Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
8:1 Wisdom - It is a great question what this wisdom is. Some understand it of the Divine wisdom; others of the second person in the Godhead: and it cannot be denied that some passages best agree to the former, and others to the latter opinion. Possibly both may be joined together, and the chapter may be understood of Christ considered partly in his personal capacity, and partly in regard of his office, which was to impart the mind and will of God to mankind.
She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
8:2 High place - Where she may be best seen and heard. Paths - Where many paths meet, where there is a great concourse, and where travellers may need direction.
She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
8:3 Gates - The places of judgment, and of the confluence of people. The entry - To invite passengers at their first coming and to conduct them to her house. The doors - Of her house.
Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
8:4 O men - To all men without exception.
O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
8:5 Ye simple - Who want knowledge, and experience. Fools - Wilful sinners.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
8:9 To him - Whose mind God hath enlightened. To them - That are truly wise.
Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
8:10 And not silver - Rather than silver.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
8:12 I dwell - My inseparable companion is prudence to govern all my actions, and to direct the actions of others. Find out - I help men to find out. Inventions - Of all ingenious contrivances for the glory of God, and for the good of men.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
8:14 Wisdom - All solid and substantial and useful wisdom is assential to me.
By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
8:15 By me - They rule their kingdoms wisely and justly, by my counsel and assistance. Their injustice is from themselves, but all the good they do, they owe to my conduct.
By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
8:17 I love - I do not despise their love, but kindly accept it and recompence it with my love and favour. Early - With sincere affection and diligence, which he mentions as the evidence of their love.
Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
8:21 Substance - Substantial happiness: opposed to all worldly enjoyments, which are but mere shadows.
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
8:22 Possessed me - As his son by eternal generation, before the beginning. Of old - His works of creation.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
8:23 Set up - Heb. anointed, constituted to be the person by whom the Father resolved to do all his works, to create, to uphold and govern and judge, to redeem and save the world. From the beginning - Before which, there was nothing but a vast eternity. The earth - Which together with the heaven, was the first of God's visible works.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
8:24 No depths - No abyss or deep waters. Brought forth - Begotten of my father.
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
8:26 The earth - The dry land called earth after it was separated from the waters Gen 1:10. Fields - The plain and open parts of the earth distinguished from the mountains. Dust - Of this lower part of the world which consists of dust.
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
8:27 I was there - As co - worker with my Father. Depth - Of that great abyss of water and earth mixed together, which is called both earth and water and the deep, Gen 1:2, when he made this lower world in the form of a globe.
When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
8:28 Strengthened - When he shut up the fountains in the cavities of the earth, and kept them there as it were by a strong band. The deep - Which have their original from the deep, either from the sea, or from the abyss of waters in the bowels of the earth.
When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
8:31 My delights were - To uphold them by my power and providence, to reveal myself and my Father's will to them from age to age, to assume their nature, and to redeem and save them.
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
8:34 Waiting - As servants or clients, wait at the doors of princes or persons of eminency.
For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.