernment, the fear of the Lord, humility, Godly speech, wise counsel, understanding, guidance on life’s path, strength for the journey, inner peace and happiness (+H), etc.
A life that is enriched by God’s Word may be poor in this world’s goods, but it is rich in the things that matter most, things that are everlasting, and things that have intrinsic value.
It is ok to enjoy the things that money can buy which God has blessed you with, provided you do not lose the things that money cannot buy. What “wisdom” has to offer cannot be purchased anywhere, no matter how rich you are.
The question is, “How do we secure this satisfying and enduring wealth?”
The answer is, “Hear the Word of God,” vs. 6, “receive instruction,” vs. 10, “love truth and wisdom,” vs. 17, 21, and “seek God and His wisdom daily,” vs. 17.
Many of God’s people have discovered how important it is to start each day with the Lord, meditating on His Word, praying, and worshiping Him. Compare Gen 19:27; Ex 24:4; Psa 57:8; Mark 1:35.
You Can See My Works, vs. 22-31.
One of the lessons of this paragraph is that the power and splendor of God, seen all around us in creation, are evidence of what God’s wisdom can do.
The same God who worked in the “old creation” to make you a “new spiritual species” also wants to work in your life with that “new creation”, 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; 4:24; Col 3:10.
The Word of God, a.k.a., the Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the universe together and causes it to fulfill His will, can hold our lives together and accomplish His purposes for His glory.
When we belong to Jesus Christ and walk in His wisdom, all of creation works for us. If we rebel against His wisdom and will, things start to work against us, as Jonah discovered when he tried to run away from the Lord.
You Must Make a Decision, vs. 32-36.
Having declared God’s truth, “wisdom” now calls for a decision. How people respond to God’s message is a matter of life or death, vs. 35-36, and it is impossible to be neutral.
“Wisdom” calls for a sincere life-changing decision that involves turning from sin (repentance) and turning to Christ (faith). If the decision is real, it will result in a commitment to the Lord that leads to meeting with Him daily, like a servant at the master’s door.
Those who reject God’s truth, sin against their own souls. Those who hate God’s truth are heading for eternal death, Rev 20:11-15.
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A Discourse of Wisdom Concerning Her Excellence and Her Gifts
Introduction: Wisdom’s availability, 8:1-3.
These verses describe the public nature of Wisdom’s invitation and it contrasts with the secrecy of the adulteress in the previous Chapter, Prov 7:9, while uniting the prologue (Chapters 1-9) by returning to the beginning of wisdom’s first speech, Prov 1:20f.
Prov 1:20-21, “Wisdom 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.”
While the seductress’ ways are secretive and deceptive, wisdom’s ways are open and honest. As we have seen the one who succumbs to the adulteress finds shame and death, but as we will see wisdom’s followers acquire prudence for wise living.
So we begin with:
Prov 8:1, “Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?”
This verse is a rhetorical question utilizing the Interrogative Particle HO with the Negative Particle LO, (HALO), for “does not.” The question is offered, “Does not wisdom and understanding try to make contact by means of her rejoicing voice?” And the answer is, “Yes, she does!”
“Wisdom” is the noun CHOKMAH, חָכְמָה, that means, “wisdom or skill,” that is personified by the feminine gender throughout this verse. Here it is referring to the Word of God resident in the right lobe of your soul that is applied to everyday life.
“Call” is the Verb QARA, קָרָא, in the Qal, Imperfect, Third Person, Feminine, Singular (3fs). The basic meaning of QARA is the, “act of making a vocal sound to establish contact with someone.” It is also employed for the reading out loud of scriptures, Ex 24:7; Jer 36:6. In fact, Deut 17:19 instructs kings of Israel to read a copy of the Law every day for their personal education.
The Imperfect tells us of incomplete and / or future action; therefore, she (God’s Word) will continue to try to make contact with you!
“Understanding” used with the conjunction WA, וּ, is the synonymous noun to CHOKMAH, which is TEBUNAH, תְּבוּנָה, that means, “insight, skill, or understanding.” This noun may refer to, “skill, good sense, general wisdom, or godly wisdom.”
The singular verbs and pronouns used in the rest of the lecture with reference to the speaker show that “understanding” is another name for “wisdom”, along with “insight” in vs. 14.
To have “understanding” is to act “wisely,” and means to carry out right principles in everyday life. For example, a wise workman works according to the right principles of his craft, producing a quality product. Likewise, morally, a wise person lives out the revealed principles of right and wrong, which reflect the character of God.
But here both “wisdom” and “understanding” are used as a singular agent desiring to make contact with you.
“Lift up” is the Verb NATHAN, נָתַן, The fifth most frequent word in the Old Testament used primarily in the Qal stem, and therefore has many nuances. It can mean, “to give, to allow, to place, to set, to put, to make, etc.” Here it too is in the Qal Imperfect 3fs.
One way NATHAN is used is in the passing on of knowledge and instruction as in Prov. 9:9, which is what she is trying to do here over and over again. So we could say, she is trying to give something. That something is found in the next word.
Prov 9:9, “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.”
“Voice” the noun QOL, קוֹל, in the feminine singular that means, “voice, sound, or noise.” So the “lifting up or giving her voice” goes with the “calling” above to escalate her fervency, which indicates God’s Word is ever desirous of a relationship with you.
This connotes that “wisdom” makes her proclamation heard far and wide and does not wait for an audience to come to her.
Then in vs. 2 & 3, we see where she calls from. It uses four adverbial phrases that locate her speech as, 1) on the heights beside the ways, 2) where the paths meet, in vs. 2, and 3) beside the city gates at the opening of the city, and 4) at the entrance of the doors, in vs. 3. The locations, 1) are all familiar, 2) easily accessible public places, 3) emphasize her availability, and 4) encourage students to attend her.
Therefore, wisdom is not difficult to find for those who respond to her invitation. The places listed in these verses could hardly be avoided by anyone making a thorough search.
Prov 8:2, “On top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand.”
“On top of the heights”, ROSH, (head, top, beginning) with MAROM, מָרוֹם, that means, “height, a high place, or exaltedness.” It means something “high, lifted up, literally or figuratively.”
“Beside the way” is the Preposition AL with the Noun DEREK for, “way, path, or road.” See Prov 1:15; cf. 2 Sam 15:2, connotes where the masses walk on their way to choosing their lifestyles.
She is there to be as visible and audible as possible.
“Where the paths meet.”
“Where …. meet” is BAYITH that is typically used for “house or temple”, but here it means, “the place, within, or structure of” in others words, “the meeting house” or “place where they meet.”
“Paths” is NATIYB נָתִיב, that means, “path, a pathway, or a wake.” It refers to a trail or navigable pass made by humans or by nature. It indicates figuratively; the path, the way of life, of the wicked, Job 18:10, or of the adulterous woman in Prov 3:17; 7:25 but also the path to wisdom in Job 28:7; Prov 12:28.
So these two words make up an idiom for the “at the crossroads” or “where the paths meet”, the point where they must decide to follow either wisdom or folly because there is no third way, cf. Psa 1:1-2.
“She takes her stand” is the Niphal (passive) Perfect of NATSAB, נָצַב, a verb meaning, “to station, to appoint, to erect, to take a stand.” It means that she plants herself there, and tells us she takes up her right position to plead with them to follow her ways.
Prov 8:3, “Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, at the entrance of the doors, she cries out.” Cf. Prov 1:21.
“Beside, (at the Hand – YADAH), the gates, at the opening, (mouth – PEH), to the city.”
The gateway of the Old Testament city had special functions. As an entryway into the city, the gateway had both inner and outer gates, 2 Sam 18:24.
The gateway area had three important uses other than as a passageway into a city so the appeal is multifaceted:
- It was the location of judgment and censure (courts of law), Ruth 4:1, 11; Job 29:7; 31:21; Prov 22:22; 24:7; 31:23; Isa 29:21. Wisdom was especially needed in legal decisions.
- It was a center of trade, 2 Kings 7:1; Neh 13:9.
- It was the place to discuss and transact politics.
So it signifies where people congregate to buy and sell, to settle disputes, and to transact politics.
Those who were considered wise would be found at the gate of the city and the naïve could learn wisdom there from listening to them, cf. Prov 10:13, 31.
The importance of the gateway in Old Testament culture; it was where the prophets usually spoke their messages, 2 Kings 7:1. Ezra instructed the Jews about the Law in the gateway, Neh 8:1. The specific reference to the gates (as well as to the other locations) thus reinforces Wisdom’s accessibility.
“At the entrance of the doors”, a double reference to the gates of the city that underscores the entrance side, not the exit side. The French “avenue”, meaning “the space or way which leads to anything” represents this nicely.
“She cries out” is the Qal Imperfect 3fp of RANAN, רָנַן, that means, “to rejoice, to shout for joy.” It underscores that she speaks fervently with conviction, not dispassionately as in a learned discourse.
As an elder at the gate, she makes herself heard in the marketplace where the competition for the hearts of people is fiercest, Prov 24:23; 31:23.
In the following verses we will see who “wisdom” is calling out to.
- Discern and listen, 8:4-5.
- Reason: Wisdom is trustworthy, 8:6-9.
This section begins by “wisdom” calling out to her audience, which in this case is all of humanity in general. In other words, she has something for everyone. Here we are given several principles of wisdom to motivate us to receive wisdom.
Prov 8:4, “To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men.”
“Men” and “sons of men” are ISH and BEN ADAM respectfully. ISH generally refers to a man or the male gender, while ADAM is to the entire human race, though both overlap in meaning. So we see that Bible doctrine calls out to all and is available to all of mankind.
“Call” and “voice” are QARA and QOL respectfully, which continues the emphasis from vs. 1 of a “rejoicing voice trying to make contact with all.”
Prov 8:5, “O naive ones, understand prudence; and, O fools, understand wisdom.”
Here the address is narrowed to two specific groups that really need to hear and receive God’s Word, “naïve ones” PETHAYIM and “fools”, KESILYIM.
The “naïve” include those who are presently uncommitted to the Word of God, and therefore untutored in its principles and precepts.
“Fools” include those who are spiritually unintelligent, and therefore lacking common sensibilities.
As we stated above, note that the scoffers or scorners are not addressed here, as in Prov 1:23, because they have had their chance to receive God’s Word, but due to their hard hearts, they did and will not receive it. Yet, there still is a chance for the naïve and foolish sons.
“Understand”, in my older translation of the NASB (1977) it has “discern” for “understanding.” It is the verb BIYN, בִּין, that means, “to understand or perceive”, with the underlying idea of “to discern.” BIN is similar in meaning to YADHA, but BIN refers to “judgment and insight”, and is manifested through the use of knowledge, rather than knowing by experiencing.
It is in the Hiphil Imperative which is a command or exhortation for those addressed to take action. This Hiphil stem is used like the Qal (active voice) and means, “to pay attention, to consider closely, or to learn.”
Therefore, since the addressees have no prior experience applying God’s Word, “wisdom” is exhorting them to gain the appropriate knowledge necessary to live the spiritual life and to be able to exercise good judgment and have insight in all situation of life.
“Prudence” is ORMAH, עָרְמָה, a feminine singular noun meaning, “craftiness, prudence, or shrewdness.”
Prov 8:12, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.”
“Prudent” means to be wise in handling practical matters and exercising good judgment or common sense. It is to be careful in regard to your own interests and about your conduct, being circumspective and discreet.
Therefore, “prudence” means to be careful, using good judgment in any given situation. It implies not only caution, but the capacity for judging in advance the probable results to your actions. The word discretion also suggests prudence but is coupled with self-restraint and sound judgment.
“Wisdom” here is not CHOKMAH, but LEB, the word for “heart or inner being.” So it means, “to have understanding in your heart,” which is the formula for having wisdom (EPIGNOSIS Bible Doctrine) in the right lobe of your soul by means of GAP.
- Reason: Wisdom is trustworthy, 8:6-9.
Here we have “Nine motivations for giving your attention to God’s Word.”
In these verses we continue to see the contrast to the adulterous woman. As we have seen, the unfaithful wife’s speech is sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end, while “wisdom’s” speech demands discipline in the beginning and promises life in the end.
So we have nine principles that are given to motivate us to receive, learn, and apply God’s Word, six positive motivations and three antonyms for motivation.
Prov 8:6, “Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things.”
“Listen” is SHAMA once again, here in the Qal Imperative for a command to take in God’s Word through the ear gate, by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP). It is a call to attentiveness. This is a command for us to make the decision to be attentive and accept the wise father’s teaching, cf. Prov 2:1-4; 8:17, 21, 34; 9:4-5.
“I will speak” DABAR, this is the teaching of Bible Doctrine. This connotes an oral appeal that the listeners cannot avoid, unlike a written imperative that they can ignore by not reading, Prov 1:8.
“Noble things” is the first of the six positive motivations. It is the noun NAGIYD, נָגִיד, that means, “a chief, leader, ruler, prince, etc.” It is used here in an abstract sense to convey that which is princely, noble, and honorable. Not only were kings designated with this word, but so too were the high priest, priestly officials, supervisors of the gatekeepers, court officials, various military men, etc. Cf. Jer 20:1; 1 Chron 9:20; 13:1; 26:24; 2 Chron 11:11; 19:11; 28:7; 31:12; 32:21. There is an analogy for your spiritual life in each of those types.
God’s Word should be the ultimate rule and authority in and over your life. You should be subject to it moment-by-moment.
“Opening my lips” are the nouns MIPHTACH with SAPHAH (lip or edge). MIPHTACH, מִפְתָּח, means, “opening or utterance.” Some scholars suggest that it also refers to the opening of the house of God, 1 Chron 9:27, which is what “wisdom” (the Word of God) is all about!!!
“Right things” is the second of the six positive motivations. It is the noun MEYSHAR, that means, “straightness, evenness, uprightness, equity,” derived from the verb YASHAR which we will see below that can mean “to be just.”
The prime nuance of the metaphor is “ease” of an action. In other words, “the way of the just is right or straight,” which means, “level and smooth, bringing happiness and peace to a person, Isa 26:7.
Isa 26:7, “The way of the righteous is smooth (MEYSHAR); O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.”
From this idea of evenness and ease comes the notion of “peace and friendship.”
In the relationship with God, humans are supposed to “walk in peace, righteousness and joy”, Rom 14:17, a life whose burden is light, Mat 11:28ff, not one of struggle, strife and weariness.
Prov 8:7, “For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”
“For” is KI that means, “for, surely, because, etc.” In the Hebrew it is joined with EMETH that means, “truth”. This emphasizes the religio-ethical dimension of “wisdom’s” speech as essential for understanding ultimate truth. In other words, God’s Word is the truth and the standard for all truths in human society.
“Truth” is the third of the six positive motivations. The Word of God is absolute “truth”, there is no lie in it.
1 John 2:21, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.”
“My mouth” is CHEK that means, “Mouth or palate,” see Prov 5:3. This is the second metonymy for speaking in our passage.
Next, we have the first of the Antonyms for Motivation, “wickedness.”
“Wickedness” is RESHA that means, “wrong, wickedness”, or even “guilt.” It is used as that opposite of TESEDEQ “righteousness.” Here it is the antonym or opposite of truth.
It is used in Proverbs for the speech of avaricious men, e.g., Prov 1:11-15, and of the unchaste wife, Prov 7:14-21, that is condemned as guilty because it is hostile to God and humanity.
Such false speech is an “abomination”, (TOEBAH – detestable thing), to my lips (SAPHAH)” as also to the Lord in Prov 6:16-17.
