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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 16: The Works of Wisdom
From the beginning of Wisdom chapter 9 we have begun to present and discuss Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom, a prayer which he continues through to the very end of this book. In the final verse of that chapter, addressing Yahweh God Himself while imploring Him for wisdom so that he can rule over the people righteously, Solomon had acknowledged that through wisdom “18 … the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.” Thus he introduces the theme which begins in this chapter, that by the wisdom which is found in the Word of God, God has preserved and shall continue to preserve His Creation so that His will shall be fulfilled upon earth.
Saying this, Solomon was referring to something which he does not explain explicitly until Wisdom chapter 19, where he wrote in reference to the organization of the children of Israel into a peculiar kingdom under the laws which were given through Moses at Sinai and he said: “6 For the whole creature in his proper kind was fashioned again [from above], serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt.” This method of writing, where a conclusion is alluded to but not stated explicitly until he approaches the end of the discourse, is also a feature of Ecclesiastes. That is another aspect of Wisdom which leads me to believe that Solomon was indeed its original author, while the work may also have been translated into Greek by a skilled hand at a later time.
Now as we commence with Wisdom chapter 10, Solomon shall proceed by recounting works of Wisdom which are actually the works of the wisdom of God for the benefit of men. Doing this, Solomon continues to portray wisdom as a woman, and continues attributing the works of God to her, since earlier in the book he had portrayed her as an aspect of God Himself. As we commence, it may also become evident that to Solomon, works of wisdom are truly the works of Yahweh our God, and men either learn from them whereby they are preserved, or reject them and suffer the consequences. Ostensibly, anything which opposes Yahweh's will is folly rather than wisdom. Thus he starts from the beginning, at least as it relates to men, by which we mean to describe the race of Adam:
Wisdom 10:1 She preserved the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall,
Here Wisdom is referring to Adam as first-formed father of the world, but that does not mean that Adam was the father of every hominid or beast on the planet. As we have often pointed out in other contexts, in Wisdom chapter 18 Solomon describes what he means by world, where he said “24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.” The four rows of gemstones attached to the long garment of the high priest representing the whole world, those gemstones stood for the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and they alone are the world to which Solomon refers.
Stating that Adam was created alone, he interprets the accounts of the creation of Adam in a way that helps to dispel modern innovations of interpretation, refuting those who imagine that an entire race was created at once, as some may read Genesis 1:27, or that some other Adam was created after the creation of Adam, as some may read Genesis 2:19. Further, where Wisdom is said to have brought Adam out of his fall, that does not mean that Adam was already somehow restored. It only states that Adam survived his fall and lived on through the wisdom of God.
Now Solomon upholds the fact of Adam’s dominion in spite of his fall:
2 And gave him power to rule all things.
This is a reference to the commission given to Adam in Genesis chapter 1, where we read in the Kings James Version: “26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” So creating the first man, which is described in Genesis chapter 2, Yahweh God had already planned the creation of the first woman, and foresaw their propagation into a race of men. Furthermore we may imagine, as Solomon also professes here, that even in his fallen state the Adamic man would still rise to dominion over the Creation of God.
But this leads us to once again mention the heresy that Yahweh God had created two races of men called Adam, one on the sixth day and one on some supposed eighth day of Creation. It is certainly not true. Solomon, who descended from that Adam of Genesis chapter 2, here claims to have the dominion given to the Adam of Genesis chapter 1, and it is clear that they must both be the same Adam. So Solomon did not interpret the Genesis creation account the way that some heretics claim it should be interpreted today, and instead they manufacture lies. There is no so-called “eighth day creation”.
Now in Wisdom we see a reference to Cain:
3 But when the unrighteous went away [or withdrew] from her in his anger, he perished also in the fury wherewith he murdered his brother.
The entire second clause comes from only three Greek words, ἀδελφοκτόνοις συναπώλετο θυμοῖς. The first word, a Dative case form of the adjective ἀδελφοκτόνος, describes one who is murdering a brother or who is a brother-murderer. The verb, a Medium Voice form of συναπόλλυμι, indicates that the subject had destroyed himself or had perished together along with someone or something else. We would translate the clause to read “in murdering his brother he himself was destroyed in wrath”, or perhaps “in murdering his brother he himself had perished in wrath.”
