The Thoughts of the Wise
IN even the late sections of Proverbs we have found no consciousness of discord in the moral government of the Universe. The path of the righteous leads to honour and glory; that of the wicked to misery and death. Thus the wise man's persuasions are aimed directly at the winning of the simple to the fear of the Lord, as the first principle of wisdom and prosperity. But in another direction his thoughts take wing. And in the prologue to Proverbs we have the germ of what among other nations would take the shape of speculative philosophy.
As has been noted, the wisdom of Hebrew sages is practical moral inspiration--that by which the good man moulds his conduct. Thus wisdom is the hidden source of all that is worthy in life. Wisdom is likewise the vital spirit of all just government.
By me kings reign,
And rulers determine justice;
By me princes rule,
And nobles govern the earth (viii. 15f.).