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Bible verses behind the “O Wisdom” antiphon


Carl Bloch (1834–1890)

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/16/22

Here are a few Bible verses that may have been an inspiration for the "O Wisdom" antiphon during Advent.

During the final week before Christmas, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church has an ancient tradition of reciting special “O Antiphons.” These antiphons start on December 17 and end on December 23. The antiphons are biblically based and each feature a different title of the Messiah from the Old Testament. 

The first antiphon refers to “wisdom,” and is translated into English below.

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

Various commentators have linked this antiphon to the following passages from the Bible.

The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him:
    a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
    a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord,
and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
    nor by hearsay shall he decide.

Isaiah 11:2-3

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the open squares she raises her voice;
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
    and reject not your mother’s teaching;
A graceful diadem will they be for your head;
    a pendant for your neck.

Proverbs 1:20; 8; 9

Jesus is wisdom itself and in this antiphon, we ask him to teach us “the path of knowledge.”

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