Proverbs 8

The Commendation of Wisdom

1 Does not 1wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?
2 On top of 2the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 Beside the 3gates, at the opening to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4 "To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 "O 4naive ones, understand prudence; And, O 5fools, understand wisdom.
6 "Listen, for I will speak 6noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal 7right things.
7 "For my 8mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 "All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing 9crooked or perverted in them.
9 "They are all 10straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who 11find knowledge.
10 "Take my 12instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11 "For wisdom is 13better than jewels; And 14all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12 "I, wisdom, 15dwell with prudence, And I find 16knowledge and discretion.
13 "The 17fear of the LORD is to hate evil; 18Pride and arrogance and 19the evil way And the 20perverted mouth, I hate.
14 "21Counsel is mine and 22sound wisdom; I am understanding, 23power is mine.
15 "By me 24kings reign, And rulers decree justice.
16 "By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.
17 "I 25love those who love me; And 26those who diligently seek me will find me.
18 "27Riches and honor are with me, Enduring 28wealth and righteousness.
19 "My fruit is 29better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than 30choicest silver.
20 "I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may 31fill their treasuries.
22 "The LORD possessed me 32at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
23 "From everlasting I was 33established, From the beginning, 34from the earliest times of the earth.
24 "When there were no 35depths I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water.
25 "36Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth;
26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world.
27 "When He 37established the heavens, I was there, When 38He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He made firm the skies above *, When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29 When 39He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command, When He marked out 40the foundations of the earth;
30 Then 41I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always * before Him,
31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having 42my delight in the sons of men.
32 "Now therefore, O sons, 43listen to me, For 44blessed are they who keep my ways.
33 "45Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.
34 "46Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.
35 "For 47he who finds me finds life And 48obtains favor from the LORD.
36 "But he who sins against me 49injures himself; All those who 50hate me 51love 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 51

  • 1. Proverbs 1:20, 21; Proverbs 8:1-3; Proverbs 9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:24
  • 2. Proverbs 9:3, 14
  • 3. Job 29:7
  • 4. Proverbs 1:4
  • 5. Proverbs 1:22, 32; Proverbs 3:35
  • 6. Proverbs 22:20
  • 7. Proverbs 23:16
  • 8. Psalms 37:30; John 8:14; Romans 15:8
  • 9. Deuteronomy 32:5; Proverbs 2:15; Philippians 2:15
  • 10. Proverbs 14:6
  • 11. Proverbs 3:13
  • 12. Proverbs 3:14, 15; Proverbs 8:19
  • 13. Job 28:15, 18; Psalms 19:10
  • 14. Proverbs 3:15
  • 15. Proverbs 8:5
  • 16. Proverbs 1:4
  • 17. Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 16:6
  • 18. 1 Samuel 2:3; Proverbs 16:18; Isaiah 13:11
  • 19. Proverbs 15:9
  • 20. Proverbs 6:12
  • 21. Proverbs 1:25; Proverbs 19:20; Isaiah 28:29; Jeremiah 32:19
  • 22. Proverbs 2:7; Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 18:1
  • 23. Ecclesiastes 7:19; Ecclesiastes 9:16
  • 24. 2 Chronicles 1:10; Proverbs 29:4; Daniel 2:21; Matthew 28:18; Romans 13:1
  • 25. 1 Samuel 2:30; Proverbs 4:6; John 14:21
  • 26. Proverbs 2:4, 5; John 7:37; James 1:5
  • 27. Proverbs 3:16
  • 28. Psalms 112:3; Matthew 6:33
  • 29. Job 28:15; Proverbs 3:14
  • 30. Proverbs 10:20
  • 31. Proverbs 24:4
  • 32. Job 28:26-28; Psalms 104:24; Proverbs 3:19
  • 33. John 1:1-3
  • 34. John 17:5
  • 35. Genesis 1:2; Exodus 15:5; Job 38:16; Proverbs 3:20
  • 36. Job 15:7; Psalms 90:2
  • 37. Proverbs 3:19
  • 38. Job 26:10
  • 39. Job 38:10; Psalms 104:9
  • 40. Job 38:6; Psalms 104:5
  • 41. John 1:2, 3
  • 42. Psalms 16:3; John 13:1
  • 43. Proverbs 5:7; Proverbs 7:24
  • 44. Psalms 119:1, 2; Psalms 128:1; Proverbs 29:18; Luke 11:28
  • 45. Proverbs 4:1
  • 46. Proverbs 3:13, 18
  • 47. Proverbs 4:22; John 17:3
  • 48. Proverbs 3:4; Proverbs 12:2
  • 49. Proverbs 1:31, 32; Proverbs 15:32
  • 50. Proverbs 5:12; Proverbs 12:1
  • 51. Proverbs 21:6

Footnotes 14

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