8:1–36 In chs. 1–7, the mouthpiece of wisdom is a teacher or sage. In this majestic poem, wisdom is personified as the supreme teacher who teaches on her own authority. The personification is most probably a poetic device to express more vividly the authority of wisdom. Although it is premature to see personified wisdom (especially in vv. 22–31) as a direct portrayal of a divine being, there is no doubt that the revelation of Jesus Christ as the wisdom of God shows us the significance of a wisdom that is its own absolute authority (1 Cor. 1:24, 30; Heb. 1:1–4; Col. 1:15, 16; John 1:1–18). The poem progresses from a consideration of the human task of learning wisdom (vv. 1–11) to the powerful effects of wisdom in the world (vv. 12–21)—and then to the divine origin of wisdom and its place in the totality of creation (vv. 22–31). A final appeal equates wisdom with life (vv. 32–36). Behind human wisdom is the original, uncreated wisdom of God, by which He established all created things in their proper relationships to God and to one another. This means that human wisdom is valid and life-affirming insofar as it proceeds within the context provided by divine special revelation (ch. 4 note).
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