How do theologians, church fathers and Jehovah's Witnesses understand Wisdom 7?


#1

Wisdom 7:26-8:1
26 For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
27 Although 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;
28 for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.
29 She is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
30 for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.
8She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.
<<


#2

Well for one thing, Jehovah’s Witnesses (and most other Protestants) disregard the Book of Wisdom as Scripture so they probably don’t try to understand it as they do the rest of the Bible.

I don’t really know enough about church fathers to comment on them!


#3

Haydock’s commentary is decent here and gives a couples references to Early Church Fathers. Link is here

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the book of Wisdom in their bibles, so they probably wouldn’t have any views on this passage.


#4

What I find interesting about reading WoS (first time, today) is the I’ve never heard those of the Jewish religion ever speak of their God as female. I would imagine She would also have been the Author of the 10 Commandments?

I read an comment the other day where it said that the reason Jews consider the first 5 books as their Foundation is because “things changed” after that (and chose not to mention what was involved in such changes).

Wisdom - Chap. 10

16: She entered into the soul of the servant of the Lord, and withstood dreadful kings in wonders and signs;
17: Rendered to the righteous a reward of their labours, guided them in a marvellous way, and was unto them for a cover by day, and a light of stars in the night season;
18: Brought them through the Red sea, and led them through much water:
19: But she drowned their enemies, and cast them up out of the bottom of the deep.

And verse 17, ‘cover and light’ sounds quite similar to:

Exodus 13:21 - And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

In the Interlinear Hebrew Bible, there are a great many ‘she’ pronouns that are changed to ‘he’ (or ‘it’) in the translation. I’ve yet to see a Bible that translates the female pronouns referring to God/LORD as written - until Wisdom of Solomon. I’m now interested in seeing the manuscript in Hebrew Interlinear. Then again, perhaps it is all common knowledge and I just didn’t get the memo!


#5

Duplicate - internet went out during first send.


#6

Interesting observation, Jeanne. I’m inclined to think that the “she” is wisdom, though, and not God. It seems clear to me from the earlier passage, but I’ll admit you certainly have to confront the idea in the later passage you just quoted. One could argue, I think, that wisdom helped Moses follow God’s command and in that way he was led out of Egypt, but as someone who doesn’t consider the book of Wisdom canonical, this passage does seem troublesome.


#7

I went back to do a more careful reading and found a line that puts things into proper persepctive and aligns with the NT where Paul says the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of God”.

Wisdom - Chap. 8

21: Nevertheless, when I perceived that I could not otherwise obtain Her, except God gave Her me; and that was a point of wisdom also to know whose gift She was; I prayed unto the Lord, and besought Him, and with my whole heart I said…

Romans 8:9 - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the **Spirit of God ** dwell in you.

Here’s another mind-bender (for me) - God had a ‘handmaid’, as in Hagar the handmaid? Truly, “As above, so below”? This is some seriously interesting apocrypha, eh?

Wisdom - Chap. 9

5: For I Thy servant and son of Thine handmaid am a feeble person, and of a short time, and too young for the understanding of judgment and laws.


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.