In Proverbs 8, we find "wisdom" personified as one who was brought up with the Lord before the creation of the heavens and the earth. Because of this word "wisdom" some have concluded that wisdom is Jesus Christ. For example, verses 35 and 36 tell us that the person who does not have wisdom loves death, yet he who does have wisdom "findeth life." We know that life is in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Also, 1 Corinthians 1:24 says "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
We agree that this chapter is speaking about Jesus in his preexistence. Yet there are some concerns brought up regarding this chapter:
1: Jesus was "possessed" by the Lord in the beginning -verse 22.
2: Jesus was "set up" from everlasting -verse 23.
3: Jesus was "brought forth" -verse 24.
And so because such words are used to describe him, they conclude, despite what the rest of scripture has to say on the matter, that Jesus had a beginning; that at some point in time "began."
[However, if wisdom had to be created (was “produced”) are we to conclude that Jehovah God had NO wisdom until He created it? It is obvious that God wouldn’t be God if there was a time when He was without wisdom. Therefore, wisdom is just as eternal as God, the Father is.]
Those who hold this position should study what these words actually mean:
Possessed: The word here is the Hebrew word "qanah." According to Brown Driver Brigg's Hebrew Definitions, it can hold any of the following meanings:
- to get
-cause to possess
Most of the times it is translated either buy, bought or get in the bible, because this is its first definition.
How was Jesus bought? Why did the Lord buy him? Does this word specifically mean to "create?"
Set Up: This word is the Hebrew word "nasak" and literally means "to pour out, pour, offer, cast." Now this word is interesting. According to Strong's the meaning of this word is in the sense of "anointing as King." Well, we are getting a bigger picture. Jesus was "bought" and then chosen and anointed as King. Let's see the next word.
Brought Forth: The Hebrew word here is "chul, chyl." Here's the meaning:
-to twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained, to twist, to whirl, whirl about, to dance, to writhe (in travail with), bear, bring forth, to wait anxiously, be made to bear, to be born, writhing, suffering torture (participle), to wait longingly, to be distressed.
Amazing! We who understand the sanctuary know that a lamb was to be chosen and bought, then killed for the sin of the people. These texts in Proverbs 8 give us a description of the Lamb of God, chosen to be the Messiah, to be anointed, and to suffer in pain the death that we deserved upon the cross of Calvary!
Can "possessed" mean "create?" Sure, but how was he created? Not as God, for God has no beginning nor ending. This word is never even translated "create" anywhere in the Hebrew Old Testament. We have seen that Jesus is God in the highest sense, so when it says he was "possessed" it alludes to the text in Micah 5:2, which speaks about Christ's origin as Messiah!
From the beginning, before the worlds were created, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, was chosen by the Father ("I will be to him a Father, he shall be to me a Son" -Hebrews 1:5) to be anointed as King and to suffer; be twisted, tormented, whirled about, put to pain, anguish and fear for my sins and for your sins. In other words, these verses are speaking to us; once again, about the origins of Jesus as Messiah when he was chosen to be the suffering servant.
If Jesus had a beginning, then Father too had a beginning according to Proverbs 8:22.
Proverbs 8:22 states: ‘The Lord possessed me [Christ] in the beginning of His way, before His works of Old.’ Our critics argue based on this text that ‘ever since THAT event (signifying a point in time), Christ has always been in close fellowship with the Father. They use this text to lend clarity to John 1:1 which speaks of Christ / the Word being there in the beginning.
But notice Proverbs 8:22 carefully. If according to our critics, Jesus had a beginning, then Father too had a beginning because it speaks of the “beginning of HIS (the Father’s) way”, then you have to assume that the Father had a beginning too. Are our critics willing to believe that?
In addition when it is says, ‘I was brought up WITH him [the Father] -v30,’ it suggests that the Father and Jesus were brought up together. It does not say that He was brought up by Him but ‘with’ Him.
It is in this light that Ellen White penned these words:
And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: "The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." Proverbs 8:22-30.” PP 34
"That doctrine that denies the absolute Godhead of Jesus Christ denies also the Godhead of the Father." ST June 27, 1895.