The Personification of Wisdom (Proverbs 8-9)

Scripture reading – Proverbs 8; Proverbs 9

Today’s Scripture from Proverbs 8 and Proverbs 9, are wonderful expositions on the topic of biblical wisdom.

Proverbs 8

Proverbs 8 opens with two rhetorical questions: 1Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding [insight; discernment] put forth her voice?” (8:1).

The inference of the questions assumes the answer to each is, “Yes!” Yes, wisdom heralds her presence, and lifts up her voice to be heard. Godly wisdom, the skillful or right use of knowledge, demands not only to be heard, but heeded!

Where may one seek wisdom? According to Solomon, those who sincerely seek godly wisdom will find her. “She [Wisdom] standeth in the top of high places [where cities were built-in ancient times], by the way in the places of the paths [where roads intersect]3 She crieth at the gates [where city elders sat in judgment], at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors [in shops and places of commerce]” (8:2-3).

There was a day when wisdom was accessible in all those places, for she was sought out by men and women seeking spiritual insight and discernment. Wisdom, I fear, has been rejected and silenced. Her voice is no longer welcomed in academia. Church congregations gather, not for truth and wisdom, but for entertainment, and to have their ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

To acquire wisdom, one must first have the necessary requisite for such a treasure: “The fear [reverence] of the LORD is the beginning [fundamental; the most important thing] of wisdom: a good understanding [insight; discretion] have all they that do [make; perform] his commandments: his praise [glory] endureth [stands; is established] for ever [eternity]” (Psalm 111:10).

To acquire wisdom, discernment, and understanding, a believer must first revere the LORD, and make His Word, law, and commandments his meditation “day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

Where can one go for wisdom?

Proverbs 8:22-26 identifies Wisdom as existing eternally with God. The LORD “possessed [birthed] me [wisdom] in the beginning” (8:22). Wisdom “was set up [ordained] from everlasting [eternal; perpetual; without end], from the beginning, or ever the earth was [i.e. before the earth was created]” (8:23).

Jesus Christ is Wisdom, and everything Wisdom is said to be in Proverbs 8:27-31.  He is co-eternal with God the Father.  He was present when the sun, moon and stars were set in the heavens.  He was present when the earth was formed as a globe (8:27).  When the clouds were set in the sky and the waters stored in the depths of the earth—Christ was there (8:28).  When God set the boundaries of the ocean and hung the earth in space—Christ was there (8:29).  He is co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father. He is the Architect and Creator of the earth and man (8:30-31; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9). To find wisdom, one must turn to Christ.

Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith

Proverbs 9

You will notice in your reading of Proverbs 9 that Wisdom was introduced as having built a house supported by seven pillars (9:1). After completing the house, Wisdom invited guests to a banquet for which she had prepared and was hosting (9:2-6). Invitations were sent out to citizens of the city, and all were invited to attend the banquet, including the simple, the foolish, and the scorner (9:4-8).

To attend Wisdom’s banquet, one had to be willing to depart from the company of the foolish (9:6). Wisdom’s invitation to separate from the foolish came with a promise: “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way [path] of understanding [wisdom; spiritual discernment]” (9:6).

Closing thoughts – What kind of life did Wisdom promise? The life promised was more than mere survival. Wisdom was promising a life of spiritual contentment.

Riches will not buy a soul happiness; however, walking with Wisdom will bring something money cannot buy–peace, discernment, and contentment.

Proverbs 9:10–1110The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, And the years of thy life shall be increased.

Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith