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workman, artificer. All these words differ indeed in form from Tras , but this is not decisive against its relationship with them.
4. In favor of the signification alumna, foster-child, is first the active form one who carries a child, attends to it and brings it up. (Num. xi. 12; Isa. xlix. 2'3; Esth. ii. 7, etc.). With this \m» would naturally correspond, as passive to active. That no other example of the word occurs cannot be considered a decisive objection; for, as Gusset remarks: "There are other words occurring but once, which, nevertheless, are explained with certainty and correctness from their roots." Secondly, in favor of the meaning alumna is the kindred form t^:/:x (si-in "bv o^sm, they who are borne, or brought up, on scarlet; the seventy well: oi ri^vvov/xevoi eVt Kokkwv). 1
5. The ancient translators and expositors differ so much among themselves that we cannot regard their authority as of much account. See a review of their interpretations in Geier.
6. Though the signification opifex, artificer, is not against the context, that of alumna, nursling-, foster-child, is in most perfect harmony with it; and this, where the arguments from philology are so nearly balanced, may well turn the scale in favor of this latter meaning.
Wisdom immediately adds: "I was a delight [to him] exulting (Hebrew r;;ni2« , literally, sporting, playing, as a child in the presence of its father) before him all the time." She represents herself as the darling child of Jehovah, exulting from eternity in his presence. One cannot but think of the New Testament expressions: 6 fiovoyevi^ vlbs 6 a>v el<; Tov Kuxttov Tov IlaTpo^ ;a and Outo? ecmz> 6 v'w fiov 6 aya-mjTbs, ev co evouicriaa.
Exulting in the habitable abode of his earth (Hebrew irix tens in the world of his earth), is^x is a species of the genitive of material, as much as to say: the world which consists of his earth.* y^». denotes the earth generally, or
1 Lam. 4: 5. • John 1: 18. 8 M»IU 3: 17.
* The suffix belongs only to the hitter noun. The rendering of the English in respect to its mass alone. It is therefore equivalent to the Greek jrj. ban (from Voiri, to produce, bring- forth) denotes the earth as a producer, as stored with men and animals, and the means of nourishing them. It answers, therefore, though by another mode of conception, to the Greek oucovfievr}.
And my delight was with the sons of men. This final clause of the description gives us the crowning idea of the whole. Wisdom, that dwelt from eternity in the presence of God before the foundation of the earth, and that was present at its formation as the counsellor and co-worker of Jehovah, now makes it her favorite abode, because there man, the object of her deepest love, is found. The interest that she feels in God's world all centres in the sons of men. To their good she has from the beginning devoted herself, and her labors to recall them to the paths of truth and blessedness have been unwearied. This her delight in the children of men she makes the ground of a new appeal to them.
Vs. 32—36. Now therefore, children, hearken to me; for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise; and let it not go. Blessed is the man that hearkeneth to me, watching daily at my doors, watching at the posts of my gates. For whosoever findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favor from the Lord. But he that wrongs me hurts his own soul: all that hate me love death.
Let any one, now, who has attained to the only true conception of revelation as an indivisible whole, having from first to last the same eternal Spirit for its author; and, moreover, as a progressive work, in which the earlier parts continually shadow forth some higher " good things to come" — let any man, with this true idea of revelation, compare this noble description of heavenly Wisdom with what is said in the New Testament of the divine Logos, and he cannot, as it seems to us, fail to discern in it the morning dawn of the approaching Sun of righteousness. How far Solomon
version: in the habitable part of his earth, though substantially correct, brings in an idea that does not exist in the original, that of contrast between the habitable and uninhabitable portions of the earth.
