THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to
New Earth prophecy, as taught by Paul Phelps.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
The SPIRIT of WISDOM
Bible quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version
except for my own translations or as otherwise indicated.
Does not Wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand.
A Bible study project by Paul Phelps.
After several years of study this writing was completed in 2012.
All the Bible’s writings show God’s wisdom and some are focused on wisdom
as a main theme. Today most published Bibles have five “Wisdom Books,” Job,
Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs; but the First-century Christians
had more because their Aramaic Bibles (Peshitta) and Greek Bibles (Septuagint)
contained some additional books now considered apocryphal. In this essay we
explain the full and complete meaning of Wisdom that has not been understood
by many Bible readers but which is nevertheless well established and proven in
the Book of Proverbs. That book has all we need to prove our topic; but we also
quote from the Apocryphal Book of Wisdom, and Baruch, as added confirmation.
The Bible talks about wisdom in two aspects. The first meaning is an attitude
of mind that searches the mysteries of God; this wisdom is throughout the Bible.
It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
The second thing to understand is that an angel was given the name Wisdom.
This angel of wisdom is called the angel of God, in 2 Samuel 14:20,
… But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God
to know all things that are on the earth.
God’s angel of wisdom is also called the spirit of wisdom, and in Moses’day
the artisans for the Tabernacle were filled with this spirit (Ex. 28:3; 31:3; 35:31).
This is the same spirit who is called the spirit of wisdom in Deuteronomy 34:9,
Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom,
because Moses had laid his hands on him; and
the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the LORD had commanded Moses.
The Hebrew word RUAKH has multiple applications according to the context.
It is breath, wind, or a spirit-world being—but not an influence or state of mind.
These men were full of a spirit of wisdom (a spirit presence, not a mental state)
and in this way they were enabled to understand and carry out God’s plans.
In all Wisdom texts, Wisdom (as a spirit) is described in the feminine gender
and Jesus confirms it, “Nevertheless, Wisdom is vindicated by all her children”
(Matthew 11:19, and Luke 7:35). Angels in the spirit realm do not have gender
as we know it (Luke 20:34-36) but God and the angels are at all times described
as masculine; so it must have significance that Wisdom is spoken of as feminine.
In this essay we will quote the complete texts that relate to the spirit of wisdom.
Wisdom first appears in Proverbs, calling for us to follow the path of wisdom
and warning of dire consequences if we do not. Proverbs 1:20-23, 32-33,
Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates
she speaks: ‘How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools
hate knowledge? Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you.
For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools
destroys them; but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.’
Does not Wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals
she cries out: To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all humans.
O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire heart, you who lack it.
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant girls,
she calls from the highest places in the town, ‘You that are simple,
turn in here!’ To those without sense she says, ‘Come, eat my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside simpleness, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.’
The 2 Sam. 14:20 text says that Wisdom knows all things that are on the earth,
which becomes all the more obvious as we learn more about the Wisdom spirit.
Evidently Wisdom’s work in earth is leading humanity into maturity of mind—to
live righteously here in earth while avoiding the ravages of foolishness and sin.
This activity is not connected to a nation or covenant, so it is beyond constraints
of time or place. In following Wisdom, conscience is the basis of righteousness.
The Bible compares Wisdom to jewels and other aspects of beauty, which are
all part of feminine culture. And in contrast to masculine comparisons, Wisdom
is never described in terms of command, or power, or war, but rather as gentle
and inviting and peaceful. That may be why Wisdom is described as a woman.
Happy are those who find Wisdom, and those who get understanding,
for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire
can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand
are riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all
her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called happy.
Wisdom demands self-discipline and denial of foolishness and sin, but all the
rewards are satisfying. The rewards are enduring and the tree of life provides
continuance of life. In this evil world Wisdom’s influence is limited but she was
created by God as a guide for earthly humanity both now and in the New Earth.
Wisdom is said to be a mother of children (Luke 7:35), and is another reason
for feminine identity. The next verses say that her children are them that follow
her instruction and learn wisdom. Proverbs 8:32-36,
‘And now, my children, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Happy is the one
who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favour from the LORD;
but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.’
Evidently before the Creation Wisdom was the first created spirit in heaven,
created in ancient time as a companion and associate with God in all his works.
