What does Proverbs 8:28 mean?
ESV: when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
NIV: when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
NASB: When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed,
CSB: when he placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,
NLT: I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth.
KJV: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
This verse says plainly that wisdom existed when God made the skies and vast subterranean reservoirs of water. In this passage, wisdom has declared an eternal existence (Proverbs 8:22–27), as part of the perfect nature of God. Not only was everything in the universe made by God, it was made according to His perfect wisdom.
Atheists deny the existence of God and therefore reject the concept of a divine Creator. A common rationale for rejecting God is that a giant molecular cloud collapsed in the ancient past, forming our sun and eventually other matter. From there, they say, life naturally occurred.
This evokes a modern-day parable about a scientist who challenged God to a creation contest. According to the scientist, he understood the natural mechanisms needed to create life, making God unnecessary. God accepted the challenge, but on the condition they both form new life from dirt. The scientist agreed and bent down to scoop up a handful of soil. God interrupted him, however, saying "oh, no, you go get your own dirt."
Even if one accepts that earth, life, and all we see was formed through some kind of natural process, one still has to ask how did that molecular cloud originate? Where did the components come from? How did they come to be arranged so perfectly and precisely as to achieve these results? Sooner or later, one must "get your own dirt" and explain where it all came from.
Colossians insists that in Christ are "hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3) and points out that He holds all created things together (Colossians 1:17). John 1:3 affirms that "all things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."
Proverbs 8:22–31 pays tribute to wisdom as having existed from the very beginning of beginnings. In this chapter, wisdom speaks as a woman, in a poetic style used by Solomon. Since the wisdom in question is godly truth, rooted in the knowledge and nature of God, that wisdom predates the creation of the world and everything in it. Like God's goodness and justice, His wisdom has always been part of who He is and how He creates.
In this passage, wisdom is once again imagined as a woman who cries out to be heard (Proverbs 1:20–21). Wisdom extols her own truth and value. Wisdom was part of God's creative power long before even the creation of the universe. The chapter again returns to the many benefits of godly wisdom, before completing those declarations at the start of the next chapter.
Thus far in Proverbs, Solomon has spoken about the virtues of wisdom and the need to acquire it and live by it. He has also warned about the dangers of rejecting wisdom. Chapter 7 ended with a description of a promiscuous woman seducing a foolish young man. Now, in chapter 8, he lets wisdom speak, once again personified as a woman. She speaks about her existence before creation and her gift of life to all who find her. This analogy continues into chapter 9.
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 11/30/2023 4:55:34 AM
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