Proverbs 8

Wisdom’s Call

1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly[e] at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all 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.

Cross References 46

  • 1. S Job 28:12; Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 9:3
  • 2. Job 29:7; Proverbs 7:6-13
  • 3. Isaiah 42:2
  • 4. S Proverbs 1:22
  • 5. Proverbs 1:4
  • 6. Psalms 37:30; John 8:14
  • 7. S Job 28:17; S Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 3:14-15
  • 8. ver 19; S Job 28:17-19
  • 9. Proverbs 3:13-15
  • 10. Proverbs 1:4
  • 11. S Genesis 22:12
  • 12. S Exodus 20:20; S Job 28:28; Proverbs 16:6
  • 13. Jeremiah 44:4
  • 14. S Job 9:4; Proverbs 21:22; Ecclesiastes 7:19
  • 15. S Psalms 2:10; Daniel 2:21; Romans 13:1
  • 16. S 2 Chronicles 1:10; Proverbs 29:4
  • 17. S 1 Samuel 2:30; Psalms 91:14; John 14:21-24
  • 18. S 1 Chronicles 16:11; S Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 3:13-18; Matthew 7:7-11; James 1:5
  • 19. S 1 Kings 3:13; Proverbs 3:16
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 8:18; Matthew 6:33
  • 21. S Job 28:17-19
  • 22. S Proverbs 3:13-14; Proverbs 10:20
  • 23. S Psalms 5:8
  • 24. Proverbs 15:6; Proverbs 24:4
  • 25. S Genesis 7:11
  • 26. S Job 38:6
  • 27. S Job 15:7
  • 28. S Psalms 90:2
  • 29. S Job 26:7; Proverbs 3:19
  • 30. S Job 22:14
  • 31. S Job 36:29
  • 32. S Genesis 1:7; S Job 9:8; S Job 26:10
  • 33. S Genesis 1:9; Job 38:10; S Psalms 16:6
  • 34. S Job 38:8; Psalms 104:9
  • 35. S 1 Samuel 2:8; S Job 38:5
  • 36. Proverbs 3:19-20; Revelation 3:14; John 1:1-3
  • 37. S Job 28:25-27; Job 38:4-38; Psalms 16:3; Psalms 104:1-30; Proverbs 30:4; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-20
  • 38. S Proverbs 7:24
  • 39. Luke 11:28
  • 40. S 2 Samuel 22:22; S Psalms 18:21; Psalms 119:1-2
  • 41. 1 Kings 10:8; Proverbs 3:13,18
  • 42. Proverbs 3:13-18
  • 43. Proverbs 9:6; John 5:39-40
  • 44. S Job 33:26; Proverbs 12:2
  • 45. Proverbs 15:32; Isaiah 3:9; Jeremiah 40:2
  • 46. S Job 28:22

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew "foolish, instruct your minds"
  • [b]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts "all righteous rulers"
  • [c]. Or "way" ; or "dominion"
  • [d]. Or "The " Lord"possessed me at the beginning of his work" ; or "The " Lord"brought me forth at the beginning of his work"
  • [e]. Or "was the artisan" ; or "was a little child"

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

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