To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and it was created with the faithful in the womb.
All Commentaries on Wisdom of Sirach 1:14 Go To Wisdom of Sirach 1
Augustine of Hippo
Isaiah the prophet presents us with those seven well-known spiritual gifts. He begins with wisdom and ends with the fear of God, as though he were coming down from the heights to our level. He does this to teach us to climb back up again. Thus, he began from where we want to finish, and he arrived at the point where we should begin. "Here will rest on him," he says, "the Spirit of God, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and courage, the Spirit of knowledge and piety, the Spirit of the fear of the Lord." Therefore, just as he descended from wisdom to fear"not because he was slipping back but in order to teach"we in the same way must climb from fear to wisdom. We do this not as a matter of pride but in order to progress. "For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."