Old Testament

What does Proverbs chapter 3 mean?

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2016-04-18 01:54:01

This Proverb opens up with Solomon speaking to his son. No where

in the Hebrews Scriptures is there a mix of pagan mythology with

the Word of God.

Solomon continues drawing attention to God with the phrase 'my

law...my commands,' connectiong wisdom and the Law of Moses - the

Proverbs being an application of the Law. Then Solomon continues to

describe God's character with the words 'mercy and truth' and the

demands He makes of His people.

This Proverb is about God, 'trust in the Lord,' 'acknowledge

Him' and explains how the person who has wisdom has found the

priceless treasure. (v 13-18). Solomon tells his son to keep sound

wisdom and discretion (virtues not a false god) in verse 21 and

speaks of their effects upon his son's life with the 'Lord will be

your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught'

(Proverbs 3:26).

As is done throughout Proverbs, wisdom is personified and acts

as God's dynamic Word. In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the

Wisdom of the Word of God and not some pagan god.

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2016-04-18 01:53:41

Lady Wisdom (Greek: Sophia) opens the chapter, "My

son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my

commandments."


She then recounts various of her commandments up to verse 12. Then

we learn a little about Wisdom herself (most English translations

tend to use a lower case for wisdom, which makes the text a little

harder to follow) - (Proverbs 3:13-19): "Happy is the man that

findeth [W]wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the

merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the

gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and

all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches

and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths

are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her:

and happy is every one that retaineth her. The LORD by [W]wisdom

hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the

heavens." The remainder of the chapter consists of further

Wisdom commandments.


So, who is this Wisdom? Chapter 8 is a good resource that can be

followed by modern readers accustomed to a narrower definition of

religion. Verse 1-5: "Doth not [W]wisdom cry? and understanding

put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the

way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the

entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men,

I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand

[W]wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart." She

was a spirit/goddess revered by Jews during the post-Exilic era and

up to the end of the first century CE, and is suggested she might

have been the pre-Exilic goddess of Wisdom. Proverbs 8:23 tells us

that she was with God at creation: "I was set up from

everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was,"

confirming the statement read in Proverbs 3:19.


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