Proverbs 8:22-31

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A Creation Record


22 The LORD created me at the beginning[a] of his work,[b]
    the first of his acts of long ago.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
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 earth and fields,[c]
    or the world’s 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;[d]
    and I was daily his[e] delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the human race.

[a] Or me as the beginning
[b] Heb way
[c] Meaning of Heb uncertain
[d] Another reading is little child
[e] Gk: Heb lacks his
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

Before the beginning, Wisdom

As this Creation Record shows in detail, Wisdom was the "first of God's acts", "before the beginning." Jesus Christ, "the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24) alluded to this in his prayer to his Father, recorded in John ch. 17. Redemption to eternal life in Christ was envisaged before the beginning. — Bruce

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Compare Titus 1:2.

Also consider that the earth was destined to decay from its foundation: Hebrews 1:10-12 citing Psalm 102:25

See also Sirach 1:1-4 and 24:1-9.

The Primal Sea contained and controlled

See The Primal Sea, with links to Psalm 46:4 etc.

The Circle of the Earth

For "he set a compass" and "drew a circle" see at Isaiah 40:22.

← back to ocean depths A tour of the Bible's Creation Texts next →

The waters above and below

← prev. . . . references relevant to the waters above the firmament and/or below the earth . . . next →

Geocentrism in the Bible

The foundations of the earth, laid long ago by God, illustrate the geocentric language of the Bible, which assumes that the sun and moon move around the stationary earth. This is contrary to the heliocentric model accepted by modern science: is the Bible using Phenomenological Language here? See Theistic Heliocentrism for the comparison between Heliocentrism and Evolution.

← prev. . . . references to geocentrism . . . next →