The Relationship Between Jesus and Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8

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Proverbs 8:22-23, 30

“Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?…The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth…Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him”

-This passage is sometimes used in attempts to prove that Jesus pre-existed his birth as Wisdom.

-The passage is written in poetry, and should therefore be interpreted within the bounds of poetic discourse. Many of God’s attributes are personified, which means they are     given a voice and personality to speak, metaphorically:

   a. Wisdom, a female personification (Prov. 8:1, 11, 12)

   b. Prudence, another personification (Prov. 8:12)

   c. Righteousness and Peace (Psa. 85:10-11)

   d. The arm of the LORD (Isa. 51:9)

-God’s personified Wisdom is an attribute, according to Proverbs, which male figures are to seek after (2:2, 6, 10; 3:13, 19; 4:5, 7, 11; 5:1; 7:4). This is why Wisdom is personified as a female figure (along with the fact that chohhmah is a feminine noun in Hebrew).

-Personifications are not independent persons and Jesus is not a female figure. The personification of Lady Wisdom is a way of describing God in his wise dealings with his   creation.

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One thought on “The Relationship Between Jesus and Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8

  1. Thanks for your post.

    There was a book I read once (a study of Isa.) where the author prescribed substituting “the arm of the LORD” with “Jesus” as you read through scripture to give you the best understanding of what it meant. If I remember, I think the idea actually made sense for a few instances, but in opinion seemed forced in most others. I see “the arm of the LORD” as a personification of God’s power and deeds.

    I think these are versatile concepts described in scripture, not to be used as terms to equate to one thing or person, but to paint pictures of the qualities of God. In John, we have the concept of the Logos brought to us, painting a picture of God’s creative expression. An extension of His being (not another being, of course). Then we see that concept come to fruition in the person of Jesus (made flesh). Of course that creates a strong relationship between the concept of the Logos and the person of Jesus, but it doesn’t put an equals sign between them across all contexts, if you get what I’m saying.

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