Proverbs 8

1The solemn call, 6sound teaching, 10inestimable worth, 12nature, 15benefits, 22and eternity of wisdom. 32Wisdom is to be attended to for the blessedness it bringeth.

1DOTH not wisdoma1cry? and understanding 2put forth her voice?

a Prov. 1:20, 21.

1 As if he would say: assuredly She does. It is a kind of question which implies a strong affirmation. See Gen. 13 on verse 9.

2 Hebr. give. See Prov. 1 on verse 20.

2She standeth in the 3top of high places, 4by the way 5in the places of the paths.

3 Hebr. in the head of the high places. Hereby may be understood the places which have been exalted, from which teachers could propound and communicate Her good doctrine and instruction to the church. Compare 2 Chron. 24:20; Neh. 8:5; Mat. 10:27; Acts 22:3.

4 Understand the public road, by which many people did pass.

5 Hebr. in or upon the house of paths or lanes, that is, in the place of the paths or ways. Understand the crossways, where many paths or ways meet together as in a house or place. House for place, see Exod. 25 on verse 27.

36She crieth 7at the gates, 8at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

6 Namely, Wisdom. Other, They cry, namely, Wisdom and Understanding. See thereof verse 1. The first is better, as it appears from the following sixth verse, where the singular number is also used. Likewise see verse 12.

7 Hebr. at the hand of the gates. See 2 Sam. 18 on verse 4. Other, at the place of the gates.

8 Hebr. at the mouth of the city, that is, at the entry thereof, as the following words declare. Also the mouth of the well, Gen. 29:2; the mouth of the cave, Joshua 10:18.

4Unto you, O 9men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

9 Some perceive that by men here must be understood those who are eminent among men for nobility, wealth and power and otherwise are called children of men, and by the sons of man the common sort of people. See Psalm 49 on verse 2.

5O ye 10simple, understand 11wisdom: and, ye 12fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

10 See Prov. 1 on verse 4.

11 Or, prudence, or subtlety. See Prov. 1:4.

12 See Prov. 1 on verse 22.

6Hear; for I will speak of 13excellent things; and 14the opening of my lips shall be right things.

13 Hebr. of princes, namely, of the things of princes, that is, not of common or mean things, but of glorious, excellent and transcendent things, which suit princes and great lords, not only because they likewise concern them, but also because they ought to be heard and received by them, yea even to be propounded by them. Compare Prov. 22:20.

14 That is, what I will utter by the opening of My lips.

7For my 15mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is 16an abomination to my lips.

15 Or, the roof of the mouth. Understand under one member whereby speech is here said to be uttered, all the rest, that do likewise help and conduce thereunto, as lips, teeth, tongue and throat. See Job 33 on verse 2.

16 Hebr. an abomination of my lips, that is, which My lips do loath and abominate, namely, to speak it. See Prov. 3 on verse 32.

8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing 17froward or perverse in them.

17 Compare Job 5 on verse 13.

9They are all 18plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that 19find knowledge.

18 Or, ready, ready at hand. The Hebrew word signifies either what is right and straight or what is ready at hand, present and obvious to the sight, and very ready, open, plain and easy to be understood. So 2 Sam. 15:3; Prov. 24:26.

19 That is, get, obtain. See Gen. 26:12 and the annotation.

10Receive my instruction, and 20not silver; and knowledge rather than 21choice gold.

20 That is, more than silver, as the following words of this verse do show. What is spoken in general, is often to be understood but from a certain viewpoint and by way of comparison. Compare Isa. 43:18; Jer. 7:22; 16:14; Hosea 6:6; Mat. 23:3; 1 Cor. 1:17.

21 See Prov. 3 on verse 14. Likewise verse 19 below.

11Forb wisdom is better than 22rubies; and 23all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

b Job 28:15; Psalm 19:10; Prov. 3:14, 15; 16:16.

