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God Used Wisdom to Create the World

Proverbs 8:27-29 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he made strong[1] the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,[2]
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

When he established the heavens, I was there: Here the Hebrew word rendered established (kun) has the meaning of being set in place, to fix firmly in place.

When he drew a circle on the face of the deep: The Hebrew word rendered drew (chaqaq) means to cut, engrave, or write as a lasting record. The word translated circle (Heb. chug) is where the horizon and the land meet to form what looks like to be the upper part of a circle. Here it is the horizon meeting the surface of the ocean. Here the Hebrew word translated deep (tehom) is the same as the word translated depths in verse 24 and, again, is likely referring to the waters that existed in Genesis 1:2, as opposed to the oceans or bodies of water (seas) of Solomon’s day.

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When he made firm the skies above: the Hebrew word (amets), which is rendered made firm means to be fixed firmly (strong or resistant) in a given place. The word rendered skies (Heb. shachaq) is referring to the region above the earth where the birds fly to the point of entering outer space.

When he made strong the fountains of the deep: The Hebrew word (azaz) literally rendered made strong is also rendered “established” (ESV), “founded” (LEB), “fixed” (NASB). It has the sense of being or becoming strong, powerful, and great, implying confidence and security. The Septuagint (LXX) says, “made secure.” Here fountains (Heb. mayanah) or springs is referring to the flow and rise of groundwaters that bubble up from beneath the earth.

When he assigned to the sea its limit: The sense here is when God in creation fixed the boundaries of the ocean. In other words, the limit would be where the waves of the sea crash on the shoreline of the beaches around the earth and no more.

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So that the waters might not transgress his command: Here the literal rendering would be “and the waters do not exceed his mouth.” It is true that no language exactly mirrors the vocabulary and grammar of Biblical Hebrew and Greek, so a word-for-word translation of the Bible would be unclear or might even convey the wrong meaning, but it is in maybe 1000th of 1 percent.

When he marked out the foundations of the earth: The foundations of the earth is a common expression to describe the basis on which the earth rests.

We see from verse 27 that wisdom was not only present at the creation of the heavens but actively involved. We already discovered that John said, “In the beginning was the Word.” (1:1) However, he went on to say in verse 1:3, “All things came into being through him, and apart from him, not one thing came into being that has come into being.” The Apostle Paul informs us that, “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, because all things in the heavens and on the earth were created by him.” (col. 1:15-16) In Revelation 3:14 (NASB), we read, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.” Wisdom was at the beginning of the creation as a master worker, carrying out the creation of the heavens and earth, as well as the greatest creation, man. Notice that wisdom’s delight was in the creation of mankind.

The first title, ho Amen (“the Amen”), is used only here as a personal name for Christ. Usually functioning as an adverb, the word has an article preceding it. This makes it a substantive and uses it to represent a quality par excellence.7 It thus becomes a descriptive title for the Lord,8 and pictures Him as the one in whom verity is personified (Beckwith) … Paul uses very similar terminology in Col. 1:15 where he calls Christ “the first begotten of all creation” and in Col. 1:18 where he calls Him “the beginning ([arche]).” (Apparently both Col. 1:18 and Rev. 3:14 rest upon the use of arche in Prov. 8:22.)[3]

[1] Or established or founded; has the sense of being or becoming strong, powerful, and great, implying confidence and security

[2] Lit and the waters do not exceed his mouth

[3] Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1992), 300, 303.

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