Devotional Readings

Proverbs 8 – The Words of Wisdom

These can be read here. I’ve included John Gill’s commentary below. Sorry for the length.

Pro 8:12  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Pro 8:14  Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

Pro 8:16  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.


We have good friends who bought a nice camper van and have named it Prudence. Perhaps as they glide across the county, they can impart glimpses of Christ’s love wherever they stop.


Btw, yesterday was Super Tuesday….let us take note these last two verses when we think about our election (voting that is not salvation) process.


As to that more important election I can only quote….


Pro 8:34  Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

Pro 8:35  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

Pro 8:36  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.


Jesus taught….

Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


The Bible says…

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

 Jesus further clarifies……


Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.


Of course God has Sovereign sovereignty …. So he can use any forum to draw some to himself….

And let’s hope he does….and especially to the Biblical Jesus….but that isn’t always the effect.


Joh 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Joh 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?


John Gill comments on this under verse 13……”when men attribute their justification and salvation to their own works, it is arrogancy, and must be hateful to Christ; who been at so much pains and expense to bring in everlasting righteousness, and work out salvation for men: 

it is the height of arrogancy in a man to conceit he a power to regenerate, renew, and convert himself, and, with the haughty Arminian, Grevinchovius, to say, he has made himself to differ from others; this must be hateful to Christ, by whose Spirit and grace this only is done: and it is a piece of arrogancy when men ascribe all the good works done by them to their own power, when without Christ they can do nothing; which therefore must be displeasing to him. “


I almost forgot, here is John Gill’s long commentary on the quoted Proverbs 8 verses. Worth reading if you have the time.


Proverbs 8:12

I Wisdom dwell with Prudence,…. Here Wisdom begins to speak in her own person, and continues to do so unto the end of the chapter; or Christ describes himself, pencils out and draws his own picture, and a most lovely one it is. In this clause Christ is described by the habitation in which he dwells, “I Wisdom inhabit Prudence” (c); so the words may be rendered; that is the house in which I dwell: or by his companion with whom he dwells, “with Prudence”; that is my companion with whom I am familiarly conversant. 

The phrase, taken both ways, shows that Christ is very largely, yea, fully possessed of prudence; as a man that dwells in a house is the proprietor and possessor of it, so prudence is Christ’s; it belongs to him, he enjoys it; he dwells in prudence, and prudence dwells in him; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in him, and the Spirit of wisdom rests upon him: and also it shows that prudence is natural to him, and not adventitious; it does not come from abroad, nor does he go abroad for it; he and Prudence are as it were born and brought up together in one and the same house: and likewise that there is an intimacy and familiarity between them; 

Prudence is most present with Christ, is always near him, and ready at hand to be exercised by him; as it was when he was incarnate on earth; he “dealt prudently”, as it was prophesied he should, Isa 52:13; which appeared in his disputation with the doctors in the temple at twelve years of age; by his prudent answers to the ensnaring questions of his enemies; and throughout the whole of his ministry, both as to the manner and matter of it and particularly at the time of his seizure, arraignment, trial, and crucifixion. 

Or by “prudence” may be meant prudent men, such as are possessed of this quality or virtue, and with such Wisdom, or Christ, dwells; not with the wise and prudent of this world; nor with such who are so in their own conceit; but with such who are sensible of their folly; who are humbled under a sense of sin, and are made wise unto salvation; who believe in Christ, which is a point of the highest prudence; and who walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; such as these have the presence and company of Christ;

and find out knowledge of witty inventions; the word מזמות is sometimes used in an ill sense, and is rendered “wicked devices”, Pro 12:2; and may be taken in this sense here. 

Christ, who is God omniscient, knows all that is in the hearts of men; all their thoughts, schemes, and devices; he found out, he scented the knowledge of them when here on earth; he was privy to the secret thoughts and wickedness of men’s hearts; he knew all the hypocritical designs and views of the Pharisees, when they tempted him with ensnaring questions; he was apprised of all the ways and methods they devised to take away his life before the time, and so escaped them; he found out the knowledge of Judas’s wicked scheme to betray him, and spoke of it to him and others before it was executed; and he knew all the wicked devices and stratagems of Satan against himself, in tempting him in the wilderness, and in putting it into the heart of Judas to betray him; and he knows all his wiles and artful schemes to decoy his people, and makes them known unto them, so that they are not ignorant of his devices. 

