|Wisdom 8 |
1 She reaches therefore from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly.
2 I have loved her, and have sought her out from my youth, and have desired to take her for my spouse, and I became a lover of her beauty.
3 She glorifies her nobility by being conversant with God; yes and the Lord of all things has loved her.
4 For it is she that teaches the knowledge of God, and is the chooser of God’s works.
5 And if riches are desired in life, what is richer than wisdom, which makes all things?
6 And if sense works, who is a more artful worker than she of those things that are?
7 And if a person loves righteousness, her labors have great virtues; for she teaches moderation, and wisdom, and justice, and strength, which are such things as people can have nothing more profitable in life.
8 And if a person desires much knowledge, she knows things past, and judges of things to come; she knows the subtleties of speeches, and the solutions of arguments; she knows signs and wonders before they occur, and the events of seasons and times.
9 I purposed therefore to take her to me to live with me, knowing that she will communicate to me of her good things, and will be a comfort in my cares and grief.
10 For her sake I shall have glory among the multitude, and honor with the ancients, though I am young.
11 And I shall be found of a quick understanding in judgment, and shall be admired in the sight of the mighty, and the faces of princes shall wonder at me.
12 They shall wait for me when I hold my tongue and they shall look upon me when I speak, and if I talk much they shall lay their hands on their mouths.
13 In addition by means of her I shall have immortality, and shall leave behind me an everlasting memory to those who come after me.
14 I shall set the people in order, and nations shall be subject to me.
15 Tyrant kings hearing of me shall be afraid; among the multitude I shall be found good, and I shall be valiant in war.
16 When I go into my house, I shall repose myself with her for her conversation has no bitterness, nor her company any dullness, but joy and gladness.
17 Thinking these things with myself, and pondering them in my heart, that to be allied to wisdom is immortality,
18 and that there is great delight in her friendship, and inexhaustible riches in the works of her hands, and in the exercise of conference with her, wisdom, and glory in the communication of her words, I went about seeking, that I might take her to myself.
19 And I was a witty child and had received a good soul.1
20 And whereas I increased in goodness, [through grace] I came to [be] a body undefiled. [Obviously, this refers to Solomon's early years, before he took many wives and followed their worship of other Gods, for which God announced his descendants would lose the rule of all tribes in Israel except Judah — Israel and Judah becoming separate kingdoms.]
21 And as I knew that I could not otherwise obtain her, except that God gave her, (and this also was a point of wisdom, to know whose gift she was), I went to the Lord and besought him, and said with my whole heart:
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1 I was a witty child and had received a good soul. This verse is the primary basis for the Puritans rejecting the validity of this book; it states the pre-existence of a human soul. What constitutes the soul is a mystery that only God can reveal, and to reject this book on the basis of a presumed understanding of the origin of a soul is a bit arrogant. If you think you completely understand the difference between soul and spirit, try to draw the line between them, even while referring to Heb 4:12: For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful [active], and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. William Penn, describing the soul as pure spirit, only deepens the confusion. We know the soul must be purified from Peter: Since you have purified your souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit. 1 Pet 1:22. We know the soul of sinners is destroyed in Hell: fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Mat 10:28. We know that God's breath on the clay of Adam made him a living soul, but that hardly applies to those born after Adam. We know that God foreknew persons, but whether that was in spirit, or in soul, or in spirit and soul, we don't know. The soul is a mystery, which I suspect has a potential grandeur, that when understood, would take our breath away in amazement. I believe the soul is the part of man that is capable of uniting with God to become one with him; I believe it to be the platform of an entirely new creation, which is far more than just a man, and if that platform is not united with God while on earth, it is lost. We know that Jesus said: "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul." I believe the extent of the loss of a soul is beyond physical man's ability to believe or even understand. When we asked the Lord what it meant to be in heaven without losing one's soul, his reply was: "to live in a higher dimension."
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