Wisdom of Solomon 9:16


13 For who can learn the counsel of God? Or who can discern what the Lord wills? 14 For the reasoning of mortals is worthless, and our designs are likely to fail; 15 for a perishable body weighs down the soul, and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind. 16 We can hardly guess at what is on earth, and what is at hand we find with labor; but who has traced out what is in the heavens? 17 Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? 18 And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom."

John 3:12

New Testament

10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

 Notes and References

"... “Earthly things” might be the analogies of water and wind used earlier in the passage. Only an eyewitness of heaven, such as the Father and the Son, could fully testify about heaven. Wisdom of Solomon 9:16 notes that people can scarcely guess about earthly matters, and thus asks how people could guess about heavenly ones. In the context of John’s allusion to Wisdom of Solomon 9:16 (in John 3:11-12), the next verse may be relevant: no one could learn God’s ways without wisdom and the Spirit sent from above (Wisdom of Solomon 9:17). Jewish literature provides other parallels to John 3:11-13, but the closest are Jewish texts that speak of divine Wisdom coming down from God, seeking to reveal the ways of heaven (God) to people (compare, e.g., Baruch 3:29; Wisdom of Solomon 9:10; God’s powerful “word” descending to slay Egypt’s firstborn in Wisdom of Solomon 18:15) ..."

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (p. 256) InterVarsity Press, 2014

 User Comments

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