Moreover, it may be understood and interpreted in a good sense, of the thoughts, devices, and purposes of God’s heart, as in Jer 23:20; and particularly as relating to man’s redemption and salvation: this is a device or “invention” of God; sin is man’s invention, by which he fell; but the recovery of man is the invention of God; he found out the persons to be saved in his eternal decrees; and the person that should be the Saviour of them in his council and covenant, and appointed him for the work; and he found out the way and manner of saving men by him, even by the ransom and sacrifice of himself: 

and this is a “witty” invention, wherein God has abounded in all wisdom and prudence; as appears by settled upon so proper a person to be the Saviour as his own Son; by bringing it about in a way so agreeable to all his perfections, to the satisfaction of his justice, and the honour of his law; and in making such partakers of it, and in such a way, as most glorifies the riches of his grace. And this scheme Christ has full knowledge of, being in the bosom of his Father, as one brought up with him; and was the Angel of the great council, and present when the design was formed; and besides he has found it to his cost, even at the expense of his precious blood; and so has “obtained”, or “found redemption” for us, as the phrase is in Heb 9:12, and having found it, and the knowledge of it, he makes it known to others by his Spirit, word, and ministers. 

Likewise these “witty inventions” may be interpreted of the whole Gospel, and the doctrines of it; the Gospel is an “invention”, not of men, but of God; not a scheme and device of men, but of God; it is not taught by men, and learned of them, or of them only, but of God; and a “witty” one it is, it is the wisdom of God, the manifold wisdom of God, though esteemed foolishness by men. 

This Christ has “found out the knowledge of”; he has full and perfect knowledge of it, it is hid in him; it came and was preached by him, as it never was before or since; and he communicated, and still does communicate the knowledge of it; and blessed are they that know the joyful sound!

(c) שכנתי ערמה “habito astutim”, Cocceius; “prudentiam”, Michaelis; “solertiam”, Schultens.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil,…. All evil in general, evil thoughts, evil words, evil actions, evil company, evil worship, and evil doctrines; and by “the fear of the Lord”, which shows itself in an hatred of evil, because of the loathsome nature of it, and being contrary to God and his will, and as it appears in the glass of the law, and especially in the glass of pardoning love, is meant not the fear of his judgments and wrath, or a distrust of his grace and goodness, much less an hypocritical fear, or a mere show of devotion; but a reverential affection for him, which is peculiar to children; a filial, godly fear, which is consistent with strong faith, great joy, and true courage; and is opposite to pride and self-confidence, and is accompanied with real holiness; it takes its rise from the grace of God, and is greatly increased and promoted by the discoveries of his love and goodness: this is brought into the account and description of wisdom, to distinguish it from carnal wisdom; to commend wisdom from its holiness; for this the beginning of wisdom, yea, wisdom itself, Job 28:28;

pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate; these are the particulars of evil, which Wisdom, or Christ, declares his hatred of. 

“Pride”, which appears in men in thinking too highly of themselves, in speaking too well of themselves, in despising others, in setting up and trusting to their own righteousness for salvation, and in crying up the purity and power of human nature; this is very contrary to the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus, and must be hateful to him: “arrogancy” differs little from pride, and the two words in the Hebrew are very much the same, very little differ; it is an ascribing that to a man’s self which does not belong to him, whether in things natural, civil, or spiritual; when men attribute their justification and salvation to their own works, it is arrogancy, and must be hateful to Christ; who been at so much pains and expense to bring in everlasting righteousness, and work out salvation for men: 

it is the height of arrogancy in a man to conceit he a power to regenerate, renew, and convert himself, and, with the haughty Arminian, Grevinchovius, to say, he has made himself to differ from others; this must be hateful to Christ, by whose Spirit and grace this only is done: and it is a piece of arrogancy when men ascribe all the good works done by them to their own power, when without Christ they can do nothing; which therefore must be displeasing to him. 

“The evil way”, as Aben Ezra observes, is an evil custom and course of sinning; a man’s own way, which he chooses and delights in, and which leads to destruction: “and the froward mouth” is the mouth that speaks perverse things; things contrary to a man’s own heart, contrary to truth, to the rule of the divine word, to the Gospel, to Christ and his people, and to all men; which must be hateful and abominable to him who is truth itself.

Proverbs 8:14

Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom,…. The words and sentiments in this and the following clause are the same with those in Job 12:13; and scent to be taken from thence, which are spoken of God; and being here applied to Wisdom, show that a divine Person is meant; and are very applicable to him who the Wisdom of God, and the power of God; and on whom rests the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel, and of might, and of the fear of the Lord, 1Co 1:24

“Counsel” belongs to him, and is used and exercised by him, as concerned with the Father and Spirit, both in the words of nature and grace; to whom all the purposes and counsels of God are known; and who was consulted in the creation of man, and in his redemption, reconciliation, and salvation; the council of peace being between them both: and it belongs to him, and is used by him with respect to his people; he is council to them; he gives them counsel and advice, he being the wonderful Counsellor; he gave it in person when here on earth, both to sinners and to saints, and which continues on record: 

the Gospel is the counsel of Christ, and it is very suitable and seasonable, hearty, sincere, and faithful; is freely given, and, being taken, infallibly succeeds; see Rev 3:18

And he is council for them; he appears for them in court; introduces their persons, and presents their petitions to his Father; pleads their cause, is their advocate, answers to all charges and accusations; and calls for and requires, in point of law and justice, every blessing of goodness for them. “Sound wisdom” belongs to Christ; “wisdom”, from whence he has his name in this book; “sound” wisdom, such as is solid and substantial, real and true, in opposition to the wisdom of the world, to knowledge falsely so called, to carnal, sensual, and earthly wisdom. 