“Abomination” is TOEBAH, and in a broader sense, it is used to identify anything offensive. Therefore, as God’s Word is a noble thing and a right thing full of truth and justice, the ways of Satan’s Cosmic System are detestable things in comparison, and in the eyes of God.
Prov 8:8, “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them”
“Righteousness” is the fourth of the six positive motivations. It is the noun TSEDEQ, which means, “justice, rightness, or righteousness.” It is synonymous with DIKAIOSUNE of the Greek.
TSEDEQ along with MESHER (right things) of vs. 6, are used of the justice of the judge who decides rightly in Psa 99:4, and that which is just, Prov 1:3; Psa 9:8; 17:2; 58:1. Certainly, judgment which is “straight” means that which is correct, just, right, and proper. And that is what the Word of God is for you. Ultimately, it is a judge over our lives.
John 12:48, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
Heb 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
“Crooked” is the second of the three antonyms for motivation. It is the Verb PATHAL, פָּתַל, that means, “to wrestle or be cunning.” With an ethical sense, it connotes trickiness and comes to mean, “twisted or crooked.”
It is found four times in contrast to righteous and humble thought and action, 2 Sam 22:27; Job 5:13; Psa 18:26; and our verse. So it means, “not deceitful,” speaking of God’s Word in contrast to its righteousness.
Then we have the double emphasis, “perverted” as the third of the three antonyms for motivation. It is the Adjective IQQESH, עִקֵּשׁ.
We had IQQESH in Prov 2:15; 4:24; 6:12 that means, “twisted, distorted, crooked, perverse, or perverted.”
It, like PAHTAL, signifies to pervert, twist, or distort the ethical norm. But “wisdom” has no need to be “crooked or perverted” (i.e., to twist or distort the ethical norm), because she has no self-serving agenda, as does Satan and those of his cosmic system.
Finally, in Verse 9 we have the identification of those who accept her speech as those who are understanding and find moral knowledge.
Prov 8:9, “They are all straightforward to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.”
“Straightforward” is the fifth of the six positive motivations. It is NAKOAH, נָכֹחַ, which means, “straight or right.” It is an Adjective meaning, “straightforward or honest.”
It describes “wisdom’s” words as straightforward, not perverted, to the one who has the right attitude to receive them. For those with discerning hearts, the words of wisdom are “straight,” being clearly understood, not crooked or twisted.
It is that “to him who understands”, (BIN once again) indicating those who perceive it and have it resident within their soul.
“Right” is the sixth of the six positive motivations. It is the Adjective YASHAR, יָשָׁר, that means, “straight, upright, correct, or right” providing yet another double emphasis as to what the Word of God is.
Frequently, the noun denotes “moral correctness.” This notion is a semantic extension of the primary nuance of the root, “straightness,” as the paths of the righteous are “straight”, Isa 26:7.
Isa 26:7, “The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright (YASHAR) One, make the path of the righteous level.”
So it signifies that her speech does not transgress the boundary of the Lord’s religio-ethical order, yet the straight and righteous path is only for “those who find knowledge”, MATSA DAATH.
DAATH is used primarily for the “knowledge” of Yahweh. Prov 1:7, “Fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge.”
It is an intimate experience with God based on having His Word resident within your soul that paves the way for knowledge in the moral realm.
Therefore, not one of her words is exempted from these nine motivations or qualifications. Wisdom piles on these synonyms and antonyms to emphasize that both the style and substance of her speech conform to the ethical ideals of acting in the best interest of a society and its members, and living the spiritual life unto God.
But one must first have knowledge (EPIGNOSIS Doctrine) to operates in these things, because that which is known is inescapably joined to the knower, and knowing operates within spiritual commitments, see Prov 2:5; John 8:31-32.
John 8:31-32, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Calvin noted: “For we know all too well by experience how often we fail despite our good intention. Our reason is overwhelmed by so many forms of deceptions, is subject to so many errors, dashes against so many obstacles, is caught in so many difficulties, that it is far from directing us aright.”
Those unwilling to make a spiritual commitment to wisdom will distort and/or deconstruct her plain and truthful speech.
Therefore, “those who find knowledge”, entails those who with understanding have sought “wisdom”, submitted themselves to her teachings, and attained the personal, spiritual, and moral knowledge communicated in this book, cf. Prov 1:2, 7, 28; 2:5, 9; 3:3; 4:22; 8:35. Only this kind of person recognizes the truth of God’s Word.
In summary there are six positive and three negative motivations given to us, so that we will perk up, pay attention to, and receive God’s Word. These tell us what God’s Word is and what it is not!
|Positive Motivations||Antonyms for Motivation|
|Vs. 6 – Noble|
|Vs. 6 – Right|
|Vs. 7 – Truth||Wicked|
|Vs. 8 – Righteousness||Crooked|
|Vs. 9 – Straightforward||Perverted|
|Vs. 9 – Right|
Second Exhortation: Choose Wisdom Above All Else, Prov 8:10.
- Reason: Wisdom is most valuable, 11.
- Reason: Wisdom has immediate benefits, 12-21.
- Reason: Wisdom’s origin, antiquity and work, 22-31.
Prov 8:10, “Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold.”
In vs. 6, we were commanded to “listen” to wisdom, here we are commanded to “choose” wisdom.
“Take” is the Verb LAQACH, לָקַח, in the Qal (active voice) Imperative for a command to “to take, lay hold of, seize, receive, or acquire” God’s Word in your life. We do this by receiving the instruction given to us from God’s Word, as it is taught to us by our right Pastor-Teacher.
LAQACH in this book normally has the educational nuance of accepting what is true, cf. Prov 1:5; 2:1; 24:32, or false, Prov 6:25; 7:21; 22:24-25.
“Instruction” is the noun MUSAR, מוּסָר, that means, “discipline, chastening, or correction.” Here it means to learn a discipline, a field of study, a specific subject matter to be educated in, etc., which in this case is God’s Word / Bible Doctrine. So we can say “receive the instruction or teaching of God’s Word.” The wisdom of God has been given to mankind for our edification.
Next we have something to compare with God’s Word which represents the material blessings of this world.
“Silver” is the noun KESEPH, כֶּסֶף, which means, “silver” or sometimes just “money.” It was the currency of the day. Here it is used strictly for worldly or material wealth which God’s Word is far more valuable than.
Yet, as we noted previously, when used as typology for God and His Plan, silver represented redemption. So MUSAR linked with KESEPH tells us the instruction we should take or receive here is that of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed mankind from the slave market of sin at the Cross.
Then we come back to what we should be receiving from the father, “knowledge.” Here it is DAATH once again, which is the wisdom of God given to mankind for edification.
Then we go back to the contrast of worldly materialism using the comparative Preposition MIN for “rather than.”
“Choicest” is the Verb BACHAR that means, “to choose or select.” It carries the idea of “careful, thoughtful, and deliberate choice”, in various matters of life that arise out of need. Here it means, “highly refined gold”, the choicest!
“Gold” is the Noun CHARUTS, חָרוּץ, which is the lesser used word for “gold” in the Old Testament compared with its synonym ZAHAB, but they both represent value and wealth.
“Choicest Gold” is then a careful and deliberate choice of gold, which means highly inspected gold to gain the best quality possible. This is what we are commanded to not choose over God’s Word.
As you know, gold is more valuable than silver, yet together they make up the basis for worldly wealth, and here we are commanded to not choose worldly wealth over the riches that are found in God’s Word. Cf. Prov 3:14; 8:19; 16:16.
Yet, as you may also know, gold is used in typology for the Deity of God, especially that of our Lord Jesus Christ as represented in the Tabernacle. Here gold is linked with DAATH, which means knowledge or the knowledge of God as that which we should choose. It represents Bible Doctrine or all of Scripture.
So with silver we had MUSAR which meant, to choose the gospel or salvation over worldly wealth, and with gold we have DAATH, which speaks to post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation, the renewing of your mind with God’s Word after you have been saved.
So these verses speak to both the unsaved and saved, as they are to choose God’s Word over the material things of this world. This is then reemphasized in vs. 11.
- Reason Number 1, as to why we should choose wisdom above all else: Wisdom is most valuable, Verse 11.
Prov 8:11, “For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.”
Here the combination of the Conjunction KI and the Adjective TOB, “good”, comes to mean, “for … better.”
What is “better?” Wisdom!! CHOKMAH.
What is CHOKMAH better than (MIN)? “Jewels”, PENINIM, פְּנִינִים, that means, “Pearls of Coral” and stands for precious stones or jewels. It seems specifically to indicate red or precious coral found only in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.
The wisdom literature figuratively compares the high monetary value of PENINIM to the infinite worth of wisdom and knowledge, Job 28:18; Prov 3:15; 20:15; 31:10.
Job 28:18, “Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; and the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.”
Prov 20:15, “There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; but the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.”
Prov 31:10, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”
“Desirable things”, is CHEPHETS, חֵפֶץ, that means, “desire, delight or pleasure.” Here we have another double emphasis on that which wisdom is “better than.”
Sometimes CHEPHETS is used to denote “costly jewels.” For example: Isaiah described the future glory of Israel as having walls of precious stones, Isa 54:12., and wisdom is described as being more “precious” than jewels in Prov 3:15.
Therefore, wisdom is far above, silver and gold, and various kinds of jewels and other precious things. None of them compare to the value and wealth that “wisdom” has and brings to you, as noted in the following verses of this Chapter.
Given that wisdom has nobility, equity, truth, justices, righteousness, honesty, integrity and is greater in value than silver, gold, jewels of all kinds, and any other precious things of this world, it behooves man to seek it, find it, receive it, and take it for his own, making it the most precious thing in his life, because its value and wealth cannot be matched by anything this world or Satan and his cosmic system has to offer.
Reason Number 2, as to why we should choose wisdom above all else: Wisdom has immediate benefits, vs. 12-21.
We begin the second reason for choosing “wisdom” above all else. In these passages, we see that we receive many benefits from having wisdom in our soul. Here we have nine categories of benefits that wisdom provides to those who receive her.
Vs. 12 – Dwelling in prudence and discretion
Vs. 13 – Hating evil
Vs. 14 – Counsel to make courageous decisions
Vs. 15-16 – Rulership over your soul
Vs. 17 – A loving relationship with the Lord
Vs. 18 – Spiritual and material blessings
Vs. 19 – Divine Good Production
Vs. 20 – Walking Inside the Plan of God
Vs. 21 – Escrow Blessings for Time and Eternity
In these passages the “you” and the Imperative Mood of command are replaced by “I” and the Indicative Mood for the dogmatic fact of reality of the benefits “wisdom” gives to those who receive her.
We begin with vs. 12-16 that tell us of “wisdom’s role in civil order” (i.e., its beneficial leadership for your soul.)
- Dwelling in Prudence and Discretion, Verse 12.
Prov 8:12, “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.”
Here we have a substantiating claim as to what “wisdom” dwells or tabernacles (SHAKAN) with and finds (MATSA). That is, “wisdom” hangs out with prudence and finds knowledge and discretion. Wherever “wisdom is,” prudence, knowledge, and the ability to plan wisely are also found. Therefore, if we have “wisdom,” we too will have these three.
Leading off with “dwelling” (SHAKAN, שָׁכַן, or SHAKEN – to settle down, abide, dwell, tabernacle, etc., underscores the idea of nearness and closeness), also anticipates the end of the Chapter, where “wisdom” encourages her students to seek her dwelling, vs. 34, where the other qualities are also found.
“Prudence” is ORMAH, עָרְמָה, that means, “prudence, shrewdness, craftiness”, Prov 1:4; 8:5, 12. In Proverbs it means to be wise in handling practical matters and exercising good judgment or common sense; being careful in regard to your own interests and about your conduct, being circumspective and discreet. It implies not only caution, but the capacity for judging in advance the probable results to your actions.
“Knowledge” is DAATH, דַּעַת, that means, “knowledge, perception, skill, discernment, understanding.” This is GNOSIS doctrine turned into EPIGNOSIS doctrine in the right lobe of your soul.
“Discretion” is MEZIMMAH, מְזִמָּה, that means, “thought, plan, purpose, or discretion.” In Proverbs it typically means discretion, Prov 1:4, where the Proverbs themselves give discretion to believers who receive its wisdom. Likewise, discretion will guard them, Prov 2:11. The word “discretion” suggests prudence but is coupled with self-restraint and sound judgment. It also means, “the ability to plan wisely,” as noted in Prov 3:21; 5:2.
Knowledge and discretion combined refers to mental agility, versatility, and skillfulness. The rest of your life always lies in the future, and future success depends on effective present planning.
- Hating Evil, Verse 13.
Prov 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.”
Here we have a description of the benefits of having “wisdom,” which is the analogy to “fearing the Lord”, Prov 1:7, 16:6; Job 28:28, which also means Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have an anthropopathism which attributes a human emotion, “hate” to non-human things; in this case God and His Word who do not literally hate.
The first “hate” in this passage is the Qal Infinitive Construct Verb SINAH, שִׂנְאָה, which is an intensified “hate” of the root Verb SANE, שָׂנֵא, used as the second “hate” in this verse. They both can mean, “to hate, hatred, or enmity.”
This should be our attitude toward evil and Satan’s Cosmic System, versus loving it or embracing it. The fact is, this will be your mental attitude, as a result of having God’s Word resident within your soul; you will grow to dislike sin and evil more and more.
“Evil” in both instances is RA that means, “evil or wicked.” Evil is the catch all phrase that then moves logically from a proud disposition, to the evil behavior it produces, and then to perverse speech that serves as a cover-up.
“Pride”- GEAH, גֵּאָה, is a hapaxlegomena that means it is used only here in Scripture. Pride is morally wrong because it is linked with presumption and defiant arrogance, which is opposite of the wise attitude advocated throughout Proverbs. It can refer to human pride, which is a self-confident attitude that throws off God’s rule to pursue selfish interests, cf. Prov 16:19; 29:23.
It is used in parallel with “arrogance,” which is GAON, גָּאוֹן, that means, “arrogance or pride” in regard to pomp and circumstance. Arrogance destroys a relationship with the LORD, perverts order, and leads to unethical behavior against one’s neighbor, cf. Job 35:12; Psa 10:2; 17:10; 73:6; 140:5.
Together these express the totality of pride’s contents, breadth, and scope. These two are set in juxtaposition to the “fear of the LORD.”
So she first notes pride and arrogance, because evil is based on these fundamental vices that refuse to submit to authority, cf. Prov 29:23; moreover, they are the evils to which shrewd and clever persons are especially prone.
“Perverted” is TAHPUKAH, תַּהְפֻּכָה, that means, “perversity or a perverse thing.” It is used only 10 times in the Old Testament, where most times “perversity” and “wisdom” are found in sharp contrast, as is the case here. As we have been noting, “wisdom” can save from perverse words and from those who rejoice in the perversity of evil, Prov 2:12, 14; and “wisdom” likewise hates perverse speech. It is no surprise then that the mouths of wicked men only know perversity, Prov 10:32.
The only occurrence of TAHPUKAH outside of Proverbs is in Deut 32:20, where the LORD proclaims demise for the perverse generation.
Deut 32:20, “Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness.”
So the major premise is: The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, vs. 13a.
The minor premise is: Wisdom hates evil, vs. 13b-c.
And the implied conclusion is: Wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
Since the “Fear of the Lord” is the primary quality required by this Book, Prov 1:7; 9:10, “wisdom” both distances herself from all three types of evil (arrogance, wicked deeds, and wicked speech) and identifies herself explicitly with the positive sense of the terms of vs. 12.
“Wisdom” says, “I hate” at the end to signify that these vices cannot cohabitate with her virtues.
