Great knowledge (Wis 7:17-7:21)

“He gave me unerring knowledge

Of what exists.

I know the structure of the world.

I know the activity of the elements.

I know the beginning of times

I know the end of times.

I know the middle of times.

I know the alternations of the solstices.

I know the changes of the seasons.

I know the cycles of the year.

I know the constellations of the stars.

I know the natures of animals.

I know the tempers of wild animals.

I know the powers of spirits.

I know the thoughts of human beings.

I know the varieties of plants.

I know the virtues of roots.

I learned what is secret.

I leaned what is manifest.”

This author speaks about the encyclopedic wisdom of Solomon in the first person singular, once again based on 1 Kings, chapter 5. So what did this wise man Solomon know? He knew about the structure of the world, the activity of the elements, as well as the beginning, the end, and the middle of times. He knew about the alternations of the solstices, the changes of the seasons, the cycles of the year, and the constellations of the stars. He knew about the natures of animals, the tempers of wild animals, the powers of spirits, and the thoughts of human beings. He also knew about the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots as well as many secrets of the universe. He was the encyclopedia Encarta and the Google of his day.

Yahweh knows all things (Ps 139:1-139:6)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David


You have searched me!

You have known me!

You know

When I sit down.

You know

When I rise up.

You discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path.

You search out my lying down.

You are acquainted with all my ways.


Even before a word is on my tongue,

You know it completely.

You hem me in,

Behind and before.

You lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

It is so high

That I cannot attain it.”

Psalm 139 is a choral psalm or song of David, as the title indicates. This prayer for deliverance emphasizes the great knowledge of Yahweh. Yahweh truly knew David. He knew when he sat down or rose up. He knew his thoughts from far away. He knew when he was walking or lying down. He knew all about his ways. He knew what he was going to say before David said it, so that David felt hemmed in on all sides. The hand of Yahweh was on him. Yahweh’s knowledge was so wonderfully high that David could not attain it.