Proverbs 8 Commentary

Eternal wisdom available to all (8:1-36)

Once again wisdom is personified as a woman standing in a public place and speaking to the people who pass by (8:1-3; cf. 1:20-21). Even the immature and foolish can learn wisdom (4-5). One characteristic of wisdom is speech that is wholesome, true and straightforward (6-9). The instruction given by wisdom is beyond value, for it produces all those qualities most necessary for a truly worthwhile life. Yet it will not lead to pride, for people can only have this wisdom if they humbly fear God (10-13).

Wisdom in a country’s ruler will produce justice in the land (14-16). All who seek wisdom will find that they are genuinely enriched, both materially and spiritually (17-21).

The eternal God is the source of wisdom. It existed before the universe and, in fact, God created the universe by wisdom (22-29). Because of this, the completed creation, particularly the human creation, was a source of joy to God (30-31). People must seek wisdom daily if they are to find real life. If they are neglectful they will be the losers. To hate wisdom is fatal (32-36).

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