Proverbs 8

Listen to Proverbs 8

The Blessings of Wisdom

1 Does not 1wisdom call? Does not 2understanding raise her voice?
2 On 3the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside 4the gates in front of 5the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 "To you, O 6men, I call, and my cry is to 7the children of man.
5 O 8simple ones, learn 9prudence; O 10fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak 11noble things, and from my lips will come 12what is right,
7 for my 13mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing 14twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all 15straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
10 16Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 17for wisdom is better than jewels, and 18all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and 19discretion.
13 20The fear of the LORD is 21hatred of evil. 22Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and 23perverted speech I hate.
14 I have 24counsel and 25sound wisdom; I have insight; 26I have strength.
15 By me 27kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.[a]
17 28I love those who love me, and 29those who seek me diligently find me.
18 30Riches and honor are with me, 31enduring wealth and 32righteousness.
19 My fruit is 33better than 34gold, even fine gold, and my yield than 35choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
22 36"The LORD 37 possessed[b] me at the beginning of his work,[c] the first of his acts 38of old.
23 Ages ago I was 39set up, at the first, 40before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no 41depths I was 42brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains 43had been shaped, 44before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he 45established the heavens, I was there; when he drew 46a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he 47made firm the skies above, when he established[d] the fountains of the deep,
29 when he 48assigned to the sea its 49limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out 50the foundations of the earth,
30 then 51I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his[e]52delight, rejoicing before him always,
31 53rejoicing in his 54inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
32 "And now, 55O sons, listen to me: 56blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 57Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
34 58Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
35 For 59whoever finds me 60finds life and 61obtains favor from the LORD,
36 but he who fails to find me 62injures himself; all who 63hate me 64love death."

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.

Cross References 64

  • 1. See Proverbs 1:20
  • 2. Job 28:12
  • 3. Proverbs 9:3, 14
  • 4. Proverbs 1:21
  • 5. Job 29:7
  • 6. [Psalms 49:1, 2]
  • 7. [Psalms 49:1, 2]
  • 8. See Proverbs 1:4
  • 9. ver. 12
  • 10. [Proverbs 1:22]
  • 11. [Proverbs 22:20]
  • 12. Proverbs 23:16
  • 13. Psalms 37:30
  • 14. Deuteronomy 32:5
  • 15. [Proverbs 14:6; 1 Corinthians 2:10]
  • 16. ver. 19; Proverbs 3:14; Psalms 119:72, 127
  • 17. [Proverbs 16:16]; See Job 28:12-19
  • 18. Proverbs 3:15
  • 19. Proverbs 1:4
  • 20. [Proverbs 16:6]
  • 21. See Psalms 97:10
  • 22. [Proverbs 6:17; Proverbs 16:5]
  • 23. Proverbs 2:12; Proverbs 4:24
  • 24. Isaiah 11:2; [Isaiah 9:6]
  • 25. [Proverbs 2:7]
  • 26. Ecclesiastes 7:19; [Psalms 89:19]
  • 27. [Daniel 2:21; Romans 13:1; Revelation 19:16]
  • 28. Psalms 91:14; John 14:21; [1 Samuel 2:30]
  • 29. James 1:5; [Proverbs 1:28]
  • 30. Proverbs 3:16
  • 31. Psalms 112:3; [Matthew 6:33; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 3:8]
  • 32. Psalms 112:3; [Matthew 6:33; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 3:8]
  • 33. Proverbs 3:14
  • 34. ver. 10
  • 35. Proverbs 10:20
  • 36. See Job 28:25-28
  • 37. Genesis 14:19, 22; [Psalms 104:24; Psalms 136:5]
  • 38. Psalms 93:2
  • 39. Psalms 2:6
  • 40. [John 17:5]
  • 41. ver. 27, 28; Proverbs 3:20; Genesis 1:2
  • 42. Job 15:7; Psalms 51:5
  • 43. Job 38:6(Heb.)
  • 44. Psalms 90:2
  • 45. Proverbs 3:19
  • 46. Job 26:10
  • 47. Genesis 1:6
  • 48. Genesis 1:9, 10
  • 49. See Job 26:10
  • 50. See Psalms 104:5
  • 51. Zechariah 13:7; [John 1:1, 2]
  • 52. Psalms 16:3; [Matthew 3:17]
  • 53. [Genesis 1:31; Psalms 104:31]
  • 54. Isaiah 45:18
  • 55. Proverbs 5:7; Proverbs 7:24; [1 John 3:1]
  • 56. Psalms 119:1, 2; Psalms 128:1, 2; [Luke 11:28]
  • 57. See Proverbs 4:1
  • 58. [Proverbs 3:13]
  • 59. Proverbs 3:18; See Proverbs 4:22
  • 60. John 1:4; John 17:3
  • 61. Proverbs 12:2; Proverbs 18:22
  • 62. [Proverbs 15:32; Proverbs 20:2; Proverbs 29:24]
  • 63. Proverbs 12:1
  • 64. Proverbs 21:6

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint govern the earth
  • [b]. Or fathered; Septuagint created
  • [c]. Hebrew way
  • [d]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  • [e]. Or daily filled with

Chapter Summary


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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.