Proverbs 8:31
Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth.—Rather, the fertile part. (Comp. Genesis 1:31, where the satisfaction of God with His creation is described; and Psalm 104:31.)

My delights were with the sons of men.—Or rather, in them. (Comp. Genesis 3:8, where it would seem that the “Lord God” had been in the habit of assuming human form, and admitting man to His presence.) Such appearances as this, and that to Abraham in Genesis 18, and to Joshua in Joshua 5, were supposed by the Fathers to have been anticipations of the Incarnation of God the Son, who is here described under the name of Wisdom.

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?Wisdom rejoices yet more in the world as inhabited by God's rational creatures. (compare Isaiah 45:18). Giving joy and delight to God, she finds her delight among the sons of men. These words, like the rest, are as an unconscious prophecy fulfilled in the Divine Word, in whom were "hid all the treasures of Wisdom." Compare the marginal reference: in Him the Father was well pleased; and yet His "joy also is fulfilled," not in the glory of the material universe, but in His work among the sons of men. 30, 31. one brought up—an object of special and pleasing regard. The bestowal of wisdom on men is represented by its finding a delightful residence and pleasing God. Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; in contemplating the wonderful wisdom and goodness of God in the making and ordering of all his creatures, and of man especially.

My delights were with the sons of men, to uphold them by my power and providence, to reveal myself and my Father’s mind and will to them from age to age, to assume their nature, and to redeem and save them, which I would not do for the fallen angels. Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth,.... In that part of the earth which is habitable; in filling it with inhabitants; in preserving and sustaining it in being, and the inhabitants of it; in governing it, and ordering all things in it for the best, according to his infinite wisdom and the counsel of his will; in bestowing the bounties of his providence, and in being the light and life of men: all which were done by him with the greatest ease, as well as pleasure and delight; it was a kind of sport or play unto him, as the word used signifies (w); and so in Proverbs 8:30, which shows the allusion is to a nurse child. Moreover, this may have a peculiar view to the saints and people of God, and to those particular spots of ground in God's earth where they should dwell; for as the earth was made, and is continued on their account; so the very place of their birth and abode, as well as of their conversion, were afore appointed and fixed by the Lord, which Christ in his eternal mind had a foreview of, and took a pleasure in: besides, they themselves are the habitation of God, and Christ, and the blessed Spirit; the church of God is his dwelling place on earth, where he delights to dwell, over whom he rejoices to do good, and whom he makes glad; so some read the words, "making glad the habitable part of his earth" (x). Once more, the new earth, which will be after this is passed, away, may be truly called his, or the second Adam's earth; and in which only righteous persons shall dwell, and with whom the tabernacle of God shall be, or with whom Christ shall dwell a thousand years; and in the foreview of this he may be thought to take delight and pleasure, even before the world was. The human nature of Christ may not be amiss thought of, which was formed in the lower parts of the earth, and therefore he is called the fruit of the earth, Psalm 139:15, Isaiah 4:2; and may be said to be habitable, in which the fulness of the Godhead dwells, and the Word tabernacled, and is the true tabernacle; in the foreview of which the Son of God rejoiced, as to be produced without sin by the Holy Spirit, and adorned with his graces, and to be united to his person; in which he was to work out the salvation of his people, and be glorified; and his, joy, in the foreview of it, appears by his frequent appearances in a human form before his actual incarnation, as "preludiums" of it;

and my delights were with the sons of men; or of Adam, of fallen Adam; not with angels, but with men; not with all men, only some; and those as considered as the objects of his own and his Father's love; as beheld in the glass of his Father's decrees; as chosen in him, and given him by his Father; as his children, and as his spouse and bride. The word for "delights" is not only in the plural number, but its two first radical letters are doubled, which, in the Hebrew language, increases the signification of the word; and so expresses the exceeding great delight and pleasure which Christ took in his people from everlasting; his love was then a love of the utmost complacency and delight, and continued, notwithstanding their fall in Adam, though by nature children of wrath, and transgressors from the womb. This appears by his early engagement as a surety for them; by his espousing their persons and their cause; by assuming their nature in time; by suffering and dying in their room and stead, and working out salvation for them; by bearing them on his heart in heaven, and there interceding for them; by taking them out of a state of nature; by visiting them with his grace and presence; and by bringing them, through a variety of trials, safe to his kingdom and glory.

(w) "ludens", V. L. Montanus, Piscator, Cocceius; "ludebam", Pagninus; "ludo", Tigurine version, Mercerus, Gejerus; "lusitans", Michaelis, Schultens. (x) "Laetificans in orbe habitabili terram ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Amama; "ridens, vel faciens ridere alios", Baynus.

{n} Rejoicing in the habitable part of {o} his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

(n) By which is declared that the work of the creation was no pain, but a solace to the wisdom of God.

(o) By earth he means men, which is the work of God in whom wisdom took pleasure: in that as for man's sake the divine wisdom took man's nature, and dwelt among us, and filled us with unspeakable treasures, and this is the solace and pastime of which is here spoken.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. the habitable part of his earth] Rather, his habitable earth, R.V., lit. the habitable world of his earth. See Job 37:12, where the same Heb. expression is rendered, the habitable world, R.V.

The thought is that Wisdom, who found glad exercise in every part and stage of creation as it advanced, had her consummated joy in the adaptation of the completed whole to be the dwelling-place of man, and in the “sons of men,” for love of whom she had created it. Comp. Genesis 1:31.Verse 31. - Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth. Wisdom declares wherein she chiefly delighted, viz. in the world as the habitation of rational creatures. "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31); comp. Psalm 104:31, and see the eloquent account of Wisdom in the book so named (7:22-8:1). My delights were with the sons of men. Man, made in the image of God. is the principal object of creative Wisdom's pleasure; and her joy is fulfilled only in the Incarnation. When the Word became flesh, then was the end and design of creation exhibited, and the infinite love of God towards man made, as it were, visible and palpable. Septuagint, "Because he rejoiced when he completed the world (τὴν οἰκουμένην), and rejoiced in the children of men." Instead of בּאין, in (yet) non-existence (24), we have here טרם, a subst. which signifies cutting off from that which already exists (vid., at Genesis 2:5), and then as a particle nondum or antequam, with בּ always antequam, and in Proverbs 8:26 עד־לא, so long not yet (this also originally a substantive from עדה, in the sense of progress). With הטבּעוּ (were settled) (as Job 38:6, from טבע, to impress into or upon anything, imprimere, infigere) the question is asked: wherein? Not indeed: in the depths of the earth, but as the Caraite Ahron b. Joseph answers, אל קרקע הים, in the bottom of the sea; for out of the waters they rise up, Psalm 104:8 (cf. at Genesis 1:9).
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