So the benefit here is: we will “hate evil.” Evil is defined by pride and arrogance, the evil way and a perverted mouth, all of which “wisdom” hates, three of the seven things that are an abomination to the Lord, Prov 6:16-19
- Counsel to make courageous decisions, Verse 14.
Prov 8:14, “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.”
Here we have four more benefits of wisdom, “counsel, sound wisdom, understanding and power.” “Wisdom” implies that as owner of these virtues, she can bestow them on those who love her.
“Counsel” is ETSAH that means, “counsel, advice, or purpose.” This tells us that God’s Word is our Counselor. It gives us advice and counsel regarding every situation of life.
“Sound Wisdom” is not just CHOKMAH here, instead it is TUSHIYYAH that means, “sound or efficient wisdom, or abiding success.” This takes wisdom to its final results, where you will have success in the spiritual life and in human life, when you apply the wisdom of God’s Word.
“Understanding” is BANAH that means, “understanding, discernment, or insight.” This means you will know the situations of life for what they are either; evil or good, thereby possessing the ability to discern all situations, and from that vantage point be able to make good, righteous decisions.
“Power” is GEBURAH, that means, “strength, might, courage, valor, or bravery.” The LXX uses ISCHUS here for power, as there are four Greek words that can be used for power or strength. ISCHUS carries the connotation of having strength in reserve, which is the ability to rule and judge. It means you will have everything necessary and all the ability to have rulership over your own soul and to judge rightly all situations, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of sin and evil.
It can have the emphasis of “heroic strength,” and therefore can connote two things:
- “Valor” that comes from the language of warfare, (i.e., we are all part of the spiritual warfare of the Angelic Conflict), and makes a person brave, capable of confronting fearsome adversaries.
- The other thing GEBURAH connotes is the idea of capability, or of qualification, and therefore “valor”, cf. Micah 3:8.
Micah 3:8, “On the other hand I am filled with power – with the Spirit of the LORD – and with justice and courage (GEBURAH) to make known to Jacob his rebellious act, even to Israel his sin.”
Recall also that in Job 12:13; Isaiah 9:6; 11:2, our Lord is said to be of these four characteristics, and therefore benefits to our lives as wisdom is the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
Job 12:13, “With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding.”
Isa 9:6, “For 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.”
Isa 11:2, “The 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.”
1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Rulership Over Your Soul, (Five Categories), Vs. 15-16.
- In vs. 15-16, we have another category of benefits from having wisdom in our souls – Rulership and Authority.
Prov 8:15, “By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly.”
Here we have five Categories of Rulership identified, i.e., “kings, rulers, princes, nobles, and judges.”
Each category explains a unique way in which the believer is to understand the rulership over his soul that he has, and the authority he must exercise over his soul, given the rulership he has. As such there are four Categories of Authority “wisdom” provides as well; (note princes and nobles share “rule”).
The phrase “by me” is lady wisdom speaking once again, and tells us that these categories of rulership and authority are made possible only by God’s Word being resident within our souls. It is His Word, Bible Doctrine resident in your soul that allows you to exercise the four Categories of Authority over your soul, which includes, “to reign, decree justice, rule and judge rightly.”
So here “wisdom” presents proof of her value, which is, she is indispensable to good governing and rulership over our souls, since she is the source of all good advice, fruitful planning, insight, and strength, as noted in vs. 14.
As Solomon is speaking to his young son who would one day rule over the people of Israel, he brings to his attention the fact that rulership and authority are established by the lady wisdom, keeping in mind that the rulership in these verses assumes administration by a wise person and not by an impersonal code of laws.
Therefore, we too are to have rulership and authority over our souls by applying the wisdom of God’s Word, not in a rigid code of man-made religion and legalism with its do’s and don’ts, but as a living and breathing flow of life with the fluidity of the moment, as God has given us the responsibility to govern our own souls.
Let us see what the Five Categories of Rulership entail with their accompanying Four Categories of Authority to be exercised.
- “Kings Reign”, is MELEK MALAK. One application of this phrase is in the broad sense of the career of a particular king, as in a summary description of the reign of a king.
As we note this benefit, remember that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords, 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; 19:16. You and I, as members of the Royal Family of God (1 Peter 2:9) in our royal priesthood, are the lower case “kings” in that statement. Therefore, this benefit of “wisdom” is how to live as a king inside the Royal Family of God, which includes the Royal Family Honor Code that all Church Age believers should apply in daily life. This honor code is found in the wisdom of Scripture which we will note below.
- “Rulers decree justice.”
“Rulers” is the Qal Active Participle Verb RAZAN, רָזַן, that means, “to be weighty, be judicious, or be commanding.” It occurs only as a participle and is used as a substantive referring to a “dignitary or ruler.”
“Decree” is our second category of authority over our souls. It is the verb CHAQAQ, חָקַק, in the Poel (intensive action) Imperfect. Its root means, “to cut in, inscribe, decree, or govern.” The primary meaning of this verb is “to dig, to engrave,” which extends to the idea of writing and thus meaning, “to inscribe.” It refers to the making of a decree or legal statute, in Isa 10:1; Prov 8:15.
So it is speaking of the governing of your soul, based on having God’s decrees written on your heart, Prov 3:3; 7:3.
Prov 3:3, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Prov 7:1-3, “My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. 2Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
2 Cor 3:3, “Being manifested that you are a letter (epistle) of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
So what is to be “written or decreed” on our souls? Justice!
“Justice” is TSEDEQ, צֶדֶק, that can mean justice or righteousness. The idea of “what is right” is seen in Prov 1:3, as one of the words for what the study of “wisdom” should enable a person to be. Ultimately it refers to God’s standard of right conduct, not only in laws but in actions as well. Here we see the rulership principle over our own souls by having God’s Word in our souls, so that we do right things in right ways, exercising justice in all we do.
Then in Verse 16, the benefit category of “rulership” continues with the third, fourth and fifth category of rulership and the third and fourth categories of authority.
Prov 8:16, “By me princes rule, and nobles, all who judge rightly.”
- “Princes rule.”
Similar to “Kings Reign”, MELEK MALAK, above, here we have “Princes Rule” SAR SARAR.
“Princes” is the plural Noun SAR, שָׂר, that means, “prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain, or official,” whether political, military, or religious.
- “And Nobles” is the Adjective, NADIB, נָדִיב that means, “willing, generous, or noble” It is derived from the notion of one who is ready to give generously. As a noun it refers to those of noble birth, (i.e., we have been born again into the Royal Family of God.)
The word often denotes an attitude of the heart, which consents or agrees (often readily and cheerfully) to a course of action. In many other places, the term describes an individual as one of excellent moral character, so this is speaking about having Divine norms and standards in the heart of your soul based on God’s Word being resident within your soul.
“Rule” is the Qal Imperfect Verb form of the Noun SAR, which is SARAR, שָׂרַר, that simply means, “to rule.” It is used with both princes and nobles as nobles are attached with the WA Conjunction. “To rule” means: exercising an authoritative direction for conduct or procedure; a principle of conduct observed by a person or group; an established standard or habit of behavior; and keeping in proper limits and constraints.
So combined we are to be the captains of our souls, exercising rulership and authority over our Old Sin Nature, our thought processes, our feelings and emotions, with Divine norms and standards as born again believers of the Royal Family of God.
- “All who judge rightly.”
This is the “catch all” category, if one of the above did not satisfy, utilizing the Adjective KOL.
“Judge” is the Qal Active Participle Verb of SHAPHAT, שָׁפַט, that means, “to judge, to rule, govern, or decide.” Here we have both the ruler and the authority. The basic meaning of this verb in the Qal stem is “to make decisions” as a community leader, mainly in disputes between community members. Used as a noun it means, “to act like a law-giver or judge or governor.”
There was no separation of the judicial branch of government from the executive or legislative branch in the ancient Near East. Judging was a function of all kinds and levels of leadership, including the king. The Participle is used of judges in general, who could be various rulers or leaders, but especially those elders or officials who decided cases between God’s people. So this verb summarizes the functions of a ruler or leader as judge over others, Ex 2:14; 1 Sam 4:18; 2 Chron 1:10.
Finally, some passages use the verb SHAPHAT for “delivering from the power” of enemies, 2 Sam 18:19; therefore, lady wisdom provides deliverance of your soul over the power of sin and Satan’s cosmic system when applied.
2 Sam 18:19, “Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and bring the king (David) news that the LORD has freed (SHAPHAT) him from the hand of his enemies.”
“Rightly” is TSEDEQ once again and combined with SHAPHAT it means, “making good judgments or decisions.”
This tells us that we are to govern our own souls by making good decisions based on God’s Word each and every day, and in spiritual maturity, assist younger believers in issues regarding life, especially the spiritual life.
“Wisdom” takes our born again birth right of royal priests and ambassadors, being in union with the King of kings and Lord of lords through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and makes it effective for our lives so that we are overcomers in this life, i.e., victorious in the daily tactical battles of the Angelic Conflict within our souls.
1 Cor 11:28a – 31, “But a man must examine himself, … 31if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.”
All combined this tells us of the rulership and authority we are to have over our own souls. In order to perform this royal order, we need wisdom, God’s Word, to be resident within our souls. When we have His Word in our souls, we will understand and execute the Royal Family Honor Code, especially designed for the Church Age believer.
The Royal Family Honor Code (RFHC)
James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”
The RFHC is a system of spiritual integrity mandated by God and revealed by the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.
The RFHC relates to personal integrity on the part of believers in relationship to other persons. Integrity is adherence to spiritual, moral, and ethical principles related to truth (The Word of God) and honesty (personal integrity).
Two things are necessary for the application of Bible doctrine to experience, Rom 12:1-21; Phil 4:11-13; James 1:22-25.
- The attainment and function of Spiritual Self-Esteem (SSE).
- The function of the RFHC.
Phil 4:12-13, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
The RFHC is related to the Laws of Divine Establishment and Impersonal Love, Rom 13:8-10.
Rom 13:8-10, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Violations of the RFHC are found in Prov 6:16-19; 2 Tim 3:2-8.
The mode of operation of the RFHC demands grace, Rom 12:9-21.
Rom 12:19-21, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20″BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Further Principles of the Royal Family Honor Code
Phil 2:15-16, “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
In order to fulfill Phil 2:15-16, we must have “wisdom” (God’s Word) resident within our souls and apply it on a consistent basis. When we do, we are fulfilling the “royal law” of James 2:8.
The reason we are able to apply the Royal Family Honor Code is due to the precedent set by the Lord Jesus Christ during His First Advent, culminated by His completed work of the Father’s plan for our salvation on the Cross.
- Jesus Christ Himself is the basis for the fact that we have an honor code, 1 John 4:7-21.
- Jesus Christ now has three categories of royalty: Divine (Son of God), Jewish (Son of Man), and Battlefield (King of kings and Lord of Lords), 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; 19:16. This last category of royalty was won by His strategic victory over the Angelic Conflict upon the Cross. It necessitates the calling out of a royal family for Christ who is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
Rev 17:14, “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”
- To establish a family for our Lord’s third royal patent, the Church Age was inserted into the Jewish Age to call out the Royal Family. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit enters us into union with Christ making us spiritual aristocracy.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
- The believer is born again into a status quo of spiritual aristocracy. Therefore, you and I, as members of the Royal Family of God in our royal priesthood, are the lower case “kings” in the new royal title of our Lord. Therefore, the Church Age is the dispensation of the Royal Family of God, and we must have royal function.
- In order to function properly in our position of royalty we need to learn royal manners, customs and conduct.
- One of the benefits of “wisdom”, (God’s Word / Bible Doctrine), as noted in Prov 8:15-16, is that by it we learn how to live as kings inside the Royal Family of God. Therefore, found in God’s “wisdom” is the Royal Family Honor Code that all Church Age believers need to learn and apply to their daily lives.
- Jesus Christ left us this honor code for the privacy and protection of the Royal Family of God so that we can execute the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
- The RFHC is a supplement to Impersonal Love for all believers and other pertinent Problem Solving Devices of the Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God for our lives. The honor code is a supplement to, and an extension of, Impersonal Love for all believers, required by all believers. Therefore, as royalty we are to live by a royal code.
- The RFHC includes the advance to maturity. The honor code relates to Spiritual Self-Esteem [SSE], the first stage of spiritual adulthood, (Spiritual Autonomy [SA] and Spiritual Maturity [SM] are the other two). The honor code makes it possible for every believer who is positive to doctrine to advance to maturity.
As believers we need to grow up spiritually. In order to do so, God has given us the mind of His Son, Jesus Christ, called Bible Doctrine. As Bible doctrine is absolute truth from God, the recipients of Bible doctrine must not only apply that truth, but communicate it to each other in terms of that truth. Therefore, the RFHC centers around truth and integrity, as defined absolutely in His Word.
1 Peter 3:18, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Eph 4:15, “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head (of the royal family), Christ.”
The RFHC functions best where Spiritual Self-Esteem exists, Rom 12:1-21; Phil 4:11-13; James 1:22-25. It is the basis for resolving otherwise unsolvable problems; it becomes the base of operations for the effective application of Bible doctrine to experience. Therefore, with the attainment of SSE, the believer has learned enough Bible doctrine to make application to every experience of life and has the environment for fulfilling the pattern of application, which is:
Learning, the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine.
Thinking, the application of metabolized doctrine to experience.
Solving, understanding and using the problem solving devices.
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Summary of the first four benefits include:
Vs. 12 – Dwelling in Prudence and Discretion
Vs. 13 – Hating Evil
Vs. 14 – Counsel to make courageous decisions
Vs. 15-16 – Rulership over your soul
When we have “wisdom” in our souls, we will dwell with prudence and discretion, with self-restraint and sound judgment. We will hate evil, as defined by pride and arrogance, the evil way, and a perverted mouth. We will reign over our souls being the captains of our souls, exercising rulership and authority over our sin natures and thought processes to make courageous decisions for God with Divine norms and standards as born again believers of the Royal Family of God. And we will govern our souls by making good decisions based on God’s Word each and every day, having Divine norms and standards resident in our souls from the inculcation of Bible Doctrine (wisdom), and in spiritual maturity assist younger believers in issues regarding life, especially the spiritual life.
Next we turn to vs. 17-21, which are the 5th – 9th benefits of having wisdom, that tell us of wisdom’s gifts of spiritual and material glory for her lovers. Remember that these Proverbs do not necessarily represent absolute promises but true perspectives on life’s circumstances, such as “April showers bring May flowers” which is not a promise or a guarantee but a general rule or principle.
- A loving relationship with the Lord.
Here we have the 5th benefit of having wisdom resident within your soul.
Prov 8:17, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.”
Here we see that “wisdom” loves those whose love compels them to seek her.
“Love” is the Hebrew Verb AHEB, אָהֵב. Unlike the English term, the Hebrew word has less to do with emotion and more to do with actions.
As you know, love is one of the essences of God, and every action of God is an outcome of His love. Therefore, since “wisdom” is the thinking of God applied to life, every outcome of wisdom also results in love realized in our lives.
As this section shows, wisdom blesses those who love her and seek her. She first rewards us by making available her wisdom and, as we will see later, she rewards with tremendous wealth, honor, and glory in time and especially in the eternal state.
Mat 6:33-34, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
1 Cor 3:11-14, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.”
“Diligently seek” is the Verb SHACHAR, שָׁחַר. Here it is used in regard to “seeking wisdom.” As we have noted, “wisdom” is knowledge of the actions which embody the will of God. Therefore, “seeking wisdom” is the path to righteous living and reward, Prov 11:27.
Prov 11:27, “He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.”