In other words, Cain may have been a bastard, upon which Solomon does not comment here, but after his sacrifice was rejected and upon being challenged by God to do good, he could not escape his anger and he killed his brother, by which act he is described here as destroying himself in the process. As Christ had explained in a parable Yahweh God has promised to destroy all of the goats, but in the end, as we learn by examining the parable, they shall be judged unworthy of salvation for reason of how they had treated the sheep. So Solomon makes another reference to Abel:
4 For whose cause the earth being drowned with the flood, wisdom again preserved it, and directed the course of the righteous in a piece of wood of small value.
By saying “for whose cause” it seems probable that Solomon was referring to Abel, at least on the surface, because Abel was the brother whom Cain had killed. The cause of the descendants of Seth would certainly also be the cause of Abel, as it would be through Seth, and then through Noah after him, and ultimately through Christ, that the race would be preserved and vengeance for the blood of Abel would ultimately be executed.
However in the sentences which precede Abel is never a subject. He is only alluded to in the adjective which describes Cain as a brother-murderer. So it seems much more probable that Cain, being the subject of the sentence which precedes this, is still the subject here where it says “for whose cause”. But how can it be said that the flood of Noah had come on account of Cain? This may only be true if the Nephilim or fallen ones of Genesis chapter 6 were related to Cain, as Cain was evidently a son of one of the Nephilim, the fallen angels which were referred to as the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and represented by the serpent of Genesis chapter 3. So it is quite likely, as Solomon seems to interpret it here, that the events of Genesis chapter 6 are a manifestation of the enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman forewarned by Yahweh God in Genesis chapter 3.
The phrase “a piece of wood of small value” may have been rendered simply as “a cheap piece of wood”, which is a reference to the ark of Noah which had evidently taken Noah as many as a hundred and twenty years to build. That is the meaning of Genesis 6:3 where we read “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Then Yahweh began to warn Noah to build an ark, and told him why he needed to build it. So while it may have been a monumental task for Noah, it was still only “a cheap piece of wood” compared to the plan of Yahweh for his creation.
Now Solomon continues to move through Adamic history and choose certain examples from it as an illustration of the workings of the wisdom of God set in contrast with the wicked deeds of men:
5 Moreover, the nations in their wicked conspiracy being confounded, she found out the righteous, and preserved him blameless unto God, and kept him strong against his tender compassion toward his son.
The nations to which he refers must be the nations of the descendants of the sons of Noah described in Genesis chapter 10, therefore the conspiracy of the nations is that which is found in Genesis chapter 11: “1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” So the subsequent verses describe the response of Yahweh God to that conspiracy, whereby He did confound them and scatter them abroad.
The subsequent history which is evident in the Old Testament reveals that all of those nations had departed from the ways of their fathers and had gone off into paganism, even the kindred of Abraham, for which reason Paul of Tarsus had said, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 14, when certain Lycaonians had imagined that both he and Barnabas were gods: “15 … Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” Out of a world which was entirely pagan, Abraham was called.
Note that in ancient Babel “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech”, and is portrayed as conspiring against God. Today, once again nearly all the world is of one language and speech, as more and more aliens learn English and partake of a common worldwide culture, which is called “Pop” or Popular Culture, also called Mass Culture, and spread by mass media which compels all people to conform to particular beliefs and practices, and also encourages the spread of materialism and commercialism. In Scripture this is called Mystery Babylon, a word which is derived from the name of ancient Babel, and Yahweh God has also promised to confound it once again, as it is the rebirth of the original conspiracy which Solomon describes here.
So Abraham was called, and Wisdom “kept him strong against his tender compassion toward his son”, which describes his sacrifice of Isaac. Next there is a reference to the preservation of Lot from the fires of Sodom and Gomorrah:
6 When the ungodly perished, she delivered the righteous man, who fled from the fire which fell down upon the five cities.
