The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Wisdom and Knowledge
Cowper wrote, “Wisdom and knowledge far from being one, have ofttimes no connection.”
Bible Basics: The Principle Of Personification
[It is] a recognized feature of the Bible that inanimate or non-living things such as wisdom, riches, sin, the church are personified. The following examples will illustrate the point:
New Testament Synonyms: Wisdom, knowledge
σοφία, φρόνησις, γνῶσις, ἐπίγνωσις.
Wisdom as a Mediating Figure
Among the mediating figures, Hokhmah or Wisdom is of particular interest here because of its eventual connection to Ruah ha-Kodesh [the Holy Spirit: ruah = spirit; kodesh = holy]. Wisdom is already found vividly personified in the Tanakh¹, in the book of Proverbs (Chapter 8, et. al.) and Job 28, both from the early Hellenistic period, where she is presented as God’s first creation and constant companion. Although it has been popular to attribute this to Greek influence, this personification of Hokhmah already appears in Jewish and other Semitic settings in the pre-Hellenistic period.
Learning From Every Person
“Pharaoh said to Joseph: ‘After the LORD has informed you off all this, there is none with as much insight and wisdom as you.’” (Genesis 41:39)
Why Is Wisdom Referred To As A She In Proverbs?
“Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares” (Proverbs 1:20)
Attaining Wisdom in the Desert
The fourth book of the Torah is known in English as “Numbers,” yet the true translation of Bamidbar is “in the desert.” The primal setting for the Torah is in a desert. The Sages tell us that one who wishes to truly understand Torah’s wisdom must also make his own personal setting that of a desert.
Sophia in Rabbinic Hermeneutics and the Curious Christian Corollary
Canaanite and Israelite tradition celebrated Sophia as divine being or agent in creation, providence, and salvation well into Second Temple Judaism producing two strands of Sophianology which influenced biblical interpretation in Gnostic, Rabbinic, and Christian thought. Enochian apocalyptic tradition shaped Gnostic and Christian hermeneutics; while the wisdom traditions of Ben Sirach and Philo expressed the type of perspective more plainly evident in Rabbinic thought. By the fourth century CE, Sophia, the preexistent deity or deity agent who gave form to the universe and wisdom to the pious and learned, became the immanent human experience of illumination and wisdom, in that, for Rabbinics, Torah became the preexistent source of redemptive divine wisdom and power, and for Christianity Jesus took that place. Gnosticism persisted in an apocalyptic model with a deified though ambiguous Sophia, uneclipsed by a redemptive agent such as Jesus or Torah.
What is the “Wisdom of God” in Luke 11:49?
“Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’” (ESV)
Hypostasis: The Attributes of God Personified
Jews, like pagans, understood that the divine realm was populated with super human beings besides the Lord God Almighty, that sometimes these divine beings were called gods [Hebrew: elohim = “powerful ones”], and sometimes these other gods [elohim], or even the one God Himself, would appear on Earth as a human [through the use of an agent].
The Literary Style of the Proverbs
If we are to derive the maximum of profit from the study of the Book of Proverbs, two facts must be borne in mind. Firstly, as was mentioned in the introductory article, the philosophical is more prominent in the Wisdom literature (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes) than in any other part of the Bible. There are no Messianic hopes, and very little said of God; yet this does not mean that the work is secular, for it was written under the guidance of God, by men who put their trust in Him, and written for others of like faith in God. Therefore the idea of God is plainly taken for granted. It is the accumulated wisdom of a nation, with the observation of mankind as the vital principle stimulating its teaching.
Faith and Old Age
A conceited young man once said, “Great men are not wise, neither do the aged understand judgment”¹ Youth has great advantages; it has not had time to accumulate those weights and sins which so easily beset us. Youth is without the heavy handicap of prejudices, and ought therefore to be able to get a clearer judgment. John is very complimentary to young men. “I have written unto you young men because ye are strong and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” The Bible seems to favour the superiority of young men. They were chosen to do the greater part of the work of God. Our Lord was a young man, and his prototype Joseph was equally young.
Wisdom Series: Proverbs
This fully animated video is the first in the Bible Project’s Wisdom Series, a series that dives into three books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job) that provide scriptural advice for how to live well in the world. Using the metaphor of the “personality” of each book, we imagine Proverbs as an enlightened teacher—one who speaks of khockmah (wisdom) and the essence of God, Lady Wisdom, who guides us to use khockmah to create a blessed life.
The Importance of Silence in Jewish Thought
Silence is necessary to attain wisdom. Silence is an important part of communication. Leaving out silence in a conversation often results in a failure to communicate. A continuous outflow of words, one after the other after the other, with no pause or silence, is problematic, for sometimes you can speak too much. Learn more by listening...
Hypostasis: The Attributes of God Personified
Scholars love to use words that are complicated instead of words that are easy, but there are times when the complicated word is just about the only word that makes sense, and that’s the case with this word: hypostasis. It’s very hard to describe what a hypostasis is because we don’t have any other word for.
In the Revised Version the noun “wisdom” and its corresponding adjective and verb (“be wise,” “act wisely,” etc.) represent a variety of Hebrew words: בּין, bīn (בּינה, bīnāh, and in the English Revised Version תּבוּנה, tebūnāh), שׂכל, sākhal (שׂכל, sēkhel, שׂכל, sekhel), לב, lēbh (and in the English Revised Version לבב, lābhabh), תּוּשׁיּה, tūshīyāh (and in the English Revised Version טעם, ṭe‛ēm), ערמה, ‛ormāh, פּקּח, piḳḳēaḥ. None of these, however, is of very frequent occurrence and by far the most common group is the verb חכם, ḥākham, with the adjective חכם, ḥākhām, and the nouns חכמה, ḥokhmāh, ḥokhmoth, with something over 300 occurrences in the Old Testament (of which rather more than half are in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes). Ḥokhmāh, accordingly, may be treated as the Hebrew equivalent for the English “wisdom,” but none the less the two words do not quite correspond. For ḥokhmāh may be used of simple technical skill (Exodus 28:3; 35:25, etc.; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 14:2; Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 38:31; note that the English Versions of the Bible gives a false impression in such passages), of military ability (Isaiah 10:13), of the intelligence of the lower animals (Proverbs 30:24), of shrewdness applied to vicious (2 Samuel 13:3) or cruel (1 Kings 2:9 Hebrew) ends, etc. Obviously no one English word will cover all these different uses, but the general meaning is clear enough—“the art of reaching one’s end by the use of the right means” (Smend). Predominantly the “wisdom” thought of is that which comes through experience, and the “wise man” is at his best in old age (Job 12:12; 15:10; Proverbs 16:31; Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 6:34; 8:9; 25:3-6, etc.; contrast Job 32:9; Ecclesiastes 4:13; The Wisdom of Solomon 4:9; Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 25:2). And in religion the “wise man” is he who gives to the things of God the same acuteness that other men give to worldly affairs (Luke 16:8). He is distinguished from the prophets as not having personal inspiration, from the priestly school as not laying primary stress on the cult, and from the scribes as not devoted simply to the study of the sacred writings. But, in the word by itself, a “wise man” need not in any way be a religious man.
Wisdom, (prop. חָכמָה, chokmah, σοφία), in a general sense, is a comprehensive knowledge of things in their proper nature and relations, together with the power of combining them in the most useful manner. Among the Hebrews, the term “wisdom” comprehended a wide circle of virtues and mental endowments (Exodus 28:3; 31:6; 1 Kings 3:28; 4:29-34), and its precise import in the Scriptures can only be ascertained by a close attention to the context. SEE FOOL.
Whoever Walks with the Wise Becomes Wise