Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Summary of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs

Wisdom is the major theme in the book of Proverbs. The wisdom taught in Proverbs is not some kind of general human knowledge gained by way of human contemplation and reflection on the facts of life, but knowledge concerning God and his way that is ultimately communicated to humanity by God himself through torah.

The book of Proverbs teaches that God used wisdom in creating the world (Prov 3:19–20). The idea of the seven pillars and the the high places of the town in Prov 9:1, 3, 14 relates Wisdom and Folly to the concept of temple. Wisdom is closely associated with sanctuary building in the Old Testament (see Exod 31:2; 35:30–36:1; 2 Chr 2:13). An important theological connection exists between God’s wisdom in building the earth as a sanctuary (where God and humanity relate together) and the God-given wisdom of people like Bezalel and Solomon, who were used by God to build the tabernacle/temple.

Because God is the source of wisdom, all wisdom comes as a gift from him (Prov 2:6). Wisdom is of great value (Prov 4:7; 8:10–11; 16:16). Wisdom is readily available (Prov 1:20–21; 8:1–5); but we need to get hold of, to love, and to never forsake wisdom (Prov 4:5, 7). We need to pay attention to it (Prov 5:1), to listen to the voice of wisdom (Prov 2:2; 8:6), to search for wisdom like searching for hidden treasure (Prov 2:4). The person who possesses wisdom is blessed (Prov 3:13; 8:32–34). Wisdom provides protection (Prov 4:6), honor (Prov 4:8), splendor (Prov 4:9), and life (Prov 8:35; 9:6).

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