Proverbs 8

Wisdom's Appeal

1 Doesn't Wisdom call out? Doesn't Understanding make her voice heard?
2 At the heights overlooking the road, at the crossroads, she takes her stand.
3 Beside the gates at the entry to[a] the city, at the main entrance, she cries out:[b]
4 "People, I call out to you; my cry is to mankind.
5 Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced; develop common sense, you who are foolish.
6 Listen, for I speak of noble things, and what my lips say is right.
7 For my mouth tells the truth, and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; none of them are deceptive or perverse.
9 All of them are clear to the perceptive, and right to those who discover knowledge.
10 Accept my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.[c]
11 For wisdom is better than precious stones, and nothing desirable can compare with it.[d]
12 I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness and have knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
14 I possess good advice and competence;[e] I have understanding and strength.
15 It is by me that kings reign and rulers enact just law;
16 by me, princes lead, as do nobles [and] all righteous judges.[f]
17 I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, lasting wealth and righteousness.[g]
19 My fruit is better than solid gold, and my harvest than pure silver.[h]
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 giving wealth as an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22 The Lord made[i] me at the beginning of His creation,[j] before His works of long ago.[k]
23 I was formed before ancient times, from the beginning, before the earth began.
24 I was brought forth when there were no watery depths and no springs filled with water.
25 I was brought forth before the mountains and hills were established,
26 before He made the land, the fields, or the first soil on earth.
27 I was there when He established the heavens, when He laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,
28 when He placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed forth,
29 when He set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate His command,[l] when He laid out the foundations of the earth.[m]
30 I was a skilled craftsman[n] beside Him.[o] I was His[p] delight every day,[q] always rejoicing before Him.
31 I was rejoicing in His inhabited world,[r] delighting in the human race.[s]
32 And now, [my] sons, listen to me; those who keep my ways are happy.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise; don't ignore it.
34 Anyone who listens to me is happy, watching at my doors every day, waiting by the posts of my doorway.
35 For the one who finds me finds life[t] and obtains favor from the Lord,[u]
36 but the one who sins against me harms himself; all who hate me love death."[v]

Proverbs 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

Christ, as Wisdom, calls to the sons of men. (1-11) The nature and riches of Wisdom. (12-21) Christ one with the Father, in the creation of the world, and rejoicing in his work for the salvation of man. (22-31) Exhortations to hear Christ's word. (32-36)

Verses 1-11 The will of God is made known by the works of creation, and by the consciences of men, but more clearly by Moses and the prophets. The chief difficulty is to get men to attend to instruction. Yet attention to the words of Christ, will guide the most ignorant into saving knowledge of the truth. Where there is an understanding heart, and willingness to receive the truth in love, wisdom is valued above silver and gold.

Verses 12-21 Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honour in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.

Verses 22-31 The Son of God declares himself to have been engaged in the creation of the world. How able, how fit is the Son of God to be the Saviour of the world, who was the Creator of it! The Son of God was ordained, before the world, to that great work. Does he delight in saving wretched sinners, and shall not we delight in his salvation?

Verses 32-36 Surely we should hearken to Christ's voice with the readiness of children. Let us all be wise, and not refuse such mercy. Blessed are those who hear the Saviour's voice, and wait on him with daily reading, meditation, and prayer. The children of the world find time for vain amusements, without neglecting what they deem the one thing needful. Does it not show contempt of Wisdom's instructions, when people professing godliness, seek excuses for neglecting the means of grace? Christ is Wisdom, and he is Life to all believers; nor can we obtain God's favour, unless we find Christ, and are found in him. Those who offend Christ deceive themselves; sin is a wrong to the soul. Sinners die because they will die, which justifies God when he judges.

Footnotes 22

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 8

This chapter contains the instructions of Wisdom or Christ; showing the excellency of them, and the author of them, in opposition to the harlot and her allurements, in the preceding chapter. Christ, under the name of Wisdom, is represented as an herald, publishing the Gospel in the ministry of the word, either in person or by his servants, Pr 8:1. The places where this proclamation is made are described, Pr 8:2,3; the persons to whom, Pr 8:4,5. The excellency of the things delivered, being right things; truth, agreeably to the word of God, plain and easy to be understood, and of more worth than gold, silver, and precious stones, Pr 8:6-11. And then Wisdom, or Christ, is commended and recommended by his consummate prudence and knowledge, by his hatred of evil, and by his influence on the political affairs of kings and princes, Pr 8:12-16; and the advantages of those that are early seekers of him are pointed out; their enjoyment of his favour, of his riches, honour and righteousness; and their being led by him in right paths now, and inheriting eternal glory hereafter, Pr 8:17-21. And next follows an account of his existence from eternity as a divine Person, illustrated by a variety of phrases, Pr 8:22-29; and of his being with the Father; of his great affection for him, and complacency in him; and of Christ's wonderful delight and pleasure in the sons of men, Pr 8:30,31. And the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to them to hearken to his instructions; setting forth the happiness of those that wait on him in public ordinances, and find him; and the misery of those that hate and reject him.

Proverbs 8 Commentaries