The Search For Wisdom | Rabbi Aaron Poston

All human wisdom and skill come from God. The spirit of God made Joseph discreet and wise (Gen. xli. 38-39), inspired and prepared Bezaleel and other artists for the work of the Tabernacle (Ex. xxxi. 3-6), and was also the source of the wisdom of Joshua (Deut. xxxiv. 9) and Solomon (I Kings iii. 12, 28). “The Lord giveth wisdom” (Prov. ii. 6; comp. Job xxxviii. 36; Ps. li. 8 [A. V. 6]; Dan. ii. 21), and He annuls the wisdom of the wise (Isa. xxix. 14). Great blame, therefore, attaches to those who disregard the divine source of their wisdom and become conceited and sinful (Isa. v. 21, xxix. 14; Jer. iv. 22, viii. 8-9, ix. 22). Wisdom is acquired, moreover, by the observation of nature (Prov. vi. 6; Job xxxv. 11) and of history (Deut. xxxii. 29; Hos. xiv. 10 [A. V. 9]; Prov. viii. 33, xix. 20), as well as by study and by association with the wise (Prov. ix. 9, xiii. 20; Job xxxii. 7).

The wise were sought out for their counsel (Deut. i. 13, 15; II Sam. xiv. 20, xvi. 23; Prov. xii. 18, xiii. 14), so that, like the priest with his Torah and the prophet with his revealed word of God, they formed a special class (Jer. xviii. 18). In more primitive times “wise women” were consulted (II Sam. xiv. 2; xx. 16, 22), and at later period females who were skilled in the art of music and song were called “wise women” (Jer. ix. 17).

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