Those who seek wisdom will “find” (MATSA), the wisdom of God with all of its benefits for life and eternity, as noted in the next verse.
On the other side of the coin, those who do not diligently and honestly seek “wisdom” will not find her, Prov 1:28, and as a result, will not find righteousness and reward, as also indicated in the closing of this Chapter in vs. 35-36. Cf. 1 Sam. 2:30; 2 Sam 22:26; Psa 18:26.
Prov 8:35-36, “For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. 36But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.”
“While Wisdom offers herself to all humanity, her offer is efficacious only for those whose hearts have been regenerated to love her.” (Bruce Waltke, New International Commentary.)
- Spiritual and Material Blessings – Logistical Grace Blessings.
The 6th benefit, as a result of having “wisdom” in your soul, is spiritual and material blessings.
Prov 8:18, “Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.”
Here we have four blessings that “wisdom” gives to those who love her and receive her. This compares to what we previously noted in, Prov 3:16, “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.”
- “Riches” is the noun OSHER, עשֶׁר, that means, “riches or wealth.”
This word is used to communicate the idea that God blesses the righteous and the diligent with riches and wealth, Psa 112:3.
Psa 112:3, “Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.”
The wise man considers himself wealthy because of his wisdom, Prov 10:4; 14:24.
Prov 10:4, “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
Prov 14:24, “The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools is foolishness.”
Along with honor and longevity, OSHER is a reward for the humble, Prov 22:4.
Prov 22:4, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life.”
Being humble is freedom from pride and arrogance. In Biblical humility, the independence of human power and ability is reduced to zero, so that dependence on the power and ability of God are increased to the maximum through the function of grace. Therefore, it is recognition of the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and submitting to that authority. Since the Bible is the mind of Christ, submission to the authority of our Lord is tantamount to consistent post-salvation renewing of your thought process. We submit by our daily intake of the Word of God (wisdom). The result then is grace orientation and humility.
Prov 15:33, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”
The riches that come to the possessor of wisdom are genuine, not artificial substitutes purchased with silver or gold.
- “Honor” is the noun KABOD, כָּבוֹד, that means, “glory, heaviness, or wealth.” Here it stands for “honor” in the sense of “heaviness” semantically extended to the weightiness of a person’s reputation and to the person himself. It is commonly used for the idea of “honor, respect, reputation, renown, or glory.” Gen 45:13; Prov 3:35.
So the blessing here is honor before the Lord and man, having a good reputation in the eyes of both, so far as it depends on you, Mat 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17; Rom 12:18. Being honored in a community is a product of one’s walk (conduct) rather than one’s wealth by itself.
- “Enduring wealth” is the third blessing made up from the Adjective ATHEQ, עָתֵק, used only here meaning, “enduring” or literally “surpassing or eminent”; and the Noun HON, הוֹן, meaning, “wealth or sufficiency.”
Here we see the logistical grace blessings of our Lord that will sustain us in life for both the spiritual battles we face and the needs we have every day, as well as the eternal blessings we will receive, 2 Cor 4:7; 9:8; 12:9; Eph 1:18-23; 2:7.
2 Cor 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”
2 Cor 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
2 Cor 12:9-10, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
So we see that those who are wise receive “riches and honor,” as well as “enduring wealth”, cf. Prov 8:21; 14:24; 15:6; 22:4, and prosperity.
The proper balance toward wealth is expressed in the wise man’s prayer of Prov 30:8-10.
- “Righteousness” is the noun TSEDAQAH, צְדָקָה the means “righteousness or justice.”
This is the blessing of walking in our positional sanctification; walking experientially sanctified in the righteousness of God each and every day, by means of the filling of God the Holy Spirit and wisdom, (God’s Word applied from your soul).
All combined we see the logistical grace blessings from our Lord that we appropriate, as a result of having “wisdom” resident within our souls.
Interestingly, “prosperity” is literally “righteousness” in vs. 20, and Godly living is the major benefit from having wisdom.
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Logistical Grace Blessings
Mat 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-34 sums up for us the essence of Logistical Grace Blessings and our faith-rest orientation toward them.
In those verses we see the analogy of God’s provision for birds and flowers. This care is not by means of miraculous events but rather the natural process of the earth, which He has designed and created and in the case of the birds, their use of their faculties.
Therefore, although God may work a miracle in your life to supply your needs from time to time, it mostly is the natural, or we could say, the routine process of God’s daily provisions for your life.
Logistics is a military word, which refers to the military science of supply, provision, and planning of troop movement. It is the science of supporting troops in advance, retreat, evacuation, reconnaissance, attack, exploitation, and pursuit. So right away we see the analogy of God’s provision for the believer in all aspects of the spiritual warfare we are in as part of the Angelic Conflict.
Logistical Grace Blessings are defined as Divine planning, Divine support, Divine provision, and Divine blessing for the execution of Plan of God by the Royal Family for the fulfillment of God’s will, purpose, and plan.
Logistical Grace includes three factors of Divine provision: life support, blessing, and Divine provision. All combine to sustain your life and provide for your success to be an overcomer in the daily tactical battles of the Angelic Conflict.
Therefore, God provides: food, clothing, shelter, and His Word so that you have everything necessary to win the day! He has given every believer 40 Things at the moment of their salvation, a Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the Problem Solving Devices, His Word, and His Spirit, and He provides all the physical necessities to sustain your life.
2 Cor 9:8 defines Logistical Grace, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything (logistical grace support and blessing), you may have an abundance for every good deed, (Divine good of intrinsic value, Divine fruit production).”
Logistical Grace is for the perception and execution of the Plan of God, where everything is provided so that every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute God’s Plan for their lives with the result of glorifying Him.
Logistical Grace includes Six Categories of Support.
- Life-Sustaining Support is provided by God. God sustains the life of every believer on earth. No believer can depart from life apart from God’s will. Therefore, all the forces of hell cannot remove one believer apart from God’s permission. God also provides all that it takes to support life.
Psa 48:14, “This God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death.”
Lam 3:20-25, “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. 21This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. 22The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” 25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.”
- Temporal Needs such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, environment, time, a job, etc. are provided by God, Mat 6:25-33; Phil 4:19.
Phil 4:19, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
- Security Provisions is taught in the doctrine of Eternal Security, John 10:28-30. Your security is from God. This includes the assignment of guardian angels, Psa 91:7-14; Mat 18:10; Heb 1:13-14, and the provision of the laws of Divine establishment for freedom to advance to maturity. If positive to Bible doctrine, God provides the security for you to make that advance, as in the “wall of fire”, Zech 2:5, or “hedge”, Job 1:10; Isa 5:5.
1 Peter 1:5, “We are kept by the power of God.”
- Spiritual Riches are provided by God, such as our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the Eleven Problem Solving Devices, and the unique factors of the Church Age. It also includes the provision of doctrinal teaching from your right Pastor, privacy and security necessary to maintain positive volition, the Royal Family Honor Code, and discernment to see distractions and set them aside. Spiritual provision of an Evangelist, a Pastor, the privacy of your priesthood, the canon, and a local church are all provided for you.
Eph 1:3, “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.”
- Equal Privilege and Equal Opportu These blessings are given to every believer, both winners and losers. These are not to be confused with escrow blessings which are far greater.
- God preserves us from dea Heb 2:14; Psa 33:18; 56:13; 116:8
Psa 33:18, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear (respect) Him, on those who wait for His lovingkindness (grace) to deliver their soul from death, and to keep alive in famine (depression).”
Psa 56:13, “For you have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, that I may walk with God in the light of life.”
To walk with God in the light of life means you know about logistical grace so that you appreciate it, and therefore utilize it.
Psa 116:8, “You have rescued my soul from death.”
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We continue with the Nine Benefits of Wisdom, when it (wisdom) is resident within our souls by looking at the Seventh Benefit in vs. 19, which is Divine Good Production.
- Verse 19– Divine Good Production
Prov 8:19, “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than choicest silver.”
As we were told in vs. 10-11, “wisdom” in your soul is better than all the gold and silver and riches of this world combined. Here we see that the production of that “wisdom” in your soul produces things that are also far better than what the gold and silver of this world can produce. The things produced from “wisdom” are called “fruit”.
“Fruit” is the noun PERI, פְּרִי that is derived from the Hebrew verb PARAH, פָּרָה, that means, “to be fruitful, to bear, or produce fruit,” and therefore comes to mean simply “fruit.” PERI’s usage ranges from the produce of the ground from plants and trees, all the way to offspring from animals or humans. It is also used for consequences and rewards for actions taken. So it means something that comes forth from another!
With PERI we have a double comparison construction utilizing MIN, מִן, for “better than”, in comparison to “gold”, CHARUTS, חָרוּץ, and “pure gold”, PAZ, פַּז. Just like the “better than” proverbs, Prov 22:1; 25:7, 24, these verses claim that something intangible is better than what can be held and spent. Also, like gold and silver, wisdom can be used; yet unlike precious metals, its user’s supply increases even as it is “spent.”
Interestingly ZAHAV is the most common Hebrew word for “gold” but is not used here. When CHARUTS is employed, it too means gold but can elude to great wealth, and when PAZ is used, it means refined gold and is generally in the context of comparison. In Psa 21:3 it eludes to celebrating the strength of the king, due to his relationship with the LORD. This reminds us of the link here with Prov 8:15-16, as wisdom makes us royalty due to our relationship with the Lord.
The second half of this verse doubly emphasizes Divine Good Production with the word “yield or produce” from the Hebrew noun TEBUAH, תְּבוּאָה, an economic term denoting, “produce, gain, profits, yield, fruit, or results.” Here it is Divine Good Production. In this half the comparison, MIN, is with “choicest silver”, BACHAR KESEPH, בָּחַרכֶּסֶף, which also means great wealth. Therefore, Divine Good Production, “fruit” or “yield” is far, far better than any humanistic wealth or riches of this world.
As we noted in Prov 1:31, the evil person produces evil things, and therefore produces “bad fruit”, yet here we are speaking of the good production that comes from having “wisdom” applied from your soul.
Our Lord stated in Luke 6:43-45, “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45The good man out of the good treasure of his heart, (wisdom in the right lobe of your soul), 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.”
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Principles of Divine Good Production – The Fruit of the Spirit.
There are three types of good in history:
- Human good: the production of good by human power and means which is evil. It began in the Garden of Eden right after the fall with operation fig leaf. Evil is the thinking of Satan, while human good is the application of that thinking. Human good is the production of the unbeliever and reversionistic believer.
- Moral good: the observance of the laws of Divine Establishment, can be produced by both believer and unbeliever.
- Divine good: the fruit of the Spirit which is the production of the growing or mature believer.
“Good Fruit” is the analogy used for Divine Good Production in Scripture, which is also called the “fruit of the Spirit” in Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
What is interesting about “Christian service” is that it can be fulfilled in the power of your own ability, your human energy, and your personality rather than the power of God, or it can be produced through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the application of God’s Word. As such, anything done with wrong motivation or not under the filling of the Holy Spirit is not Divine Good and is instead Human Good. We need to do a right thing in a right way, and that means we must be filled with the Holy Spirit and apply God’s Word to the situations of life and any service we give to God, in order for it to be “Divine Good.”
Divine Good is produced by the Balance of Residency, which is the filling of the Holy Spirit plus maximum Bible doctrine applied from the right lobe of your soul (heart). Therefore, for the Church Age believer, we have two power options (the filling of the Holy Spirit and the application of God’s Word) that when working together in our souls have the outcome of Divine Good Production; the fruit of the Spirit.
Our Lord also said in Mat 7:17, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
The production of Divine Good is related to the function of GAP, (the Grace Apparatus for Perception), 2 Thes 2:16-17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Titus 2:7, cf. 2 Tim 2:21; Col 1:9 10.
2 Thes 2:16-17, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.”
2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate (ARTIOS – fully qualified, complete, fitted), equipped (EXARTIZO) for every good work.”
Titus 2:7-8, “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”
The only production which counts as Divine Good is production based on something in your soul, which is there as a result of grace. The filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine exist in your soul as a result of grace. Therefore, producing Divine Good demands that you have right priorities. Right priorities are consistent Divine viewpoint of life, which originates from perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. When you have the right mental attitude plus the filling of the Holy Spirit, you are in the will of God and will produce Divine Good, John 12:24-25; 15:1-8; James 3:17-18.
Our Lord said in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you, (Positional Sanctification). 4Abide in Me, and I in you (Experiential Sanctification). As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
James 3:17-18, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Our Lord also said in John 12:24-25, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”
Keep in mind that a sapling does not produce fruit, but a tree does. Therefore, there must be some kind of spiritual growth in the believer before there can be the production of Divine Good. And as we have noted, all production must come from within the boundary of Bible doctrine. It is the will of God that you learn doctrine before you produce Divine Good. You do not put baby believers to work doing anything, first you teach them and when the baby grows up, it will work and produce naturally as a result of all the training it received.
Our Lord said in Luke 8:14-15, “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” Cf. Mat 13:23; Mark 4:20.
The production of Divine Good is also related to Logistical Grace Blessings as noted in Prov 8:17-18. In 2 Cor 9:8 “all sufficiency,” refers to God providing everything necessary to keep you alive to take in Bible doctrine, “so that you can have an abundance of every production of Divine Good.”
2 Cor 9:8 defines Logistical Grace, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything (Logistical Grace support and blessing), you may have an abundance for every good deed, (Divine Good Production).”
1 Cor 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
The production of Divine Good is an issue in the Angelic Conflict. It is the tactical victories of the Angelic Conflict.
Rom 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by the production of Divine Good.”
Divine Good Production is related to the “royal law”, (James 2:8), of the Royal Family Honor Code.
John 15:16-17, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17This I command you, that you love one another.”
Divine Good Production is related to the believer being placed in union with Jesus Christ, Rom 7:4-6; Eph 5:7-11.
Rom 7:4-6, “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
Eph 5:7-11, “Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.”
Discipline received and learned from produces Divine Good, Heb 12:11.
Heb 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Divine Good is the production of the Royal Priesthood, Heb 13:15-16.
Heb 13:15-16, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
The believer is designed to produce Divine Good. Eph 2:8-10.
Eph 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
- In eternity past, God knew how much Bible doctrine you would have at any moment, so he prefabricated all the Divine Good you would produce and entered this information into His Divine decrees with your name on them, Rom 8:28-30.
The production of Divine Good is related to the believer’s honor, Prov 8:18; 2 Tim 2:21.
Our eternal blessings and rewards will be based on the Divine Good we produced here on earth, Prov 8:18, 21; John 4:36; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Col 1:9-12
John 4:36, “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”
2 Cor 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Col 1:9-12, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”
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- Verse 20 – Walking Inside the Plan of God.
We now turn to our eighth Benefit of having “wisdom” in our souls, which is to walk in the Plan of God for your life.
Prov 8:20, “I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice.”
“I Walk” is the first common singular verb HALAK, הָלַךְ, in the Piel Imperfect, for intensive ongoing action, “I keep on walking.” Here it has the sense of forward motion inside God’s Plan for your life.
“The way” is the noun ORACH, אֹרַח, that means, “pathway.” A prime function of the word is to describe the way or path of life or of death; here it is “life”. Therefore, the word can mean, “way or lifestyle.” For example, Psa 27:11, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path.” Cf. Psa 25:10; 44:18.
Theologically, ORACH is used to contrast the life activities or character orientation of the sinner with the obedient, godly person. Essentially, one chooses one or the other “path,” but as we have seen, there are sure and certain consequences which result from that choice.
Psa 25:4, “Your ways, O Yahweh, cause me to know; your paths teach me.”
