Proverbs 8:23
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(23) I was set up.—An unusual word; also applied to our Lord in Psalm 2:6 when “set” as King on Zion.

8:22-31 The Son of God declares himself to have been engaged in the creation of the world. How able, how fit is the Son of God to be the Saviour of the world, who was the Creator of it! The Son of God was ordained, before the world, to that great work. Does he delight in saving wretched sinners, and shall not we delight in his salvation?I was set up - Rather, "I was anointed" (compare Psalm 2:6 margin: 2 Chronicles 28:15). The image is that of Wisdom anointed, as at her birth, with "the oil of gladness."

Or ever the earth was - literally, "from the times before the earth."

23. I was set up—ordained, or inaugurated (Ps 2:6). The other terms carry out the idea of the earliest antiquity, and illustrate it by the details of creation [Pr 8:24-29]. Set up, Heb. anointed; ordained or constituted to be the person by whom the Father resolved to do all his works, first to create, and then to uphold, and govern, and judge, and afterwards to redeem and save the world; all which works are particularly ascribed to the Son of God, as is manifest from John 1:1, &c.; Colossians 1:16,17 Heb 1:3, and many other places, as we may see hereafter in their several places.

From the beginning; before which there was nothing but a vast eternity.

Or ever the earth was; which he mentions, because this, together with the heaven, was the first of God’s visible works.

I was set up from everlasting,.... I, a person, and not a quality; a person, and not a nature; the person of Christ as the Son of God, and not the human nature of Christ, which then did not exist; this phrase designs the ordination and constitution of Christ in his office as Mediator. So the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "I was ordained"; Christ was foreordained to be the Redeemer and Saviour of men, to be the propitiation for their sins, to be the head of the church, and the Judge of the world. It intends likewise his inauguration into his office, and his investiture with it; and because anointing with oil was used in installing persons into the offices of prophet, priest, and king; hence Christ's instalment into his office as Mediator is here expressed by an anointing; for the words may be rendered, "I was anointed" (i); it takes in all that goes to his constitution as Mediator, his call, appointment, and investiture; and the whole of his office, every part and branch of it; and chiefly his kingly office, with reference to which the same word is used Psalm 2:6; and so Gersom paraphrases it,

"and there were given to me power, dominion, and greatness;''

all which suppose the eternity of his person; for had he not existed from everlasting, he could not have been set up, and anointed as Mediator, or invested with his office as such;

from the beginning, or ever the earth was; or from the first of the earth, or the original of it; that is, before all time, before the earth or anything was created; this further confirms the eternal existence of Christ's person, the antiquity of his office, the early provision of grace in him as Mediator for his people, and may lead to entertain high and honourable thoughts of him.

(i) "uncta sum", Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens; "inuncta fui", Gejerus.

{l} I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

(l) He declares the eternity of the Son of God, who was before all time, and ever present with the father.

23. set up] Gesenius renders anointed here and in Psalm 2:6, where the same word occurs. But “the verb means ‘to pour out,’ and then ‘to pour metals in a state of fusion into a mould’: hence it passes over into the meaning of setting fast, establishing, &c. So the Niph, Proverbs 8:23, and hence נָסִיךְ means, not ‘one anointed,’ but ‘one appointed’ to his office.” Bp. Perowne, Crit. Note on Psalm 2:6. See also note there in this Series.

ἐθεμελίωσέ με, LXX., ordinata sum, Vulg.

Verse 23. - I was set up from everlasting. The verb used here is remarkable. It is נָסַך(nasak), in niph.; and it is found in Psalm 2:6, "I have set my King upon my holy hill." Both here and there it has been translated "anointed," which would make a noteworthy reference to Christ. But there seems no proof that the word has this meaning. It signifies properly "to pour forth" (as of molten metal), then "to put down," "to appoint or establish." The versions recognize this. Thus the Septuagint, "he established (ἐθεμελίωσε) me;" Vulgate, ordinata sum; Aquila, κατεστάθην; Symmachus, προεχείρισμαι; Venetian, κέχυμαι (comp. Ecclus. 1:9). So what is here said is that Wisdom was from everlasting exalted as ruler and disposer of all things. To express eternal relation, three synonymous terms are used. From everlasting; πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος, Septuagint, as Delitzsch notes, points back to infinite distance. From the beginning; i.e. before the world was begun to be made; as St. John says (John 1:1), "In the beginning was the Word;" and Christ prays, "Glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). Or ever the earth was. This looks to the most remote time after the actual creation, while the earth was being formed and adapted. Proverbs 8:23A designation of the When? expressed first by מאז (Isaiah 48:8, cf. Isaiah 40:21), is further unfolded:

"From everlasting was I set up,

From the beginning, from the foundations of the earth."

That נסּכתּי cannot be translated: I was anointed equals consecrated, vid., at Psalm 2:6. But the translation also: I was woven equals wrought (Hitzig, Ewald, and previously one of the Greeks, ἐδιάσθην), does not commend itself, for רקּם (Psalm 139:15), used of the embryo, lies far from the metaphorical sense in which נסך equals Arab. nasaj, texere, would here be translated of the origin of a person, and even of such a spiritual being as Wisdom; נסדתּי, as the lxx reads (ἐθεμελιωσέ με), is not once used of such. Rightly Aquila, κατεστάθην; Symmachus, προκεχείρισμαι; Jerome, ordinata sum. Literally, but unintelligibly, the Gr. Venet. κέχυμαι, according to which (cf. Sir. 1:10) Bttcher: I was poured forth equals formed, but himself acknowledging that this figure is not suitable to personification; nor is it at all likely that the author applied the word, used in this sense of idols, to the origin of Wisdom. The fact is, that נסך, used as seldom of the anointing or consecration of kings, as סוּך, passes over, like יצק (הצּיק), צוּק (מצוּק, a pillar), and יצג (הצּיג), from the meaning of pouring out to that of placing and appointing; the mediating idea appears to be that of the pouring forth of the metal, since נסיך, Daniel 11:8, like נסך, signifies a molten image. The Jewish interpreters quite correctly remark, in comparing it with the princely name נסיך [cf. Psalm 83:12] (although without etymological insight), that a placing in princely dignity is meant. Of the three synonyms of aeternitas a parte ante, מעולם points backwards into the infinite distance, מראשׁ into the beginning of the world, מקּדמי־ארץ not into the times which precede the origin of the earth, but into the oldest times of its gradual arising; this קדמי it is impossible to render, in conformity with the Hebr. use of language: it is an extensive plur. of time, Bttcher, 697. The מן repeated does not mean that the origin and greatness of Wisdom are contemporaneous with the foundation of the world; but that when the world was founded, she was already an actual existence.

Proverbs 8:23 Interlinear
Proverbs 8:23 Parallel Texts

Proverbs 8:23 NIV
Proverbs 8:23 NLT
Proverbs 8:23 ESV
Proverbs 8:23 NASB
Proverbs 8:23 KJV

Proverbs 8:23 Bible Apps
Proverbs 8:23 Parallel
Proverbs 8:23 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 8:23 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 8:23 French Bible
Proverbs 8:23 German Bible

Bible Hub

Proverbs 8:22
Top of Page
Top of Page