"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” - Proverbs 3:17
The first thing that we ought to do is establish the leger context and frame of reference in which the passage is speaking to us:
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:13–17)
Solomon is, once again personifying wisdom to make what he says about it more easily related to by his readers. It is much easier to feel a connection and a sense of reality to a “person” that to a concept and so Solomon (and other Bible writers) paints a picture of them as human beings which suggest the qualities that Solomon and the other writers of the particular Book in question want to elicit from the reader. Personification may be defined as the act of attributing a living, conscious, and active personality to inanimate natural objects (from the smallest object to complete portions of the physical world, and even the whole world itself), to forces and phenomena, to manufactured objects, or to abstract ideas and words.
Verse 14 is a good example of Solomon’s use of personification joining wisdom with the picture of a human woman.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
Notice the various references to “she” which points to “wisdom” introduced in verse 13a. then proceeds to attribute human attributes to “wisdom” in order to make the points he is trying to make clear concerning just what is true concerning what wisdom is like and how it works and shows itself in the life of one pursuing and seeking to build it in their lives.
| Proverbs 3:17 - Pleasantness and Peace|
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