Wisdom and incarnation (Bar 3:35-3:37)

“This is our God!

No other can be

Compared to him!

He found the whole way

To knowledge.

He gave her

To his servant

Jacob.

He gave her

To Israel

Whom he loved.

Afterward she appeared

On earth.

She lived

With humans.”

This section of Baruch indicates that wisdom became human in some sense, like an incarnation. Surely God, and not Yahweh, was the creator of the world. Thus no other god or person could compare with him. He had full knowledge of everything. He was omniscient. Thus he gave wisdom to his servant Jacob. He also gave wisdom to Israel, whom he loved. The use of both Jacob and Israel is interesting, since it implies that Jacob was a person and Israel was a name of all his descendants. Then there is the final intriguing comment about how she, wisdom, appeared on earth and lived with humans. Some Christians see this as a hint about the incarnation of Jesus. However, it should be noted that the reference is to a she, a female. Wisdom was generally seen as feminine, not masculine like Jesus. Finally, she has already appeared, so that this is not a future aspirational comment. Wisdom is already living among humans. You just have to find this personification of wisdom here on earth.

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God is near and powerful (Jer 23:23-23:24)

“‘Am I a God nearby?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Am I not a God far off?

Who can hide

In secret places

So that I cannot see them?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’

Says Yahweh.”

There seems to be 3 oracles of Yahweh about his power and presence. First God, Yahweh, is near, close, or immanent. Secondly, he is far away, distant or transcendent. People cannot hide in secret places from him, since he can see them wherever they are. Finally, he fills both heaven and earth, since God is both omnipresent and omniscient.