Wisdom is often referred to as a personified feminine figure in the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible as well as in the Apocrypha. This figure called by modern scholars as “Lady Wisdom” or “Woman Wisdom.” She is depicted as a divine figure in many of these books, but her exact status is of course debated. She may be considered merely a personified attribute, a hypostasis, or a goddess in her own right. Proverbs depicts her as a being created before all else and a participant in creation. Later books, like Ben Sira include her as part of the divine council of Yahweh, and the Wisdom of Solomon calls her Yahweh’s lover. Some have conjectured that Wisdom provided a more acceptable “orthodox” alternative from depicts of Yahweh as having a female counterpart like Asherah. The argument for lady wisdom as a goddess finds strength in the light of evidence from Kuntillet Ajrud and Qirbet el Qom which demonstrates that certain Israelites worshiped Yahweh along with “his Asherah.” However, personified Jerusalem (lady Zion) provides an example of a figure, who despite the fact that they might take on attributes and characteristics similar to goddesses, was probably only a literary figure.

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