What does Proverbs 8:31 mean?
ESV: rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
NIV: rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
NASB: Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of mankind.
CSB: I was rejoicing in his inhabited world, delighting in the children of Adam.
NLT: And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family!
KJV: Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
NKJV: Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.
Verse Commentary:
Wisdom, something God possessed even before the creation of the world (Proverbs 8:22–30), continues to speak in Solomon's metaphor begun in verse 1 (Proverbs 8:1–4).

Genesis 1 describes God's work of creating everything, including the creation of our first parents, and after creating everything, "God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). Unfortunately, sin entered humanity when Eve fell prey to the Devil's temptation and Adam joined her in rejecting God's will. That sin alienated human beings from God, and the human condition soon deteriorated to the point where "the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).

Despite the sin that marks every human being today, God loves us and demonstrated His love by giving His Son on the cross as our redeemer and reconciler (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19).
Verse Context:
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.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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.
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