Proverbs 8: Creation Account

C McC Mc Posts: 4,428

A Little Background:

  1. Its human authors are referred to as King Solomon (Prov. 1:1–9:18, 10:1–22:16, Proverbs 25–29).
  2. Unidentified “wise men” from the ancient Near Eastern world (Prov. 22:17–24:22, 24:23–34).
  3. The non-Israelite Agur (Prov. 30:1–33). 
  4. The book even acknowledges King Hezekiah’s editorial contributions (Prov. 25:1).
  5. The book of Proverbs is filled with practical and down-to-earth advice for daily living.
  6. The book of Proverbs is a witness to the wisdom that had been accumulated over generations.
  7. The book of Proverbs is the Word of God because it was under divine inspiration that the authors pulled their materials together.
  8. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is revealed when you acknowledge the Lord “in all your ways” (Prov. 3:6, NKJV); that is, wisdom is living in faith and in obedience; it’s about what it means to be human before the God of Creation.

Chapter 8

  1. Proverbs 8, is one of four creation accounts in Scripture (Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Psalm 104).
  2. Proverbs 8, contains Personification: attributing human qualities to what is not human (e.g., "Lady Wisdom" and "Lady Folly" in Proverbs 8-9).
  3. Proverbs 8 reveals a loving Godhead in intimate and joyous fellowship at Creation, and Christ, the Divine Wisdom, condescending to mediate (build a bridge) between the infinite Godhead and finite creatures.

For those who truly know:

  1. Do the Hebrew verbs of Proverbs 8:22-25 refer to the birth of wisdom or wisdom's creation?

PS: Help me mine the text not promote your bias or point of view. CM


  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,428
    edited June 2021


    It appears that Proverbs 8 reveals more than a poetic personification of wisdom.

    1. Throughout Proverbs 1–7, "wisdom" is merely personified.
    2. However, in Proverbs 8, the language shifts to describe Wisdom in a way that could apply only to the Second Person of the Godhead, the pre-incarnate Christ.

    There is strong biblical evidence for affirming that this passage speaks directly of the pre-incarnate Son of God. What kind of special role did the pre-incarnate Christ take on in this creation? Why do I say this? Because Wisdom is described with the very prerogatives that are, elsewhere in Scripture, reserved for Yahweh alone:

    1. Giver of life and death (Prov. 8:35, 36; compare 14:27).
    2. Source of legitimate government (Prov. 8:15, 16; compare, for example, Num. 11:16, 17).
    3. The One who is to be sought after, found and called (Prov. 8:17; compare Deut. 4:29).
    4. The One who loves and is to be loved (Prov. 8:17; compare, for example, Neh. 13:26).
    5. The Giver of wealth (Prov. 8:18–21; compare 1 Chron. 29:12).
    6. The Source of divine revelation (Prov. 8:6–10, 19, 32, 34; compare 29:18; 30:3–5).

    In Prov. 8:12, the expression often translated “I, wisdom . . .” is better translated as “I am Wisdom,” in precise grammatical parallel with the common rhetorical form of divine self-reference regularly reserved elsewhere in Scripture for God: “I am Yahweh your God” (see, for example, Ezek. 12:25, 35:12, Zech. 10:6, Mal. 3:6). 

    Wisdom in Proverbs 8 thus speaks and acts as a distinct, self-aware divine Being (the pre-incarnate Son of God). This usage of an attribute (wisdom) to refer to a distinct divine Person is technically known as hypostasis (person). More next time. CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,627
    edited June 2021

    @C Mc posted:

    Giver of life and death (Prov. 8:35, 36; compare 14:27).

    Proverbs 8.35-36 does not say wisdom is the "giver of life and death." Rather, in a series of verses that report the benefits of incorporating wisdom into everyday life, wisdom says...

