Commentary on Wisdom, 1.7-11

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Wisdom 1:7-11

(7)  For the Spirit of the Lord that has filled the world holds all things together and knows what is said;

This thought of Wisdom’s author is expressed throughout the book, that God holds the world together through His spirit,

But thou sparest all: for they are thine, O Lord, thou lover of souls. For thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things. (11.26-12.1)

As well as being found in the New Testament,

And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1.17)

Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3 NKJV)

Clearly this has lead to the Orthodox view of panentheism, or God-in-all. (This is opposite of the pagan belief that all material things are god). In panentheism, God is viewed as creator and/or animating force behind the universe, and the sole source, or perhaps first principle, of universal truth. This concept of God can be closely associated with the Logos of Heraclitus  and Justin Martyr, in which the Logos pervades the cosmos and whereby all thoughts and things originate.  An opposing thought may be that God, as any Creator, as imparted some of Himself into His creation. We note that in both Creation accounts (Genesis 2.7 and John 20.22) the Creator is seen as imparting His breath into the new Creature (Man in Genesis and the Church in John). The thought, which may interpreted differently, seems not so much as permeate this work, nor the epistles or theology of Paul, but serves as a backdrop as to why, especially in the New Testament, God would care so much for His Creation.

Is this the Spirit of God, or the spirit that is Wisdom? Does God have two Spirits, or are they one with different attributes. On the Old Testament, the Spirit of God is God’s activity in the World. The Logos has been described as God active, of God in motion. One way of interpretation that is often overlooked is to interpret the pneuma in this verse as breath. Then we can connect this verse to the two creation accounts.

The author continues to emphasize the fact that God’s spirit which holds all things together is made manifest to the world of men as power, wisdom, and spirit, which becomes important as we deal with the next few chapters, and especially in the latter half of the book when Wisdom plays an intricate part in the Exodus story.

The author, still in the mind set of the Old Testament writers, uses the fluidity of manifestations as extensions of the God Absolute.

(8)  Because of this no one who speaks unrighteous things will escape notice, and justice, when it punishes, will not pass him by.

(9)  For inquiry will be made into the counsels of an ungodly man, and a report of his words will come to the Lord, to convict him of his lawless deeds;

Who will make these examinations? The Greek is passive and leaves the interpretation open. We can take the last attribute mentioned, Justice, or we may take the Spirit of the Lord who we are told knows all things that are said. Justice is a personification of God that the author uses later in 11.20. We have to turn to the Jewish belief that along with the book of life there is a book of remembrance written to record the deeds of man.

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16 KJV)

We see here that this Spirit of the Lord will search the counsels of the unrighteous and a conviction will be made. The thought is echoed in Jude who quotes from the Book of Enoch,

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:14-15 KJV)

In Jude, just as in these verses, we have the Lord who will convict the ungodly of their ungodly deeds as well as the ungodly words spoke against Him.

(10)  because a jealous ear hears all things, and no whispered syllable escapes the vigilant ear.

(11)  So, then, beware of useless murmuring, and keep your tongue from slander; because no secret word is goes unpunished, and a lying mouth destroys the soul.

See Numbers 21.5, Psalms 78.19 (77.19 LXX). These ‘hard speechs’ of Jude, or defiant words, against God, whether whispered or shouted, will be remembered when Justice passes by.

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One Reply to “Commentary on Wisdom, 1.7-11”

  1. I love the book of Jude better than any book of the bible. However, it is funny, until i read your blog entry i never noticed the fact that God will in that day convince “all” of their ungodly deeds. No respect of persons with God.

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