Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Follow Him Who Has Understanding and Wisdom
or Him Who Lacks Good Sense
Proverbs 10:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of one in want of heart.
On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found: Just as the words from the mouth of the righteous (good, honest, upright person) of verse 11 refer to words and thoughts, so it is true for the lips of the mouth here. Understanding here as in 1:5 refers to 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, as he possesses intelligence good sense, and good judgment, so as to comprehend the meaning.
Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah; Gr. 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 fool or stupid person. Wisdom has the capacity to 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, intellect, or enlightenment. (Deut. 4:6; 1Ki 5:9; Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8; Col. 1:28; 4:5) Is found (מוֹצָא motsa or מֹצָא motsa) means that wisdom is discovered, found on the lips one the one who possesses understanding.
but a rod is for the back of one in want of heart: Here a rod (שֵׁבֶט shebet) is symbolic for punishment and in the literal sense it is a long, thin cane, which was used to beat a prisoner. It is also the same word used in Psalm 23:4 for the staff of a shepherd, which was a wooden stick of various lengths and thicknesses, used as a tool for controlling the flock. For the back is referring to what it sounds like, using the rod to strike the back. Again, here it is a symbol of punishment. In want of heart or lack of heart (חֲסַר־לֵב chaser leb) is rendered (interpreted) as “lacks sense” in other translations. (ESV, LEB, CSB) Again, this is an inexperienced person, who is lacking good sense and wisdom, lacking good judgment or discernment in that they are newly learning the ways of Wisdom.
The person who understands, wisdom is discovered on his lips, while the fool’s stupidity, idiocy, and recklessness are seen in his speech, for which he is chastised, and it is well-deserved. The wisdom of the one having understanding will have his steps guided through this life and into the next. He who uses upbuilding words on the lips of his mouth will also help others was in the way of righteousness. He himself nor those who listen to his lips (words) need to be guided on the right path through life by the force of the rod of chastisement.
If wisdom is to be found on our lips, the accurate knowledge of the Scriptures must also get down into our heart, the seat of motivation. Jesus told his hearers: “The good man brings good out of the good treasure of his heart, but a wicked man brings what is wicked out of his wicked treasure; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Therefore, we must routinely and consistently meditate daily on what we are learning. There is little doubt that study and meditation require time and effort but think of how spiritually elevating and moving such study is! There is no reason for anyone to follow the words of one who lacks good sense.
 Or sense; one who lacks intelligence or right thinking