    • Those who "keep my ways" are "happy" (Proverbs 8.32, LEB)
    • One who "listens" to wisdom, who "[watch] for me daily at my gates" and "[wait] for me outside my home" are "joyful" (Proverbs 8.34, NLT)
    • Whoever "finds" wisdom "finds" life and "obtains favor" from Jahweh" (Proverbs 8.35, LEB)
    • Those who "miss" wisdom "injure themselves" (Proverbs 8.36, NLT)
    • Those who "hate" wisdom "love death" (Proverbs 8.36, LEB)

    In context, then, the "life" wisdom gives is not created biological life as your contention suggests, CM, but rather a higher quality existence. And "death" is not something wisdom gives, but rather something people who "hate" wisdom "love."

    In sum, the final verses of Proverbs 8 assert that life with wisdom is far superior to life without it, which is not a surprising claim.

    Source of legitimate government (Prov. 8:15, 16; compare, for example, Num. 11:16, 17).

    According to Proverbs 8.15-16, wisdom is the source of "legitimate government" if that terms refers to righteous decisions from those in power. That is, wisdom produces righteous rulings; again, not surprising.

    The One who is to be sought after, found and called (Prov. 8:17; compare Deut. 4:29).

    In Proverbs 8.17, wisdom says those who search for wisdom, find wisdom. The verse makes no claim about wisdom's being "the One," as if wisdom is a human person.

    In Deuteronomy 4, God tells the Israelites that those who break their covenant with God will be scattered "among the nations" (Deuteronomy 4.27, NLT), where they will worship idols (Deuteronomy 4.28). But if in that foreign land they search for God with all their hearts and souls, they will find God (Deuteronomy 4.29).

    In sum, if you search for wisdom, you will find wisdom, and if you search for God, you will find God. There is nothing in either passage that links the first search to the second.

    The One who loves and is to be loved (Prov. 8:17; compare, for example, Neh. 13:26).

    Again, Proverbs 8 does not identify wisdom as "the One" who does anything.

    The Giver of wealth (Prov. 8:18–21; compare 1 Chron. 29:12).

    Wealth is a benefit to those who "love" wisdom, and by extension, righteousness and justice (Proverbs 8.20-21). A third non-surprising claim.

    The Source of divine revelation (Prov. 8:6–10, 19, 32, 34; compare 29:18; 30:3–5).

    The cited verses declare that wisdom is a source of righteous words. Non-surprise #4.

    Nothing in any of the verses you cite, CM, ties wisdom to a particular person anymore than Proverbs 7.4, which advises us to say to wisdom "you are my sister," ties wisdom to a female family member or "insight" to an "intimate friend" (Proverbs 7.4, LEB).

    Wisdom in Proverbs 8 thus speaks and acts as a distinct, self-aware divine Being (the pre-incarnate Son of God). This usage of an attribute (wisdom) to refer to a distinct divine Person is technically known as hypostasis (person).

    In my view, your conclusions are not supported by the biblical text. (BTW, are the observations in your most recent post your own, or did you copy/paste them into your post from one or more resources? If so, which resource(s)?)

    Post edited by Bill_Coley on
  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,428

    Wisdom is described in Proverbs as having God’s prerogatives and in chap. 8 is a hypostasis of divine Wisdom with an independent existence.

    • Wisdom “was appointed from eternity” (Proverbs 8:23) for a specific work as mediator and communicator between the godhead and creation;
    • Existed before “the world began” (Proverbs 8:23), “before the mountains were settled in place” (Proverbs 8:25).
    • Was there when the Lord “set the heavens in place” (Proverbs 8:27).
    • Was the master craftsman, that is, the Co-Creator with the Lord always beside and with Him rejoicing together in creative work (Proverbs 8:30–31).

    Wisdom seems to enjoy the divine status and personifies Jesus Christ.

    Prov 8:30–31

    • The personified/hypostatized Wisdom is rejoicing in creating activities with the Lord as Co-Creators: “Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”

    Isa 11:1–2

    • This Messianic prophecy announces the coming of the Shoot from the stem of Jesse having in view the Davidic King Jesus Christ, then it mentions also the Spirit and the Lord.

    “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

    Now, you still say, "Nothing in any of the verses...ties wisdom to a particular person..."? CM


    Brian Edgar, The Message of the Trinity (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 85–102

    Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 229–230

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