himself understood the full import of what he wrote, is a question of secondary importance. Though we cannot adopt that view of inspiration which would make the sacred penmen nothing more than amanuenses of the Holy Spirit, we must still hold that the form of a divine communication is often an essential part of it. In the present instance we must believe that the full personality here ascribed to Wisdom, as well as her several relations to God and man, is something more than poetic drapery; that it has for its author not the luxuriant imagination of the sacred writer alone, but the prescient mind of the Holy Ghost, who moulds and controls the thoughts of inspired men as he pleases. Is Wisdom set forth as a person, dwelling from eternity with God? The divine Word, also, "was in the beginning with God," as a true personality.1 He dwelt in glory, with God, before the foundation of the world.2 Is Wisdom before all things? So also is Christ.8 Is Wisdom the eldest child of Clod, brought forth before the existence of all created things? So also Christ is "the only begotten of the Father,"4 and "the first-born of the whole creation." 5 Was Wisdom present at the formation of the earth and heavens, as God's counsellor and co-worker? The New Testament develops the idea, here contained in the germ, in all its fulness, teaching us that by the Word "all things were made, and without him was not any thing made that was made;"6 that "by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." 7 Is Wisdom the delight of God, dwelling always with him, and exulting always before him? Christ is his well-beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased,8 and who dwells in his bosom." Did God associate with himself Wisdom as his darling child in the work of creation, so that she was present at. the whole, saw
'John 1:1,2. 2 John 17:24. « Col. 1: 17.
4 John 1. 14. 6 Col. 1: 15. « John 1: 3.
'Col. 1: 16, 17. 8 Matt. 3: 17. 9 John 1: 18.
the whole, understood the whole, and had a part in the whole? There is a remarkable correspondence between this and the following words of our Lord: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that, himself doeth." 1 And finally, is Wisdom's delight with the sons of men, and has she been constantly laboring to recall them to the paths of holiness and happiness? The heart of Christ has been set on the salvation of men from the beginning. They are in a peculiar and emphatic sense the objects of his divine love, and from the fall of Adam to the present hour he has spoken in every communication from God to man, calling sinners to repentance and salvation.
The name itself, Wisdom, has a near relation to the term 6 Aoyos, employed by the apostle John. Hpwever we may explain the origin of this term, it, carries the idea that in Christ dwells (he fulness of divine Wisdom, according to the declaration of the apostle Paul: "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." 2 It is remarked by Robinson that " later Jewish writers identify, or at least connect this cro<f>ia [wisdom personified] with 6 X070? Tow 0eov.3 As the divinely constituted Revealer of God's truth to man, the term " Wisdom" is peculiarly appropriate to Christ.
We can hardly conceive that any one should seriously object to the interpretation of this passage as an adumbration of the hypostatic person of the Logos, on the ground that Wisdom is represented as having been produced by God before all things, and cannot, therefore, be self-existent and underived. That she is not said to have been created, we have shown at large on strictly philological grounds. But she is said to have been bom, and must she not, then, it is asked, have had a beginning? Undoubtedly, if we under
1 John 5: 19, 20. 2 Col. 2: 3.
8 Lex. of New Test., under the word kiyos, where see his references to njiocrvphal writers.
stand this term in the literal and human sense. But the term is applied to Christ also. He is not only " the only begotten of the Father," but " the first-born of the whole creation." He must be a very bold critic who ventures to restrict these epithets to the human nature of our Lord. The Church has rightly understood, in all ages, that it is the divine Logos himself who dwells in the bosom of the Father, and is the Revealer of the Father to men, as well before as since his incarnation; and that none but a divine person can be called " the first-born of the whole creation." By interpreting these epithets according to the literal human idea, Arius arrived logically at the conclusion that the Aoyos, though existing before all other beings, had yet a beginning — r/v ore Ovk fpi, there was when he was not — and then the distinction between yevvrjTO'i and Ttoitjto*; became one of mere words.1 We have already indicated the true principle by which such expressions are to be explained. We must divest them of everything temporal, sensuous, and human, thus arriving at an eternal relation, which transcends all human relations, and can therefore be only shadowed forth to men by earthly analogies.
As to the feminine gender, that is only a matter of grammatical form, which applies equally to the Word of the New Testament. In Latin, verbum is neuter. Hence the Vulgate speaks of the Word in the neuter form: "Hoc erat in principio apud Deum." So also the German: "Dasselbige [Wort] war im Aufang bey Gott." The French Parole, on the contrary, is feminine; and hence the Word is spoken of in the feminine form: "Elle e"toit au commencement avec Dieu."
The conclusion, then, to which we are brought is this: that the divine Wisdom which addresses men in the passages now under consideration, is not the Son of David, " according to the flesh ;" but David's Lord, " according to the spirit of holiness :" not the Messiah in his simple personal pres
1 Sec Ncander"s Church History, translated by Prof. Torrey, Vol. II. p. 362.