True life is found when following God’s path (His righteous character) and living inside His plan for your life.
This is emphasized in the connected noun construction with the word for “righteousness”, TSEDAQAH, צְדָקָה, that has the basic idea of conforming to a certain standard or expectation.
Joel 2:23 uses TSEDAQH and is translated “vindication” in the NASB, but literally means, “for or of righteousness.”
Joel 2:23 NASB, “So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the LORD your God; for He has given you the early rain (Autumn) for your vindication (TSEDAQAH – righteousness). And He has poured down for you the rain, the early (Autumn) and latter rain (Spring) as before.”
BDB translates this “for prosperity,” and the CEV as the LORD being “generous.”
We saw this word in Prov 8:18, as “righteousness,” but the NIV translates it as “prosperity,” and the CEV as “successful.” Therefore, TSEDAQAH can have the sense of an appropriate amount or satisfying the expectation, and even going beyond to providing well-being and perhaps honor, as it is parallel to in Prov 8:18.
“Righteousness” is one of God’s Divine attributes and is His values and character in action, Jer 9:24. In Psa 40:10, it is parallel with his faithfulness, salvation, loving-kindness (grace), and truth. He loves righteousness, Psa 33:5, and desires that we too walk in righteousness.
As such, we are blessed through the Grace Pipeline of our Lord by His righteousness. He can only bless us when we too are operating in His righteousness. Otherwise His righteousness brings parental Divine discipline.
“In the midst” is a compound word with BE, “in”, and TAWEK, תָּוֶךְ, “middle.” TAWEK is most commonly used with the preposition BE with the resultant meaning “in the middle of, inside, into, between, among.” We could also say, “in the sphere of” representing the mode of operation we are in.
“Paths” this time we have NETHIYBAH, נְתִיבָה, a feminine noun indicating “a path, pathway, or wake.” In the plural here, it indicates well-traveled paths or roads, highways, Judges 5:6 and figuratively, it indicates the paths of life, Job 19:8; of ethical and moral guidance, Psa 119:105; 142:3, etc.
As we have seen consistently throughout this poem, we have another double emphasis regarding walking inside the Plan of God for your life.
I particularly like the analogy of the last definition of this word, “wake,” which is the foam and waves left in the water after someone or a boat passes through it. Speaking of God, Job 41:32; Isa 43:16, uses NETHIYBAH this way.
Job 41:32, “Behind him he makes a wake to shine; one would think the deep to be gray-haired.”
But here it is used for the believer who is going forward inside of God’s Plan for their life, and indicates the impact we will have on others, as we go forward in God’s Plan for our lives, Psa 119:105; Prov 12:28; Isa. 42:16.
It indicates the path of wisdom that the all men, especially the believer, should follow, Prov 3:17.
“Justice” is the Noun MISHPAT, מִשְׁפָּט, that means, “judgment, justice, or ordinance.” It stands for following God’s Word in His Plan for your life so that you make good decisions on a consistent basis to walk in His righteousness. It is also a description of good government, reminding us of the rulership and authority we are to have over our souls, a noted in Prov 8:15-16.
So all combined, this verse tells us of the benefit of having God’s Word resident within our souls, that being to walk in His plan for our lives. But it does not only exhort us to walk in it, but reminds us of how to walk in it, in the sphere of His righteousness and justice. And as we do, His grace pipeline will be wide open to bless us both in time and eternity, as the last verse of the nine benefits tells us.
- Verse 21 – Escrow Blessings for Time and Eternity.
Here we have the Ninth and final benefit of having “wisdom” in your soul found in our list, which is to receive the distribution of your escrow blessing for both time and eternity.
Prov 8:21, “To endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.”
“Endow” is the Verb NACHAL, נָחַל, that means, “to receive, to take property as a permanent possession, to take possession of, or to inherit” It is used extensively regarding the giving of the promised land of Canaan to Israel. In the Hiphil Infinitive, it is a causative verb and means, “to cause to take possession,” which the Lord did as He gave Israel possession of the land, Deut 1:38; 3:28.
“Wealth” is the Substantive Particle YESH, יֵשׁ, that means, “There is, what is, existence, substance, or presence.”
Keil and Delitzsch note that “it denotes possessions and goods. But since this use of the word does not elsewhere occur (therefore Hitzig explains ישׁ = ישׁלי, I have it = presto est), and here, where Wisdom speaks, ישׁ connects itself in thought with תּוּשִׁיָּה, it will at least denote real possession (as we also are wont to call not every kind of property, but only landed property, real possession), such possession as has real worth, and that not according to commercial exchange and price, but according to sound judgment, which applies a higher than the common worldly standard of worth.” (Commentary on the Old Testament).
Therefore, with NACHAL we could say that “for those who love (AHEV) wisdom they will be caused to take possession of the possession, i.e. what exists.” From that we understand this to mean that we will receive our escrow blessings predesigned by God from eternity past.
This sentence ends with the desire of “wisdom” (God), to give us our escrow blessings.
“I may fill” is MALE מָלֵא, that means, “to be full, to fill” in the Piel Imperfect for the ongoing intensive action of God filling us with our escrow blessings. This reminds us of Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return”, regarding our escrow blessings.
“Treasuries” is the noun OTSAR, אוֹצָר that means, “treasury, storehouse, depository, etc.” The term is used describing both sacred and royal treasures, speaking of both our priesthood and ambassadorship as members of the Royal Family of God. The temple treasury contained items made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and precious stones, 1 Chron 29:29:7-8, reminding us of 1 Cor 3:10-15, the promise of escrow blessings in the eternal state.
In many places this word is used in scenes of the treasuries of Israel being carried away by other nations due to their reversionism, just as your escrow blessings will go to others if you reside in reversionism signified by not loving wisdom. This too reminds us of the parable of the Talents in Luke 25:14-29, especially vs. 28.
This word not only connotes blessing in eternity but also in time, as it is used of provisions needed to support the priesthood and basic logistical grace blessings, Prov 21:20; Neh 10:37-39; 12:44; 13:12-13; Mal 3:10.
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Principles of Escrow Blessings
There are four parts to the definition of escrow.
An escrow is a written agreement entered into by three parties: the grantor (God the Father), the grantee (you), and the depositary (our Lord Jesus Christ as the escrow officer), for the transfer of certain benefits.
Eph 3:8 tells us that our escrow blessings are, “The inexhaustible or unfathomable riches in Christ.”
This is what the escrow blessings deposited by God the Father in eternity past are called, “inexhaustible riches”, which have been deposited with or in Christ.
The sealed agreement of God the Father as the grantor, generally accompanied by the deed, bond, or chattel to be conveyed, is made contingent on some future happening or on the performance of some act by the grantee, and is delivered to the depositary and held by him pending the occurrence of that event or the performance of the required act by the grantee.
Therefore, God first created the blessings, even before He expressed His sovereign will in election, and before He designed the predesigned protocol plan in predestination, Eph 1:3.
Eph 1:2 3, “Grace to you for your benefit and prosperity (escrow blessings) from God the Father (the grantor of our escrow blessings) and our Lord Jesus Christ (the depositary for escrow blessings). Worthy of praise and glorification is the God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.”
When the event has taken place or the grantee has performed the specified act, the depositary delivers to him the agreement and the deposit is held.
The depositary or custodian is allowed no discretion, but must follow strictly the terms of the agreement as it concerns the other two parties.
The sealed agreement of God the Father as the grantor is found in the verses which use the phrase, “The riches of His glory” and “blessed us with every spiritual blessing.”
Eph 1:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the confidence of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance to the saints.”
Eph 3:16, “That He would give you on the basis of the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner person.”
Phil 4:19, “My God will supply (make full, fill up) every need of yours on the basis of His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Col 1:27, “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you, the confidence of glory.”
In 1 Cor 2:9, escrow blessings are a part of our portfolio of invisible assets, “However, as it stands written, ‘Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’.”
Prov 8:18, “With me (Bible doctrine) are riches and honor (for time), enduring wealth and prosperity (for eternity).”
Our escrow of blessings were transferred in eternity past by the grantor, God the Father, and delivered to the depositary, Jesus Christ, pending the performance of the grantee, the Church Age believer in the predesigned protocol plan of God.
- Temporal blessings on deposit are transferred to the believer when he fulfills the Plan of God in time, not to be confused with logistical grace blessings given to all believers.
- Eternal blessings are transferred to the mature believer after the Rapture at the BEMA (Judgment) Seat of Christ, where the winner is awarded special rewards, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 2-3.
The date of our escrow blessings is eternity past. The conditions of the escrow are fulfilled by us in the execution of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
Justification is the mechanics for the transfer of temporal blessings, (via the grace pipeline); glorification is the mechanics for the transfer of eternal blessings, Rom 8:30.
Rom 8:30, “And these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”
Your advance to spiritual maturity inside the Plan of God is the contingent for the transfer of your blessings out of escrow to you. Spiritual maturity is the point where we change our focus from the lesser blessings of logistical grace and move into the sphere of superior blessings of supergrace, Eph 3:20; Phil 4:12.
Phil 4:12-13, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Eph 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”
Therefore, as the grantee, under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized Bible doctrine, advances toward, and attains spiritual maturity, he receives the first installment of blessings from the depositary (Jesus Christ). The second installment is conveyed to him at the BEMA (Judgment) Seat of Christ, 2 Cor 5:10.
2 Cor 5:10, “For we must all (believers only are in view here) appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good (Divine Good) or bad (Human Good, sin, and evil).”
God’s highest and best is in escrow for you, and He has provided you with equal privilege in the Royal Family of God and equal opportunity in the Plan of God to receive these escrow blessings.
Rom 10:12, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.” cf. Col 3:11
Gal 3:28-29, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”
Rom 2:10-11, “But glory and honor and peace to everyone who does (Divine) good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is no partiality with God.
Your escrow blessings are actually a conveyance from the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, the depositary, to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ in you by virtue of your union with Him. So the phrase, “in Christ” has added significance as both Positional Truth and Escrow Truth. As He Himself said, “I am the truth…”
The challenge to obtain your Escrow Blessings is found in Heb 10:35-36.
Heb 10:35-36, “Therefore, do not throw away (as worthless) your confidence, which (keeps on having) a great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised (your escrow blessings).”
The greater blessings in life are not a matter of prayer, but the execution of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
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Summary of the Nine Benefits of Wisdom Resident Within Your Soul.
The Pattern of the Spiritual Life:
Notice the Pattern given to us in the Nine Benefits of Wisdom being resident within our souls. It basically outlines the Spiritual Life.
Nine Benefits of Wisdom!
- Dwell in Prudence and Discretion, 12.
- Hate Evil, 13.
- Counsel to make courageous decisions with power to spare, 14.
- Rulership over your soul, 15-16.
- A loving relationship with the Lord, Vs 17.
- Spiritual and Material Blessings, 18.
- Divine Good Production, 19.
- Walking Inside the Plan of God, 20.
- Escrow Blessings for Time and Eternity, 21.
In essence, when we have God’s Word (wisdom) resident within our souls, we will abide in Christ and function and operate inside God’s Plan for our lives. As Church Age believers, we also must be filled with God the Holy Spirit in order to execute the unique plan of God for the Church Age believer. With the filling of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom resident within your soul, you will function in the Nine Benefits of wisdom. The pattern and progression to execute that unique spiritual life is given in this list of nine.
When you have wisdom in your soul, the first benefit it has for you is its application. Wisdom does you no good, if you do not apply it. Here we have application of wisdom in terms of making great decisions on a consistent basis, vs. 12, determining what things you should be involved in and what you should not, who you should associate with and who you should not, etc.
From there we see our decision making taken up a notch, where the second benefit is the hating of evil in vs. 13. This means that because of prudence and discretion in your soul from wisdom, you will recognize evil when it is near, around, or in your life, with the benefit of desiring to distance yourself from it immediately.
As we distance ourselves from evil, the Word of God is now free to counsel us even more so, as the third benefit, vs. 14, providing sound wisdom in order to make courageous decisions in life, as we begin to advance in spiritual maturity. We are no longer “tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine,” we now have spiritual self-esteem and are steadfast in our spiritual walk. The added bonus here is that we will have power in reserve to be an overcomer in this life.
With that counsel, wisdom, understanding, and power, we then have Rulership over our souls, the fourth benefit, vs. 15-16. No longer is sin or the sin nature in control of our souls, we are by utilizing the power of God’s Word to defeat sin and temptation, Heb 4:12.
Now that we rule our souls by the wisdom of God, we enter into a loving relationship with the Lord, the fifth benefit, vs. 17. Because we have an absence of sin and evil in our thought process and lives, we are able to have a wonderful relationship with the righteousness of God. Likewise, because we are living experientially sanctified, we have a fantastic relationship with the Holy Word, the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a result of that relationship based on our experiential sanctification, we are now in a place of blessing from God both spiritually and materially as the sixth benefit, vs. 18. Because we are operating in the righteousness of God, His grace pipeline is able to bless us in both time and eternity, along with the continued provisions of His logistical grace blessings, which enable us to go forward in His plan.
With God’s logistical grace blessings and greater grace blessings, we are empowered to produce Divine Good, the Fruit of the Spirit, the seventh blessing, vs. 19, on a consistent basis.
When we do, we are absolutely walking inside the Plan of God for our lives, the eighth blessing, vs. 20, which also means we have a Personal Sense of Destiny.
Walking in God’s Plan, having a personal sense of destiny, qualifies us for the distribution of our escrow blessings for both time and eternity, the ninth benefit, vs. 21, having satisfied the terms of the escrow agreement. This also speaks to our ultimate sanctification, when we are brought home in eternal glory and receive our resurrection bodies that are then decorated at the BEMA Seat of Jesus Christ with our eternal rewards that we will adorn for all of eternity to the glory of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 15:41-42.
Summary of the Pattern:
So in these nine benefits of “wisdom” found in Prov 8:12-21, we have the desired pattern for the believer’s life after their salvation. It begins with:
- The application of God’s Word that leads to,
- Removing evil from your life that leads to,
- The advance toward maturity in the spiritual life that leads to,
- Rulership and authority over your soul that leads to,
- A loving relationship with God living in His Word that leads to,
- Blessings and rewards to provide for further spiritual growth and impact that leads to,
- Producing Divine Good; the fruit of the Spirit that leads to,
- A personal sense of destiny walking in righteousness and justice that leads to,
- Fulfilling the contract so that our Escrow blessings for time and eternity can be distributed to us that leads to the glorification of God for all of eternity.
Numerology of the Pattern:
Finally, comparing each of the Nine Benefits to its corresponding number and equating that number to what it means in scripture, (see E.W. Bullinger’s book “Number in Scripture” for more details on what numbers mean in Scripture), we see that pattern confirmed.
1 = Unity – Application of Bible Doctrine.
2 = Division – Hating evil.
3 = Divine Perfection – Advance toward Maturity.
4 = Material completeness – Rulership and authority.
5 = Grace – A loving relationship with God.
6 = Man – Logistical and other blessings we receive.
7 = Spiritual Perfection – Producing Divine Good.
8 = Superabundant New Beginnings – a Personal Sense of Destiny.
9 = Judgment – Distribution of your Escrow Blessings.
So we see that the Word of God is alive and powerful, incredibly beneficial to our lives!
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Now turning back to our main outline, we have the 3rd reason why Bible Doctrine should by the number priority in our lives.
- Reason Number 3, as to why we should choose wisdom above all else: Wisdom’s origin, antiquity, and work, vs. 22-31.
We begin the third and final reason for choosing “wisdom” above all else.
