Proverbs 8:12
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
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(12) Dwell with prudence.—(‘ormah), literally, inhabit it, have settled down and taken up my abode with it, am at home there.

Witty inventions.—Literally, well thought out plans (mezimmôth) translated “discretion” (Proverbs 1:4).

Proverbs 8:12. I wisdom dwell with prudence — I do not content myself with high speculations, but my inseparable companion is prudence, to govern all my own actions, and to direct the actions of others. This is said because some persons have much knowledge and wit, but not discretion. And find out — I help men to find out; witty inventions — Of all ingenious designs and contrivances for the glory of God, and for the good of mankind. “It is the eternal Wisdom that speaks here. She it is from whom all the light and all the knowledge of the wise proceed; all that is true and useful in the understanding and inventions of the human spirit; but above all, the sciences which tend to virtue, and which have God for their end.” —

Dodd.8:12-21 Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honour in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.Wisdom first speaks warnings (Proverbs 1:24 note), next promises (Proverbs 2:1 note); but here she neither promises nor threatens, but speaks of her own excellence. "Prudence" is the "subtilty" (see the margin), the wiliness of the serpent Genesis 3:1, in itself neutral, but capable of being turned to good as well as evil. Wisdom, occupied with things heavenly and eternal, also "dwells with" the practical tact and insight needed for the life of common men. "Witty inventions" are rather counsels. The truth intended is, that all special rules for the details of life spring out of the highest Wisdom as their source. 12. prudence—as in Pr 8:5. The connection of "wisdom" and "prudence" is that of the dictates of sound wisdom and its application.

find … inventions—or, "devices," "discreet ways" (Pr 1:4).

Dwell with prudence; I do not content myself with high speculations, but my inseparable companion is prudence, to govern all my own actions, and to direct the actions of others, by good counsels. This he saith, because some persons have much wit and knowledge, and nothing of discretion.

Find out knowledge, i.e. I know them as clearly and certainly as if I had found them out by diligent searching. Or, I find out, is put for I help men to find out, as the Spirit is said to intercede, Romans 8:26, when it helpeth us to do so.

Of witty inventions; of all ingenious designs and contrivances for the service and glory of God, and for the good of ourselves and others. But why may it not be rendered, of wicked devices, as this very word is translated, Proverbs 12:2 14:17 24:8? For surely this is one great work of prudence, to discover, and so avoid, all evil counsels or devices, and the effects of them. But this I propose with submission, because I have not the concurrence of any interpreter in this exposition. I Wisdom dwell with Prudence,.... Here Wisdom begins to speak in her own person, and continues to do so unto the end of the chapter; or Christ describes himself, pencils out and draws his own picture, and a most lovely one it is. In this clause Christ is described by the habitation in which he dwells, "I Wisdom inhabit Prudence" (c); so the words may be rendered; that is the house in which I:dwell: or by his companion with whom he dwells, "with Prudence"; that is my companion with whom I am familiarly conversant. The phrase, taken both ways, shows that Christ is very largely, yea, fully possessed of prudence; as a man that dwells in a house is the proprietor and possessor of it, so prudence is Christ's; it belongs to him, he enjoys it; he dwells in prudence, and prudence dwells in him; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in him, and the Spirit of wisdom rests upon him: and also it shows that prudence is natural to him, and not adventitious; it does not come from abroad, nor does he go abroad for it; he and Prudence are as it were born and brought up together in one and the same house: and likewise that there is an intimacy and familiarity between them; Prudence is most present with Christ, is always near him, and ready at hand to be exercised by him; as it was when he was incarnate on earth; he "dealt prudently", as it was prophesied he should, Isaiah 52:13; which appeared in his disputation with the doctors in the temple at twelve years of age; by his prudent answers to the ensnaring questions of his enemies; and throughout the whole of his ministry, both as to the manner and matter of it and particularly at the time of his seizure, arraignment, trial, and crucifixion. Or by "prudence" may be meant prudent men, such as are possessed of this quality or virtue, and with such Wisdom, or Christ, dwells; not with the wise and prudent of this world; nor with such who are so in their own conceit; but with such who are sensible of their folly; who are humbled under a sense of sin, and are made wise unto salvation; who believe in Christ, which is a point of the highest prudence; and who walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; such as these have the presence and company of Christ;

