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The Creation of Humanity
Proverbs 8:26 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
Before he had made the earth with its fields: The Hebrew term (חוּץ chuts) rendered fields is plural and refers to the open fields. This, again, is another expression of the timelessness of wisdom.
Or the first of the dust of the world: The first of the dust is literally ‘the head (ראֹשׁ rosh) the of the dust,’ the sense being the very first bit back in the creation days. Dust is also in the plural form (עָפָר aphar) like fields and refers to “soil.” This creates an image of the dry land, habitable, fit for farming, compared with the chaotic deep waters or man himself. (Eccles. 3:20) The Hebrew word (תֶּבֶל tebel) rendered world means the entire expanse of the earth.
Looking at verses 22-26, we again point out that Wisdom is a personification, a literary technique to draw out qualities and characteristics. It is also quite probable that it is being used symbolically in reference to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, before he came to earth, speaking of him being in existence before the creation of everything. The apostle John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word.”
There is little doubt that verse 22 commences with a reference to the creation account of Genesis 1 by its use of the word “beginning.” In saying that God “made” or “created” wisdom at the beginning of his creation, wisdom emphasizes age compared to the creation of the universe, including earth.
Wisdom is an indispensable part of the way the world works. If we want to enjoy this world as our maker intends, we must live by the same wisdom with which he made it. When Jesus comes, he will be seen as this wisdom in person:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:15–17).
Jesus Christ is none other than the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Verse 26 refers to Wisdom being here before “the first dust of the world.” This is likely a reference to the creation account as well, referring to Genesis 2:7 specifically, “when Jehovah God formed the man of dust from the ground.”
The Hebrew of v. 26 literally reads, “Before he made … the head of the dusts of the world.” In Gen 1–2 “dust” is associated only with the creation of humanity; there is no account of the creation of dust itself. The “dusts of the world” is humanity, formed of the dust; and its head is Adam.
Duane A. Garrett observes, “When the text says wisdom was there when God made heaven and earth, it means that wisdom is not some recent innovation. Principles of right and wrong are not human inventions but are embedded in the very fabric of the created order. Those who reject wisdom, therefore, are going against the very principles God built into the world and are on a path of self-destruction.” Garrett elsewhere writes, Wisdom was here before us or our world. Humans, as dust, are part of the created world and cannot live contrary to the order by which the world was created. By Wisdom the formless, chaotic dust became Adam, the human race. People who reject Wisdom, therefore, are certain to return to their prior state.
 Andrew Knowles, The Bible Guide, 1st Augsburg books ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001), 253.
 Duane A. Garrett, vol. 14, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 109.
 Duane A. Garrett, “The Poetic and Wisdom Books,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 239.
 Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 109.
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