22 See Job 28 on verse 18.

23 Hebr. all delights or desires will not be compared to it. See Prov. 3 on verse 15.

1224I wisdom dwell with 25prudence, and find out knowledge of wittyc26inventions.

24 That is, I possess, enjoy and use subtlety, as which only belongs to Me, and waits upon Me.

25 See Prov. 1 on verse 4 the 10th annotation.

c clever, skillful

26 See Prov. 1:4.

1327The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the 28evil way, and the 29froward mouth, do I hate.

27 That is, the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning and the most important part of wisdom, Prov. 1:7, causes and moves a man to hate evil.

28 See Prov. 2 on verse 12.

29 See Prov. 2:12.

14Counsel is mine, and 30sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

30 Or, durable essence or durable wisdom. See Prov. 2 on verse 7.

15By me kings reign, and princes 31decree 32justice.

31 From this word comes another, which signifies lawgivers or lawmakers, Gen. 49:10; Deut. 33:21; Judges 5:14.

32 That is, good and just laws, according to which subjects ought to be governed.

16By me princes rule, and 33nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

33 See Job 12 on verse 21.

17I love them that love me; and those that seek me 34early shall 35find me.

34 See of the Hebrew word Job 7 on verse 21; Prov. 7 on verse 15.

35 See 2 Chron. 15 on verse 2.

18Richesd and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

d Prov. 3:16.

19Mye36fruit is better than 37gold, yea, than 38fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

e Prov. 3:14.

36 See Prov. 1 on verse 31.

37 See Prov. 3 on verse 14.

38 See 1 Kings 10 on verse 18. Others: gold of Uphaz, who think that Paz is here put for Uphaz, the name of a place from where comes much precious gold, Jer. 10:9, namely, a place in Barbary, (according to the opinion of some) now called Fez.

20I lead in the 39way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

39 That is, in the manner and course of life which men ought to follow that they may, according to the law, perform the duty, which they owe first to God, and then in the next place unto their neighbor. See Prov. 2 on verse 8.

21That I may cause those that love me to inherit 40substance; and I will fill their treasures.

40 Understand such wealth, which truly is good, and brings to man the greatest prosperity, which abides forever; not appearing to be such, but really being such in truth.

2241The LORD 42possessed 43me in the beginning of 44his way, 45before his works 46of old.

41 Meaning: the everlasting Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, the first Person of the eternal Godhead.

42 That is, had Me in and by Him, and being begotten of Him in an inconceivable and incomprehensible manner, John 1:1; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3, 5.

43 Namely, the essential Wisdom, the substantial Word of the Father, or the second Person of the Divine Essence, the everlasting and only begotten Son and true God; of Whom see also verse 12; Prov. 1:20; John 1:1; Col. 1:15.

44 That is, of His working, as of the creation, yea, also of His eternal counsel, and purpose to create the world, as the following words do show.

45 That is, from all eternity, when as yet there was nothing made.

46 Namely, when there was nothing but God, and nothing but eternity. Compare Psalm 93:2.

23I was 47set up from everlasting, from the beginning,f or 48ever the earth was.

47 That is, ordained and appointed as a Princess to create, sustain and govern the world.

f John 1:1.

48 That is, before the earth, ere the earth was created. Compare verses 25 and 26.

24When there were no depths, I was 49brought forth; when there were no fountains 50abounding with water.

49 As such the Hebrew word is taken, Psalm 51:5. Also in the following verse.

50 Hebr. heavinesses of waters, that is, great multitude of water. Or, burdened with water, that is, full of water and abounding with water.

25Before the mountains were 51settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

51 That is, were imprinted, founded and secured. The Hebrew word seems to imply that the mountains have their foundation below in the waters.

26While as yet 52he had 53not made the earth, nor the 54fields, nor the 55highest part of the dust of the world.

52 Namely, the Lord, verse 22.

53 The Hebrew particle ad or gnad is elsewhere also taken. See Job 1:18 and the annotation. Or, Hebr. until he had not made the earth, that is, before He had made the earth.

