(3) The nature of Wisdom

As I wrote in the last blog, I have been thinking about, and researching, the nature of Wisdom for over ten years, both through the Bible and other works written by many authors both Theological and Metaphysical.  It all came together in a rather startling fashion back in around 2005 when I wrote a book about fallen angels, the leader of whom was, or is, named Samael.  It is a metaphysical view of the whole Christ story, and I leave it to the reader to decide if it was fact or fiction.
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Let us continue.  Wisdom is a powerful figure throughout the Bible.  The word wisdom is mentioned in twenty seven of its Books.  Wisdom is personified into a woman in Proverbs, a very contradictory character.  Some of “her” statements have led to one of my truly fascinating experiences in this investigation – I get to watch different authors, in their commentaries, go to great lengths to turn a negative into a positive.  If they don’t simply ignore a difficult verse or passage “she” has said, they try to turn it on its head and give it another meaning.  So let us first check the dictionary for the meaning of Wisdom before we move on – “Wisdom” noun: wisdom
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* the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. “listen to his words of wisdom”
* the fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking. “some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano”
* the body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period.
plural noun: wisdoms “Eastern wisdom”(1)

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For reference, this is my understanding of the three characters in the Wisdom story.
– The Holy Spirit is God in action.
– Jesus Christ is believed to be son of humanity and son of God.
– By her own words, Wisdom is another creature aside from God. (8:22)
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Proverbs 8:22-32
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Wisdom begins:
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22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
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Now the first of so many questions.  In naming herself as God’s first creation is she calling herself Christ?  We will discuss that possibility further down.  So .. to unpack this writing we must first encounter the confusion:
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According to Paul in Colossians 1:16 Christ was created first and then all other beings were created ‘in him, through him and for him’.
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According to Genesis 1:1 the earth was created first, “a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep …” From this we are told that the earth was dark and covered in water.  Then the “wind from God  (Ruath – the breath of God – Holy Spirit) swept across the face of the waters” and began to bring them to life.  If Christ (before Jesus) was created first, then the Christ energy could be the Ruath/Holy Spirit.  Next was light, which was separated from the darkness. God saw Light was good.  Darkness was for rest, no mention of evil.  Into this mix God added plants and  animals.  Finally he added one man, Adam.  Adam was alone and lonely, so God created … Lilith for first Adam (Talmud – Hebrew writings (2)), Eve for the second, or so it would appear, as there are two Adams created in Genesis.  They had a family, three sons.  In resting times people talked with each other and learned by listening, for there was no written words for millenniums to come.  In Eden they had nothing to do but wander and listen, but who was speaking?
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Wisdom states that she was created before the earth and helped in the creation of the earth (8:24-32), but we only have mention in the Bible of God and Ruath/Holy Spirit in Genesis. But what if there were other beings helping in the process of creation?  The question arises from Genesis 1:26 “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”.  Who was God talking to?
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It is my understanding that the angels are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit (not separate from it), so we could see their creation as being before the earth, which might answer Wisdom’s statement that she was created before the earth, but not as the first of God’s works, unless the Holy Spirit is separate from God.  Another name is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (3) – the Elohim. The word functions as both singular and plural and is said to be an entity, or a group of beings, higher in the hierarchy of heaven than angels.  Was Wisdom part of this group?   She is certainly commanding, if not demanding, and may well have become resentful when humanity was given dominion over everything on the earth,  including the angels.  How many angels resented this and fell?  Separation from God did not happen until after humanity was created in Genesis 1:26-28.
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The angels were created to serve God.  Humanity was created to learn and grow (entertainment or instruction for their creator – why give us free will if we were not meant to exercise it?)  If we go back to Genesis we realise that Eden was not a challenge to Adam, so Eve was created to create interaction and perhaps a little chaos which would lead to constant change?  Who else wandered the ‘Garden’ with them, Lilith and the serpent? Was the serpent the resentful Lilith, or was it something else?  The serpent encouraged Eve to test her boundaries, to break the rules, to ‘be’ the creator humanity was created to be.  The story of Adam and Eve is an interesting subject which I have discussed in other blogs in the past, so we will leave it here.  My next question has to be: was Wisdom Lilith or the serpent, which is now ascribed the name Satan? Or are we looking at a third ‘fallen’ angel?
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The NIB states Verse 22 “has inspired much argument over the centuries”.  The word ‘create’, in the original Hebrew, can also mean ‘to acquire’ and so ‘to possess’.  “In v. 22 Wisdom appears to have been created by the lord, but she exists prior to and on a different plane from all other creatures”.(4)  It is possible that she was Elohim, or one of that group, which might also explain why human nature has the capacity for anger and evil given Wisdom’s fallen nature.  Which raises another question, do all of God’s creatures have the capacity for evil?  Does this mean God is also evil .. considering Job, if we continue to keep that Book as part of the Bible, it definitely does.
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Wisdom continues:
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23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
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In modern jargon a ‘set-up’ is usually some form of trick.  On that premise, was Wisdom ‘set-up’ to fall, to help humanity learn by creating chaos for us?  It would give a reason to why Satan hates humanity.  If you have read my book, you will know what I believe.
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Proverbs 8:24-32 continues with a description of Wisdom’s help in the creating of the world.
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24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth –
26 when he had not yet made the earth and fields, or the first bits of soil.
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 established the fountains of the deep,
29 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,
30 then I was beside him, like a master worker, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
32 “And now, my children, listen to me; happy are those who keep my ways.
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And safer … but if her ways lead into confusion, why do we follow?  As an angel Wisdom would have rejoiced in humanity, as God did, but once she changed … is the opposite of Joy, anger, depression or insanity?
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33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
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It could be read here that the ‘servant of God’ is demanding that humanity treat her as the master.  It is the angels’ role to ‘watch and wait’, not God’s.
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35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord;
36 but all who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.
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Why is it that those people who ‘miss’ wisdom injure themselves, and those that hate her love death?  Which leads into our next subject – Wisdom as the strange woman.
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(4) Keck, LE et al, The New Interpreter’s Bible in Twelve Volumes, Volume 5, Proverbs 8:1-36 Commentary, pages 92-93
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