Proverbs 8:1 (Mini Sermon)


1. Pro 8:1 - "Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?" A. What exactly is wisdom in Proverb 8? i. Wisdom is the personification of God's revelation to man which is manifest in creation, the scriptures, and Jesus Christ. a. Personification - 1. Attribution of personal form, nature, or characteristics; the representation of a thing or abstraction as a person: esp. as a rhetorical figure or species of metaphor. Also in art, the representation of a thing or abstraction by a human figure. b. Revelation - 1. The disclosure or communication of knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency. c. The wisdom of God sometimes refers to God himself speaking to men (Luk 11:49). d. In Proverbs 8 (as well as in chapters 1, 3, 4, and 9 - Pro 1:20; Pro 3:15; Pro 4:6; Pro 8:2; Pro 9:1), wisdom is personified as a woman and referred to in the feminine. (i) In the Hebrew language, which the book of Proverbs was originally written in, every noun has a gender, either masculine or feminine. (ii) Being feminine in the Hebrew, the translators translated wisdom as feminine in the King James Bible. (iii) (More will be said about wisdom being referred to in the feminine below). ii. God possesses wisdom (Job 12:13; Job 36:5; Dan 2:20; Pro 8:22). a. God's wisdom is unsearchable and limitless (Rom 11:33). b. Only God is inherently wise (Rom 16:27). c. Any wisdom we have is derived from God. iii. God reveals His wisdom to men by four different methods. a. God gives wisdom to men through His word (Pro 2:6; Pro 4:5). (i) God's written word is wisdom (Deut 4:5-6; Ezr 7:14 c/w 25). (ii) Wisdom is said to be more valuable than fine gold (Pro 8:19; Pro 16:16) because it is contained in the word of God which is more valuable than fine gold (Psa 19:10; Psa 119:72, 127). b. God also reveals wisdom to men through the natural world He has created. (i) The heavens declare the glory of God (Psa 19:1-4). (ii) The heavens declare God's righteousness (Psa 97:6). (iii) God's eternal power and godhead can be clearly seen by the things that are made (Rom 1:20). (iv) Nature itself teaches us things (1Co 11:14). (v) The animal kingdom teaches us lessons (Job 12:7-10; Pro 6:6-8). c. In times past, God also gave wisdom directly to the prophets and apostles supernaturally through the Spirit (1Ki 4:29 c/w 1Ki 10:24; 1Co 12:4-8; 2Pe 3:15). d. Lastly, God reveals wisdom to men by Jesus Christ who is His revelation to man. (i) Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the second person of the Trinity (Rev 19:13; 1Jo 5:7). (ii) Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh (Joh 1:1, 14). (iii) Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh (1Ti 3:16). (iv) Jesus Christ is the truth (Joh 14:6). (v) In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). (vi) Jesus was a teacher come from God (Joh 3:2). (vii) God hath spoken to us by His Son (Heb 1:2). (viii) God gave His revelation to the apostles by Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12; Rev 1:1). (ix) This is why Jesus is called the wisdom of God (1Co 1:24). (x) Although Jesus Christ is God's revelation to man and is the wisdom of God, and wisdom in Proverbs 8 is the personification of God's revelation to man, Jesus Christ is not wisdom in Proverbs 8 for the following reasons. 1. Wisdom in Proverbs 8 is a woman (Pro 8:2). 2. Jesus Christ (the man) did not exist until He was conceived in the womb of Mary (Luk 1:35) more than 900 years after Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs. iv. God has possessed wisdom from eternity and has manifested it throughout time in creation, in His written word, and in Jesus Christ. B. Doth not wisdom cry? i. This is a rhetorical question, the answer to which is "yes" (Pro 8:3; Pro 1:20). ii. In Proverbs 8 wisdom publicly cries out to men from every corner of life, calling unto them to hear her words and conform their lives to them in order to be richly blessed. a. Wisdom n. - 1. a. Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, esp. in practical affairs: opp. to folly. b. personified (almost always as feminine). b. Cry v. - I. 1. trans. To entreat, beg, beseech, implore, in a loud and emoved or excited voice. a. with the thing begged as direct object. Obs. (Now cry for.) 3. intr. To utter the voice loudly and with exclamatory effort, whether under the influence of emotion, as indignation, fear, pain, surprise, or merely in order to be heard afar, or above any noise that would prevent the ordinary speaking voice from being heard or distinguished; to call aloud (to a person), shout, vociferate. iii. Wisdom is crying to get men's attention. iv. She is the embodiment of soundness of judgment and good decision making, and she calls on men to follow her example. v. Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God, cried unto men to call them to believe the gospel (Joh 12:44-50). C. and understanding put forth her voice? i. Understanding is likewise personified in Proverbs 8. ii. Understanding, like wisdom, is crying unto men to get their attention and draw them to God. iii. Understanding is the intelligence that gives a man the ability to comprehend the meaning and idea of things by knowing the meaning of words. a. Understanding n. - 1. a. (Without article.) Power or ability to understand; intellect, intelligence. b. of understanding, intelligent, capable of judging with knowledge. Similarly of some, of no, understanding. c. With the: The faculty of comprehending and reasoning; the intellect. b. Understand v. - 1. To comprehend; to apprehend the meaning or import of; to grasp the idea of. b. To be thoroughly acquainted or familiar with (an art, profession, etc.); to be able to practise or deal with properly. 2. To comprehend by knowing the meaning of the words employed; to be acquainted with (a language) to this extent. c. Understanding is necessary to have wisdom; for without the ability to comprehend the meaning of words, concepts, and ideas, one cannot have wisdom (Pro 10:13; Pro 14:33; Pro 17:24). iv. Understanding puts for her voice. a. Wisdom and understanding are both referred to by feminine pronouns (Pro 8:2-3). b. The fact that God is masculine but His wisdom and understanding are referred to in the feminine is not a contradiction. (i) Ships serve as a good example of things which are dominant in masculine characteristics, but are nevertheless referred to by feminine pronouns. (ii) Ships are designed, built, and operated predominately by men and often even bear male names such as the USS George Washington, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan. (iii) Yet they are referred to with the feminine pronouns she and her, which has been the case for thousands of years (Act 27:15). (iv) A feminine pronoun is fitting for wisdom and understanding which are softer and more tender in character and demeanor than some of the other attributes of God such as judgment. (v) In addition to His dreadful side, the LORD also has a merciful and compassionate element to Him (Psa 103:13). (vi) Possessing such kindhearted characteristics, Jesus Christ, "who of God is made unto us wisdom" (1Co 1:30), is rightly symbolized in Proverbs by wisdom which is a feminine personification.
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