Wisdom and Foolishness

According to Proverbs 8, wisdom (hokmah, a feminine noun) cries out to everyone. Here, wisdom, who existed before creation, is personified. She cries out from the entrance of the city to the simple and to the fools. There’re two Hebrew words used here. The first is petiy which means simple. According to the Complete WordStudy Dictionary, “It refers to a person who is naïve concerning the complexities and challenges of life, inexperienced, lacking insight but made wise by God’s words and laws.” The next Hebrew word (adjective) is kesiyl which is translated as fool or foolish; the noun is kesiylut which means foolishness or stupidity. According to the Complete WordStudy Dictionary, kesiyl “refers to one of several types of fools in Scripture, especially in Proverbs. Such persons are usually unable to deal with life in a successful, practical way.”

Wisdom wants to be understood, discerned, perceived, and observed by the people. Wisdom speaks of excellent or right things; she speaks truth, not abominations. You may have never considered this but wisdom is a teacher; she wants her instruction to be received. In this sense, wisdom is much like Yeshua and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who is our teacher and counselor.

According to Psalm 111:10a, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD [the beginning of wisdom] is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” Being wise not only requires that we hate evil, we have to carry that one step further and fulfill the remainder of Psalm 111:10; in other words, we must do YHVH’s commandments.

If we are wise, we will obey God’s commandments. Doing so shows our love to the Father and to Yeshua. The Father and Yeshua love those who are wise and dwell with them (John 14:23). Many of us are still learning God’s commandments. Fortunately, the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), who dwells within us, will teach us all things and cause us to remember the words of Yeshua. As we learn, we can grow in wisdom and knowledge; walk in obedience; and avoid what is false.

Torah is truth; it is not crooked or perverse. The same is true of wisdom. Wisdom is better than anything we could possibly desire. Wisdom has eternal worth whereas gold, silver, jewels, and other costly things don’t; their worth is temporal.

Wisdom is related to prudence or good judgment. It is discerning of evil. YHVH wants leaders to reign with wisdom. King Saul failed to exercise wisdom. He did not obey YHVH’s commandments but sought to justify his sin. If Saul had obeyed the commandments, his kingdom would have been established forever (1 Samuel 13:13). King David was a man after God’s own heart; he loved to meditate on God’s word day and night. Although King David sinned with Bathsheba, he confessed his guilt, and his kingdom was established forever. When Yeshua reigns in Jerusalem, He will reign with great wisdom.

Wisdom loves those who love her; those who seek her diligently will find her. This concept of seeking and finding is found throughout Scripture. Note what is sought and found. In Deuteronomy 4:29, YHVH knew His people would be scattered among the nations. He told them that if they will seek YHVH their Elohim (God), they will find him if they will seek Him with all their heart and soul. He promised that if they turned to Him and obeyed Him, He would not forsake them or forget the covenant He made with their ancestors. In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David told Solomon to know YHVH and to serve Him loyally and willingly. David told Solomon that if he sought YHVH, YHVH would find him but if Solomon forsook YHVH, Solomon would be cast off forever. Others such as Asa, Hezekiah, Josiah, and Ezra sought YHVH and obeyed His commandments; they encouraged others to do so as well. Many years later, Yeshua told His disciples not to worry about the needs in their lives; He told them to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and their needs would be taken care of. This message is what we need to hear today. It is wise to seek and find YHVH, righteousness, God’s kingdom, and wisdom. True wealth and honor are found in wisdom.

A lot of people think that wisdom or God’s commandments did not exist before the Ten Words (Ten Commandments) were given on Mount Sinai. That’s simply not true. As we read Proverbs 8, wisdom tells us she was before:

  • The depths were brought forth;
  • The fountains abounded with water;
  • The mountains were settled;
  • The hills;
  • The earth or fields;
  • The primal dust of the world;
  • The creation of the heavens;
  • YHVH drew a circle on the face of the deep;
  • YHVH established the clouds above;
  • YHVH strengthened the fountains of the deep,
  • YHVH assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command;
  • YHVH marked out the foundations of the earth.

Wisdom was brought forth before these things took place. When these things took place, wisdom was beside YHVH as a master craftsman or as one brought up with Him. The Hebrew word here is amon, meaning architect or craftsman. Wisdom is seen here as someone who was involved in designing creation with YHVH. As I consider this, I think it was so fitting for Yeshua to be the son of a carpenter. Surely, Yeshua delighted in watching his earthly, adoptive father create things. It is also appropriate to note here that Hebrews 1:2b indicates that the Father made the worlds through Yeshua, His son.

Wisdom was daily YHVH’s delight; wisdom always rejoiced before Him. Wisdom rejoiced in His inhabited world and her delight was with the sons of men. If Yeshua is the way, the truth, and the life, is Yeshua also wisdom? What would bring Yeshua more delight than to actually come to earth and dwell with men?

Proverbs 8:32-36 gives us advice and a warning: “Now therefore, listen to me [wisdom], my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.” Do you listen to wisdom? Do you keep her ways or despise them? Do you love life or death?

Proverbs 9:1 tells us wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars. What are these? Could they be the opposite of the abominations found in Proverbs 6:16-19? These abominations are:

  • A proud look;
  • A lying tongue;
  • Hands that shed innocent blood;
  • A heart that devises wicked plans;
  • Feet that are swift in running to evil;
  • A false witness who speaks lies;
  • And one who sows discord among brethren.

What if these pillars of wisdom are humility; truth; hands that carry out the death penalty; devising righteous plans; feet that are swift to do what is righteous; a witness that speaks truth; and one who promotes unity among brethren? Obviously, this is my best guess.

Wisdom has sent out her maidens; they are the prophets sent by YHVH. Wisdom is also a prophetess; she is like the watchmen on the wall who cry out from the highest places of the city for the people to repent. Proverbs 9:4-6 cries out, “Whoever is simple [petiy; foolish, simpleminded], let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.” When you are faced with temptation, remember, the pleasure of foolishness is temporal but the cost is eternal.

Proverbs 9:7-9 warns us and gives us advice: “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

I’ve been foolish enough to correct a scoffer and a wicked person. I can only stand back and encourage them to repent. I’ve rebuked the wise and survived. I’ve been rebuked, and loved the wise people who rebuked me. I must say it is much easier to receive rebuke when it is done in love and gentleness and not in hate and bitterness. Please try to remember that the next time you feel the need to rebuke someone and be sure to calmly teach as you rebuke.

Proverbs 9:13-18 tells us: “A foolish (kesiylut; stupid) woman is clamorous (hamah; murmurs, growls, roars, or howls); She is simple, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest places of the city, To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way: “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.”

Both wisdom and the foolish cry out to the simple-minded and those who lack understanding. Wisdom’s goal is to rescue or prevent the simple-minded from going to hell (sheol); her goal is to preserve people for the kingdom of God. The goal of the foolish is to cause as many people as possible including themselves to live lawlessly and to go to hell (sheol)—more specifically, the lake of fire.

My goal is to call all who find this page to repentance. Open the Scriptures and seek truth. Examine your doctrines, beliefs, and lifestyle. Do they really line up with what the Scriptures say?

My desire is to rescue you and preserve you for eternity. Trust in the atonement Yeshua provided for you. Please, forsake foolishness/lawlessness and embrace wisdom.

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