#29 Discussion of ‘Lady Wisdom’

That Solomon was so wise and yet fell from grace is a cautionary tale.  King Solomon asked God to give him wisdom rather than wealth.  Solomon received this gift from God, as well as becoming fabulously rich.

In his writings, Solomon personifies wisdom as ‘she’ and compares her to ‘Lady Foolishness’ (Proverbs 9:13) inviting the reader to choose wisdom over foolishness.

Solomon himself was led astray by marrying foreign wives who came to the palace with foreign gods – idols in the form of statuettes.  All subsequent wisdom after this warns against running after the wrong type of women – as this folly will lead to a man’s downfall.

There is pitfall to wisdom: if you start to love the gift more than the Giver of the gift, ironically it will take you away from God.

Wisdom is personified as ‘she’.  Lady Wisdom is not named and may only be a metaphor used for instruction.  However, it is maybe one small step from the love of wisdom for herself to the worship of a personification of wisdom as a goddess.  This may have been the trap that King Solomon fell into.

There is also the trap of the objectification of wisdom.  You can put all your effort and energy into cataloguing knowledge and discussing philosophy, and have no time left for God.  This excessive love of knowledge occurred in Ancient Greek culture, but also in the Enlightenment that brought in modern society in the 17th century.

Today philosophy continues to be an alternative to religious faith.  The fool can be both very clever and very far from God.

I would say that wisdom is profitable, but do not love the gift above the Giver.  Wisdom is a gift given by God to the upright of heart.

The gift without the Giver leads to pride.  The church has also been guilty of this.  Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople built in 532 AD was the largest cathedral, with the widest dome in the world for nearly a thousand years.  But this crowning glory of the church was removed in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the muslims and the church became a mosque.

Again and again philosophy and ‘erudite’ knowledge has replaced faith in the church.  This is not to say that knowledge is wrong, but the use given to it can be wrong.

To return to the Apocryphal book of Wisdom, in chapter 8:13 it is stated: “Thanks to her I shall win immortality, and to those who come after me I shall leave an everlasting memory.”  In chapter 9:18 that the human race has been set on the right path by wisdom and “were saved by Wisdom.”  This does not accord with the Christian message of salvation therefore it was right not to accept it in the canon of the Old Testament.

Published by clarevmerry

Christian - Bible - Catholic belief reassessment website. How does Catholic belief relate to the Bible? An even-handed approach by the author who has been a Catholic as long as she has been an Evangelical.

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