Young's Literal Translation has this:

YLT Proverbs 8:23 From the age I was anointed, from the first, From former states of the earth.

So it has:

  • from the age (I was anointed)
  • from the first
  • from the former states

Is this giving the sense of the underlying Hebrew?

When are we to understand this to be?

Here is the Hebrew:

8:23 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex מֵ֭עֹולָם נִסַּ֥כְתִּי מֵרֹ֗אשׁ מִקַּדְמֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃

This is the LXX:

LES before the present age he founded me in the beginning, before making the earth

  23 πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐθεμελίωσέν με ἐν ἀρχῇ, 
  πρὸ τοῦ τὴν γῆν ποιῆσαι

Swete, H. B. (1909). The Old Testament in Greek: According to the Septuagint (Pr 8:23). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Also, why does YLT have "anointed"?

  • Not far below the YLT, this link has comments re: “anointed”. biblehub.com/proverbs/8-23.htm Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 0:51
  • Yes, that does seem to clear up the "anointed" idea. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


The schemes, plans, and circumstances, relative to creation, government, providence, and to all being, material, animal, and intellectual, were conceived in the Divine mind, by the Divine wisdom, from eternity, or ever the earth was. There was no fortuitous creation, no jumbling concourse of original atoms, that entered into the composition of created beings; all was the effect of the plans before conceived, laid down, and at last acted upon by God's eternal wisdom.


I think the question of it's origin might be already tackled in Proverbs 8:22. Where Septuagint uses the word έκτισεν, which is generally translated as to create, form, shape, make.

We may also note this word in the Greek translation of Genesis 1:1, by Aquila of Sinope, where it stands, as generally accepted, for creation.

According to 1 Corinthians 1:24:

But to them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

From letter to Colossians:

who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. ... that He may be pre-eminent in all things.

Here all-things I think refer also to his position and glory from the past, as well into future (John 17:5; Revelation 3:14).

God's personal wisdom was always with God. But when God began creation, first he produced his own Image of himself, his Son in form of his word by which all other things were made (John 1:1-3). He, as his image, reflects wisdom of his God. We can also name Christ as wisdom of God. Who is his mediator to us people. (1 Timothy 2:5)

Septuagint / LXX

22 "κυριοςεκτισενμε αρχην οδων αυτου εις εργα αυτου"
23 "προ του αιωνος εθεμελιωσεν με εν αρχη"

LXX 2012:

   22 "The Lord made me the beginning of his ways for his works."
   23 "He established me before time [was] in the beginning, before he made the earth:"

Mishneh Torah and JPS Tanakh:

   22 "The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old."
   23 "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was."

Aramaic Targum from Adam Clarke's Commentary:

   22 "God created me in the beginning of his creatures."
  • 1
    That's what Paul's epistles are saying, but where do you see it in the words of Proverbs?
    – b a
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 13:26
  • As a combination of Old Testament prophecies from those sources (i.e. Isaiah 9, 11 with Proverbs, Psalms etc). Also as God's word, Memra. As to Messianic expectations, of which Paul and others were part of. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 10:13

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