Here of course, the righteous man is Lot, who was saved from Sodom along with his daughters, and his wife was nearly saved with him. Sodom and Gomorrah were evidently the two most notable of the five “cities of the plain”, as they were referred to in Genesis chapters 13 and 19. So now the end of them is described:
7 Of whose wickedness even to this day the waste land that smoketh is a testimony, and plants bearing fruit that never come to ripeness [or perhaps, are never perfected in season]: and [the conjunction is not in the text] a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an unbelieving soul.
To this day there are monuments in Palestine of ruins which look very much like buildings, and which must be buildings that were turned to ashes by some unknown but magnificent flash of fire. For some extraordinary evidence of this, there is a documentary video archived at Christogenea which was made by denominational Christians: Sodom & Gomorrah in Documentary. While we do not agree with the universalist theology which is expressed in this presentation, the actual images and descriptions of findings at the site which is believed to be a remnant of Sodom & Gomorrah and the cities of the plain are quite striking, and quite undeniable.
Some of the cities of the plain may lie under portions of what we call the Dead Sea. The ancient Greeks called the sea Lake Asphaltites, for the asphalt which was harvested there. Asphalt is a substance very similar to tar. Today the Jews sell products such as salt or cosmetics made from materials harvested from the Dead Sea in mall kiosks and stores around the world, whereby they are profiting from the remains of long-dead Sodomites, and inducing the world to consume them. That is a fitting reward for those who worship Pop Culture consumerism.
So here we see that at least 800 years after the fact, if we accept that Solomon was the author of Wisdom, that smoke was still rising from the ashes of Sodom and other cities of the plain. The unbelieving soul, Lot’s own wife, had looked back when she was told not to look back, and doing so she became a memorial for those who do not believe, meaning that her looking back was an act of disobedience resulting from a lack of belief. The lack of belief did not necessarily kill her, but the disobedience in which it resulted had killed her. So it is not enough to simply believe God, one must also be obedient to God as a result of that belief.
This is evident in the account in Genesis chapter 19: “15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” Then a little later on, in spite of the demand that they do not look back as they fled the city, we read “26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Now, speaking of all those who had died in these judgments:
8 For regarding not wisdom, they gat not only this hurt, that they knew not the things which were good; but also left behind them to the world a memorial of their foolishness: so that in the things wherein they offended they could not so much as be hid.
The language of the passage is difficult, and the King James translation is archaic, so we would translate verse 8 to read:
For bypassing wisdom [σοφίαν γὰρ παροδεύσαντες] not only were they hurt [οὐ μόνον ἐβλάβησαν] for that they knew not the goodly things [τοῦ μὴ γνῶναι τὰ καλά] but also [ἀλλὰ καὶ] they left the foolishness in life [τῆς ἀφροσύνης ἀπέλιπον τῷ βίῳ] for a memorial [μνημόσυνον] that the things in which they had fallen [ἵνα ἐν οἷς ἐσφάλησαν] they were not even able to escape [μηδὲ λαθεῖν δυνηθῶσιν].
Note that the people of the cities of the plain, as it is related here, had done harm to themselves in their sin not only from the results of the sin, but simply from not ever having experienced what is good in life. Now Sodom and Gomorrah, whose remains can be seen to this very day, stand as a memorial to the foolishness of their behavior, and those who partake in such things shall not escape the wrath of God. The Sodomites of today should have already taken notice, yet more and more supposedly Christian people are infected with and tolerate the disease. The fire will indeed rain down upon them, while they will evidently stay in denial up until the very time that the moment finally comes, and then it will be to late.
But now there is an expression of hope for those of us who do not partake of the folly:
9 But wisdom delivered from pain those that attended upon her.
We would translate the verse to read:
But Wisdom delivered those consulting [or those who consult] her from travails [σοφία δὲ τοὺς θεραπεύοντας αὐτὴν ἐκ πόνων ἐρρύσατο].
