Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®


Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? . . . All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. . . . Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. . . . Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. . . . I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. . . . I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. . . . Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. 

Wisdom and understanding are paired repeatedly in Hebrew Scripture. Unlike the speculative wisdom of philosophers or the instruction of priests from surrounding cultures, true insight was perceived as given by God. In this passage, wisdom and understanding are personified as a woman lifting up her voice to teach.

In ancient times, city gates were congregating spots where business was conducted, disputes settled, and journeys begun. Together with “the posts of my doors,” the gate image stresses the vital place of wisdom in daily experience and thought. Those who prize wisdom enough to diligently seek it are assuredly rewarded—a promise recalling the search for God (see Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7, 8; Acts 17:24–28.

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Resources cited in this issue

Cit. 6: Mays, James L., Joseph Blenkinsopp, et al., eds. The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.

Cit. 7: Elwell, Walter A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1996.

Cit. 8: Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 1. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1955. Revised and updated by Saint Andrew, 2001. Reprinted as The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 1. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001–04.

Cit. 10: Longenecker, Richard N. The Challenge of Jesus’ Parables. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2000.

Cit. 17: Nicoll, William, ed. The Expositor’s Greek Testament. Vol. 3. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1897. Also available at

Letters & Conversations
September 4, 2023

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