Proverbs 8:20-21 "I lead (walk) in the way of righteousness (blameless conduct, integrity, justice), in the midst (middle) of the paths of judgment (determination, discretion, right): That I may cause those that love me to inherit (cause to possess) substance; and I will fill (replenish, satisfy) their treasures (storehouse)."
I have enclosed the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries word meanings for the English words in parentheses in the verse to make the verse easier to read and more readily understandable. Definitions elaborated on appear below.
Proverbs 8 is all about wisdom. Proverbs 8:1-21 personifies wisdom as a woman, and then Proverbs 8:22-36 I believe is a direct reference to Christ as Wisdom (Col. 1:16, Rev. 3:14). In Proverbs 8:20-21 wisdom leads/walks in the way of righteousness and in the midst of the paths of judgment. Why does she and why and is she all the things in the preceding verses (Prov. 8:1-20)? Wisdom desires to cause those that love her to inherit substance and to fill their treasures.
Love (H157) – a verb meaning to love. Friend, have affection for, like. AMG’s Lexical Aids to the Old Testament gives further insight on this word. It means to, "Desire, delight, covet, be beloved, be a passionate lover…It implies an ardent and vehement inclination of the mind and a tenderness of affection at the same time." In Deuteronomy 6:5, God commanded his people to love (H157) Him with all their heart, soul, and might.
Substance (H3426) – I was surprised with the meaning of this word: "Perhaps from an unused root meaning to stand out, or exist; entity." This is a semiverbal expression meaning to be, to exist according to AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionaries. What is this substance or existence, that is imparted or inherited by those that love wisdom? Wisdom wants to impart how she exists with her lovers. Here is a list what wisdom is, what she possesses, and imparts from Proverbs 8:1-21:
- Her compassion, urgency, evangelistic fervor, and call to all to be wise (Prov. 8:1-5)
- Her speech which is of excellent and right things (Prov. 8:6)
- The subject of her speech, truth; wickedness is an abomination to her lips (Prov. 8:7)
- Her words, all of which are in righteousness. Her words are pure having nothing froward or perverse in them. Wisdom’s words are plain to him that understands and right to them that find knowledge (Prov. 8:8-9)
- Her instruction and knowledge which is better than silver and choice gold (Prov. 8:10).
- Herself, wisdom. She is better than rubies. She is priceless and not to be compared with anything that could be desired (Prov. 8:11).
- Companionship with prudence, resulting in greater knowledge and industry (Prov. 8:12).
- Her character, to fear the Lord, that is a hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13).
- Her counsel and sound wisdom (Prov. 8:14).
- She is understanding
- She is strength
- Wisdom to the rulers of this world and thus guides the affairs of men (Prov. 8:15-16). It is by her, wisdom, that God create the earth and the heavens (Prov. 3:19).
- Her love to those that love her (Prov. 8:17)
- She rewards those who seek her early with herself, they will find her (Prov. 8:17).
- Wealth, honor, durable riches, and righteousness.
- Her fruit (reward) is better than gold
- Her revenue (increase) is better than choice silver
- Leads in the way of righteousness and judgment
- She is generous (8:21)
How awesome to think that Christ who is our wisdom as believers wants us to impart the substance of Wisdom’s, His, existence to us (1 Cor. 1:30)! Do you love wisdom? Loving wisdom is fearing the Lord and thus hating evil. Do you have that ardent and vehement inclination of the mind and tender affection for wisdom? Is wisdom filling your treasures so that you in turn can give it out to others. Those that follow wisdom follow righteousness and those that are righteous give and spare not (Prov. 8:20, 21:26). And God just keeps filling them so they can be rivers of His blessing to others (John 7:37-38). What a wonderful and awesome God we serve. He who comes to wisdom, comes to God the source of all wisdom. What an indescribable inheritance! Take some time to go through the above list and thank the Lord for wisdom. Are you partaking of this inheritance because of your love of wisdom?