Proverbs 8

1 Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting; understanding raises her voice.
2 On the hilltops along the road and at the crossroads, she stands calling.
3 Beside the city gates, at the entrances into the city, she calls out:
4 "Listen, everyone, I'm calling out to you; I am shouting to all people.
5 You who are uneducated, be smarter. You who are foolish, get understanding.
6 Listen, because I have important things to say, and what I tell you is right.
7 What I say is true, I refuse to speak evil.
8 Everything I say is honest; nothing I say is crooked or false.
9 People with good sense know what I say is true; and those with knowledge know my words are right.
10 Choose my teachings instead of silver, and knowledge rather than the finest gold.
11 Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing you could want is equal to it.
12 "I am wisdom, and I am smart. I also have knowledge and good sense.
13 If you respect the Lord, you will also hate evil. I hate pride and bragging, evil ways and lies.
14 I have good sense and advice, and I have understanding and power.
15 I help kings to govern and rulers to make fair laws.
16 Princes use me to lead, and so do all important people who judge fairly.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 Riches and honor are mine to give. So are wealth and lasting success.
19 What I give is better than the finest gold, better than the purest silver.
20 I do what is right and follow the path of justice.
21 I give wealth to those who love me, filling their houses with treasures.
22 "I, wisdom, was with the Lord when he began his work, long before he made anything else.
23 I was created in the very beginning, even before the world began.
24 I was born before there were oceans, or springs overflowing with water,
25 before the hills were there, before the mountains were put in place.
26 God had not made the earth or fields, not even the first dust of the earth.
27 I was there when God put the skies in place, when he stretched the horizon over the oceans,
28 when he made the clouds above and put the deep underground springs in place.
29 I was there when he ordered the sea not to go beyond the borders he had set. I was there when he laid the earth's foundation.
30 I was like a child by his side. I was delighted every day, enjoying his presence all the time,
31 enjoying the whole world, and delighted with all its people.
32 "Now, my children, listen to me, because those who follow my ways are happy.
33 Listen to my teaching, and you will be wise; do not ignore it.
34 Happy are those who listen to me, watching at my door every day, waiting at my open doorway.
35 Those who find me find life, and the Lord will be pleased with them.
36 Those who do not find me hurt themselves. Those who hate me love 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.

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