The relationship of “wisdom” to the creation stated in Prov 3:19-20 is further developed here as another reason why she (wisdom) should be our number one priority in life. Why we should be Occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Prov 8:22-31 “wisdom” is exalted based on her antiquity, by the utilization of many temporal terms in these passages (e.g., “before, not yet, and beginning”). In Israel, old age (the elderly) deserved honor and respect, Prov 16:31; 20:29, and here we see that “wisdom” is older than creation itself, and is therefore worthy of our utmost respect. Likewise, her students should attend to all of her teachings most carefully.
As Bruce Waltke quotes Kayatz, (Studien zu Proverbien 1-9, pp. 93-95.), “In other Egyptian texts one’s patent of nobility is based on a preexistence in comparison to creation. Therefore, Wisdom’s antiquity before creation bestows on her the highest rank, dignity, and authority.” (New International Commentary.)
As an eyewitness of the creation of all things, this parallels the earlier statement that “wisdom” was part of the process of creation, Prov 3:19-20. Therefore, “wisdom” understands the secrets of existence, so that her counsel is in line with the way things really are. She alone has the knowledge that makes her competent to counsel, because only one who has observed creation from its beginning knows the whole story and has the knowledge to counsel others.
Van Leeuwen notes, “In the human realm, only long experience gives insight into human nature and knowledge of individuals,” cf. Prov 20:29. (Van Leeuwen, Proverbs, p. 92.)
Therefore, this comprehensive knowledge makes her competent to speak dogmatically, and one who all of humanity should stop to listen to!
Kidner stated: “You have to be godly to be wise; and this is not because godliness pays, but because the only wisdom by which you can handle everyday things in conformity with their nature is the wisdom by which they were divinely made and ordered.” (Kidner, Proverbs, p. 32)
There are two main points regarding “wisdom” in this section:
- Wisdom’s existence “before” creation of the heavens and the earth, 22-26,
- Wisdom’s existence “when” or “during” the creation of the heavens and earth, 27-30a.
This section is then completed with “wisdom’s” celebration, delight, and joy, during and after creation, representing herself as an active worshiper, vs. 30b-31. In other words, the Son rejoiced in the creation of the world and man.
These two halves are linked by a thematic chiasm:
A, “Wisdom’s” antiquity, vs. 22-23;
B, The negative state of the creation, vs. 24-26;
B′, The positive presentation of the creation, vs. 27-29;
A′, “Wisdom’s” celebration of humanity’s origins, vs. 30-31.
Our outline for this section includes:
Wisdom existed before Creation, vs. 22-26.
- The negative state of the creation, vs. 24-26, (i.e. before things were created).
Wisdom existed during Creation, vs. 27-30a.
- The positive presentation of the creation, vs. 27-29, (i.e. while things were being created).
Wisdom’s celebration of humanity’s origins, vs. 30b-31.
- Wisdom Existed Before Creation, vs. 22-26.
Here we are told of God’s creative act of the earth with four analogies in comparison to the existence of “wisdom”, indicating she existed before them all.
Prov 8:22, “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old.”
“Possessed” is the Verb QANAH, קָָנה that means, “to acquire, to get, possess, buy, or create.” Here it is the Qal Perfect form that means past completed action performed by the LORD – YHVH, יְהָוה. Throughout the Old Testament this word is used in the commercial sense of buying things, yet Proverbs uses the noncommercial connotation of “to acquire, to obtain, or to possess” wisdom, Prov 1:5, and “knowledge”, Prov 18:15.
Remember that God is not man who gradually gains knowledge and wisdom over time. God is Omniscient, Eternal, Infinite, and Immutable, which means He knows everything, always has known everything, His knowledge is without limit and He is unchanging (He never gains or loses knowledge). Therefore, God did not gradually gain knowledge in eternity past, but he “possessed” that knowledge from eternity past. So these verses are figurative means of describing “wisdom’s” existence.
In context here, the Lord possessed the “wisdom” of His Word “at the beginning of His way” (RESHITH DEREK), which means when he began to create the heavens and the earth, “before His works of old.”
“Before” is the Masculine Singular Noun QEDEM, קֶדֶם that literally means, “east, in front of, that which is before, formerly, antiquity, etc.” This is where we gain our title, (i.e., “Wisdom” is exalted based on her antiquity.) So here QEDEM means, wisdom existed before “the earliest” of God’s creative works.
“His Works” is the verb MIPHAL, מִפְעָל, especially referring to the “works” of God. In its three Old Testament occurrences, Psa 46:8; 66:5; and here, it occurs in the plural and is only used of God’s works.
“Of old” is the Preposition MIN, “of, from, out of, or more than”, with the Adverb AZ that means, “then, at that time, since.” Therefore, “wisdom” was with God well before He began His creative acts.
In the next four, vs. 23-26, we see the negative state of the creation, (i.e. before things were created), which emphasizes the “before” factor of “wisdom’s” existence.
These verses list foundational events in the history of creation. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, nor is it designed to correspond directly with other Biblical statements of creation, e.g., Gen 1:1-2:3; Psa 104:5-9. The emphasis is on the elements of the physical world, earth, water, sea, where the creation of humanity is implied in vs. 31b.
Prov 8:23, “From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.”
Our first analogy speaks of a time before the creation of the earth, yet “wisdom” existed.
“From everlasting” is the Preposition MIN with the Noun OLAM, עוֹלָם that means, “forever, eternity, perpetual, something everlasting, long duration, antiquity, etc.” It often refers to undefined time, such as the distant past of an ancient boundary marker. Therefore, the Word of God existed in eternity past, before the creation of the heavens and the earth.
“I was established” is the Verb NASAK, נָסַךְ that typically means, “to pour out, to anoint, to cast, set, or install.” The main meaning is to pour out as a libation or drink offering. That is what the Word of God has been to you and I, an offering of God to anoint us as His children. NASAK can also mean, “to cast” from metal, such as the goldsmith who casts silver chains, an analogy of the Creator and Ruler God, in Isa 40:19.
Here it is in the Niphal Perfect (passive – completed action) where “wisdom” has received the action of the verb. “Wisdom’s” role is entirely passive, having already been established.
Typically, in the Niphal, the verb means, “to be anointed, to be consecrated, or to be exalted”, all of which wisdom has been for our benefit. She was anointed by God from everlasting, from the beginning of creation.
Finally, NASAK can mean the covering that will protect the people as a picture of material woven or intertwined that would keep out rain, sun, or other harmful things. As such, it connotes “wisdom’s” close proximity and relationship to the Lord, being His very mind.
In our verse, it indicates a picture of God’s Word having been woven together from before the creation of the heavens and the earth, from before the beginning of time, having been anointed as our protector from sin and evil.
“From the beginning” MIN with ROSH for “first or head”, indicates the creative act.
“From the earliest times of the earth” is MIN QEDEM ERETS, once again, to indicate creation or just after creation.
Therefore, we could say that, God’s Word has been ordained by Him to guide and protect since before the creation or beginning of the world.
Prov 8:24, “When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.”
The second analogy speaks of a time before water existed on the earth, both oceans and fresh water, yet “wisdom” existed.
This continues the negative connotation of no earth being created at this time.
“When there were no depths” is literally, “when there was not in existence ocean depths (TEHOM, תְּהוֹם).” TEHOM may refer to the primeval abyss or to the present oceans and/or floods that reside below the earth. cf. Gen 1:2 and Psa 104:6, in reference to the deep or primeval ocean as a pre-creation element.
In Gen 1:1-3, the primeval depth was part of the earth before God’s creative word intervened and transformed the chaos into the cosmos. Wisdom; however, preexisted this primordial depth and its remnants, as indicated by the next phrase.
“I was brought forth” is CHUL or CHYIL, חִיל, in the Polal Perfect. The Polal is of the Pual stem for intensive Passive action. CHYIL literally means, “to have labor pains.” So in the Polal it means, “to receive intense labor pains.” Figuratively, the term refers to the birth of the earth and the world, cf. Psa 90:2, with Isa 66:8 and is personified “wisdom” in our verse.
This phrase also assumes that the Lord is the agent, as can be deduced from its parallel, “He possessed me,” in vs. 22.
“No springs abounding with water” once again signifies, no creation of water at some point in the past, yet wisdom existed.
Waltke quoting Baumann noted, “Since Job was not yet present when the mountains were in labor and when the first man was born (Job 15:7), his status is low and he should keep silent. Since wisdom, contrariwise, was already present before the depths and the springs, before the mountains and hills (Prov 8:24f), she ranks above the rest of creation and is close to God.” (New International Commentary, [Baumann, TDOT 4:347, s.v. hûl])
Prov 8:25, “Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth.”
The third analogy speaks of a time before land masses were created, yet wisdom existed.
“Mountains” HAR refers to the foundations of the earth in the midst of the ocean depths. cf. Psa 104:6-8. The mountains connote the oldest aspects of the earth, cf. Psa 90:1-2; Micah 6:2, as the “depths” represented primeval times.
“Were settled” is the Verb TABA, טָבַע that means, “to sink, sink into, sink down, pierce, settle down, drown, be settled, or be planted.” God’s creative actions are described as “sinking a foundation”, Job 38:6 and “settling the mountains” as here. Here it is in the Hophal Perfect, which is the causative passive, (i.e., God caused them to be settled.)
Hopefully, you are taking away the fact and laws of creation by God here, as opposed to the false theories and doctrines of evolution.
“Hills” is the noun GIBAH that parallels mountains and underscores their height, towering over the earth.
“I was brought forth” is CHUL or CHYIL once again, “wisdom” existed before water was created.
Mountains and Hills represent the foundation of the earth, its pillars. Wisdom is yet greater.
Prov 8:26, “While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world.”
Our fourth and final analogy in this list of negation regarding creation, speaks of the overall action of creating earth from the perspective of its topsoil that is so vital for life to exist on planet earth. Wisdom existed prior to the creation of top spoil, prior to the creation of the first speck of dust needed to form the world.
The negation “not yet” is the Hebrew negative LO.
“Made” is the Verb ASAH, עָשָׂה that means, “to do or make.” It has the concept of building something out of something that already is in existence, cf. Gen 1:7, 16, 25-26, 31; 2:2-4.
“Field” is the Noun CHUTS that actually means, “outside, streets, or open places,” and represents outside the city, Job 5:10, where the flocks graze, Psa 144:13, i.e., fields.
“Or the first dust” ROSH, referring to the beginning of time in this creation account, with APHAR, עָפָר, that means, “dust or loose soil.” It indicates that part of the ground from which man was made, which he cultivates, and to which he will return. It is his cradle, home, and grave. More finitely, it indicates the first elements created, (BARAed = to create something out of nothing), that our Lord then used to ASAH the earth and fields.
In this list of four comparisons to creation, [the earth, water, land, and topsoil (elements)], wisdom existed well before the creation of them all. The Bible predates the creation of this world. It was present before God’s creative acts, and therefore is wiser than the oldest sages and writings of this world. It is older than the world as we know it, (created 6,000 years ago), and therefore garners our utmost respect and attention.
- Wisdom existed during Creation, 27-30a.
The positive presentation of the creation, 27-29, (while things were being created).
In this section we see that not only was “wisdom” in existence prior to creation, it was in existence during creation, “I was there,” vs. 27a, and the assistant to the creator Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ; “I was beside Him as a master workman” vs. 30a.
Just as we had 6 statements of “wisdom’s” existence prior to creation, (depths, springs, mountains, hills, topsoil, and dust [periodic elements]), with its four portions of creation, (earth, water, mountains, and topsoil), here we have 6 creative acts that “wisdom” was present at, (heavens [1st and 2nd in view], horizon, atmosphere, water, oceans, and continents).
Grammatically this stanza is essentially one long sentence. After an introductory summary sentence in vs. 27, an extended complex sentence presents a series of parallel, subordinating temporal clauses representing the Lord’s creative actions that wisdom viewed, vs. 28-29, followed by the main clause that represents “wisdom” as “beside him constantly”, vs. 30a, and celebrating His creative acts, vs. 30b-31.
Contextually, in contrast to vs. 24-27, which presented the panorama of the Lord’s creative actions in a movement from below to above, vs. 27-29 present them in the reverse direction, moving from the heavens, vs. 27a, and its horizon, vs. 27b, to the sky and clouds, vs. 28a, downward to the springs of the deep, vs. 28, and the seashores, vs. 29b, and finally to the foundations of the earth, vs. 29b.
Prov 8:27, “When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.”
“Established” is the Verb KUN, כּוּן, that means, “to make firm, to be stable, or to establish.” In the Hiphal Infinitive construct, it means, “caused to be made firm or established.” This functions as a metaphor for “to create.”
Jesus Christ, as the Creator, is the one who caused all things to be created, to be established. “Wisdom” was there, and “wisdom”, being the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, created all things, as noted in Prov 3:19-20; John 1:3.
John 1:3, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Bruce Waltke notes, “All the metaphors for creation in vv. 27-29 signify that each of the cosmic entities on which human life depends are so firmly fixed within the created order that they cannot overreach themselves or be transgressed by another. Were it otherwise, the cosmos would crumble into chaos. Humanity’s physical existence depends on a firmly structured universe. The LORD’s fixed created order serves as a model of his fixed moral boundaries for human beings to prevent society from collapsing into anarchy.” (New International Commentary).
“Heavens” is SHAMAYIM, שָׁמַיִם, which most likely includes the 1st and 2nd heaven, the atmosphere and the stellar universe respectfully, and not the 3rd heaven, God’s Throne Room, 2 Cor 12:2, since this poem is related to earth’s creation only.
The original languages of Scripture teach that there are:
Three Levels of Heaven
This multiplicity of heavens is indicated in Heb 4:14, where our Lord at His Ascension is said to have “passed through the heavens” (accusative masculine plural noun HOURANOS). The 1st and 2nd heavens are not specifically mentioned, but the 3rd heaven is discussed in 2 Cor 12:2. Logically speaking, it is evident that there cannot be a 3rd heaven without also a 1st and 2nd heaven.
In Acts 14:17 we see that, “He … gave you rains from heaven. . .”, that is the first heaven in the Bible.
Then the second heaven is the stellar universe, the place where God’s elect angels and Satan’s evil spirits engage in spiritual warfare, Eph 6:12. The stellar universe was created in an instant by the Lord Jesus Christ, Gen 1:1; Psa 33:6; 115:15; 124:8; 134:3; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:3
Finally, in 2 Cor 12:2, we see the third heaven, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”
The Scriptures teach that the 3rd heaven is the abode of the Trinity, Gen 14:19, 22; 23:3, 7; 1 Kings 8:30, 49; 2 Chron 6:21, 30; Neh 1:4-5; 2:4, 20; Psa 11:4; 20:6; 33:14; 103:19; Isa 63:5; 66:1; Mat 5:34; Luke 16:9; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 7:56; 2 Cor 12:2; Heb 2:10; Rev 19:14.
The Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures state dogmatically that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe, John 1:3; Col 1:16-17. He created the universe out of nothing – BARA. It was initially created exclusively for the angels.
It underwent a catastrophic change as a result of Satan’s rebellion against God, Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:11-19. This rebellion and the resultant destruction of the earth and universe took place between Gen 1:1 and 1:2. Therefore, the earth had to be restored, Gen 1:2f.
Nevertheless, the 3rd heaven was also created by the Lord Jesus Christ, Psa 102:25; 115:15; 124:8; 134:3; Isa 45:12; 51:13; Jer 32:17; Zech 12:1; John 1:3; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:10.
He will also be the Creator of the; “new heavens and new earth”, Isa 65:17.
