Wisdom [is] the principal thing
Or principal, one; the principal of persons and things; the principal of persons, angels or men: Christ is superior to angels, having a more excellent name and nature than they; he is the God, the Creator, and head of them, and is above them in the human nature; he is superior to men, to the greatest of men, he is King of kings and Lord of lords, and to the best of men the saints. Are they kings? he is their King: are they priests? he is the great High Priest: are any of them prophets, teachers, shepherds? he is the great Prophet in Israel; a Teacher, that never any taught or spoke like him; the chief Shepherd and Bishop of souls: is the church a family? he is the Master of it: is it a body? he is the Head: is it a building? he is the Foundation and Corner Stone; yea, the chief Master Builder. He is the beginning and chief of all God's ways, and the chief in them; in election, in the council of peace, and covenant of grace; in redemption and salvation, in grace and glory; he is all in all. Or the words may be rendered, "Wisdom [is] the beginning" F17; so Christ is called, ( Colossians 1:18 ) ; a phrase expressive of his eternity, and of his being the first cause and author of all things, both in the old and new creation. Or thus, that which is "the beginning of wisdom get" F18 which is the fear of the Lord; see ( Proverbs 1:7 ) ( 9:10 ) ; [therefore] get wisdom;
not an interest in Christ, but a knowledge of it; and make use of all means to obtain a greater knowledge of him, and of interest in him, which is what the apostle calls "winning" Christ; by which he means, not getting an interest in him, that he had already, but gaining a greater degree of knowledge of him, as the context shows, ( Philippians 3:8-10 ) ; or, "buy wisdom" F19; that is, without money and without price; so Christ advises to buy gold and white raiment of him, his grace and righteousness, ( Revelation 3:18 ) ( Isaiah 55:1 ) ; and with all thy getting get understanding;
another name for Christ; see ( Proverbs 8:14 ) ; Or, "along with all thy getting" F20, or "above all"; let not Christ be wanting; he is the one thing needful, the good and better part and portion, which, if missing, all other substance signifies little: or part with all for this pearl of great price, Wisdom, and prefer it to all worldly substance; look upon all but dross in comparison of Christ and the knowledge of him: all other gettings or substance are only for the body, this for the soul, and the eternal welfare of it; they are only for a time, this for eternity; they are not satisfying, but, having this, a soul has enough, has all things; Christ being his, all things are his; he possesses all things, and all other things are not blessings without him.
F17 (hmkx tyvar) "principium sapientiae", Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus.
F18 "Principium sapientiae est hoc, comparas sapientiam", Michaelis; "quae est caput sapientiae eam acquire" Junius & Tremellius.
F19 (hmkx hnq) "eme sapientiam", Pagninus, Cocceius.
F20 (Knynq lkl) "in omne possessione tua", V. L. "in omne acquisitione tua", Montanus; "prae universis quae possides", Tigurine version, Vatablus.