* The engraving from a book titled "Vom Werckmeister Jesu Christo / Doctor Ioannes Draconites" by Draconites, Johannes (1494-1566) is now in public domain. The title is "The Boy Jesus Teaches in the Temple". Jesus asks questions of the teachers of the law in the temple as a boy. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>1. What kind of places does wisdom call out to people and what was their significance in those days? (1-3)
* Proverbs 8:1-3 "Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud"
* "Does not wisdom call out?" -Wisdom in personified.
* "Does not understanding raise her voice?" Understanding is personified.
* "On the heights along the way, where the paths meet... beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances" -The places where everyone in city and surrounding area's traverse, commerce, and entertain. So all will hear them. Wisdom and understanding can be heard and seen by all, no excpetions.
* "she takes her stand... she cries aloud" -Clear intent. God makes sure all have a chance to hear true wisdom and undertanding.
>Is anyone excluded from her invitation? (4-5)
* Proverbs 8:4-5 "To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding."
* "To you, O men, I call out"
* "I raise my voice to all mankind. "
* "simple, gain prudence"
* "foolish, gain understanding."
* Wisdom is personified as a female calling to everyone who walks in and out of the city gates and this way and that way down the paths, streets, and highways (1-3). Her sister understanding is there alongside raising her voice (1). What is wisdom and what is understanding that anyone and everyone can hear?
Wisdom is more than the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Wisdom is even more than the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Wisdom is God; his nature implemented. Jesus is the embodiment and display of wisdom. Wisdom and understanding exist in all, around all, and before and after all. A person cannot go through any given moment without wisdom and understanding being there waiting.
Jesus like wisdom proclaims, "Here I am." Nature is filled with evidence that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) No one can go through life and not hear wisdom call out, "You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right." Therefore, no one has an excuse before God for his wisdom and understanding is plain to all, all the time.
Listen to the above comments on Proverbs 8:1-5.
>2. What does wisdom love and detest? (6-8)
* Proverbs 8:6-8 "Listen, for I have worthy 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."
* "for I have worthy things to say;"
* "I open my lips to speak what is right."
* "All the words of my mouth are just"
* "none of them is crooked or perverse."
>What does verse 9 tell us about perspective in hearing?
* Proverbs 8:9 "To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge."
* "To the discerning all of them are right"
* "they are faultless to those who have knowledge."
>3. How is wisdom more precious then monetary?
* Proverbs 8:10-11 "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."
* "Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold"
* "wisdom is more precious than rubies"
* "nothing you desire can compare with her."
>Since wisdom has such value how can we obtain and maintain it?
* Listen, consider, and act upon the source of wisdom.
* Wisdom declares that she detests wickedness. The Hebrew word "resha" (also "rasha") appears 64 times in the Old Testament. The Greek word "poneros" appears 76 times in the New Testament. What is wickedness in the Bible? Wickedness and evil are that which is opposed to God and His purposes or that which, defined from human perspectives, is harmful and non-productive. Such is the life I want to live. I don't want harm. I don't want to be non-productive.
When I woke up this morning I didn't want to sit down and read, think, and write. Yet I sat down to do just that. After reading the passage I thought, "I don't want to go through Proverbs anymore. This is the reason why I had not prepared questions and commentary from Proverbs in FreeBibleStudyHelp.com; it is repetitive and sometimes requires much thought."
Yet now I get a reason why it is good to do BDBD on Proverbs. I want to do right (9). I want that which is of the greatest value; more so than silver, gold, and rubies (10,11). I believe that following the words in this book will at times give me those. And even if it doesn't peace of mind and heart is sufficient. Nothing I desire can compare to wisdom (11).
Listen to the above comments on Proverbs 8:7-11.
II. To Fear the Lord is to Hate Evil (8:12-21)
* The engraving from a book titled "R.P. Ludouici Iacob, Cabilonensis, Carmelitae, Bibliographia Gallica vniuersalis, hoc est, Catalogus omnium librorum per vniuersum Galliae regnum annis 1643. 1644. & 1645 excusorum." by Jacob de Saint-Charles, Louis (1608-1670) is now in public domain. The title is "Printer's Device". This printer's device of an unknown printer features Justice, symbolized as a blindfolded woman holding scales and the motto, "PER ME REGES REGNANT" ("By me kings reign" Proverbs 8:15"). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>4. What is prudence, knowledge, and discretion? (12)
* Proverbs 8:12 "I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion."
* "I, wisdom,"
* "dwell together with prudence"
* "I possess knowledge and discretion."
* Wisdom and prudence dwell together like husband and wife (12). Prudence is care and good sense that is shown when making a decision or taking action and it is cautious care in the management of resources, economy, family, body, and mind.
Knowledge and discretion are another couple. They are owned by wisdom (12). Discretion is the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice.
God wants me to be an adult, made in the image of His beloved Son, Jesus. I should not wait around for God to do something for me all the time as a toddler around his mother's dress. The Lord wants me to possess and utilize these two couples; wisdom and prudence; knowledge and discretion.
Jesus called disciples to him so that he could teach them wisdom, prudence, knowledge, and discretion. Every act, every word, every look, and every example was Jesus teaching his disciples what it is like to be an adult in God's eye. Jesus lived the way God intends his children to live. I am Jesus' disciple. I will follow his example and be an adult.
Listen to the above comments on Proverb 8:12.
>What is fear of the LORD equated to in verse 13?
* Proverbs 8:13 "To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech."
* "To fear the LORD"
* "is to hate evil"
* "I hate pride and arrogance"
* "evil behavior and perverse speech."