In vs. 27b, “inscribed” is CHAQAQ, חָקַק that means, “to cut in, inscribe, or decree” in the Qal Infinitive. It is a term used for writing down laws on tablets. If the act of writing is in view, this is the creative act. If the establishment of law is in view, it is the setting up of the cycle of life or the atmospheric cycles. If decree is in view, it is the declaration of God to create, which came much sooner than the actual creation. This gives “wisdom” even greater antiquity than the 6,000 years since God has restored planet earth, similar to vs. 22-26.
Combining all three, “wisdom” was present at the creation of the cosmos and thus had opportunity to contemplate and celebrate the way in which God decreed and structured it.
“Circle” is noun CHUG, חוּג that means, “circle or horizon.” Sometimes it is called “vault” for the atmospheric canopy over the earth. Compare Job 22:14; 26:10; Isa. 40:22.
Job 26:10, “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness.”
Isa 40:22a, “It is He who is enthroned above the circle (horizon) of the earth…”
“Deep” is TEHOM, תְּהוֹם again with reference to the ocean. This is referring to creation as the only other occurrences of “the face of the deep” are in Gen 1:2 and Job 38:30.
Altogether, we have the establishment of the horizon above the ocean, which appears circular in flat terrain or at sea level, and may refer to the atmosphere around the earth. The metaphor connotes the separation and the boundaries between the two great cosmic spheres of sky and sea. Job 26:10 adds that “the horizon formed a boundary between light and darkness.”
Next we have:
Prov 8:28, “When He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed.”
In this verse we have two acts of creation, the “clouds and oceans.”
“Made firm” is the Verb AMETS, אָמֵץ that means, “to be stout, strong, to make firm,” in the Piel (intensive active) Infinitive, that means, “to strengthen or make firm”. AMETS can also mean, “courageous, bold, and alert,” which are not in view here.
The first thing strengthen here is “skies,” which is not skies, the 2nd heaven but, SHACHAQ, שַׁחַק that means, “dust or a thin cloud”, referring to the 1st heaven. So we see more detail of the atmosphere created in the 1st heaven. It ultimately connotes that the clouds remain suspended above the earth as noted in the next phrase.
“Above” MAAL, מַעַל, functions to contrast the water sources in the heavens with those in the depths.
“Springs” is another interesting word, it’s the noun AYIN, עַיִן that means, “eye,” but here by analogy, “a fountain”, as the eye of the landscape, from the sense that, “the eyes, being the source of tears”; thus, AYIN is often translated “fountain or spring.”
Here it is a “spring” of the TEHOM, “the deep or ocean” once again.
“Became fixed” is Qal Infinitive Verb AZAZ, עָזַז that too means, “to be strong or to prevail.” Here it means the strength of God was demonstrated at the creation when He established the fountains of the deep by restraining them. He is the one who established their places as noted in our next passage. These had to be made strong to assure the constant and full supply of water in the depths.
The “strengthening” of the clouds and the springs of the deep is also a poetic way of describing their creation.
Prov 8:29, “When 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.”
“Wisdom” shifts the scenic depictions of the creation of the world to focus even more narrowly on humanity’s place in it. She moves the focus from the remote heavens and its horizons, vs. 27, and the sources of water in the clouds and fountains, vs. 28, to the land, which is separated from the water by God’s decree and on which living creatures live, Isa 45:12.
There are three parts to the passage: a) Establishing the ocean’s boundaries; b) Keeping them in their place; c) Utilizing continents between the oceans to accomplish the first two.
The establishment of the ocean’s boundaries.
“Sea” is the Noun YAM, יָם that means, “sea or west, (in relation of the Mediterranean Sea to Israel).”
Jer 5:22, “‘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.”
“Boundary” here is CHOQ, חֹק, a derivative of CHAQAQ, that means, “statute, portion, or something inscribed.” It is a metonymy of effect from God’s decree. cf. Job 38:4, 6, 8-11; Psa 104:9; 148:5-6.
Job 38:6, 8-11, “On what were its bases sunk? or who laid its cornerstone… 8Or who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; 9When I made a cloud its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10And 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’?”
Psa 104:9, “You set a boundary that they may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth.”
Psa 148:5-6, “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created. 6He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree (CHOQ) which will not pass away.”
To keep them in their place, “so that the water would not transgress His command.”
“Water” is MAY, מַי.
“Transgress” is AVAR, עָבַר that means “pass by, through, or over.”
“His Command” is actually PEH, פֶּה that means, “mouth, opening, or edge.”
Both AVAR and PEH are in the 3rd Person referring to the “water” and not God here.
This phrase symbolizes the forces of chaos hostile to life that was the world prior to its restoration. It shows God’s power and love for man as He tames that which was once untamed.
Establishing continents between the oceans, “when He marked out the foundations of the earth.”
“Marked out” is CHAQAQ once again for, “inscribe or decree,” standard Biblical vocabulary for law and justice; the taming of the untamed.
“Foundation”, is the noun MOSAD, מוּסָד, refers back to the lowest extremes of the mountains and hills rooted in the depths of the sea, cf. Prov 8:25a; Psa 24:2; Micah 6:2 as the foundations of the “earth”, ERETS, אֶרֶץ.
Psa 104:5, “He established the earth upon its foundations (MAKON from KUN), so that it will not totter forever and ever.”
Many texts affirm that the Lord harnessed the sea by setting its limits, cf. Psa 93; 104:6-9.
Waltke quotes, Janzen (J. G. Janzen, Job, pp. 234-35), “The Creator established unalterable laws or ordinances that set the boundaries for the earth that the hostile sea cannot transgress (see Job 38:8-11). The chaotic energy of the sea operates within strict limits. Nevertheless, it retains an element of freedom within divine restraint and in that sense retains meaning in the cosmos, the scheme of things, the created “order”.” (New International Commentary.)
Waltke also notes, “If Job darkened counsel and spoke without knowledge because he was not present at the creation (Job 38:1-2), Wisdom speaks authoritatively because she possessed the prerequisite comprehensive knowledge he lacked.”
There are two implications from these passages.
- If “wisdom” had a part in these awesome works of God, surely she should be present in our human endeavors if they are to succeed.
- If the very universe is made in accordance with the principles of “wisdom”, then it is folly for anyone to live contrary to her principles.
- Wisdom’s Celebration of Humanity’s Origins, vs. 30b-31.
In Prov 8:27 we have the Adverb SHAM, שָׁם that means, “there” and the Personal Pronoun ANI, אֲנִי that means, “I or me.” Together, with the absence of a verb, they mean “I was there.” As you know “wisdom” a.k.a., “God’s Word or Bible Doctrine” is speaking in Proverbs 8 and tells us it was present during the creation and restoration of planet earth. In fact, in Prov 8:22-26, “wisdom” existed prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
John 1 gives us a description of the incarnate Jesus Christ. There He is called “the Word of God,” and we are told that “All things came into being through Him.” Therefore, Jesus Christ the God / Man, is the creator of the heavens and the earth.
Isa 45:12, “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.”
At the same time, being known as the “Word”, we note that “wisdom”, being the mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, was there to create and restore the heavens and the earth.
1 Cor 2:16, “FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Recalling our studies of Prov 3:19-20, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. 20By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew”; we clearly see that “by wisdom” the earth, heavens, seas, and atmosphere were created.
In Prov 8:22-31, we are given specific information about “wisdom” (the Word of God) and her time of existence, so that we would have awe and respect for her.
Given that the Word of God is powerful enough to “bring into being all that has come into being”, should cause us to pause and take notice of her power that is available to us each and every day.
Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Given the fact that “wisdom” existed prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth, as well as during the time of the creation and restoration of the earth, she, due to her antiquity, should be respected and heeded.
Remembering Psa 138:2, “I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name”, God is exhorting us to make His Word the number one priority within our lives.
In Prov 8:22-29, we have the first of two exhortations that “wisdom” existed prior to creation and restoration, by telling us of several creative acts, and that she existed during creation, by telling us of actual creative acts.
Interestingly, the creative acts mentioned in Proverbs only touch upon those of the heavens, earth, seas, and land, because wisdom anticipates the folly of man’s thinking that would theorize such false concepts as Darwinism and Evolution, which try to explain human and animal life. Yet for the creation of the greater, (the heavens and the earth) man is very much dumbfounded, although he does grapple to hypothesize about them as well.
Looking at the Greater Acts of Creation in Proverbs 8, we compare them with the 1st – 3 Days of Creation in parallel to Gen 1:1-10.
First we see creation with its resulting chaos due to the Angelic Conflict.
Prov 8:27a = Gen 1:1, which occurred in eternity past
The Outline of Genesis, Chapter 1 is Threefold:
- Creation – Verse 1.
- Chaos – Verse 2.
- Restoration – Verse 3ff.
Prov 8:27b = Gen 1:2-5 – Occurred on Day 1
Prov 8:28 = Gen 1:6-8 – Occurred on Day 2
Prov 8:29 = Gen 1:9-10 – Occurred on Day 3
“Wisdom’s” account of her existence prior to creation and restoration in Prov 8:26, parallels the rest of Day Three, Gen 1:11-13.
Then Prov 8:30a tells us, as Jesus Christ was performing all of His creative and restorative acts, “Then I was beside Him, as a master workman.”
“I was beside Him” is the Preposition ESTEL אֵצֶל with a pronominal suffix that tells us that “wisdom” pre-existed the creation, and she was right there with the Creator at the time of creation.
“Master workman” is the Noun AMON, אָמוֹן, that means, “artificer, craftsman, one who is skilled.” This word is used only here and Jer 52:15. In Jer 52, it is used for “multitude” in the KJV or “artisans” in the NASB, of Judah who were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar’s captain, Nebuzaradan. These were the craftsmen. There is some question whether it should be read as a variant meaning, “people,” or even, “faithfully” here, but the better understanding is “craftsman” were “wisdom” and Christ are one; therefore, Christ is the craftsman or creator.
Jer 10:12, “It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.”
Psa 33:6, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.”
Christ is both the “wisdom” of God and the incarnate Word of God. He is the force behind the creation as John 1:3 tells us.
In Prov 8:30b-31 we are told that “wisdom” was the delight of our Lord and rejoiced at each stage of creation, especially in the creation of Man.
Prov 8:30b-31, “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.”
“I was” sets off the chiastic arrangement of God’s Happiness (+H) primary elements:
• v. 30b delight
• v. 30b rejoicing
• v. 31a rejoicing
• v. 31b delight
The word translated “delight” (SHAASHUIM, שַׁעֲשׁוּעִים) refers to something that gives one pleasure. It is used for a son as the object of his father’s delight, Jer 31:20 but is mostly used to represent God’s delight or pleasure in His Word, creation, or people.
This reminds us of Mat 3:17, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God loved Jesus Christ with a most compassionate love and was delighted in all that He did and does. In addition, as God is Happiness, Christ’s own “wisdom” and all her actions and effects bring Him delight.
“The odd construction of this noun is of note. First, it apparently derives from SHAA, but the noun shaăshûîm contains a doubling of the consonant “shin.” Second, it occurs in the plural form. Both of these elements give the noun a sense of intensification or amplification.” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)
Its first occurrence describes “wisdom” herself as the Lord’s delight “daily” or YOM YOM for “day after day” of the creative and restorative acts, vs. 30b, whereas the second refers to “wisdom’s” delight in the human beings whom God has created.
“Rejoicing” (SHACAQ, שָׂחַק) can describe joking, Prov 26:19, a hero’s welcome, 1 Sam 18:7, merrymaking in general, Jer 15:17; 30:19; 31:4, and even holy dancing before the Lord, 2 Sam 6:5, 21. In the Piel stem, as it is here, it connotes the idea of “to be merry,” in addition “to laugh.”
In our passages, it first describes “wisdom” as rejoicing before the Lord during the work of creation, vs. 30c and then in, vs. 31a, as rejoicing “in the world” speaking of the completion of creation and restoration and human history, as “wisdom” continues to celebrate God’s creation and people today.
This reminds us of Gen 1:31, when at the completion of creation and restoration, “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Proverbs 8:22-31 once again reminds us of God’s creative act of bringing into existence the heavens and the earth, as did Prov 3:19-20. If you recall, when we studied Prov 3, we spent some quality time discussing creation and our Lord’s hand in the creative acts, as well as its comparison to the current day false theories of evolution and Darwinism.
In that light, today I am presenting the following link to a wonderful video presentation discussing “Creation vs. Evolution” to unbelievers who some are atheist and others are agnostic. (see link below)
An “atheist” is someone who flat out denies the existence of God, and therefore anything to do with God or that gives credit to God.
An “agnostic” is someone who disclaims any knowledge of God. They hold that certainty, absolute truths, and their origins are unattainable, and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge. They do not deny God but deny the possibility of knowing Him.
In this video the speaker does a fantastic job of showing the unbelievers (atheists and agnostics) that it actually takes more faith to believe in evolution and Darwinism than it does in the creator God, and that there is no credible observable evidence for what they believe to be “facts” that explain evolution.
As Dave Hunt noted in his book, IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH, Biblical Answers to Challenging Questions, “Most people, if asked why they hold a certain belief, would have a difficult time giving a solid basis for their opinion. Generally, one’s personal convictions are a matter of loyalty to a particular heritage or tradition. It is amazing how much belief is based not on fact but on blind allegiance to an institution or a political party, etc. These beliefs are held for social reasons—to remain acceptable in one’s circle of friends or among one’s colleagues. For example, for those in academia to not believe in evolution would cause them to be ridiculed by their peers and even to lose their standing in the academic community.”
The speaker in this video uses a method of evangelism to help the individuals to see what they believe to be true about evolution as a system of faith based on false and fabricated evidence, and then explains the truth about God as the Creator and Christ as the Savior.
By peeling back the façade of “fact and evidence” used to explain evolution, this individual then defends the truth of what the Bible tells us.
This is a powerful tool that we each should learn, master and apply; especially in our day and age. This is also known as a branch of theology called “apologetics” which is the defense and proof of God, the Bible, Christ, Christianity, etc.
For believers, please do not just watch this video to confirm your conviction in the truth of the Bible and the falsehoods of the theory of evolution. Please take note of the ways and means applied here to evangelize, and then use them in your own geographic location.
Click on the link below to view the video:
Creation vs. Evolution
Third Exhortation: Listen and heed, 8:32-33.
- Reason: It is a matter of life or death, 8:34-36.
In this passage the woman “wisdom” changes her persona, setting, and address. She changes from addressing the masses at the city gate, Prov 8:1-21 and as a primordial figure beside the Creator in Prov 8:22-31, to being the owner of a house, Prov 8:34, addressing the sons and inviting them to maintain their watchfulness at her door in order to find her, because it is a matter of life and death.
These verses climax not only this Chapter, but the entire prologue of Proverbs 1-9.
They also return to the themes of “wisdom’s” first speech, Prov 1:20-33, give us a final call to listen to “wisdom”, vs. 32ff, and identify the consequences of following or rejecting “wisdom” in its starkest terms, life or death, vs. 35f.
In light of “wisdom’s” preexistence, her role in creation, and all the benefits that she freely bestows upon those who find her, in these final passages she gives one last appeal to her students to observe her principles and precepts.
The outline of her final appeal includes:
- 32a – Exhortation (1 line): Perceive doctrine through the ear gate and apply it.
- 32b – Motive (1 line): + H is for those who apply doctrine.
- 33 – Exhortation (2 lines): Application of doctrine brings wisdom, neglect of it does not.
- 34 – Motive (3 lines): +H is for those who perceives, seeks, and faith rests in Bible doctrine.
- 35-36 – Motive (4 lines): Life and blessings are for those who have doctrine in their souls, Divine discipline is for those who do not.
