When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I was brought forth.—i.e., born. The same word is used in Psalm 51:5 (7), and Job 15:7.Genesis 1; Job 22; Job 26:1-14; Job 38:A world of waters, "great deeps" lying in darkness, this was the picture of the remotest time of which man could form any conception, and yet the co-existence of the uncreated Wisdom with the eternal Yahweh was before that.
abounding—or, "laden with water."No depths; no abyss or deep waters, either mixed with the earth, as they were at first, or separated from it.
Brought forth; begotten of my Father’s essence. Job 15:7. Christ is the firstborn of every creature, begotten, born, and brought forth before any creature was in being; see Psalm 2:7; before the depths of the great sea were formed, for they were made by him, Psalm 95:1; when there were no depths, but the infinite being and perfections of God, and the thoughts and purposes of his heart, which are his deep things, Job 11:7;
when there were no fountains abounding with water; or "heavy", or "honoured" (k) with it; when the fountains of the great deep were not; and when there were no other fountains which form rivers, and water the earth; when there were none but God the fountain of living waters; then was Christ as the only begotten son of God; and who was also set up as the fountain of all grace, life, and salvation for his people.When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 24. - The preexistence of Wisdom is still more expressly set forth. When there were no depths (vers. 27, 28). The waste of waters which covered the face of the earth is meant - that great deep on which primeval darkness brooded (Genesis 1:2). Before even this, man's earliest conception of the beginning of the world, uncreated Wisdom was. Septuagint, "before he made the abysses" (see on Proverbs 3:20). I was brought forth; Vulgate, et ego jam concepta eram; Septuagint, at the end of ver. 25, γεννᾷ με, "he begetteth me." The verb here is חוּל (chul), which is used of the travailing of women, and is rightly translated, "brought forth by generation." It indicates in this place the energizing of Wisdom, her conception in the Divine mind, and her putting tbrth in operation. When there were no fountains abounding with water; i.e. springs in the interior of the earth (Genesis 7:11; comp. Job 22, 26, 38.). Septuagint,"Before the springs of the waters came forward (προελθεῖν)." Proverbs 3:16 is repeated, after which אתּי is meant of possession (mecum and penes me). Regarding הון, vid., Proverbs 1:13; instead of the adjective יקר there, we have here עתק. The verb עתק brev signifies promoveri, to move forwards, whence are derived the meanings old (cf. aetas provecta, advanced age), venerable for age, and noble, free (cf. עתּיק, Isaiah 28:9, and Arab. 'atyḳ, manumissus), unbound, the bold. Used of clothing, עריק (Isaiah 23:18) expresses the idea of venerable for age. עתק used of possessions and goods, like the Arab. 'âtak, denotes such goods as increase during long possession as an inheritance from father to son, and remain firm, and are not for the first time gained, but only need to be inherited, opes perennes et firmae (Schultens, Gesenius' Thesaur., Fleischer), although it may be also explained (which is, however, less probable with the form עתק) of the idea of the venerable from opes superbae (Jerome), splendid opulence. צדקה is here also a good which is distributed, but properly the distributing goodness itself, as the Arab. ṣadaḳat, influenced by the later use of the Hebrew צדקה (δικαιοσύνη equals ἐλεημοσύνη), denotes all that which God of His goodness causes to flow to men, or which men bestow upon men (Fl.). Righteousness is partly a recompensative goodness, which rewards, according to the law of requital, like with like; partly communicative, which, according to the law of love without merit, and even in opposition to it, bestows all that is good, and above all, itself; but giving itself to man, it assimilates him to itself (vid., Psalm 24:7), so that he becomes צדיק, and is regarded as such before God and men, Proverbs 8:19.
The fruit and product of wisdom (the former a figure taken from the trees, Proverbs 3:18; the latter from the sowing of seed, Proverbs 3:9) is the gain and profit which it yields. With חרוּץ, Proverbs 8:10; Proverbs 3:14, פּז is here named as the place of fine gold, briefly for זהב מוּפז, solid gold, gold separated from the place of ore which contains it, or generally separated gold, from פּזז, violently to separate metals from base mixtures; Targ. דּהבא אובריזין, gold which has stood the fire-test, obrussa, of the crucible, Greek ὄβρυζον, Pers. ebrı̂z, Arab. ibrı̂z. In the last clause of this verse, as also in 10b, נבחר is to be interpreted as pred. to תבוּאתי, but the balance of the meaning demands as a side-piece to the מחרוץ ומפז (19a) something more than the mere כּסף. In 20f. the reciprocal love is placed as the answer of love under the point of view of the requiting righteousness. But recompensative and communicative righteousness are here combined, where therefore the subject is the requital of worthy pure love and loving conduct, like with like. Such love requires reciprocal love, not merely cordial love, but that which expresses itself outwardly.
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