Consulting Wisdom, one seeks to learn and to be obedient to the will of God, because wisdom is the Word which comes from God. But even if the law was not yet given at the time of the destruction of the cities of the plain, men still had an opportunity to call upon God, as we see in Genesis chapter 4: “26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” In just a couple of generations men had already forgotten the God of their fathers. The experiences of the first fathers must have been transmitted to subsequent generations. Not calling upon God, men often suffered the consequences of their actions.
Now Sodomy has become prevalent in society once again, and at least many of the denominational Christians of today believe that Sodomites shall not be punished, because the law was somehow done away with in Christ, which is certainly not true. They should take heed from the warning that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed before the law of Sinai was even given, so what was evil without the written law in the days of Lot is still evil without the written law in these days. Sodomy could not be justified without the law then, and it cannot be justified now.
Next Solomon moves on in time to describe the plight of Jacob:
10 When the righteous fled from his brother's wrath she guided him in right paths, shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things, made him rich in his travels, and multiplied the fruit of his labours.
The word translated as travels, μόχθος, is literally, hardships. In the final clause, there is no word for fruit in the text, although it may be inferred.
This is an account of the flight of Jacob to Padanaram, as not only was he sent there to find a wife, but he was also being sent away from his brother Esau, who had vowed to kill him. This is found in Genesis chapter 27: “41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. 42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou [here the Septuagint adds the words into Mesopotamia] to Laban my brother to Haran; 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away; 45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?” Just as Cain destroyed himself in having slain Abel, Rebekah implies that Esau would have destroyed himself if he had slain Jacob. In the verses which follow, Rebekah convinces Isaac as to why this is necessary, and Isaac sends Jacob to Padanaram where after much toil he was blessed with wives and cattle. So Solomon concludes:
11 In the covetousness of such as oppressed him she stood by him, and made him rich.
In Padanaram, Laban, who was his own uncle, had sought to take advantage of Jacob and profit from him, even as he gave him his daughters to wife. So Laban deceived Jacob after seven years’ labor by giving him a daughter he did not want, and made him work seven more for the daughter that he wanted. But in spite of that, Yahweh enriched Jacob while he was with Laban to the point where Laban and his sons in their covetousness began to despise and envy him. Then we read in Genesis chapter 31: “4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.” So Jacob departed Haran with his family and his goods, but he had other challenges to face on his journey, where speaking of Wisdom Solomon now says:
12 She defended him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those that lay in wait, and in a sore conflict she gave him the victory; that he might know that goodness is stronger than all.
The clause which reads “she gave him the victory” is literally only: she decided for him. The word translated as goodness, εὐσέβεια, is literally piety or reverence towards God.
Returning to Canaan after twenty years in Mesopotamia, and before he settled near Shechem, Jacob had his reunion with Esau, and contrary to his expectations he was favored by him. Along the way he also overcame the angel of God which had wrestled with him. Some aspects of the Genesis account of that event are obscure, but it is evident that Jacob prevailed in both instances due to his own inherent goodness, and that is the lesson which Solomon conveys here. When men face adversity and opposition, Godly righteousness is the best weapon they may carry to the battle, even regardless of whether they win. So according to Solomon, that is a lesson which Jacob himself had learned in his struggles.
Now he moves on to reflect upon the account of the patriarch Joseph:
13 When the righteous was sold, she forsook him not, but delivered him from sin: she went down with him into the pit,
By the wisdom of God, Joseph was preserved in spite of the sin of his brothers, in the pit in which they had abandoned him. But later, he himself had also been kept from sinning when he was tempted by the wife of Potiphar, an officer of the pharaoh. As Moses had written the account, somehow Joseph had understood that adultery was a sin against God and while the wife of Potiphar accused him unjustly, causing him to be imprisoned. So for his righteousness he was favored by God, and he was ultimately elevated over all Egypt by the pharaoh himself.
As we read in Wisdom chapter 1: “3 For froward thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise. 4 For into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter; nor dwell in the body that is subject unto sin.” But Joseph, resisting sin, Wisdom remained with him. Now, speaking of Wisdom in relation to Joseph, we read:
14 And left him not in bonds, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: as for them that had accused him, she shewed them to be liars, and gave him perpetual glory.
