Solomon begins by personifying Lady Wisdom further, summoning the reader to hear her call. This is the ultimate of these chapters illuminating the two paths of wisdom and folly, or foolishness. The fact that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of all knowledge is again made infinitely plain in this chapter. “She” begins by further developing the inclusion of righteousness as an integral part of wisdom (verses 6-9), the reasons for seeking it so earnestly (verses 10-11), and the benefits it provides mankind (verses 15-19).
She calls upon all the “children of man” (verse 4) – the simple, the fool, the learned – all who seek wisdom diligently will find it (verse 17). But again, we are reminded of the difference between mere knowledge and true wisdom – the insight that comes to those who seek it without wickedness, who have prudence, who are just and seek justice, and those who abhor evil and are not full of pride, arrogance, and who avoid perverse speech. True wisdom does not dwell in those who do not walk in the path that the Lord has made for us, no matter how “intelligent” that person may be. Verses 8-9 make clear that only those who truly understand these facts will attain that wisdom, and that is so because those facts are clear for them to understand. The unrighteous cannot have that understanding, and so they are denied true wisdom.
Verses 22 and following detail how wisdom “was” before God created the earth and all things universal, and how he delighted in his creation. He created all things physical, all things invisible, and even the abstract. There would not even be any concept of things such as beauty, love, truth, right, wrong, or even the concept of such things as a name or a number, but for the power of the Lord. And Jesus, the Son, was there and is Himself that wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 1 Cor 1:30, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-18).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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