Proverbs 8:22

Hebrew Bible

20 I walk in the path of righteousness, in the pathway of justice, 21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, and that I may fill their treasuries. 22 The Lord created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago. 23 From eternity I have been fashioned, from the beginning, from before the world existed. 24 When there were no deep oceans I was born, when there were no springs overflowing with water;

Sirach 24:3

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

1 Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. 2 In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: 3 "I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. 4 I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. 5 Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss.

 Notes and References

"... The statement in 4Q185 1-2 ii 8 that knowledge 'goes forth' from God could refer to the creation of Lady Wisdom. Using a different word, in Proverbs Lady Wisdom claims that 'when there were no depths I was brought forth ... before the hills, I was brought forth' (Proverbs 8:24-25). Sirach 24:3 embellishes this image: 'From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, and mistlike covered the earth.' That 4Q185 alludes to the fashioning of Lady Wisdom is an intriguing possibility that should be left open. This figure is by no means prominent in this text. Several of the core Lady Wisdom motifs from Proverbs and Ben Sira are absent. 4Q185 contains no explicit description of a woman, allegorical or otherwise. There is no Lady Wisdom calling out to passers-by. She provides no eyewitness account of the primordial phase of creation. She is not compared to a fragrant tree (Sirach 24:13-19). She offers no banquets and is never contrasted with an opposing figure such as Dame Folly, as in Proverbs 9 ..."

Goff, Matthew J. Discerning Wisdom: The Sapiential Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls (p. 135) Brill, 2007

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.