The Gospel may be meant, which is the wisdom of God in a mystery; sound doctrine, a form of sound words, the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus: both grace and glory may be intended, which are both in the gift of Christ; grace is that “wisdom” which he makes his people to “know in the hidden part”; and glory is that “sound wisdom” laid up for the righteous, the better and more enduring substance in heaven. The word here used signifies essence or substance; and some render it, “whatsoever is” (d); whatever has a being, that is Christ’s; all creatures are his, the earth and the fulness of it, and they that dwell therein;

I am understanding; essentially as a divine person; his understanding is infinite; there is no searching of it; it reaches to all persons and things: as Mediator, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding rests on him without measure, by which he was furnished for his prophetic office; as man, his understanding was amazing to all that knew him, and heard him. 

Christ not only has an understanding, but he is understanding itself; he is the fountain, author, and giver of understanding; of all the natural understanding there is in men; of the light of nature and reason, of those intellectual faculties which men are possessed of; and of all the spiritual understanding in divine things, which his people are partakers of, 1Jn 5:20;

I have strength; as the mighty God; which appears in his creation of all things out of nothing, in his upholding all things by his power, and in his government of the world. 

As Mediator, he has the Spirit of might upon him; all power in heaven and earth is given him; his strength is manifest in the salvation of his people, when he came travelling in the greatness of it to save them; by fulfilling the law for them; by bearing their sins, and the punishment due to them; and by destroying all their enemies: and in his plucking them out of the hands of Satan, out of the burning, out of the mire and clay at conversion; in bearing and supporting them under all their burdens, afflictions, and temptations, and in preserving them safe to his kingdom and glory; and in giving them strength in the mean time to bear the cross, to withstand temptations and corruptions, to exercise the graces of the spirit, and perform the duties of religion.

(d) תושיה “essentia”, Montanus, Tigurine version; “quicquid est”, Junius & Tremellius; “realitas”, Michaelis; “soliditas”, Schultens.

Proverbs 8:15

By me kings reign,…. Christ is the Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 

they are made kings by him, and are under him; he sets them up, and deposes them at pleasure; they have their kingdoms, crowns, and sceptres from him, and are accountable to him. 

The Syriac version renders it, “for me”; it is for the sake of Christ they reign; and they ought to seek his glory, and the good of his kingdom and interest. 

Moreover, as it is by him they are set up as kings and governors, and are preserved and continued in their governments by him; so it is by him that they rule well who do so, that they reign justly, wisely, happily, and successfully; all the wisdom which appears in their administrations is all from him; all those wise laws, which are enacted by them for the good of their subjects, is owing to the wisdom and prudence he gives them;

and princes decree justice; these may design such who are under kings, are assisting to them in government; who are of their privy council, and give advice in making laws, and putting them into execution. 

Here it particularly regards their making just and righteous laws for the good of the state, in which they are employed by kings; or their advising to them, and assisting in drawing them up: and now all the wisdom that is necessary hereunto, and which is conspicuous herein, is all from Christ; who has the spirit of princes in his hands, and orders and directs them as he pleases. The Targum is,

“I anoint princes with justice.”

Proverbs 8:16

By me princes rule,…. All governors of provinces and cities, who are under the king as supreme; the discharge of whose office in a right manner requires much wisdom, prudence, justice, and integrity; all which they have from Christ, as well as their power of ruling, that rule well;

and nobles, even all the judges of the earth; the word (e) for nobles signifies persons of a “free” spirit, generous, bountiful men; such as are called “benefactors”, Luk 22:25; so one of the Ptolemys, king of Egypt, was called Evergetes. 

Such who govern, not in a cruel and rigorous manner, but with clemency and gentleness; who, as they are “free” and noble themselves, their subjects are a free people, and enjoy their privileges and liberties fully and quietly. 

And “the judges of the earth” are such, as sit on benches of justice, hear and try causes, and pass sentence on men; which requires great skill and knowledge, and much faithfulness and integrity, which all that perform their office aright have from Christ. How great therefore must he be! how wise and just! from whom all rulers, supreme and subordinate, have their power; prudence, generosity, and justice!

(e) נדיבים “munifici sive liberales”, Vatablus; “ingenui”, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus; “munifici”, Piscator; “generosi”, Schultens.



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