Vs. 32a – Exhortation (1 line): Perceive doctrine through the ear gate and apply it.
We begin with Prov 8:32a, “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways.”
It begins with the “now therefore” which is the conjunction WE “and” with the adverb ATTAH, “now.” “And now” is typically used to introduce a new subject or section and here used for the introduction of the concluding principles to follow. It tells us that in light of “wisdom’s” preexistence, vs. 22-26, her role in creation, vs. 27-31, and all the benefits that she freely bestows upon those who seek her, vs. 1-21, her students should listen to her conclusions.
Then we have the masculine plural of the Noun BEN, בֵּן, for “sons” that establishes the 17th of the 17 lessons or lectures from the father to his sons in Prov 1-9. This final lesson runs through Chapter 9. Like that of Prov 7:24, it is used for the concluding principles.
“Listen” is SHAMA, שָׁמַע that means “to hear” with a view toward obedience. So it is not just the intake of God’s Word through GAP that is important, we must apply it as well. Application of “wisdom” is in view and that is the exhortation here.
Vs. 32b – Motive (1 line): + H is for those who apply Bible doctrine.
When we apply God’s Word we are “blessed”, which is the Noun ASHREY, אַשְׁרֵי, that means “happy, happiness, blessed, or blessedness.” Here it is before a relative clause without a relative particle, (i.e., if, when, etc.). That is why “for” and “who” are added.
Just like Mat 5:1-11, it is talking about the happiness of God (+H) that comes to the believer who applies God’s Word through the filling of the Holy Spirit on a consistent basis.
We too can have the +H of God when we heed God’s Word, i.e., “keep”, SHAMAR, שָׁמַר, that means, “to observe, to guard, or to keep”, “God’s way”, DEREK, דֶּרֶךְ, which is to apply His Word to our lives daily (YOM YOM of vs. 30)!
Notice the poetic instruction here SHAMA SHAMAR “hear and observe” God’s way, i.e. WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).
Just as the Word of God was “daily” our Lord’s delight prior to and during the six days of creation and restoration, vs. 22-31, God’s Word is given for our happiness (ASHREY = +H) every day when we receive and apply it.
With this introductory sentence the next two passages further emphasize its point.
Vs. 33 – Exhortation (2 lines): Application of doctrine brings wisdom, neglect of it does not.
Next we have Prov 8:33, “Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.”
This goes with the exhortation of the first part of vs. 32, to receive and apply God’s Word consistently!
This verse begins with SHAMA once again, this time translated “heed”, which is the connotation of the word as noted in the previous verse as “heed” means, “to pay attention to, listen to, and consider.”
Here we are exhorted to not only listen to and apply God’s Way, but also His “instruction”, which is MUSAR for “instruction, chastisement, discipline, or warning.” It interprets the metaphor “my ways” in vs. 32. Here it means God’s training through His Word, as authoritative teaching is the means of developing ethical skill.
God’s Word is designed for us to learn from, apply, have discernment from its knowledge, gain self -discipline in all situations, and make good decisions on a consistent basis to walk in His righteousness.
As we have noted, a father’s reproof is for his child’s good, Prov 3:11f; cf. 13:24; likewise, God’s instruction and discipline, as found in this book, are for the good of His children, especially the serious students of His Word.
That is emphasized in the next phrase, “and be wise”, CHAKAM, חָכַם, a verb in the Qal Imperative from the noun CHOKMAH.
Those who possess true wisdom are those who follow the precepts of God’s Word, Prov 23:17, 19.
Prov 23:17, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always.”
Prov 23:19, “Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.”
This is emphasized in the last phrase, “and do not neglect it”, that is WE AL PARA in the Qal Jussive, that literally says, “and do not lose it.” By extension, PARA may be understood as, “to let alone, to release, or to show lack of restraint.” With the negative AL we are not to let the Word of God alone or release it. This means we do not neglect it by not listening to it, or not observing it, or not applying it in our lives, “i.e., do not refuse it, or have disdain for it, or neglect it.”
In application this means, “do not have a lack of restraint” that especially warns us to not neglect the application of God’s Word with the result of giving over to sin temptations instead. We are to do just the opposite and have restraint over the temptations of sin in our lives, so that we continue to walk in God’s Plan for our lives.
Vs. 34 – Motive (3 lines): +H is for those who perceive, seek and Faith Rest in Bible doctrine.
Then in Prov 8:34, “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts.”
This verse complements the motive of the second half of the introductory verse in vs. 32, reminding us of “wisdom’s” blessing of +H.
It reminds us that “listening to” (learning from) “wisdom” cannot be done halfheartedly; cf. Prov 2:1-4.
This verse begins with ASHREY for “happy” once again.
The “man” ADAM, אָדָם, that SHAMA’s, “listens to” God’s Word shares in the happiness of God, +H.
The second and third parts of this verse reemphasize the observance of God’s Word.
“Watching daily at my gates”, uses the verb SHAQAD with YOM YOM that means, “to be vigilant or to keep watch daily.” The meaning of SHAQAD overlaps with SHAMAR, “to observe, to guard, or to keep”
How are we to be watchful? By keeping God’s Word resident within our souls and applying it daily. It also means “to show up early” in order to learn and observe God’s Word.
“The idea of watching is so basic to the root that the name for the almond tree is taken from it SHAQED. The almond tree in Israel can bloom as early as January or February and is considered the “announcer,” “watcher,” or “waker” of spring. God used this idea as an object lesson for Jeremiah to remind him that He is watchful and prompt to carry out His promises (Jer 1:11f).” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary.)
Therefore, if God is watching over His Word to see that it is carried out, so to0 should we watch over the Word resident in our souls to carry it out.
The Almond was also represented on the Golden Candle stick in the Tabernacle, Ex 25:33-34; 37:19-20, which represented the Deity of Christ who would become man and be the first fruits of all resurrected, 1 Cor 15:20-23, that Israel was to be watching for. He showed up early!
The Lord’s parable of the virgins and the lamp oil was a reminder of this principle in Mat 25:1-13, but there in regard to His 2nd Advent to establish the Kingdom. It is an exhortation to be filled with the Word of God, first the gospel and then His principles and precepts, and to not be a laggard like those of the world.
Finally, we have “waiting at my doorposts.”
This may foreshadow “wisdom’s” invitation to the banquet within her house, Mat 25:10, and in Prov 9:1-6. It also implies a contrast between the believers waiting at “wisdom’s” door to that of a seductress waiting to pounce on her prey, as we have seen in the previous Chapters.
“Waiting” is SHAMAR again, “to observe, keep, or guard.”
Standing “on guard” at her house is ultimately the Faith Rest Drill; the observance of God’s Word in application to your life. When we apply God’s Word, we are doubly ensuring it remains in our souls. When we do not apply it, sin nature and world view point takes over and we lose the doctrine we once had.
“Doorposts” is the plural of the Noun MEZUZAH, מְזוּזָה. It represents private dwellings and temples.
There are three interesting analogies given to Israel, and us today, through use of “doorposts.”
- The Israelites in Egypt were instructed to place blood on the doorposts of their homes so that God would “pass over” their doors and not visit their firstborn with death, Ex 12:7, 22f.
Ex 12:7, “Moreover, they shall take some of the blood (of the paschal lamb) and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”
This represented Christ’s payment for the penalty of our sins, providing salvation for all mankind, 1 Cor 5:7.
1 Cor 5:7, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
- The master was to pierce his Israelite slave’s ear on the doorpost of his home if the slave desired to become a permanent servant, Ex 21:6.
Ex 21:6, “Then his master shall bring him to God (or the judges who acted on God’s behalf), then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.”
This represents the believer’s entrance into the family of God as permanent servants of our Lord, our full time Christian service. It also represents our eternal security, Rom 6:16-23.
- The commandments were to be written on the doorposts to serve as a continual reminder to the people, Deut 6:9; 11:20.
Deut 6:9, “You shall write them (God’s Commandments) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This represents the teaching of God’s Word that we are to learn and have resident within your soul ready for application. This is the main emphasis of our passage in Proverbs; cf. Prov 3:3; 7:3.
Therefore, from the Doorpost we see:
- Christ’s saving work and the believer’s resultant salvation and eternal security.
- The believer’s entrance into the family of God as servants unto the Lord; our full time Christian service.
- “Wisdom”, God’s Word, should be resident within our souls.
Vs. 35-36 – Motive (4 lines): Life and blessings are for those who have doctrine in their souls, Divine discipline is for those who do not.
Here we have our final motive in two parts, vs. 35 the positive aspect, and vs. 36 the negative aspect.
Prov 8:35, “For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD.”
Here we have the positive exhortation of having life and blessings from the Lord, when we have His Word resident within our souls.
“Finds” is MATSA, מָצָא in both instances. If we find “wisdom” we find “life” CHAYYIM, חַיִּים and obtain “favor.”
“Life”, is speaking of the believer’s physical life here on earth. It will be a life of peace, happiness, contentment, and prosperity, having a good reputation before man while serving and glorifying God to the fullest with maximum Divine good production. The theme of life as one of “wisdom’s” blessings has been shown throughout the prologue as we have noted previously, Prov 3:2, 18, 22; 4:4, 10, 13, 22f; 6:23; 7:2; cf. 9:11.
As Prov 3:2 spoke of “length of days,” it meant having a long life in Phase Two, your spiritual walk here on earth, (i.e., from the point of salvation to the point you are taken home to be with the Lord), it is the Christian life. The principle is that you will be in the Plan of God while here on earth. It is saying that you will have a long life in the sense of a long Phase Two; long, productive, useful, and wonderful. Remember this is not a guarantee that you will live to 120 years old, but is a principle that tells us that a quality spiritual life can lead to a quantity of years in the physical life.
Prov 3:2 also spoke of “years of life”, that meant a full life, not long in the sense of length of days, but one of quality in the spiritual realm here on earth. It means an abundant life, a full life, a life which is characterized by a maximum amount of time under inner happiness, where Bible doctrine in your soul produces inner happiness, +H.
So in this final exhortation “life” is both quality and quantity.
“Favor” is the noun RATSON, רָצוֹן that means, “favor, pleasure, will, wish, or desire.” Unlike “blessed” above that means the +H of God, here RATSON means ‘blessings”, and it is used for the desires of God’s people that He satisfies, as in Psa 145:16.
Psa 145:16, “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire (RATSON) of every living thing.”
This word in parallel to CHAYYIM, “life” refers to harmony with God and enjoyment of all the blessings He wants for His people, Deut 33:23; Prov 18:22.
Psa 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor (RATSON) from the LORD.”
Therefore, we understand it to be the Grace of God and His Grace Pipeline for blessings in time and eternity.
Finally, in Prov 8:36, “But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.”
This verse gives us the negative motive.
“Sins” is the Verb CHATA, חָטָא that means “to sin, to be guilty, or to offend.” This sinning or offending is directed toward “wisdom” here, which is God’s Word. It means rejecting the Word of God by not learning it or applying it, which is a form of sin.
“Sins against Me (wisdom)” is a warning for the believer who would reject God’s Word. It is a brief of the more expansive concluding exhortation of Prov 7:25-27.
“Injures” is the Verb CHAMAS חָמַס that means, “to act violently or to oppress.”
“Himself” is the Noun NEPHESH, נֶפֶשׁ, which means, “soul or life.”
The one who rejects God’s Word acts violently against his own soul. Allowing sin to rule your soul is to oppress it and do serious damage to it. Likewise, when one rejects God’s Word they will have stress, anxiety, fear, worry, etc. in their soul which includes grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit within them, Eph 4:30; 1 Thes 5:19-22.
This “injury to your soul” means that the believer will build up scar tissue on his soul, making it more and more difficult to learn and apply God’s Word in their life, until he reaches “blackout of the soul.” Blackout of the soul is the status of the believer who has had negative volition toward Bible doctrine over a prolong period of time, as a results of his involvement with the cosmic system.
1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times (Church Age) some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars (false teachers of false doctrines) seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”
As you know, Satan’s kingdom is one of darkness, Eph 5:11, 6:12; Col 1:13, and since the cosmic system is called a “domain of darkness” those believers who reside and function in it are said to, “Walk in darkness,” this is the basis for the term “blackout of the soul”, 1 John 2:11, 1:6.
John 12:35, “Walk while you have the light that darkness may not overtake you. He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”
Blackout of the soul is a result and consequence of loving Satan’s cosmic system, 1 John 2:15.
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
As a result of involvement with the cosmic system, scar tissue builds up on the soul replacing the doctrine that was once there.
If the build-up of scar tissue goes unchecked, it will eventually lead to the blackout of the soul.
Scar tissue and blackout of the soul is the result of negative volition towards the Word of God due to the arrogance complex of sins that leads to negative volition in the form of antagonism toward God’s Word. This believer is preoccupied with self and has a predilection for erroneous human thinking, which conflicts with Bible doctrine. When these things occur, the believer cuts himself off from truth and eventually forgets any truth he has learned in the past. Blackout of the soul immobilizes previously metabolized Bible doctrine.
Rejection of the content of Bible doctrine is usually the secondary result of negative volition; the primary reason is preoccupation with self or others.
Blackout of the Soul in the Stream of Consciousness is Described Four Ways:
- “Darkened in their way of thinking,” Eph 4:17-18. Here we see blackout of the soul being the result of the “hardening of their heart.” This is prolonged negative volition in the soul, building up scar tissue that leads to black out of the soul.
- “Walking in darkness,” 1 John 2:11.
- “The darkness has blinded his eyes,” 1 Jon 2:11.
- “He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going,” John 12:35.
Blackout of the soul demands that if we are to recover the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, it is necessary for us to understand Rebound as the Problem-Solving Device for blackout of the soul, 1 John 1:6-9.
The last phrase tells us that “all those who hate me love death.” The “me” here tells us “wisdom” is speaking, which is God’s Word, and those who “hate”, SANE, שָׂנֵא, God’s Word means they want absolutely nothing to do with it, due to scar tissue and blackout of the soul, and instead “love” (AHEB) “death” (MAWETH).”
“Death” is used as analogous to “sin” here. Those who hate God’s Word love sin in their soul’s and lives.
It speaks to the result of sin. For the unbeliever it leads to the Lake of Fire – the Second Death, Rev 20:11-15, and for the believer, (who is in view in this verse), it refers to the third stage of Divine Discipline which is the Sin Unto Death, 1 Cor 11:30, a dishonorable discharge from there servanthood here on earth, even though they are saved and will go to heaven.
“To search for “wisdom” is to search for life and to discover that life is both the reward at the end of the search and a benefit of the process. Since there are only two ways that one can go, the path that leads to life and that which leads to death, to be on the path leading to life is also to be on the way of life—the path that is itself life. Wisdom and the Proverbs thus offer much more than the prosperity, popularity, success, or avoidance of sin with which they are usually associated. They offer the underlying reality that gives meaning to these things.” (Complete Biblical Library – Proverbs)
Just as Moses presented this same choice to the Israelites in Deut. 30:15-20, here we are presented with a choice in life, either to embrace it with the happiness and blessings of God by having His Word resident within our souls with application, or destroy it having sin and misery in our souls, as a result of not having “wisdom” in our souls and instead having cosmic viewpoint.
Therefore, our final motive tells us that “wisdom” is not found casually or by accident. Those who love her seek for and find her, whereas those who ignore the guidelines she has set forth reveal their arrogant hatred of “wisdom” and all that she represents, cf. Prov 1:29-32; 2:19; 7:24-27; 9:18, resulting in the sin unto death.
1 Peter 1:1-11, “Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”