and find out knowledge of witty inventions; the word is sometimes used in an ill sense, and is rendered "wicked devices", Proverbs 12:2; and may be taken in this sense here. Christ, who is God omniscient, knows all that is in the hearts of men; all their thoughts, schemes, and devices; he found out, he scented the knowledge of them when here on earth; he was privy to the secret thoughts and wickedness of men's hearts; he knew all the hypocritical designs and views of the Pharisees, when they tempted him with ensnaring questions; he was apprised of all the ways and methods they devised to take away his life before the time, and so escaped them; he found out the knowledge of Judas's wicked scheme to betray him, and spoke of it to him and others before it was executed; and he knew all the wicked devices and stratagems of Satan against himself, in tempting him in the wilderness, and in putting it into the heart of Judas to betray him; and he knows all his wiles and artful schemes to decoy his people, and makes them known unto them, so that they are not ignorant of his devices. Moreover, it may be understood and interpreted in a good sense, of the thoughts, devices, and purposes of God's heart, as in Jeremiah 23:20; and particularly as relating to man's redemption and salvation: this is a device or "invention" of God; sin is man's invention, by which he fell; but the recovery of man is the invention of God; he found out the persons to be saved in his eternal decrees; and the person that should be the Saviour of them in his council and covenant, and appointed him for the work; and he found out the way and manner of saving men by him, even by the ransom and sacrifice of himself: and this is a "witty" invention, wherein God has abounded in all wisdom and prudence; as appears by settled upon so proper a person to be the Saviour as his own Son; by bringing it about in a way so agreeable to all his perfections, to the satisfaction of his justice, and the honour of his law; and in making such partakers of it, and in such a way, as most glorifies the riches of his grace. And this scheme Christ has full knowledge of, being in the bosom of his Father, as one brought up with him; and was the Angel of the great council, and present when the design was formed; and besides he has found it to his cost, even at the expense of his precious blood; and so has "obtained", or "found redemption" for us, as the phrase is in Hebrews 9:12, and having found it, and the knowledge of it, he makes it known to others by his Spirit, word, and ministers. Likewise these "witty inventions" may be interpreted of the whole Gospel, and the doctrines of it; the Gospel is an "invention", not of men, but of God; not a scheme and device of men, but of God; it is not taught by men, and learned of them, or of them only, but of God; and a "witty" one it is, it is the wisdom of God, the manifold wisdom of God, though esteemed foolishness by men. This Christ has "found out the knowledge of"; he has full and perfect knowledge of it, it is hid in him; it came and was preached by him, as it never was before or since; and he communicated, and still does communicate the knowledge of it; and blessed are they that know the joyful sound!

(c) "habito astutim", Cocceius; "prudentiam", Michaelis; "solertiam", Schultens.

I wisdom dwell with {d} prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.

(d) That is, unless a man has wisdom, which is the true knowledge of God, he can be neither a prudent nor good counsellor.

Proverbs 8:12-21. What she is and gives.

12. dwell with prudence] marg. subtilty. Rather, have made subtilty (marg. prudence) my dwelling, R.V.; κατεσκήνωσα βουλὴν LXX.; habito in consilio, Vulg. Abstract wisdom makes her abode, as it were the spirit in the body, in practical prudence in affairs. So love is said to “abound in knowledge and all discernment.” Php 1:9, R.V.

knowledge of witty inventions] This, which is retained in R.V. marg., seems preferable, as describing the exercise of wisdom in earthly affairs, to the knowledge and discretion of R.V. text; eruditis intersum cogitationibus, Vulg.Verse 12-21. - Wisdom tells of her own excellence. Verse 12. - I wisdom dwell with prudence; rather, as in the Revised Version, I have made subtilty (ver. 5) my dwelling. Wisdom inhabits prudence, animates and possesses that cleverness and tact which is needed for the practical purposes of life. So the Lord is said to "inhabit eternity" (Isaiah 57:15). Septuagint, "I wisdom dwelt (κατεσκήνωσα) in counsel and knowledge," which recalls, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (ἐσκήνωσεν) among us" (John 1:14). In 1 Timothy 6:16 we find the expression, "Who alone hath (μόνος ἔχων) immortality," exchanged with the phrase, "Who dwelleth (οἰκῶν) in the unapproachable light." And find out knowledge of witty inventions. This rendering refers to the production and solution of dark sayings which Wisdom effects. But the expression is better rendered, "knowledge of deeds of discretion" (ch. 1:4), or "of right counsels," and it signifies that Wisdom presides over all well considered designs, that they are not beyond her sphere, and that she has and uses the knowledge of them. Septuagint, "I (ἐγὼ) called upon understanding," i.e. it is I who inspire all good and righteous thought. That to which Wisdom invites, her discourse makes practicable, for she speaks of נגידים. Hitzig interprets this word by conspicua, manifest truths, which the Graec. Venet. understands to be ἐναντία, after Kimchi's interpretation: truths which one makes an aim and object (נגד) on account of their worth. Frst, however, says that נגיד, from נגד, Arab. najad, means to be elevated, exalted, and thereby visible (whence also הגּיד, to bring to light, to bring forward); and that by נגידים, as the plur. of this נגיד, is to be understood princeps in the sense of principalia, or πραεσταντια (lxx σεμνά; Theodot. ἡγεμονικά; Jerome, de rebus magnis) (cf. νόμος βασιλικός of the law of love, which surpasses the other laws, as kings do their subjects), which is supported by the similar expression, Proverbs 22:20. But that we do not need to interpret נגידים as abstr., like מישׁרים, and as the acc. adverb.: in noble ways, because in that case it ought to be נגידות (Berth.), is shown by Proverbs 22:20, and also Proverbs 16:13; cf. on this neuter use of the masc., Ewald, 172a. "The opening of my lips (i.e., this, that they open themselves, not: that which they disclose, lay open) is upright" is to be regarded as metonymia antecedentis pro conseq.: that which I announce is...; or also as a poetic attribution, which attributes to a subject that which is produced by it (cf. Proverbs 3:17): my discourse bearing itself right, brings to light (Fl.). Proverbs 23:16, cf. 31, is parallel both in the words and the subject; מישׁרים, that which is in accordance with fact and with rectitude, uprightness (vid., at Proverbs 1:3), is a word common to the introduction (chap. 1-9), and to the first appendix to the first series of Solomonic Proverbs (Proverbs 22:17-24:22), with the Canticles. In Sol 5:16, also, as where (cf. Proverbs 5:3; Job 6:30), the word palate [Gaumen] is used as the organ of speech.
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