Basic Insights into Biblical Interpretation and Studies

Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)


EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 180+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

While it is true that we need to regard the Bible as containing a system of truth, we also need to appreciate that it is a compilation of facts, commandments, and promises that are sometimes difficult to understand. (2 Pet. 3.15-16) Many modern-day Bible scholars are doubtful, skeptical, and often stumbling the churchgoer with their uncertainty and giving fodder to the unbeliever Bible critics. The secularist unbeliever sees order in many different scientific fields but only confusion in the Bible. He is correct that God’s book written by men moved along by the Holy Spirit should be harmonious. The unbeliever is informed about the principles of science and can read many journals like Popular Science or National Geographic, or TV shows like Nova or Cosmos, yet the book he often condemns as outdated, full of errors, contradictions, and mistakes, he knows very little, and therefore cannot understand it.

How to Interpret the Bible-1

It is total confusion when the Bible is not understood but becomes beautiful and harmonious when rightly explained. Like anything else, men have different views of what different Bible verses mean, and will often debate their differing opinions. Nevertheless, just because there are different views of something and maybe none of them are correct, this does not negate the truth of those words. Christians need to adopt the mind of Christ so that while they may differ in their views, they need not quarrel about on social media. They need to humble themselves as they gather rays of light, which may enable them to modify their former beliefs, and they can feel comfortable in their certainty that they now have accurate knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis) of the truth. Paul said to the Colossians, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge [ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis] of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge [ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis] of God; strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in the light.” (Col. 1:9-112) One must be aware of the principles and rules of science to understand physics, biology, chemistry, zoology, astronomy, medicine, astrophysics, and earth sciences. So too, specific rules and principles apply to each Bible book and different sections of each book, concerning such genres as proverbs, prophecy (apocalyptic prophecy), poetry, idioms, hyperbole, parables (Illustrations), biblical narratives, epistles (letters), and so on.

Who determines or makes up the rules? The rules and principles of interpretation were never made up; they have just been discovered over time as what will enable the reader to understand what the Bible author meant by the words he used. Who determines the meaning? The Text, the Reader, the Author? The author determines the meaning by the words that he uses. If one understands the meaning of the words, the context, the circumstances, the situation, and the background, he will then understand what the author meant by the use of his words.

Defining the Rules: A Vocabulary for Interpretation 

Meaning: The meaning of a text is what the author meant to convey by the words he used.

Implications: Implications are those meanings in a text the author was unaware of but nevertheless legitimately fall within the pattern of meaning he willed. Paul told the Ephesians ‘not to get drunk (overindulge) with wine.’ Paul would have meant beer, liquor, and bourbon, too, but he would not have been aware of the last two because they did not exist in his day.

Significance: Significance refers to how a reader responds to the meaning of a text.

Subject Matter: Subject matter refers to the content or “stuff” talked about in a text.

Interpretation: Interpretation refers to the verbal or written expression of a reader’s understanding of the author’s meaning.

Norms of Language: The norms of language are the range of meanings allowed by a text’s words. The reader would not go beyond the normal use of a word in the time the Bible book was written.

For the Christian and unbelievers, unaware of such rules and principles, they go about an unsystematic way of interpreting God’s Word, taking partial measures. This piece-meal interpretation confuses the Christian world and gives rise to “everyone having their own interpretation of the Bible.” It is a case of “I think,” “I believe,” and “I feel.” Much confusion is further exacerbated by the fact that most believers use very little of the Bible, only enough Bible verses, to promote their particular views on certain favorite Bible doctrines. It isn’t dishonesty on the part of these ones, as all Christians have some truth, but the problem comes when most of their views are simply their truth, not the truth. They defend their erroneous views in sincerity, believing they are biblically true.

Dr. Robert H. Stein wrote,

Tuesday night arrived. Dan and Charlene had invited several of their neighbors to a Bible study, and now they were wondering if anyone would come. Several people had agreed to come, but others had not committed themselves. At 8:00 p.m., beyond all their wildest hopes, everyone who had been invited arrived. After some introductions and neighborhood chit-chat, they all sat down in the living room. Dan explained that he and his wife would like to read through a book of the Bible and discuss the material with the group. He suggested that the book be a Gospel, and, since Mark was the shortest, he recommended it. Everyone agreed, although several said a bit nervously that they really did not know much about the Bible. Dan reassured them that this was all right, for no one present was a “theologian,” and they would work together in trying to understand the Bible.

They then went around the room reading Mark 1:1–15 verse by verse. Because of some of the different translations used (the New International Version, the Revised Standard Version, the King James Version, and the Living Bible), Dan sought to reassure all present that although the wording of the various translations might be different, they all meant the same thing. After they finished reading the passage, each person was to think of a brief summary to describe what the passage meant. After thinking for a few minutes, they began to share their thoughts.

