The section containing the instructions of wisdom ends with two discourses, the first of which is the great call of wisdom. This takes up and deals more minutely with the call in the earlier part of the book. It opens with an announcement that wisdom is making its appeal everywhere amid the busy activities of life. Then follows her call.
This is, first, an appeal to men to attend (verses Proverbs 8:4-11). This they should do because wisdom speaks excellent things, and speaks in righteousness. Moreover, the words of wisdom are plain and more valuable than all riches.
The foundations of wisdom are next declared (verses Proverbs 8:12-14). Essentially, these are prudence, knowledge, discretion. As for man, the foundation of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, which expresses itself in hatred of all He hates. In such wisdom lie the secrets of strength.
Then the values of wisdom are described (verses Proverbs 8:15-21). All authority is based on it. It is the lover of such as love it. It yields all highest wealth to such as love it.
Next, wisdom claims age-abiding relation to Deity (verses Proverbs 8:22-31). Ere the beginnings of creation, Jehovah possessed wisdom. Through all the processes wisdom wrought with God, and God delighted in wisdom, until man, the crowning glory of all, gave wisdom chief delight. This passage may be set side by side with the prologue to John's Gospel, for fuller understanding.
The call ends with a final appeal (verses Proverbs 8:32-36). Those who attend to the call of wisdom are blessed indeed, and those who sin against wisdom wrong their own soul.
the Second Week after Epiphany