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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Wisdom (1)

is put for that prudence and discretion which enables a man to perceive that which is fit to be done, according to the circumstances of time, place, persons, manners, and end of doing, Ecclesiastes 2:13-14 . It was this sort of wisdom that Solomon intreated of God with so much earnestness, and which God granted him with such divine liberality, 1 Kings 3:9; 1 Kings 3:12; 1 Kings 3:28 . It also signifies quickness of invention, and dexterity in the execution of several works, which require not so much strength of body, as industry, and labour of the mind. For example, God told Moses, Exodus 31:3 , that he had filled Bezaleel and Aholiab with wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, to invent and perform several sorts of work for completing the tabernacle. It is used for craft, cunning, and stratagem, and that whether good or evil. Thus it is said by Moses, that Pharaoh dealt wisely with the Israelites, when he opposed them in Egypt, Exodus 1:10; it is observed of Jonadab; the friend of Ammon, and nephew of David, that he was very wise, that is, very subtle and crafty, 2 Samuel 13:3; and Job 5:13 , says, that God "taketh the wine in their own craftiness." Wisdom means also doctrine, learning, and experience: "With the ancient is wisdom, and in length of days understanding," Job 12:12 . It is put for true piety, or the fear of God, which is spiritual wisdom: "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply or hearts unto wisdom," Psalms 90:12; "The fear of the Lord that is wisdom," Job 28:28 . Wisdom is put for the eternal Wisdom, the Word of God. It was by wisdom that God established the heavens, and founded the earth, Proverbs 3:19 . How magnificently does Solomon describe the primeval birth of the eternal Son of God, under the character of Wisdom personified; to which so many references and allusions are to be found in the Old and New Testament! "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth,"

Proverbs 8:22-25 . The apocryphal book of Wisdom introduces, by a reference to this passage, the following admirable invocation, Wis_9:9-10 :—

"O send forth wisdom, out of thy holy heavens, Even from the throne of thy glory;

That being present she may labour with me, That I may know what is pleasing in thy sight!"

And our Lord assumes the title of Wisdom, Luke 11:49; Matthew 23:34; and declares that "wisdom shall be justified of all her children,"

Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Wisdom (1)'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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