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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Proverbs 8:27

When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
– Proverbs 8:27

Wisdom was involved in the creation. The heavens include the earth’s atmosphere, the space of the stars, and the third heaven. Solomon speaks also of the forming of the globular earth. The earth was covered with water, the depth, and God gathered the water and brought out the dry land in two distinct bounds (Genesis 1:9-10). All these works were done in wisdom.

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Proverbs 8:26

While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
– Proverbs 8:26

The word for earth can refer to land or, as here, be put for the whole of the earth. The fields are the wild or desert places of the earth. The word for dust does indicate something powdered such as dry earth or ashes. This verse ranges from the grand scope of the whole earth to the minute particles of dust upon the earth. God has made wisdom indispensable to all aspects of the creation. By extension, one should consider wisdom indispensable to living in a universe and upon an earth where from the greatest to the smallest was made with wisdom.

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Proverbs 8:25

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
– Proverbs 8:25

Wisdom is described as here as before, obviously involved in, the creation of the dry land of the earth. The word for settled means to sink or to plant. It refers to the mountains being planted, suggesting the orderly arrangement and design of the creation. The creation was made in wisdom and nothing akin to random chaos.

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Proverbs 8:24

When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
– Proverbs 8:24

The next several verses relate wisdom to the creation of the universe. Wisdom was before the sea and springs of the earth. The emphasis of wisdom predating the creation is to show wisdom’s role in the acts of creation. Wisdom was present and involved. Brought forth puts us in mind of birth, but rather than pinpointing a birth date of wisdom, the point is to establish the antiquity of wisdom, which also comprehends the scope of wisdom. To the reader, wisdom is broad and deep so that nothing in life is untouched by it.

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Proverbs 8:23

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
– Proverbs 8:23

Wisdom was anointed or installed as set up indicates. This refers to an installation into office. Wisdom was established so that all works in the creation would be by wisdom. Everlasting is time out of mind. Beginning is explained by the alternative, ever the earth was. The antiquity of wisdom is emphasized to reveal its importance and that wisdom’s value surpasses the value of all things made by it.

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