The LORD created me as the beginning of his way,
the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was woven, at the first,
before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was
brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had settled in place, before the hills, I was
brought forth— when he had not yet made earth and outer regions,
or the world’s first bits of soil. When he established the heavens,
I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he
made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains
of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the
waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out
the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a little child;
and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing
in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
This testimonial of Wisdom establishes her superiority above all other angels
that are named because none others can claim to be the first formed, or to have
witnessed Original Creation, or to be God’s personal associate and companion.
The continuing Scripture quotations talk about Wisdom’s unique characteristics
and influence on earth—unmatched by any other Biblical personage except God.
Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what
is right; for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination
to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing
twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to one who under-
stands and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction
instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold;
for Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire
cannot compare with her. I, Wisdom, live with prudence, and I attain
knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight, I have strength.
By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Riches and honour are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice
silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
The Wisdom of Solomon is a multipart composition from the first century BCE
by unknown writers from the Jewish community in Alexandria Egypt. The latter
portion, chapters 10-19 are for Passover observance—but were added at a later
time and have no connection to the earlier chapters. The author of chapters 1–9
translated Hebrew scroll fragments that were thought to be from King Solomon.
The following quotations are from that portion and are spoken as if by Solomon.
22I will tell you what Wisdom is and how she came to be, and I will hide
no secrets from you, but I will trace her course from the beginning of
creation, and make knowledge of her clear, and I will not pass by
the truth; 23nor will I travel in the company of sickly envy, for this
does not associate with Wisdom. 24The multitude of the wise is the
salvation of the world, and a sensible king is the stability of any people.
25Therefore be instructed by my words, and you will profit.
(end of chapter 6)
1I also am mortal, like everyone else, a descendant of the first-formed
child of earth; and in the womb of a mother I was moulded into flesh,
2within the period of ten months, curdled in blood, from the seed of a
man and the pleasure of marriage. 3And when I was born, I began to
breathe the common air, and fell upon the earth that suffers the same
from all; my first sound was a cry, as is true of all. 4I was nursed with
care in swaddling cloths. 5For no king has had a different beginning
of existence; 6there is for all one entrance into life, and one way out.
7Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given to me; I called on
God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. 8I preferred her to sceptres
and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison to her.
9Neither did I liken her to any priceless gem, because all gold is but a
little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
10I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her
rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. 11All good things
came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.
12I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom leads them; but I did not know
that she was their mother. 13I learned without guile and I impart without
grudging; I do not hide her wealth, 14for it is an unfailing treasure for
mortals; those who get it obtain friendship with God, commended for
the gifts that come from instruction.
15May God grant me to speak with judgment, and to have thoughts
worthy of what I have received; for he is the guide even of Wisdom and
the corrector of the wise. 16For both we and our words are in his hand,
as are all understanding and skill in crafts. 17For it is he who gave me
unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world
and the activity of the elements; 18the beginning and end and middle of
times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,
19the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars, 20the natures
of animals and the tempers of wild animals, the powers of breaths and
the thoughts of humans, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots;
21I learned both what is secret and what is manifest, 22for Wisdom, the
fashioner of all things, taught me. …
Upon assuming kingship Solomon asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-15) and
God granted his request. In this writing, King Solomon gives more information
about this, explaining that the wisdom he received was not mere knowledge, or
a mental state, but was an actual relationship with Wisdom—the angel of God.
(Note the words in verse 22, “for Wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.”)
In these Scriptures we see that Wisdom is a blessing and reward sent from God
for instruction and guidance in life; (our prayers however must be only to God).
Solomon describes Wisdom’s character as an exalted being of the spirit realm.
…22She is an intelligent spirit, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile,
clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible, 23beneficient, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.
24For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness
she pervades and penetrates all things. 25For she is a breath of the
power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. 26For she is a
reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness. 27Although she is but one, she can
do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them
friends of God, and prophets; 28for God loves nothing so much as
the person who lives with Wisdom. 29She is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light
she is found to be superior, 30for it is succeeded by the night,
but against Wisdom evil does not prevail. 8:1She reaches mightily
from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.
