Proverbs 8:36

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
– Proverbs 8:36

The word for sinneth against here means to miss and answers to finding wisdom in the previous verse. Wrongeth means to do violence to, and in this case it is his own soul. Finally, to neglect or refuse wisdom is to hate wisdom and life. It is to love death. Proverbs refers to death over twenty times and it is the most often the fate of the fool and the wicked (Proverbs 5:32). It is not merely a physical death but also a loss of all hope for the wicked man (Proverbs 11:7).

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Proverbs 8:35

For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.
– Proverbs 8:35

Finding wisdom hearkens back to the admonition to seek wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-5). Life is paired with the favor of the LORD and speaks of spiritual life more than mere physical existence. From the following verses, we know life and death are in view. While wisdom does bring material blessings to physical life (Proverbs 15:27; 16:15), there are greater blessings of life in the immaterial and spiritual sense (Proverbs 3:22; 10:16).

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Proverbs 8:34

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
– Proverbs 8:34

The blessed state or happy condition is enjoyed by those who hear, watch, and wait for wisdom. Hearing is giving careful attention and obedient attention. Watching is being sleepless as in those who keep watch or guard. Waiting has the idea of hedging about or keeping guard as in protecting. We are commanded to diligently seek wisdom, but as here, we must also patiently wait wisdom’s instruction. We cannot expect to gain all in a moment. It is a lifelong pursuit and that is why we must also judiciously guard what we already have lest we lose it.

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Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
– Proverbs 8:33

Instruction is discipline or correction. It carries the idea of a warning. The instruction of wisdom teaches us the way of wisdom. If we hear it intelligently so that we learn from it, we avoid the rod and correction from failure (Proverbs 24:32). Therefore, we are to pay attention and be wise. However, those who ignore, or refuse it, head to poverty and shame (Proverbs 13:18) without any consideration for their own soul (Proverbs 15:32) and their end reward is death (Proverbs 5:32).

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Proverbs 8:32

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
– Proverbs 8:32

Verses 32-36 make the application of the description of wisdom in this chapter. Hearken is the call again to hear intelligently. It is pressed upon children, or sons, and is the address of wisdom to all who will hear. Keeping wisdom’s ways results in blessing. Many blessings, both material and immaterial, have been mentioned to this point in the book and the whole of blessing is comprehended here.

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Proverbs 8:31

Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
– Proverbs 8:31

The creation was capped with the creation of man and that is the climax of wisdom’s recounted role. Wisdom is depicted as rejoicing and having delights with the world of men. This answers back to the earlier descriptions of wisdom calling out to men from all accessible places in the habitable parts. Wisdom is willing and generous and wanting to impart wisdom to all those who love and seek her.

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Proverbs 8:30

Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
– Proverbs 8:30

The meaning of the word for one brought up is widely debated. Some take it as a child. Others as a craftsman, artificer, or skilled worker. The common thread in all those meanings is a continuance such as an apprentice or child trained. Just as an apprentice is always by the side of the master, so wisdom is always with God. The point again is that God works all his works by wisdom and doesn’t depart from it. Daily delight and always rejoicing are in this same vein in terms of continuance. They also emphasize the quality of the works of creation such that they were rejoiced in, “It was very good” (Genesis 1:31; Job 38:7).

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Proverbs 8:29

When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
– Proverbs 8:29

God separated the waters from the dry land (Genesis 1:9; Jeremiah 5:22), hence he gave the sea a boundary it should not pass. This was by decree and commandment, which were made in wisdom. Foundations refer to the structural integrity and fixedness of the earth. Though hanging on nothing (Job 26:7), it is fixed in place by God’s appointment. Job, along with all the rest of us, wasn’t there when God did this and so we are not wiser than wisdom (Job 38:4).

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Proverbs 8:28

When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
– Proverbs 8:28

Establishing and strengthening here refer to making firm or secure. God has put the waters above and below in their place (Job 26:8). Not only were they brought into existence by wisdom, but they are sustained and governed by wisdom. They work as God designed by wisdom to fulfill their purpose. By extension, so ought we to be governed by wisdom.

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