Proverbs 8:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 8:26, NIV: "before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth."

Proverbs 8:26, ESV: "before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world."

Proverbs 8:26, KJV: "While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world."

Proverbs 8:26, NASB: "While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world."

Proverbs 8:26, NLT: "before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil."

Proverbs 8:26, CSB: "before he made the land, the fields, or the first soil on earth."

What does Proverbs 8:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon affirms in this verse that wisdom existed before God created the earth with its fields. The fields would be earth's open country. Standing atop a mountain that rises over the Great Plains, one can be overwhelmed with the thought of God's infinite wisdom. This verse continues to express how wisdom—as a part of God's perfection—existed long before even the creation of the world (Proverbs 8:22–25).

Opinions vary regarding the meaning of "the dust of the world." Some believe this expression refers to heaps of dirt clods. Others think it refers to the sum of the atoms of dust. Still others take the expression to refer to Genesis 2:7 that tells us "God formed the man of dust from the ground" and made him alive.

In a humorous modern-day parable, a scientist approaches God to claim he can make life even better than God can. To prove it, the scientist challenges God to a life-creation contest. God accepts the challenge, but says that to be fair, they will both need to create that life just as life began: out of dirt. The scientist agrees and stoops down to pick up a handful of soil. God stops him, saying, "oh, no, you go make your own dirt!" In his finite wisdom, man can plant seed in the ground that God made and grow plants and crops, but God in His infinite wisdom made the ground and everything that springs from it.