* Fear the Lord = hate evil. This is not hating others because they are evil nor because they do evil. These words are instructions to keep from thinking evil thoughts and from doing evil acts. Fearing the Lord is knowing that I will be held accountable for all my acts. The Lord is clear in his words that those who know more will have to stand before him and give an account.
Fear the Lord = hate pride. This is not hating others because they are proud or because they are boastful. These words are instructions to keep from thinking proud thoughts and from walking around with arrogance. The Lord is clear in his words that those who know more will have to stand before him and give an account.
Fear the Lord = hate evil behavior and perverse speech. This is not hating others because they are perverse or because they speak perversely. These words are instructions to keep from thinking perversely and saying course words. Fearing the Lord is knowing that I will be held accountable for all the words I say. The Lord is clear in his words that those who know more will have to stand before him and give an account.
The application of these three is subject to reason. What is evil? What is pride? What is perverse speech? It is easy to misunderstand and misapply all three. Such is the way of fallen mankind.
Listen to the above comments on Proverb 8:13.
>5. What does good counsel and sound judgment have in common with understanding and power? (14)
* Proverbs 8:14 "Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power."
* "Counsel and sound judgment are mine;"
* "I have understanding"
* "I have... power"
* Wisdom continues her allocution to all mankind. She boldly declares "counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power."
Jesus next to a well pours out wise counsel. He told the woman there, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)
Jesus pressing his finger into the ground spells out sound judgment. "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir" "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:8-11)
Jesus confronting hypocrisy displays understanding, "Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." (Mark 2:8-11)
Jesus standing next to tombs shouts out power. "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (John 11:41-44)
Jesus is wisdom.
Listen to the above comments on Proverb 8:14.
>Is verses 15-16 true about all kings, princes, and nobles?
* Proverbs 8:15-16 "By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth."
* "By me kings reign"
* "rulers make laws that are just"
* "by me princes govern"
* "all nobles who rule on earth."
>6. Can anyone find wisdom?
* Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me."
* "I love those who love me"
* "those who seek me find me."
>What does Jesus say that is similar to wisdom's claims in verse 17?
* Similar to "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me" is Jesus' words, "Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will open." They are as one as lemon and tea in ice. Jesus loves people who seek him. Seek Jesus and be loved. You are loved for he knows those who will seek him at creation.
Listen to the above comments on Proverb 8:17.
>7. What does it mean that wisdom has fruit? (18-19)
* Proverbs 8:18-19 "With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver."
>How does wisdom bring forth its promises in verses 20-21?
* Proverbs 8:20-21 "I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full."
>Considering the facts of wisdom thus from in the chapter is the promise of wealth the same as most desire?
* Wisdom continues her dialogue. She promises that which most seek; "riches, honor, enduring wealth, and prosperity."
Wisdom is not a genie in the bottle. She is not an incantation to recite over and over again. Wisdom is not a scam. Wisdom is not magic. Wisdom is not an invisible force. Wisdom is a way of life. More specifically spoken; wisdom is my attitude as I make choices at any given moment.
Wisdom walks in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice. I have spent the last two days walking paths in amusement parks. Eye delights, smell sensations, and physical thrills were created to enjoy for not so small a price. Yet one of the most spectacular experience is watching little children at play with their steps as they continue down a path with their parents leading the way. Joy can be found in simple daily activities if I decide to follow wisdom and have the right attitude in my daily routine.
Listen to the above comments on Proverbs 8:18-21.
III. The Lord Brought Me Forth First (8:22-36)
* See a drawing titled "Renewal of the Earth" in a book title "Voor-bereidselen tot de bybelsche wysheid, en gebruik der heilige en kirklijke historien: uit de alder-oudste gedenkkenissen der Hebreen, Chaldeen, Babyloniers, Egiptenaars, Syriers, Grieken en Romeinen... Door een liefhebber der Joodische oudheden." by Willem Goeree. (1635-1711) Diagrams of the structure of the earth (top); a depiction of God sending his spirit to renew the earth. Verses sited include Psalm 104:30; Job 38:16, 38:38:18; Proverbs 8:27. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>8. When was wisdom created and what does this say about its importance in all creation? (22-23)
* Proverbs 8:22-23 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began."
>Who is the creator and what does his order of creation say about him?
* Proverbs 8:24-26 "When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world."
>What does wisdom mean when she says she was there at creation? (27-29)
* Proverbs 8:27-29 "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."
>9. What does it mean that wisdom was a craftsman?
* Proverbs 8:30-31 "Then I was the craftsman 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."
>How did wisdom respond when mankind was made?
* Wisdom is still speaking. She was brought forth first before anything else was created. Wisdom was created in the beginning. The principle of wisdom is woven into everything; a craftsman at the side of the creator (30). This is important to know for living by the principle within all creation is easier than fighting against it.
>10. What does it mean that we are blessed when we keep wisdom's ways? (32-22)
* Proverbs 8:32-33 "Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it."
>How is diligence important? (34)
* Proverbs 8:34 "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway."
>What are the only two possibilities with accepting or rejecting wisdom?
* Proverbs 8:35-36 "For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.
36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death."
* Wisdom calls all people her sons. No one is excluded from listening to her (32). Anyone can keep wisdom's ways. Blessed is the person who listens to wisdom (34).
When I was young I wanted to be blessed for to me this meant God gave me good things no matter what I had done, was doing and would do. Yet here I see that a person is blessed when they listen to wisdom (34).
Thus far in Proverbs, the daily path a young man or woman can lead is portrayed by two women; one adulterous and another wisdom. The former way is self-harm and death (36). The latter is life and receives favor from the Lord (35). The petition goes out. It is me to decide.