Solomon says that Wisdom is incorruptible: (..nothing defiled gains entrance..,
unpolluted, ..against Wisdom evil does not prevail). Wisdom is above angels for
angels fell into sin (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). Solomon introduces Wisdom like this:
…4Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
or dwell in a body enslaved to sin. 5For a holy and disciplined spirit
will flee from deceit, and will leave foolish thoughts behind,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.
6For Wisdom is a kindly spirit, but will not free blasphemers from the
guilt of their words; because God is witness of their inmost feelings,
and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.
Wisdom is an ‘holy spirit,’ but she is not “God the Holy Spirit.” Wisdom is not
a Person of the Godhead Trinity nor is she a goddess. She was created by God
under his authority to serve his purposes. This is the “good spirit” that was sent
to instruct Israel in the desert (Nehemiah 9:20), and the “holy spirit” referred to
in Ps. 51:10-11 and Isa. 63:10-11, and the “spirit of the LORD” in 1 Sam. 16:13-14,
who came in and went away. But God the Holy Spirit (third Person of the Trinity)
is a guarantee seal who never departs out of New covenant Christian believers;
2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14. (The Holy Spirit’s first presence on earth was
after Jesus’ resurrection; John 7:39; 16:7-15; 20:22.)
Spiritually reborn Christians should have this spirit of wisdom; James 3:13,17,
v 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life
that your good works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.
v 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits...
Eph. 1:17, ...
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may
give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him…
Solomon’s advantage was loving the wisdom spirit in his youth; Wisdom 8:2-21,
2I loved her and sought her from my youth; I desired to take her
for my bride, and became enamoured of her beauty. 3She glorifies her
noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her. 4For she
is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works.
5If riches are a desirable possession in life, what is richer than Wisdom,
the active cause of all things? 6And if understanding is effective,
who more than she is fashioner of what exists? 7And if anyone loves
righteousness, her labours are virtues; for she teaches self-control and
prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for
mortals than these. 8And if anyone longs for wide experience, she
knows the things of old, and infers the things to come; she understands
turns of speech and the solutions of riddles; she has foreknowledge
of signs and wonders and of the outcome of seasons and times.
9Therefore I determined to take her to live with me, knowing that she
would give me good counsel and encouragement in cares and grief.
10Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honour
in the presence of the elders, though I am young. 11I shall be found
keen in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
12When I am silent they will wait for me, and when I speak they will
give heed; if I speak at greater length, they will put their hands on
their mouths. 13Because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an
everlasting remembrance to those who come after me. 14I shall govern
peoples, and nations will be subject to me; 15dread monarchs will be
afraid of me when they hear of me; among the people I shall show my-
self capable, and courageous in war. 16When I enter my house, I shall
find rest with her; for companionship with her has no bitterness, and
life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy. 17When I considered
these things inwardly, and pondered in my heart that in kinship
with Wisdom there is immortality, 18and in friendship with her,
pure delight, and in the labours of her hands, unfailing wealth, and
in the experience of her company, understanding, and renown in
sharing her words, I went about seeking how to get her for myself.
19As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot;*
20or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.**
*(Ref. our writing, “The Nature and Origin of Human Souls”.)
**(At begettal the body and soul are conceived together at the same time.)
21But I perceived that I would not possess Wisdom unless God gave her
to me—and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was—so I
appealed to the Lord and implored him, and with my whole heart I said:
1‘O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy, who have made all things
by your word, 2and by your wisdom have formed humankind to have
dominion over the creatures you have made, 3and rule the world in
holiness and righteousness, and pronounce judgment in uprightness
of soul— 4give me Wisdom who sits by your throne, and do not
reject me from among your servants. 5For I am your servant, the
son of your servant-girl, a man who is weak and short-lived, with
little understanding of judgment and laws; 6for even one who is
perfect among human beings will be regarded as nothing without
the wisdom that comes from you. 7You have chosen me to be king of
your people and to be judge over your sons and daughters. 8You have
given command to build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar
in the city of your habitation, a copy of the holy tent that you prepared
from the beginning. 9With you is Wisdom, she who knows your works
and was present when you made the world; she understands what is
pleasing in your sight and what is right according to your command-
ments. 10Send her forth from the holy heavens, and from the throne
of your glory send her, that she may labour at my side, and that I may
learn what is pleasing to you. 11For she knows and understands all
things, and she will guide me wisely in my actions and guard me
with her glory. 12Then my works will be acceptable, and I shall
judge your people justly, and shall be worthy of the throne of
my father. 13For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern
what the Lord wills? 14For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our
designs are likely to fail; 15for a perishable body weighs down the soul,
and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind. 16We can hardly
guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labour;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens? 17Who has learned
your counsel, unless you have given Wisdom and sent your holy spirit
from on high?
