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Why is wisdom referred to as "she" in proverbs?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by brinny, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    I find this intriguing and it boggles me mind.....that "wisdom" which was there at the foundation of the world is referred to as "she"......

    feedback would be most appreciated.....

    (just a side note)...anybody ever read the Geneva Bible?
     
  2. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    Because Wisdom has been traditionally personified as female, courtesy of the Greeks and other cultures.
     
  3. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding Legend Supporter

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    1 Cr 1:24 "Christ IS the wisdom (sophia / feminine noun) of God"

    Heres one...
     
  4. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    Sophia? "feminine noun" of God? this boggles me mind :sorry:
     
  5. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    Yet in Proverbs, it is thus stated (that wisdom is a "she") Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote most of Proverbs, didn't he? And in his wisdom, He would've been influenced by God, and not man, would he not?
     
  6. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding Legend Supporter

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    I wonder if we can see it in something like this...

    Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    In Christ theres no male and female though, but I suppose if He is the feminine noun of God and as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings he could be seen in that way, but not sure to be honest
     
  7. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Sophia = knowledge prefix/root
    feminine suffix

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    -sophy
    suffix meaning "knowledge," from O.Fr. -sophie, from L. -sophia, from Gk. -sophia, from sophia "skill, wisdom, knowledge," of unknown origin.
     
  8. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    part of it is just language, like in french and spanish you have male and female nouns

    wisdom is feminine

    also for poetic reasons, ever read the Wisdom of Solomon? it refers to wisdom as the feminine
     
  9. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    that's what's so intriguing.....why refer to wisdom as "she"? What i'm meditating on, is why God Himself refers to wisdom as "she"?
     
  10. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

    To agree with Rhamiel; all nouns in Greek are "gendered" (either male, female, or neuter). Thus, all cats are gramatically female (but in reality some are male), all dogs are grammatically male (but in reality some are female) and all children are grammatically neuter (though they typically come as either girls or boys).

    The noun sophia is grammatically female.
     
  11. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    but THAT is what is sooooooo intriguing.....why even go there with wisdom? Why break from the "He" of God and insert "she" in there when speaking of wisdom? Why not keep it "He"?

    This is intriguing me more and more......
     
  12. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

    Its simply grammar - you can't say in Greek "he" as a pronoun for a female noun. Just as you can't use the pronoun "she" for the noun "man".
     
  13. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

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    I've always wondered this too
     
  14. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    me too......i was reading Proverbs today in the Geneva Bible online, and again, this question just surfaced again for me.....wisdom is consistently referred to as a "she".....
     
  15. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    ok, i'm confused.....you can't just use "He" the same as a "He" describing God?
     
  16. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding Legend Supporter

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    It says WE are his house and here it says...

    Prov 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

    Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia
     
  17. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

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    yes, the Church is referred to as "she"......but waaaaaay back, before the foundation of the world, wisdom is referred to as "she".....why is that?
     
  18. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    English still has some notion of grammatical gender, though it is not usually seen outside of the main pronouns. Examples include actor/actress (though this distinction is disappearing) and tempter/temptress. It's far more pronounced in romance languages, and apparently Greek. So, no you can't just use "he" if the language calls for something different. It's probably was done out of grammatical reasons, but metaphorical reasons also played a part, I'm sure. What those reasons would be, I'm not really sure.
     
  19. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

    The pronoun "stands in" for the noun grammatically; if the pronoun "he" is used for a noun, it must refer to a male gendered noun. So, if the pronoun "he" is used, it must "stand in" for a male noun - meaning it could not refer to the noun sophia, and must refer to some other noun in the sentence.
     
  20. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding Legend Supporter

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    I can see it as Christ, even Christ is the Rock Petra (feminine noun) of God too right?
     
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