“God understands the way to it.
He knows its place.
He looks to the ends of the earth.
He sees everything under the heavens.
He gave to the wind its weight.
He meted out the waters by measure.
He made a decree for the rain.
He made a way for the thunderbolt.
Then he saw it.
He declared it.
He established it.
He searched it out.
He said to humankind.
The fear of Yahweh,
That is wisdom.
To depart from evil is understanding.’”
Now we have the answer to this puzzle about wisdom. God is the answer. Fear of Yahweh is true wisdom, an Israelite description of God. Separating from evil is true wisdom. God understands where wisdom is and how to find it. He goes to the ends of the flat earth. He sees everything under the heavens. He knows all things. He knows the weight of the wind and the measure of water. He is in charge of the rain and the thunderbolts. Finally, he reveals it to all human mortals. Fear of the Lord Yahweh is true wisdom so that you depart from evil.
“So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and the ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You shall neither add anything to what I command you, nor take away anything from it. But keep the commandments of Yahweh your God with what I am charging you. You have seen for yourselves what Yahweh did with regard to the Baal of Peor. How Yahweh your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, while those of you who held fast to Yahweh your God are all alive this day.”
Moses warned that you cannot add or subtract from the commandments that he has handed down from Yahweh. In case you have forgotten, remember Numbers, chapter 25. There at Peor, the men worshiped Baal by marrying with the women there. Yahweh sent a plague to destroy those who worshipped Baal.
“See, just as Yahweh, my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. You must observe them diligently. This will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples. When they hear all these statutes, they will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise, discerning, and understanding people!’ For what other great nation has a god so near to it as Yahweh our God is whenever we call upon him? What other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?”
Moses has left them with statutes and ordinances that they are to follow diligently. They will be a great nation when they enter the good land because their laws are fair. Notice that Yahweh is near and not distant, which is a major change in Deuteronomy.