What does Proverbs 8:35 mean?
ESV: For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD,
NIV: For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.
NASB: For one who finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord.
CSB: For the one who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord,
NLT: For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.
KJV: For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Verse Commentary:
The Bible is clear that even the wisest, most faithful person can experience hardship and tragedy (John 16:33). However, those who are wise obviously have a greater likelihood of success, and lesser likelihood of negative consequences, than those who are foolish. Just as a doctor can rightly tell a patient "eat healthy foods and you will live longer," so too can wisdom offer these benefits.

The word translated "favor" here is rā'son, which implies acceptance, goodwill, or approval, all of which we receive from the Lord when we trust in Jesus. Our omniscient Savior gives life to all who believe on Him. John 3:16 affirms that whoever believes on Him has eternal life. Jesus Himself said He had come to give abundant life (John 10:10). The apostle John affirms this truth in 1 John 5:11–12: "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

In closing the gospel that bears his name, the apostle John explains the reason for his gospel: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:30–31).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 8:32–36 describes wisdom as having existed harmoniously with God before He created the world and everything in it. Now he urges his "sons," who might be students, to pay attention to wisdom, because wisdom blesses those who do so. However, those who reject wisdom receive injuries and death. This fits into the book of Proverbs' heavy use of both symbolism and general-case truth.
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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