Fresh new translations are provided for pertinent extracts from The Wisdom of Solomon, The Psalms of Solomon, Jesus ben Sirach, Proverbs, Psalms and Baruch; plus the complete Tobit/Tobias, Susanna, The Story of Three Wise Young Men, The Visions of Ezra and The Prayer of Manasseh.
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What is Biblical Wisdom? Sagacity, yes. But in the Bible, Wisdom is also used as a synonym for the Holy Spirit, for She is (as many of the books listed above point out) Wisdom personified.
[We usually think of the Holy Spirit as "He", but the feminine pronoun is used in the Greek Old Testament, the masculine in the Greek New Testament].
In Proverbs 8, for example, we read: "Do you wish to acquire knowledge and a deep understanding of the ways of God and man? Then seek out Wisdom. Praise Her and proclaim Her!"
The inspired writer then speaks with the voice of Wisdom Herself: "I am Wisdom...I love those who love Me! Everyone who seeks Me shall find Me!...
"The Eternal created Me before the beginning of Time. I was already everlasting before He made the earth...Yes, I was with Him, sitting by His side, arranging all these things according to His will. He took delight in My company...
"So listen to Me and weigh My words carefully: Everyone who responds to My voice, obeys My directions, seeks My advice, and waits daily at My doors will be blessed! For every person that finds Me, finds life, and he will surely win favor with the Lord God!"
To quote Jesus ben Sirach (1:1): "Wisdom comes directly from the Lord God. She is--and has always been--His! And She lives with Him forever."
"Bible Wisdom for Modern Times" is not just a book quoting Old Testament references to the Holy Spirit. It also provides readers with an opportunity to see the Holy Spirit in action in three classic Biblical stories: "The Adventures of Toby" (aka the Book of Tobit or Tobias), "The Story of Three Wise Young Men", and "Susanna".
In the time of Jesus, "The Adventures of Toby" ranked second only to "Exodus" as the most popular story in the Bible. It is quoted in the New Testament by Matthew, Luke and John. Jesus Himself quotes from it and also turns its basic plot inside out for His parable of "The Prodigal Son".
Here, in this fresh translation, I have attempted to reconstruct the story with all its original power, fervor and vibrancy. In my opinion, it is the best story ever written. It never fails to stir my emotions no matter how many times I read it.