The plural participle translated as those that oppressed is more literally those who tyrannized. Joseph, being released from his bonds, by the grace of God was given authority over those who had unrighteously ruled over him, and their accusations against him came to nought.
While written laws transmitted from Yahweh God Himself were first given at Sinai, the concept of law was not born at Sinai. Kings of other nations had codified their own laws over the centuries before Moses. In Genesis chapter 26, where Yahweh God speaks to the patriarch Isaac, we read: “3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
So the patriarchs must have kept an older tradition of moral laws which was not recorded in Scripture, by which they sought to be pleasing in the eyes of God. Therefore, referring to the temptation of adultery, Joseph is described as having said in Genesis chapter 39, “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” So the wisdom which accompanied Joseph to Egypt is two-fold. First, he was preserved according to the providence of God, and then, Joseph maintained himself in a manner which pleases God, a manner which was only later put down in writing at Sinai.
By this we may perceive that while the moral laws were codified at Sinai, that is not where they were conceived. The laws themselves preceded the codification, so that they have always been law so long as there has been a God, because the law itself is a product of the wisdom of God. So with or without the Old Covenant, as the lives of Jacob and Joseph both preceded the covenant at Sinai, the moral laws of God do not change, and Christ had referred to them as the commandments which men must keep. Therefore fornication, sodomy and adultery are sins yesterday, today and forever.
Now Solomon moves on to recount aspects of the Exodus from bondage in Egypt:
15 She delivered the righteous people and blameless seed from the nation that oppressed them.
Even though the children of Israel in the Exodus were stiff-necked and had reverted to the idolatry of paganism at every opportunity, Solomon nevertheless refers to them as “the righteous people and blameless seed”, and that is an indication that righteousness is not reckoned by God according to the manner of men. The word translated as righteous here also reflects that assessment, as ὅσιος is defined by Liddell & Scott to mean “hallowed, sanctioned by the law of God… opposed to δίκαιος (sanctioned by human law)…”
16 She entered into the soul of the servant of the Lord, and withstood dreadful kings in wonders and signs;
The servant of Yahweh is of course Moses, and describes how he stood up against pharaoh and pronounced the plagues which were to come upon Egypt, things which are described in Exodus chapters 8 and 9. So we will read the first of those pronouncements: “1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: 4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.” It seems quite surreal, that Moses could have stood before a mighty pharaoh and pronounced those curses upon him if his demands were not met, and this Moses was compelled to do many times. But only by the wisdom of God could he have had the courage to do such a thing and prevail.
Continuing to describe the Exodus, Solomon next professes that Wisdom had:
17 Rendered to the righteous a reward of their labours, guided them in a marvellous way, and was unto them for a cover by day, and a light of stars in the night season;
The word season in the translation is not in the text, but here it is inferred as a colloquial expression for the time of night.
Once again, where it is in the plural in Greek and refers to the people of God, the word righteous is translated from the Greek word ὅσιος, used as a Substantive, which is a noun, so it describes a people who are hallowed or sanctioned by the law of God. It may have been rendered as saints here, and that is also the true Biblical definition of a saint, one of the people sanctioned by the law of God. Thus we read in Leviticus chapter 20: “26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” And once again in Deuteronomy chapter 7: “6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
Where it says that Wisdom had “guided them in a marvellous way, and was unto them for a cover by day, and a light of stars in the night season” it must be a reference to the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire which led the children of Israel by night and day in their journey out of Egypt.
The righteous reward which is mentioned here is a reference to the gold of Egypt taken by the children of Israel as they departed in the Exodus. Thus we read from Exodus chapter 11: “1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. 3 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.” Then in chapter 12, after all of the first-born of Egypt were smitten: “35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” Continuing to speak in reference to the Exodus, Solomon now says that Wisdom:
18 Brought them through the Red sea, and led them through much water: 19 But she drowned their enemies, and cast them up out of the bottom of the deep.
