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Acquire Wisdom and Understanding
Proverbs 4:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding: Understanding (בִּינָה binah) 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) Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah) 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. (Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8) King David advised his son to get wisdom, which could have prompted Solomon to ask God for wisdom later in life – 1 Kings 3:5-14.
Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth: Here we are having the second line of 4:2 reinforced, where Solomon says, “for I give you good instruction; do not forsake my teaching.” The Hebrew verb forget (שָׁכַח shakach) means to dismiss from the mind, to stop remembering, to ignore, to overlook, to be unmindful. In essence, failing to remember the information one has taken into the mind, and thus it becomes insignificant. Like the Hebrew verb forsake (עָזַב azab), which means to abandon, give up, turn away from, reject, desert; the Hebrew verb turn away from (נָטָה natah) also means to abandon or give up, to turn aside. The son must also keep up the pursuit of wisdom and understanding; he will suffer the consequences if he disregards his instructions or turns aside.