(the final verse 18 introduces the Passover portion, chapters 10-19)
Angels are spirits and are called holy (Mk. 8:38); therefore Wisdom is also an
“holy spirit” (as in v 17 above, and as indicated in Isa. 63:10-11 and Neh. 9:20).
Wisdom is called an ‘angel’ (heavenly messenger) but Biblically she is not seen
the same as other angels; she is instead seen as a guide and teacher of wisdom.
She does not directly communicate with us, nor is there any prayer relationship
such as we have with God. Wisdom does not appear in bodily form, and in this
regard she is like the Father and Holy Spirit—who are invisible to us at all times.
We know that Adam (the man) was created in the image and likeness of God,
and that Eve (the woman) was taken out of the man. We also know that patterns
in earth are copies of patterns existing in heaven (Heb. 8:5; 9:24). From this we
may ask, “What is the pattern in heaven for the feminine pattern of humanity?”
Can we say that the wisdom spirit is the original pattern in heaven for Eve—the
female nature? If so, this is a major reason for describing Wisdom as a woman.
“For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of
the Almighty” (Wis. 7:25). “The LORD created me as the beginning of his way,
the first of his acts of long ago” (Prov. 8:22).
Solomon says that Wisdom is always freely available to anyone seeking her,
and “her beginning (in all of us) is the most sincere desire for instruction.” Thus,
the desire of our heart should be for Godly instruction; then Wisdom will come.
We are instructed to seek Wisdom, and a closer love-relation to God will follow.
12Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those
who love her, and is found by those who seek her. 13She hastens to
make herself known to those who desire her. 14One who rises early to
seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate.
15To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and one who is
vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, 16because she goes
about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them
in their paths, and meets them in every thought. 17Her beginning is the
most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love
of her, 18and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to
her laws is assurance of immortality, 19and immortality brings one near
to God; 20so the desire for Wisdom leads to a kingdom. 21Therefore
if you delight in thrones and sceptres, O monarchs over the peoples,
honour Wisdom, so that you may reign for ever.
Baruch 3 says Wisdom came only to Israel at first—but now is available to all.
Baruch 3:15, 20-37,
15Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?
20Later generations have seen the light of day, and have lived upon
the earth; but they have not learned the way to Knowledge, nor under-
stood her paths, nor laid hold of her. 21Their descendants have strayed
far from her way. 22She has not been heard of in Canaan, or seen in
Teman; 23the descendants of Hagar, who seek for understanding on the
earth, the merchants of Midian and Teman, the story-tellers and the
seekers for understanding, have not learned the way to Wisdom, or
given thought to her paths. 24O Israel, how great is the house of God,
how vast the territory that he possesses! 25It is great and has
no bounds; it is high and immeasurable. 26The giants were born there,
who were famous of old, great in stature, expert in war. 27God did not
choose them, or give them the way to Knowledge; 28so they perished
because they had no wisdom, they perished through their folly.
29Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down
from the clouds? 30Who has gone over the sea, and found her, and will
buy her for pure gold? 31No one knows the way to her, or is concerned
about the path to her. 32But the One who knows all things knows her,
he found her by his understanding. The One who prepared the earth
for all time filled it with four-footed creatures; 33the One who sends forth
the light, and it goes; he called it, and it obeyed him, trembling;
34the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them,
and they said, ‘Here we are!’ They shone with gladness for him who
made them. 35This is our God; no other can be compared to him.
36He found the whole way to Knowledge,
and gave her to his servant Jacob and to Israel, whom he loved.
37Afterwards she appeared on earth and lived with mankind.
(end of Chapter 3)
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