*Note: When the Holy Spirit has Solomon write (cf. II Peter 1:20-21) about wisdom and understanding in this chapter we’re studying, wisdom is personified [represented in a human, female form].
1. Based upon the first five verses of Proverbs chapter eight, does God want us to find wisdom and understanding?
Yes: “(1) Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? (2) She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. (3) She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. (4) Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. (5) O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart” (Proverbs 8:1-5).
* We saw the personification of wisdom in Proverbs 1:20, Proverbs 7:4, etc.
** We’ll see wisdom personified again (i.e. Proverbs 9:1).
*** As we discuss wisdom and understanding, let’s remember this: “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
**** We can see the connection to wisdom, understanding, and the word of God by seeing that what makes the simple wise is the word of God (Psalms 19:7).
Remember: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
2. Do words of wisdom contain things that are wrong, abominable, froward, or perverse?
No: “(6) Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. (7) For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. (8) All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward [perverse] or perverse in them”(Proverbs 8:6-8).
* Words of wisdom are always right, for they are from the Lord (Hosea 14:9; cf. Acts 26:25 and I Peter 4:11).
** It’s when we speak in ignorance that we get in trouble (Job 35:15-16).
3. To whom are words of wisdom plain and right?
“They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge” (Proverbs 8:9).
* See: Proverbs 15:14 and Proverbs 17:24.
4. Is wisdom valuable?
Yes: “(10) Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. (11) For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Proverbs 8:10-11).
* See also: Proverbs 3:13-18, Proverbs 16:16, and Proverbs 20:15; cf. Psalms 19:9-11.
5. What do we learn about wisdom in verse twelve of Proverbs chapter eight?
“I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions” (Proverbs 8:12).
* The basic point is that wisdom does not vaunt herself, but dwells with discretion (Proverbs 3:21 and Proverbs 12:23).
** Wisdom dwells with prudence [Strong’s # 6195: “discretion; subtlety”] (Proverbs 16:21, Proverbs 18:15, and Ephesians 1:7-9). Proverbs 1:4 has this same word as “subtlety”.
** Consider how “witty inventions” (4209) is translated throughout the Book of Proverbs:
Pro 1:4 To give5414 subtilty6195 to the simple6612, to the young man5288 knowledge1847 and discretion4209.
Pro 2:11 Discretion4209 shall preserve8104 thee, understanding8394 shall keep5341 thee:
Pro 3:21 My son1121, let not them depart3868 from thine eyes5869: keep5341 sound wisdom8454 and discretion4209:
Pro 5:2 That thou mayest regard8104 discretion4209, and [that] thy lips8193 may keep5341 knowledge1847.
Pro 12:2 A good2896 [man] obtaineth6329 favour7522 of the LORD3068: but a man376 of wicked devices4209 will he condemn7561 .
Pro 14:17 [He that is] soon7116 angry639 dealeth6213 foolishly200: and a man376 of wicked devices4209 is hated8130 .
Pro 24:8 He that deviseth2803 to do evil7489 shall be called7121 a mischievous4209 person1167.
6. What is the fear of the Lord to hate?
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
* We are supposed to fear God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Acts 9:31, and Philippians 2:12).
** The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).
*** Hate evil (Psalms 26:4-5), pride (Proverbs 29:23), arrogancy (I Samuel 2:3), and the forward [perverse] mouth (Proverbs 4:24).
**** As far as our hatred, it needs to be towards all sin (Psalms 119:104, Psalms 119:163, Amos 5:15, Romans 12:9, and I Peter 3:10-11).
**** God’s view of sin is clear. He hates sin and sinners (Psalms 5:4-6, Psalms 11:5-7, Proverbs 16:5, Romans 9:13, and Hebrews 1:8-9).
7. What is wisdom capable of doing (as described in verses 14-21)?
“(14) Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. (15) By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. (16) By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. (17) I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (18) Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. (19) My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. (20) I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: (21) That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures” (Proverbs 8:14-21).
* Counsel (Proverbs 21:30).
* The reign of those in authority (I Kings 3:28).
* Durable riches (Matthew 6:19-20 and Revelation 3:17-19).
8. How old is wisdom?
Everlasting, there from the beginning of creation: “(22) The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. (23) I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. (24) When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. (25) Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: (26) While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. (27) When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: (28) When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: (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: (30) Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; (31) Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:22-31).
9. Do blessings come to those who find wisdom?
Yes: “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways… Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors” (Proverbs 8:32).
* Wisdom comes through the word of God (I Corinthians 2), and we are blessed for keeping the word of God (Psalms 1:1-4, Psalms 119:1-2, and Luke 11:28).
10. What do we have to do to be wise?
“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Proverbs 8:33).
* Psalms 119:97-100, Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 19:20, and Proverbs 22:17.
11. When we find wisdom what else do we find?
“For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 8:35).
* Ecclesiastes 7:12.
12. What is the result of sinning against wisdom?
“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
“The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall” (Proverbs 10:8).