54 The Hebrew word signifies the places which are outside the houses and the cities, as the streets and the fields. It is here taken for the fields, as also Psalm 144:13; Ezek. 7:15.

55 Hebr. head, that is, the beginning. So Num. 10:10; Eccl. 3:11; Ezek. 40:1. The meaning is: that the least or smallest dust was not as yet made.

27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: wheng he set 56a compass 57upon the face of the depth:

g Job 26:10.

56 Or, drew, ordered, set a circle. This is said in regard of the form or fashion of the earth, which was made round by God, so that it compasses about the deep waters, and is compassed about by them. The meaning is: that God made the earth round as with a compass or (pair of) compasses.

57 That is, upon the deep waters.

28When he 58established the clouds above: when he 59strengthened the fountainsh of the deep:

58 Namely, that keeping their place, they might not fall down upon the earth.

59 That is, gave them a sure and continual course.

h Gen. 7:11.

29When he gave to the sea his 60decree, that the waters should not pass hisi61commandment: when he 62appointed the foundations of the earth:

60 Hebr. statute, ordinance, decree, that is, bounds, within which she was to keep herself.

i Gen. 1:9, 10; Job 38:10, 11; Psalm 104:9.

61 Hebr. mouth. See Gen. 41 on verse 40.

62 Or, instituted, or, described.

30Then I was by him, as 63one brought up with him: and I was 64daily his 65delight, rejoicing alwaysj before him;

63 Namely, that is continually with his nurse. Thus is the eternal Son of God, the substantial Wisdom of the Father, from everlasting distinctly with Him, as it is written John 1:1: “… and the Word was with God, … .” Likewise John 17:5: “…glorify thou me … with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” But the word may also be taken for him, who nourishes also; the translation being thus made, and I am nourishing with him, that is, upholding and governing all things, and especially bringing up and nourishing His church with His Word and Spirit.

64 Hebr. day day; that is, daily, always. See Gen. 39 on verse 10, and below, verse 34.

65 Hereby is intimated by a figurative kind of speech, the great acceptableness of the Son of God with His Father. See Mat. 3:17; John 5:20; 8:29. Other, and I am a daily delight, namely, the creatures, by My general and special blessings.

j John 5:17.

3166Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were 67with the sons of men.

66 Namely, in that She shows Herself exceeding wonderful and various in the upholding and governing of all creatures.

67 Namely, to do good unto them, in respect of this present life and the life that is to come.

32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: fork blessed are they that keep 68my ways.

k Psalm 119:1, 2; 128:1; Luke 11:28.

68 That is, the ways which I prescribe unto them.

33Hear instruction, and be wise, and 69refuse it not.

69 Compare Prov. 1:25, where the same Hebrew word is used.

34Blessed is the man that heareth me, 70watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

70 A similitude taken from diligent students, who are always about the place of instruction of their teachers, or from solicitors, who diligently take notice of the legal discourses of the lawyers and councilors, or from the doorkeepers of the temple, who were steadfastly to observe their work.

35For whoso findeth me findeth life, andl shall 71obtain favour of the LORD.

l Prov. 12:2.

71 Or, getteth, that is, obtains favor and grace with the Lord. See the same phrase Prov. 12:2; 18:22.

36But he that sinneth against me 72wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate 73me 74love death.

72 Or, doeth violence to, or, oppresseth. Hebr. is an oppressor of his soul. See the following clause of this verse. Likewise Prov. 20:2.

73 They are said to hate God and His Wisdom, who wittingly and willingly do what God and His Wisdom hate. See of such kind of people, Psalm 21:8; 83:2; Rom. 1:30.

74 That is, they do that, whereby they bring death and destruction upon themselves. Also, As he loved cursing, Psalm 109:17; And they lay wait for their own blood, Prov. 1:18; despiseth his own soul, Prov. 15:32.