From the beginning
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way,
before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting,
from the beginning, or ever the earth was. KJV, JPS
The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be. TNIV
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth. RSV, NRSV
יְהוָה--קָנָנִי רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ:
קֶדֶם מִפְעָלָיו מֵאָז
מֵעוֹלָם נִסַּכְתִּי מֵרֹאשׁ
I have spent considerable time meditating on this text, on the way the English translations do or do not reflect the structure of the Hebrew. Fortunately I can offer the excellent translation of Azzan Yadin in Scripture as Logos page 163,
YHWH created me at the beginning of his course,He comments on the passage from Proverbs 8:22-36,
As the first of His works of old.
In the distant past was I fashioned,
At the beginning, at the origin of earth....
Wisdom is a divine being that functions as an intermediary that comes to instruct humanity. ... Verses 25-31 [23-29] describe Wisdom's role as the primordial consort of Yahweh and witness to creation.Yadin later takes up the Christos didaskalos tradition, Christ as teacher. What I particularly like about Yadin's translation is the way he makes the repetition of "beginning" clear in the English and he keeps the literal sense of derek - "way" or "course." However, there are intense theological differences in the different versions, especially if a Christological intepretation is in view. Any thoughts?