In Proverbs 8:12-14, we find out that Wisdom (Chokmah, חכמה) is heard in a female voice called Understanding (Vinah, בִ֜ינָ֗ה).

Proverbs 8:22 [MT] "YHVH acquired me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old." (יְֽהוָ֗ה קָ֖נָנִי רֵאשִׁ֣ית דַּרְכּ֑וֹ קֶ֖דֶם מִפְעָלָ֣יו מֵאָֽז) - This statement indicates God sought Wisdom's female Understanding before designing the universe.

Does Proverbs 8:12-31 reveal female Understanding (בִ֜ינָ֗ה) to be the source of God's constructive power?

1 Answer 1


Wisdom is personified in Proverb 8. As a literary device, its feminine aspect carries some story-lesson value.

The word "wisdom" (Chokmah, חכמה) being linguistically a feminine gender is a Hebrew grammatical issue that does not carry weight into theological significance. Interestingly, the Greek word for wisdom (sophia, σοφία) is also feminine and Paul had no problem talking about it as if it was a man in

1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. ...
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Theologically as far as creative construction is concerned, we see the role of the Son of God in

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.

In both Hebrew and Greek, it is a linguistic issue, not a sex or theological issue.

  • Thanks for sharing your insight, Tony Chan! - maybe add a quick update to your post regarding the Hebrew term for Wisdom (Chokmah, חכמה) since (Vinah, בִ֜ינָ֗ה) is Understanding. Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 16:02
  • typo. I updated. Thanks.
    – user35953
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 16:06
  • 1
    True to a point. But Proverbs 7:4 clearly shows the feminine use is not simply a feature of the language. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 19:00

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