In Exodus chapter 15, after the children of Israel had crossed through the parting of the Red Sea, we read: “23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians…” and this makes it evident that the waters did not return suddenly, but where it refers to the morning watch, that is the approach of the break of day the following morning. Now continuing with the account: “25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.”
So where it says that “Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore”, that is why Solomon had written here that Wisdom had “cast them up out of the bottom of the deep.” Now Solomon affirms our interpretation of verse 17, and the reward which the righteous took from the Egyptians as they departed:
20 Therefore the righteous spoiled the ungodly, and praised thy holy name, O Lord, and magnified with one accord thine hand, that fought for them.
Here, addressing Yahweh directly, we see that Solomon has been praying all along, and that will be evident throughout the rest of this book.
But as for what he had said here, ultimately Yahweh God had made all things, and He will deliver them into the custody of whomever He chooses, apart from the justice of men. This same lesson is expressed in the 24th Psalm, a Psalm attributed to David, and we shall read the opening verses: “1 The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob.”
Yet Solomon had written in Proverbs chapter 16, “19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Of course the words of Solomon are true in that regard, but when men have material possessions it is because Yahweh God wants them to have such things so that His purpose may be accomplished. That is evident in Deuteronomy chapter 8: “16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”
So when men are deprived of such things, it is because Yahweh wants them to be deprived for his purposes. That demonstrates the folly of covetousness. When we covet our neighbors goods, we are jealous of how God has blessed our neighbor, so we are sinning against our God. For that reason, in chapter 10 of his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul wrote of the Babylonian captivity of Israel and said “32 Now remember the former days in which being enlightened you endured a great struggle of sufferings: 33 on the one hand being made a spectacle with both reproaches and afflictions, and on the other having become partners of those so returning. 34 For you also sympathized with the prisoners and you accepted the seizure of your possessions with joy, knowing to have and awaiting a better possession yourselves.”
Ultimately, the meek shall inherit the earth, and therefore Yahweh had promised the children of Israel in their captivity, in Isaiah chapter 60, that: “15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the [Nations], and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. 18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”
Now in the final verse of Wisdom chapter 10:
21 For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of them that cannot speak eloquent.
The mouth of the dumb is evidently a reference to the ass of Balaam, whom the angel of Yahweh had made to appear as if speaking in Numbers chapter 22. But where it says that Wisdom “made the tongues of them that cannot speak eloquent”, we would translate the phrase more literally to read that “the tongues of infants she made eloquent”. This evokes the words of the 8th Psalm, attributed to David, where it says “2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” But in the Gospel, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 21, Christ cited that Psalm in the manner in which it appears in the Septuagint, where the crowd at the gate upon His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem were extolling Christ, and men who were offended by that had addressed Him: “16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” The reference to infants is therefore an allegory for the unlearned majority of the people among men.
But perhaps by saying that, Solomon may also have been referring to Moses himself, as we read in Exodus chapter 4: “10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” So then we read the response: “11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”
Here an important element of the wisdom of Solomon may be realized, which is the fact that every turn of men and nations is determined and guided by the wisdom of God. This is not to say that the rulers and people have that wisdom, or that they even need to have it in order to accomplish the Will of God. Rather Yahweh God imparts to whomsoever He will either wisdom or blindness, which leads to folly, in order to accomplish His Will in the earth. Solomon's prayer is a sign of his own humility, that he recognized that true wisdom could only come from God, that any wisdom of man shall fail to stand against the wisdom of God, and therefore it is the wisdom of God which he desired. Rather than relying on his own mind and heart he had sought what it is that Yahweh God desires. Neither is there any value in the words of ancient sages and philosophers who did not know Yahweh God, and whom Solomon did not seek. Another recurring theme as Solomon describes the events of the past in this manner is that men should learn from thee lessons of history within that same context, as its lessons are only lessons when one seeks understanding from the wisdom of God.
When we commence with Wisdom chapter 11, Solomon continues to reflect upon the many wonderful things which befell the ancient children of Israel on account of the wisdom of God.