The Son Of God In Proverbs 8

by L M Grant

To the writer Proverbs 8 provides one of the clearest proofs that the Lord Jesus is the Son of the Father from eternity. It is certainly not the only Scripture that proves this precious and wonderful truth, for all Scripture is united in this matter. However, this paper is written to answer some of the arguments some have advanced in objection to applying Wisdom as symbolising the Lord Jesus.

The New Testament tells us that 'Christ' is 'God's power and God's wisdom' (1 Cor. 1:24 - JND's. N.Tr.). Is it therefore even remotely possible that a chapter as Proverbs 8 that deals so extensively with the subject of wisdom has no connection with Christ whatever?

However, one objection is that wisdom is spoken of as 'she' in verses 1-2, so that this cannot refer to Christ personally. There is a beautiful answer to this. Verses 1 to 11 use the female pronouns to deal with the subject of wisdom subjectively, that is, as appealing to the response of individuals. This is the truth of 'Christ in you.'

But from verse 12 to the end of the chapter, the female pronoun is not used. In fact, the writer in the first 11 verses reports the actions and words of the woman wisdom, but from verse 12 it is not a report, but a Person, calling Himself 'I Wisdom' speaking directly. This is not simply subjective, but objective. Thus the emphasis is not on how people are affected, but on truth that is absolutely true no matter how it affects men. All this long address is intended, not as an example for us to follow, but as a statement of marvellous facts to bow our hearts with adoration at the feet of Him who is Wisdom.

Following this great objective presentation, chapter 9 returns to the subjective 'her' and 'she,' for surely it is most becoming that after the objective has been declared, a subjective response should manifest itself. It is a beautiful result of bowing to the Lord Jesus and to His pure wisdom.

Another objection to applying these verses to the Lord Jesus is that in verses 24 and 25 Wisdom speaks of being 'brought forth,' and it is supposed that this must mean that wisdom did not always exist, while Christ always existed. But this view fails to consider verses 22-23, in which Wisdom declares, 'Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before the earth was.' We cannot therefore consider that being 'set up' or being 'brought forth' refers to a point of time when this occurred. Just as He was 'set up from eternity,' so He was brought forth from eternity. Similarly, the Lord Jesus is called 'the only-begotten Son of God' (John. 3:18). Some have dared to insist that this implies that Christ was begotten at some point of time, but it is not so. This phrase rather refers to His being eternally begotten[1] of God. Men's thoughts do not settle this question, but the Word of God does.

Also, if we dare to apply this scripture strictly to the principle of wisdom, and not the Lord Jesus, then are we saying that God acquired wisdom at some point of time? Surely every believer would consider the very thought of this to be thorough nonsense. Just as God's wisdom is eternal, being one of His eternal attributes, so in fact is His beloved Son eternal, the One who is Wisdom personified.

These verses (12-26) are magnificently beautiful in describing something of the relationship and companionship of Persons, not merely of God's delight in a principle, or a mere principle delighting in God. Yes, the rejoicing spoken of is on the part of Wisdom (v. 30), just as the Lord Jesus, the Son of the Father, rejoices in the Father's fellowship; a fellowship and relationship which is eternal.

Leslie M. Grant

 

 

[1] Note: The author seeks to defend (and rightly so) the truth that Christ was eternally the Son of God. However, the term 'only-begotten' should not be taken to imply an idea of eternal generation (which would be a contradiction in terms). For more detail on the term 'only-begotten' please refer to these helpful articles: "The Sonship of Christ" or "The Only-Begotten Son ", or to Bible commentaries on John's Gospel.

As brother L M Grant clearly stated in his article "The Father and the Son": The expression "only begotten" [...] does not refer to birth, but "the glory was that of a unique relationship and the word 'begotten' does not imply a beginning of His Sonship. It suggests relationship indeed, but must be distinguished from generation as applied to man" (Expository Dictionary-W. E. Vine)." biblecentre.

 

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