Proverbs 8:25
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
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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?Compare Psalm 90:2. What the Psalmist said of Yahweh, the teacher here asserts of Wisdom; she was before the everlasting hills. 25. settled—that is, sunk in foundations. Settled; or, fixed by their roots in the earth. Before the mountains were settled,.... "Plunged" (l), or fixed in the earth; and which was done by the great strength of the Lord, upon their proper bases, Psalm 65:6; and which were "aborigine", or from the beginning of the world, and therefore called the ancient mountains, Deuteronomy 33:15; to be before the mountains is a periphrasis of eternity, and is a phrase expressive of God's eternity; and being here used of the Son's, shows his eternity is the same with his Father's, Psalm 90:2;

before the hills was I brought forth; which is repeated partly to show the importance of it; this being a matter of infinite moment and concern, and deserving of the strictest attention and observation; and partly to show the certainty of it; the eternal generation of Christ being an article of faith most surely to be believed.

(l) "defixi", Montanus; "mergerentur", Tigurine version; "immersi", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
In this verse part of Proverbs 3:16 is repeated, after which אתּי is meant of possession (mecum and penes me). Regarding הון, vid., Proverbs 1:13; instead of the adjective יקר there, we have here עתק. The verb עתק brev signifies promoveri, to move forwards, whence are derived the meanings old (cf. aetas provecta, advanced age), venerable for age, and noble, free (cf. עתּיק, Isaiah 28:9, and Arab. 'atyḳ, manumissus), unbound, the bold. Used of clothing, עריק (Isaiah 23:18) expresses the idea of venerable for age. עתק used of possessions and goods, like the Arab. 'âtak, denotes such goods as increase during long possession as an inheritance from father to son, and remain firm, and are not for the first time gained, but only need to be inherited, opes perennes et firmae (Schultens, Gesenius' Thesaur., Fleischer), although it may be also explained (which is, however, less probable with the form עתק) of the idea of the venerable from opes superbae (Jerome), splendid opulence. צדקה is here also a good which is distributed, but properly the distributing goodness itself, as the Arab. ṣadaḳat, influenced by the later use of the Hebrew צדקה (δικαιοσύνη equals ἐλεημοσύνη), denotes all that which God of His goodness causes to flow to men, or which men bestow upon men (Fl.). Righteousness is partly a recompensative goodness, which rewards, according to the law of requital, like with like; partly communicative, which, according to the law of love without merit, and even in opposition to it, bestows all that is good, and above all, itself; but giving itself to man, it assimilates him to itself (vid., Psalm 24:7), so that he becomes צדיק, and is regarded as such before God and men, Proverbs 8:19.

The fruit and product of wisdom (the former a figure taken from the trees, Proverbs 3:18; the latter from the sowing of seed, Proverbs 3:9) is the gain and profit which it yields. With חרוּץ, Proverbs 8:10; Proverbs 3:14, פּז is here named as the place of fine gold, briefly for זהב מוּפז, solid gold, gold separated from the place of ore which contains it, or generally separated gold, from פּזז, violently to separate metals from base mixtures; Targ. דּהבא אובריזין, gold which has stood the fire-test, obrussa, of the crucible, Greek ὄβρυζον, Pers. ebrı̂z, Arab. ibrı̂z. In the last clause of this verse, as also in 10b, נבחר is to be interpreted as pred. to תבוּאתי, but the balance of the meaning demands as a side-piece to the מחרוץ ומפז (19a) something more than the mere כּסף. In 20f. the reciprocal love is placed as the answer of love under the point of view of the requiting righteousness. But recompensative and communicative righteousness are here combined, where therefore the subject is the requital of worthy pure love and loving conduct, like with like. Such love requires reciprocal love, not merely cordial love, but that which expresses itself outwardly.

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