Proverbs 8:30 (NKJV): Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him,

Who is the master craftsman in Proverbs 8:30?

John 1:1-14 refers to the Word being in the beginning, and that everything was made through Him. But the context of Proverbs 8 refers to wisdom as a women. Could it be something to do with the Hebrew translation of words having Gender? The Hebrew word for wisdom Chokmah is a feminine Noun. I'm not an expert in Hebrew, hope someone can shed some light on this.

  • Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; [Proverbs 8:30 KJV] Then I am near Him, a workman, And I am a delight -- day by day. Rejoicing before Him at all times, {Proverbs 8:30 YLT]
    – Nigel J
    Sep 18, 2021 at 5:19
  • 1
    The master craftsman is God, and His main construction tool, by means of which he shapes and creates all things, is his wisdom: chokmah in Hebrew, and sophia in Greek.
    – Lucian
    Sep 18, 2021 at 7:15
  • Welcome to the site, and if you take the 'Tour' (below) you will be helped to both form, and answer, questions. Wisdom is first mentioned in 1:2 and that word occurs throughout. There are six Hebrew words rendered 'wisdom' throughout the book of Proverbs so you need to check them out too. Also, the word for 'son' crops up often, but that hardly justifies trying to apply that word to the Son of God, does it? Those who believe the Son of God was created by God the Father make much of 8:30 but therein lies the folly of trying to make ancient poetic literature square with later theology.
    – Anne
    Sep 18, 2021 at 9:12

2 Answers 2

  1. Proverbs 8:22-31

חָכְמָ֥ה (wisdom) is a feminine noun in Hebrew.

The part of Prov. 8:30 in question is וָֽאֶהְיֶ֥ה אֶצְלֹ֗ו אָ֫מֹ֥ון (MT) "I (fem.) was beside him (masc.) a master craftsman (masc.).

While gender of pronouns tend to match the noun they modify, the gender of nouns is build into the noun. Who אָ֫מֹ֥ון is not clear and may be a play on words. The tendency among translations even JPS is to associate it with wisdom, but as a comparison to. Master craftsman אָ֫מֹ֥ון may be a play on the word. If you make it feminine אֲמָנָה, it means faith. As an adverb, אָמְנָה means truly. As an adverb, אָמֵן is our word "amen." In construction to say that you "true" something is to make it straight, level, or straight up and down; to make it the way it is supposed to be.

The point to Proverbs 8:22-31 is God created the universe with intelligent design, with purpose.

        22       “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, 
  the first of his acts of old. 
        23       Ages ago I was set up, 
  at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 
        24       When there were no depths I was brought forth, 
  when there were no springs abounding with water. 
        25       Before the mountains had been shaped, 
  before the hills, I was brought forth, 
        26       before he had made the earth with its fields, 
  or the first of the dust of the world. 
        27       When he established the heavens, I was there; 
  when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 
        28       when he made firm the skies above, 
  when he established the fountains of the deep, 
        29       when he assigned to the sea its limit, 
  so that the waters might not transgress his command, 
              when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 
        30       then I was beside him, like a master workman, 
              and I was daily his delight, 
  rejoicing before him always, 
        31       rejoicing in his inhabited world 
  and delighting in the children of man.
                      (Prov. 8:22–31, ESV)

  “The LORD created me at the beginning of His course 
  As the first of His works of old. 
  23In the distant past I was fashioned, 
  At the beginning, at the origin of earth. 
  24There was still no deep when I was brought forth, 
  No springs rich in water; 
  25Before [the foundation of] the mountains were sunk, 
  Before the hills I was born. 
  26He had not yet made earth and fields, 
  Or the world’s first clumps of clay. 
  27I was there when He set the heavens into place; 
  When He fixed the horizon upon the deep; 
  28When He made the heavens above firm, 
  And the fountains of the deep gushed forth; 
  29When He assigned the sea its limits, 
  So that its waters never transgress His command; 
  When He fixed the foundations of the earth, 
  30I was with Him as a confidant, 
  A source of delight every day, 
  Rejoicing before Him at all times, 
  31Rejoicing in His inhabited world, 
  Finding delight with mankind. 
        (Prov. 8:22–31, JPS Tanakh)
  1. John 1:1-14 in contrast

Wisdom is created by God (יְֽהוָ֗ה קָ֭נָנִי רֵאשִׁ֣ית , MT) and with God as an attribute. It is not equated with God, as is the Word (θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος, in John 1:1, NA28)

Wisdom is a literary personification; not an actual person as is the Word (ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο, in John 1:14).

Wisdom is with God during creation but not described as an agent of creation as is the Word (πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, in John 1:3, NA28)

  • For clarification re. your last sentence, Perry: the John 1:3 reference is to the Word of God being an agent of creation, and becoming flesh later on, but are you saying that the Word is not an agent of creation?
    – Anne
    Sep 18, 2021 at 17:19
  • @Anne Is it clearer now?
    – Perry Webb
    Sep 18, 2021 at 19:03
  • Thank you, Perry. Crystal clear now!
    – Anne
    Sep 19, 2021 at 8:37

Who is the Master craftsman?

Proverbs 8:30 NET " Then I was beside him as a master craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, rejoicing before him at all times,"

Who is the Master craftsman? Personified wisdom calls itself a master worker, this personification symbolically refers to God's son Jesus in his prehuman existence in heaven. " The Lord created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago. (Proverbs 8:22 NET) Jesus worked with his heavenly Father during the creation of the universe and the earth.

Wisdom is a quality that cannot be created or produced, and it never has begun, because God has always existed and has always been wise.

In harmony with the master craftsman, Col. 1:16 says by him (Jesus) all things were created in the heavens and the earth.

Colossians 1:15-17 NET

15 [a]He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for [b]by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [c]is before all things and in Him all things [d]hold together.

God is talking to his associate the"Master Craftsman"“Let us make man in our image."

Genesis 1:26 ESV

26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

John 1:3 NASB

3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him [a]not even one thing came into being that has come into being.

GENDERS Many languages have genders for their nouns including Hebrew and Greek. The Greek word for “love” in the expression “God is love” (1John 4:8) is also in the feminine gender but that does not make God feminine

  • The Empire State Inc. build /created the Empire State Building ,the master-builder was the Starrett Corporation, that does not make Starrett Corp. the Empire State Inc. Sep 22, 2021 at 17:13

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