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Jor-el

Who is Wisdom?

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Proverbs 8:1, 22-31

1 Does not wisdom call?

Does not understanding raise her voice?

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,

the first of his acts of old.

23 Ages ago I was set up,

at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains had been shaped,

before the hills, I was brought forth,

26 before he had made the earth with its fields,

or the first of the dust of the world.

27 When he established the heavens, I was there;

when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

28 when he made firm the skies above,

when he establishedd the fountains of the deep,

29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,

and I was daily his delight,

rejoicing before him always,

31 rejoicing in his inhabited world

and delighting in the children of man.

So is this a goddess or a god, or, is it God himself taking on the mantle of Wisdom?

Edited by Jor-el

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One could argue that wisdom is a "she" because unlike English where concepts and ideals don't really have a gender identity, in Hebrew/Greek (whichever this was originally translated from) it did (like in French, everything is either masculine or feminine, le or la).

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It sounds like the author is saying that wisdom, like truth, is an absolute. It exists/existed prior to humanity . The corrollary of this, is that wisdom, like truth, will call out to a self aware and thoughtful mind. It is also venerating the wisdom of the lord and the consequences of that wisdom in the lords creations. I think this is a paean to the creator, which emphasises his wisdom. It also implies that any wise man will recognise the wisdom of the lord, because even wisdom itself did so.

In simple terms; god is wise, and so all his creations demonstrate/illustrate the effects of this wisdom.

Edited by Mr Walker
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I think kind of goes a long with "In the beginning was the word...." I think it is saying Wisdom is God's thought of creation. It is a song, a very nice song, you can almost hear the music and the singer when you read it.

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Who is Wisdom?

I think all the poets... wizards and wise people who wrote what they knew down is wisdom.

Wisdom is the healing in white tea.

Wisdom is how our emotions can change our DNA...

To me wisdom is becomeing one with nature and my animal brothers.

I now fly with the crows... we are together

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Wisdom and understanding are two different things. Wisdom is God, understanding is the female of God. I don't understand the confusion. We are made in God's image. God possesses all that we are and more that we cannot even understand. We say "He" out of habit. This poem is talking about the lamenting understanding that must accompany wisdom in witness. Wisdom is something that transcends understanding because it is based on the knowing unknown. The permanence of process without thought. Compare to a woman who has a baby. The mother is the witness to the baby, she understands almost all that is happening through the processes of creation and birth. But the wisdom will elude her always. She will be present in the moment of it and understand it without wisdom. God is the wisdom.

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Then of course there was Norman wisdom, who from memory, played in a lot of slapstick comedy movies, and was rated one of Britain's top ten actors for about 10 years in the 1950s and 60s. (showing my age here)

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One could argue that wisdom is a "she" because unlike English where concepts and ideals don't really have a gender identity, in Hebrew/Greek (whichever this was originally translated from) it did (like in French, everything is either masculine or feminine, le or la).

Yes one could argue that but the attribution of feminine or masculine gender to nouns are totally arbitrary in these languages, in essence this means that although the language gives feminine gender it does not mean that "Wisdom" is actually female.

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It sounds like the author is saying that wisdom, like truth, is an absolute. It exists/existed prior to humanity . The corrollary of this, is that wisdom, like truth, will call out to a self aware and thoughtful mind. It is also venerating the wisdom of the lord and the consequences of that wisdom in the lords creations. I think this is a paean to the creator, which emphasises his wisdom. It also implies that any wise man will recognise the wisdom of the lord, because even wisdom itself did so.

In simple terms; god is wise, and so all his creations demonstrate/illustrate the effects of this wisdom.

Notice that Wisdom says that He/She is a Master Workman, thus it is intended to convey that God did his work through Wisdom, Wisdom being the actual creator, much like in John 1:1-3.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Edited by Jor-el
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I think kind of goes a long with "In the beginning was the word...." I think it is saying Wisdom is God's thought of creation. It is a song, a very nice song, you can almost hear the music and the singer when you read it.

I agree, that is the sense being conveyed here, since the "Word" is the actual one doing the creating just as wisdom seems to be doing as well.

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It's believed that Chapter 8 was one of the last chapters to be composed (Hellenistic period). Therefore, it's either Gnosticism (Wisdom = Sophia = female) infiltrated it, or Gnosticism's right all along and the Proverbs writer disguised it as an artistic license. Anything is possible, I suppose. After all, wasn't it Sophia who created this "Thing," this "Child of Chaos," this "Fool," this "Blind One," at least according to the gnostics??

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The Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit is associated with a female gender. Wisdom is acquired, but as a gift given to us from One who gives generously to those who seek.

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"...the Holy Spirit, the Bride of the Christos, the Mother of the Aeons, the great virginal and ineffable Mother, who proceeded from Herself a gift of Herself out of the silence of the Unknown God." GNOSTIC CREED

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Or.... it is simply Jesus Christ.....

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Knowledge and full understanding, wisdom showers down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her. If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the LORD will bestow her upon you. where there is no knowledge, there is no wisdom. Wisdom is God's knowledge, and does'nt cost anything.

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Learned knowledge does not create wisdom which requires also insight and intuition.

These are often considered feminine traits so it is perhaps natural that wisdom is considered feminine.

This could have evolutionary advantage in the feminine choice of partner to create the next generation

also with this 'sixth sense' ?

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I just wonder whether we should look just at Proverbs 8 without regard for Proverbs 7 or 9?

