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Wisdom and Human Needs
Proverbs 8:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
When there were no depths I was brought forth: Here, the Hebrew word translated depths (תְּהוֹם tehom or תְּהֹם tehom) is likely referring to the waters that existed in Genesis 1:2, as opposed to the oceans or bodies of water (seas) of Solomon’s day. Genesis 1:2 says in part, “Now the earth was without form and empty; and darkness was upon the face of the watery deep,” namely, the depths, i.e., a deep, dark, inaccessible, inexhaustible, and mysterious place below the surface of the water, controlled by objects of tremendous power. Brought forth is literally “I was born.”
When there were no springs abounding with water: Here, springs or fountains (מַעְיָן mayan or מַעְיְנוֹ mayeno or מַעְיָנָה mayanah) refer to the flow and rise of ground waters that bubble up from beneath the earth. This is to be distinguished from water that is stored or collected in such places as cisterns. Like fresh water, wisdom is also a source of life. Abounding is literally “made heavy.” – Psalm 87:7; Isaiah 12:3.
Indeed, perfect wisdom springs forth from a trustworthy source, our heavenly Father. It is so far superior to our own wisdom. In his Word, God informs us of the best way to live our lives. As our Creator, he knows what we need, more so than we ever could. Even our basic human needs, which would include the desire to be loved, to find genuine happiness, and to have successful relationships, the wisdom from the Scriptures has never changed, as the needs will always be the same. Albert Barnes offers this thought, “Cp. Gen. 1; Job 22, 26, 38. A world of waters, ‘great deeps’ lying in darkness, this was the picture of the remotest time of which man could form any conception, and yet the co-existence of the uncreated Wisdom with the eternal Jehovah was before that.”
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Jeremiah, Lamentations & Ezekiel, ed. F. C. Cook and J. M. Fuller (London: John Murray, 1879), 31.