Gnostic Doctrine

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Sophia and Creation Proverbs 8:22

Sophia and Creation


Proverbs 8:22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; (New International Version)

THE LORD BROUGHT ME FORTH AS THE FIRST OF HIS WORKS, BEFORE HIS DEEDS OF OLD: This section was anticipated by Pro 3:19,20: "By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew." Now it is to be greatly amplified.

BROUGHT ME FORTH: "There are two roots 'qanah' in Hebrew, one meaning 'to possess', and the other meaning 'to create'. The older translations did not know of the second root, but suspected in certain places that a meaning like that was necessary (eg, Gen 4:1; 14:19; Deu 32:6). Ugaritic confirmed that it was indeed another root" (NEtn). Instead of "possessed" (AV), this new translation is attested in Ugaritic with the meaning "to create, bring forth" (cp Gen 4:1, re birth of Cain; Gen 14:19,22). Pro 8:22 reads in the KJV: "The LORD POSSESSED me [Wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old" -- this uses the old meaning of 'qanith' (to get, or acquire), and was adamantly supported and expounded by earlier commentators. But that translation surely misses the point; the context of Pro 8 is the Creation! The RSV, following the more recent scholarship, translates the same passage: "The LORD CREATED ME at the beginning of his work"; and the NIV translates: "The LORD BROUGHT ME FORTH as the first of his works." And now 'Wisdom' is seen, rightly, as the first of emanation of Yahweh's "creations"!

"To be brought forth" should be understood as an emanation of the Deity:

7:25 For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
7:26 For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. (Wisdom of Solomon) 

AS THE FIRST OF HIS WORKS: 'As the "reshith" of His ways, or works"; cp sw Pro 1:7; 3:9; 4:7. The word can mean either "first" in point of time, or "most important" overall. Here it may signify "firstborn" particularly -- bearing in mind that, paradoxically, the "firstborn" in Bible terms was not necessarily the one "born FIRST", but could (and often did) mean a younger one elevated to a leading role.

Sophia is the daughter of Sige or "silence", (Greek σιγή) Sophia is the youngest Aeon she was elevated to the position of the firstborn

29 They say that Silence, who is the mother of all who were put forth by Depth, with regard to what she had nothing to say kept silence about the inexpressible and with regard to what she did not understand she called it incomprehensible. (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus )

Pro 8:23I WAS APPOINTED: The verb "nissakhti" is not a common word; it occurs here and in Psa 2:6 for the coronation of the king. It means "installed, set." WBC points out, however, that it may be derived from "cakak" in Psa 139:13: "For you created ['qanah': cp v 22 here] my inmost being: you knit me together ['cakak'] in my mother's womb." If so, this reinforces the "birth" analogy, that goes along with the personification of "Wisdom".

FROM ETERNITY, FROM THE BEGINNING, BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN: "Eternity" = "olahm" -- the hidden age, the age to come. "Beginning" = "rosh", the head, first, or primary time. "World" = "eretz", the earth, or land.

In the Septuagint the word "BEGINNING" is"Archee"; signifying "first in order", from root "arch, archon" = a ruler. Cp v 15. "The beginning":

Thus Sophia's first act was to put forth (by emanation) the Demiurge the chief Archon: 

47 Now the Saviour became the first universal creator. “But Wisdom,” the second, “built a house for herself and hewed out seven pillars” and first of all she put forth a god, the image of the Father, and through him she made heaven and earth, that is “heavenly things, and the earthly” – the things on the right hand and on the left. This, as an image of the Father, then became a father and put forth first the psychic Christ, an image of the Son, then the archangels as images of the Aeons, then the angels of the archangels from the psychic and luminous substance to which the prophetic word refers, “And the Spirit of God was superimposed upon the waters,” declaring that in the combination of the two substances, made for him, the simple was superimposed but the heavy and material substance is borne under, the thick and coarse. But it is even suggested that this was incorporeal in the beginning when it is called “invisible.” Yet it was never invisible to any man that ever lived nor to God, for he made it. But he has somehow declared its absence of form, shape and design. (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus )

Proverbs 8:22 ¶ Yahweh 
brought me forth (by a process of emanation) in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths (before the creation of the Pleroma and the boundaries between the depths of 
the immeasurable deep), I was brought forth; when there were no fountains (the Pleroma) abounding with water (the Aeons). 

Note the Pleroma did not always exist it was created by the Logos and Sophia:

And through his word the holy Pleroma came into existence......He created the holy Pleroma in this way: four gates with four monads within it, one monad to each gate and six helpers (parastatai) to each gate, and twelve dodecads to each gate, and five pentads of powers to each gate, making 24 helpers (parastatai) ; and 24 myriad powers to each gate, and nine enneads to each gate, and ten decads to each gate, and twelve dodecads to each gate, and five pentads of power to each gate, and an overseer who has three aspects - an unbegotten aspect, a true aspect and an unutterable aspect - to each gate.  (The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens (the Pleroma), I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth (Bythos):
28 When he established the clouds above (the Aeons): when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Sophia and Creation 
Sophia creates the heavens and the earth and the archangels

Genesis 1
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Note "God created" — The Hebrew is bar a Elohim: a verb in the singular number combined with a noun in the plural : "Mighty ones he created" these are all the spirits which serve before him

In the book of Jubilees we see the creation of the archangels

[The book of Jubilees Chapter 2]
1 And the angel of the presence spake to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works.
2 For on the first day He created the heavens (the Pleroma) which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits (the Aeons) which serve before him -the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels [of the spirit of fire and the angels] of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer and of all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide <and night>, and the light, dawn and day, which He hath prepared in the knowledge of his heart.
3 And thereupon we (the Elohim, the spirits or the Aeons the Eternals) saw His works, and praised Him, and lauded before Him on account of all His works; for seven great works did He create on the first day.
4 And on the second day He created the firmament in the midst of the waters, and the waters were divided on that day -half of them went up above and half of them went down below the firmament (that was) in the midst over the face of the whole earth. And this was the only work (God) created on the second day.

This is to say, it is the Church consisting of many men that existed before the aeons, which is called, in the proper sense, "the aeons of the aeons." This is the nature of the holy imperishable spirits, upon which the Son rests, since it is his essence, just as the Father rests upon the Son.

Sophia and the Tree of Life
Proverbs 3
13 Happy is the man that findeth Sophia, and the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
19 The Lord by Sophia hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

This is in the Tanakh or the "Old Testament" and can not be denied. This is the "WORD OF GOD" not man's interpretation.

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