Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
How old is wisdom? Older than the hills! Before God created the mountains and formed the hills, He had infinite wisdom, which He used in forming the earth (Pr 8:22-23). He offers this very wisdom to man for his success in life (Pr 8:10-21). No matter how old you consider the mountains or hills, God had infinite wisdom long before they were made.
Proverbs 8 is Solomon's extended personification of wisdom as a woman, Lady Wisdom. She is identified in the first verse by the feminine pronoun "her"; and the last verse has two occurrences of the personal pronoun "me" (Pr 8:1,36). The chapter has an introduction (Pr 8:1-9), a description of the benefits of wisdom (Pr 8:10-21), the LORD Jehovah's ownership of wisdom from eternity (Pr 8:22-31), and a concluding appeal to men (Pr 8:32-36).
The English language has an idiom, "Older than the hills." It is a colloquialism for very old. The size, stability, and strength of mountains and hills imply their ancient origin and great permanence, so men have compared things to the age of hills to emphasize their oldness. God has done the same in His inspired Scriptures (Job 15:7-8; 38:4-11; Ps 90:2; 102:25-28; Heb 1:10). And He glorified wisdom to you in this proverb by declaring His possession of it before He formed the mountains and hills, when He created the earth.
The words, "Before the hills was I brought forth," do not describe the eternal generation of the Son of God. By two counts, this verse does not teach the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ at all. First, eternal sonship is a manmade heresy, invented by a theological speculator named Origen (Pr 185-254 AD), to make the Bible more compatible with Greek philosophy. He first corrupted John 1:1 to teach that the Word of God is merely "a god."
Jesus is Jehovah! He is the Mighty God, God made flesh, Immanuel - God with us (Is 7:14; 9:6; Matt 1:23; John 1:1,14; 8:58). He is not a begotten god by the pagan theory of eternal generation, regardless of what the Watchtower Society teaches, the N.A.S.B. declares in John 1:18, and the Catholic-Protestant creeds say. Jesus was not eternally generated: His divine nature is Jehovah - I AM THAT I AM! Jesus was not eternally generated: His human nature was generated in time in Mary (Luke 1:31-35; Gal 4:4).
The second reason this proverb does not teach such nonsense is because of its obvious personification of wisdom as a woman. Is the Son of God a woman? Solomon described God's use of wisdom in creation, under the figure of a woman. Why? To enhance wisdom's appeal to you by this inspired use of a powerful literary tool. If wisdom was essential to God in creation, you surely need it! Let God be true, but every man a liar!