Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The Source of Wisdom
Proverbs 1:1-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and discipline,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and uprightness;
4 to give shrewdness to the inexperienced,
to the young man knowledge and discretion.
We indeed are very fortunate to have the “Proverbs of Solomon,” as they help us to “know wisdom and discipline.”
The Holy Spirit inspired sayings collected in the book of Proverbs possesses a twofold purpose: “for one to know wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:2) These sayings assist us in acquiring wisdom, which is the ability for one to see things clearly and apply knowledge to solve difficulties and obstacles. Employing them, we also receive discipline, that is, moral training. If we pay attention to and heed the book of Proverbs, their advice can influence and transform our hearts, contribute toward our happiness, and lead to success even in this age of Satanic rule. – Hebrews 4:12.
Any man, woman, or child walking with God certainly desires the lofty goal of acquiring Godly wisdom, discipline, and understanding. We seek the skill or expertise in how we can truly live a wise life, as we are disciplined (corrected) by the only person who can give us this, our heavenly Father. We will remain on course as we walk through these last days if we heed and apply his timely counsel. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) If we have wisdom, we will have good judgment, high moral standards, and a high sense of justice and uprightness.
Wisdom is personified in the book of Proverbs, described as a woman beckoning persons to receive what she has to offer. These descriptions and relevant texts show that wisdom is indeed a blend of many things: knowledge, understanding (which includes discernment), thinking ability, experience, diligence, shrewdness (or prudence), and having the right judgment. However, since true wisdom begins with the fear of Jehovah God (Ps 111:10; Prov. 9:10), this preferred superior wisdom goes beyond common wisdom and involves holding to high standards, exhibiting righteousness and uprightness, as well as submitting to and following to the truth. (Prov. 1:2, 3, 20-22; 2:2-11; 6:6; 8:1, 5-12) Human wisdom is a product of Godly wisdom in that we are made in the image of God, and even in our human imperfection, we reflect a measure of that image still yet. Still, human wisdom does not measure up to that superior wisdom.
Solomon is seeking to give shrewdness to the inexperienced person and to the young man, knowledge, and thinking ability. An inexperienced person refers to someone who is unlearned and lacks experience, wisdom, or good judgment. This does not mean that this inexperienced one has a limited intellect or is a person who acts unwisely or imprudently. Instead, this inexperienced one is so because he lacks life experience, knowledge, or skill, as he has not enough years and has not been taught wisdom. The young man is just now entering the adult world, and he too lacks life experience, knowledge, or skill. He has not had the opportunity to develop mentally, so he lacks maturity and wisdom.
Knowledge (דַּעַת daath) is the possession of information learned by personal experience, observation, or study. The Bible strongly urges us to seek and treasure accurate knowledge, as it is far superior to gold. (Prov. 8:10; 20:15)
Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah; σοφία sophia) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, and help others accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. Wisdom can understand and then act wisely and so have skill in living, adhering to the standards set out in the Word of God. Wisdom belongs to the person who has accumulated knowledge or intellect or enlightenment. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep, or ward off dangers, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. – Deut. 4:6; 1Ki 5:9; Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8; Col. 1:28; 4:5.
Discipline (מוּסָר musar) is repeatedly mentioned throughout the book of Proverbs. In the Scriptures, discipline often carries the sense of correction, admonition, or chastisement. It is the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior: correction, advice, warning, rebuke, or modification, whether it is self-discipline or the discipline of another. According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, it “denotes the training of the moral nature, involving the correcting of waywardness toward folly.” (Garland and Longman 2008, 48) Do we need this training? Whether we are disciplining ourselves or are being disciplined by another, grasping the counsel within the Scriptures and then applying it in our lives moves us to become better servants of God. If we are to move over from inherited death to life, we need discipline.
Understanding (בִּין bin; בּוּנָה Bunah) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who possesses understanding can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. – Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15.
Insight (בִּינָה binah; שֶׂכֶל sekel or שֵׂכֶל sekel) is the ability to see into a situation. One who possesses insight acts with wisdom, caution, and discretion. Insight is closely related to understanding, but there is a fine distinction between the two terms. Says the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: “While bin [understanding] indicates ‘distinguishing between,’ [sa·khal′] relates to an intelligent knowledge of the reason.” (R. L. Harris, 1980, Vol. 2, p. 877) Conclusion: there is the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealing and good practical common sense. Another end result is the emphasis upon being successful. Insight gives a person the ability to look into something, be prudent and cautious in our decision-making, act prudently, be reasonable, rational, and be sensible when considering something. A person with insight can think through a complex situation, which results in a wise decision because he uses good practical common sense.
Discretion (thinking ability): (מְזִמָּה mezimmah) In the evil sense, this can mean wicked plans, evil ideas, schemes, and devices. In a favorable sense, it can mean shrewdness, perceptiveness, discretion, and prudence. In a good sense, it is the ability to judge wisely and objectively. Mezimmah, the human mind, and thoughts can be used for an admirable and upright end or for evil purposes. – Ps 10:2; Pro. 1:4; 2:10-12; 5:1-2.
How can discretion, “thinking ability” prove to be a protection? When we consider that our human imperfection has left us mentally bent toward evil (Gen. 6:5; 8:21), possessing a heart that is deceitful and desperately sick, which we can scarcely understand (Jer. 17:9), thinking ability can alert us to spiritual dangers and move us to plan a wise course, such as avoiding sexual temptations on the job. It helps us to appreciate that we are walking with God as imperfect humans, which can move us to sidestep hurried reactions when we are provoked. Discretion (thinking ability) can also help us avoid the materialistic pressures of the world that might push us off track spiritually.
 Or instruction
 Or thinking ability; the ability to give wise and careful attention (study) of a matter, based on accurate or full knowledge
Leave a Reply