Proverbs 7

4, Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

And call understanding your nearest kin,

For me it seems Wisdom is Understanding and also in

Proverbs 9

The Way of Wisdom

4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,

5 “Come, eat of my bread

And drink of the wine I have mixed.

6 Forsake foolishness and live,

And go in the way of understanding.

Imo Wisdom is like understanding but not just of the intellectual kind and more like a knowing or Gnosis and so is a direct experience of the divine which we all have within us. It is to live IN that knowing of the divine presence and so to live in the ‘kingdom of the wise’ WIS-e king-DOM.

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Or.... it is simply Jesus Christ.....

"Jesus Christ" certainly has a ring of Christos, the voice or deed of the Logos or "Word." Unlike "Jesus Christ" (the god), Christos has a wife, but most of all, he's a created being. Apparently, many early Christians didn't think of Jesus as a god. On the other hand, Gnostic "seekers" have every right to call themselves Christians because of Christos, Holy Spirit, Logos, and so on. I believe that Jesus to Gnostic "seekers" was as a "fallen bodhisattva," who uplifted himself again.

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These English words are troublesome to me. I sometimes translate "wisdom" with words that literally mean "right thought" (from the Noble Eightfold Path), but that implies a Buddhist tinge so sometimes I avoid that with circumlocutions such as "ability to think well" or maybe just "prudent and deep thought." "Knowledge" is much easier as we have a direct translation for the word, although it really has two slants -- one meaning something like data or facts and the other meaning something like familiarity.

I go to the trouble to talk about these translation problems to bring out the fact that sometimes people think the range of meaning of the words they happen to have in their native language has something to do with the boundaries of reality, and often it does but rarely with abstractions of this sort.

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Notice that Wisdom says that He/She is a Master Workman, thus it is intended to convey that God did his work through Wisdom, Wisdom being the actual creator, much like in John 1:1-3.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Yes that is a possible interpretation, given that the word (which many attribute as christ's name in heaven) was a part of god from the beginning The reason I didn't accept this interpretation for this poem was that (to me) the words made wisdom seem like a created entity, or attribute of a created being.

Ages ago I was set up,

at the first,

I was brought forth

I agree that the following words are almost contradictory,

then I was beside him, like a master workman,

and I was daily his delight,

and I give you that it depends on your interpretation, and even "gut feeling"' as to what these words imply.

To me this still makes "wisdom" a subsidiary of god the creator, and lesser than him. Wisdom exists or is set up because god exists, but once there is appreciated by, and used by god .Personally I see Christ /the word as THE creative aspect of god, and an equal element of the totality of god. But that's a personal and contextual interpretation.

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"Jesus Christ" certainly has a ring of Christos, the voice or deed of the Logos or "Word." Unlike "Jesus Christ" (the god), Christos has a wife, but most of all, he's a created being. Apparently, many early Christians didn't think of Jesus as a god. On the other hand, Gnostic "seekers" have every right to call themselves Christians because of Christos, Holy Spirit, Logos, and so on. I believe that Jesus to Gnostic "seekers" was as a "fallen bodhisattva," who uplifted himself again.

This certainly fits at least one of the modern schools of gnostic thought. It might well have been the interpretation of the prechristian gnostics and also fits the known writings of the early christian gnostics.

These early Christian gnostics did not endure for long in competition with the concept of a real physical god who intervened in human lives. Later their beliefs were not incorporated in canon and I think from memoery their ideas were eventually declared heretical. As with many divergent opinions I think that was a mistake, but the church at that time was centralising both control and authority as well as developing one standard doctrine

While Gnosticism has elements which appeal to me, I know that god is real and physical and so, in total, as with the early Christians, it doesn't ring quite/fully true for me.

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It's heretical because Gnosticism doesn't follow the orthodox narrative of the Savior and the supremeness of Yahweh. Does it really make Gnosticism heretical, invalid?? It's the common case of one belief system versus the next. At least, gnostics don't consider themselves as believers because they are doers or "seekers," so to speak. They have a concrete, direct way to connect to "god," compared to reading texts, etc.

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It's heretical because Gnosticism doesn't follow the orthodox narrative of the Savior and the supremeness of Yahweh. Does it really make Gnosticism heretical, invalid?? It's the common case of one belief system versus the next. At least, gnostics don't consider themselves as believers because they are doers or "seekers," so to speak. They have a concrete, direct way to connect to "god," compared to reading texts, etc.

That's fair enough but you do not have to be gnostic to manage to do that. All humans are evolved to be able to interact individually with god. Most just fill their lives with other priorities. Ps, out of interest, do you follow the Egyptian Syrian form of gnosticism or the persian one, and how do you stand on the dualist/ monist scale? Personally, I tend towards radical dualism and the manichaeinist or mandaeanist forms within the Persian school of thought.

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One could argue that wisdom is a "she" because unlike English where concepts and ideals don't really have a gender identity, in Hebrew/Greek (whichever this was originally translated from) it did (like in French, everything is either masculine or feminine, le or la).

Sophia is definitely a she.

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That's fair enough but you do not have to be gnostic to manage to do that. All humans are evolved to be able to interact individually with god.

No, I'm not a "seeker," and of course, there are other techniques or paths or even divine intervention to connect to "god." I chose Gnosticism to answer Jor-el because of the Wisdom, Christos, Holy Spirit and God, as Yahweh, elements.

Peace.

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