Sally was the first to speak. “What this passage means to me is that everyone needs to be baptized, and I believe that it should be by immersion.” John responded, “That’s not what I think it means. I think it means that everyone needs to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.” Ralph said somewhat timidly, “I am not exactly sure what I should be doing. Should I try to understand what Jesus and John the Baptist meant, or what the passage means to me?” Dan told him that what was important was what the passage meant to him. Encouraged by this, Ralph replied, “Well, what it means to me is that when you really want to meet God you need to go out in the wilderness just as John the Baptist and Jesus did. Life is too busy and hectic. You have to get away and commune with nature. I have a friend who says that to experience God you have to go out in the woods and get in tune with the rocks.”

It was Cory who brought the discussion to an abrupt halt. “The Holy Spirit has shown me,” he said, “that this passage means that when a person is baptized in the name of Jesus the Holy Spirit will descend upon him like a dove. This is what is called the baptism of the Spirit.” Jan replied meekly, “I don’t think that’s what the meaning is.” Cory, however, reassured her that since the Holy Spirit had given him that meaning it must be correct. Jan did not respond to Cory, but it was obvious she did not agree with what he had said. Dan was uncomfortable about the way things were going and sought to resolve the situation. So he said, “Maybe what we are experiencing is an indication of the richness of the Bible. It can mean so many things!”

But does a text of the Bible mean many things? Can a text mean different, even contradictory things? Is there any control over the meaning of biblical texts? Is interpretation controlled by means of individual revelation given by the Holy Spirit? Do the words and grammar control the meaning of the text? If so, what text are we talking about? Is it a particular English translation such as the King James Version or the New International Version? Why not the New Revised Standard Version or the Living Bible? Or why not a German translation such as the Luther Bible? Or should it be the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts that best reflect what the original authors, such as Isaiah, Paul, and Luke, wrote? And what about the original authors? How are they related to the meaning of the text?

It is obvious that we cannot read the Bible for long before the question arises as to what the Bible “means” and who or what determines that meaning. Neither can we read the Bible without possessing some purpose in reading. In other words, using more technical terminology, everyone who reads the Bible does so with a “hermeneutical” theory in mind. The issue is not whether one has such a theory but whether one’s “hermeneutics” is clear or unclear, adequate or inadequate, correct or incorrect. It is hoped that this book will help the reader understand what is involved in the interpretation of the Bible. It will seek to do so by helping readers acquire an interpretative framework that will help them understand better the meaning of biblical texts and how to apply that meaning to their own life situation. – Robert H. Stein, A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994), 11–13.

None of us have all the knowledge. All Christians have at least one view that is biblically untrue or a past belief that is biblically untrue. Many of us believed something to be true, and we defended it vigorously, and now we know it to be false. Think of Paul, who was Saul the Pharisees, thinking that Jesus and the early Christians were a cult stealing Jews from the one true religion. Paul misunderstood the Scriptures. He knows that anyone hung upon a tree was cursed by God. He knew that Daniel said the coming Messiah would set up a kingdom, destroy all other kingdoms, and his kingdom would never be brought to ruin. Jesus was executed by the Roman government for blasphemy. So, with our having to alter our beliefs in life and knowing of Paul’s experience, we need to be kind and respectful toward those who believe differently than us. We want to avoid slinging texts at each other like Christian gunslingers. A text does not help prove any doctrine true unless it is correctly understood. The Calvinists and Arminians have the ready-proof texts that they believe support their views, and the unbelievers will say that these texts contradict each other. So, who is correct?

The Calvinist and the Arminian will only gloss over the proof-texts of the other, trying to sustain their own view at all costs. It will be the mistaken human, as the Bible is absolutely true and accurate. There are no contradictions, errors, or mistakes in the Bible. There are only mistaken interpretations and correct interpretations. There are two main types of hermeneutics: (1) the mistaken interpreters with their liberal subjective historical-critical method and (2) the correct interpreters with their conservative objective historical-grammatical method.

“All preachers have a way of picking up cute phrases, vivid word images, clever bits of dialogue, even snappy one-liners they heard or read from someone else.” (Christianity Today) They have their Bible language and “homemade scripture” or pulpit phraseology. The Bible is not easily understood, as many Christians claim it to be. They claim “God intended the word for man’s use, so He made it plain?” Have we noticed that gold, coal, and iron are hidden deep in the earth? Have we noticed that many things of real value are difficult to attain? All of these challenge our character. Do we possess the desire, will, energy, determination, and faithfulness to dig deeper to be rewarded for our efforts?


The drift in modern translations is to produce a colloquial Bible with a simple vocabulary and syntax. What lies behind this drift? Some of the prefaces answer the question. The assumption is that the Bible itself is a simple book intended for people of limited education and intelligence. Here, for example, are statements from prefaces and other documents:

• Since God “stooped to the level of human language to communicate with his people,” the translators’ task is to set forth the “truth of the biblical revelation in language that is as clear and simple as possible.”’

• “Jesus talked plainly to people…. Jesus, the master Teacher, was very careful not to give people more than they could grasp…. We are trying to re-capture that level of communication…. Jesus was able to communicate clearly even, with children.” (SEB)

• “After ascertaining as accurately as possible the meaning of the original, the translators’ next task was to express that meaning in a manner and form easily understood by the readers” (GNB). If we take the time to unpack the claims here, the lapses of logic begin to emerge. First, the fact that God stooped to human understanding standing when he revealed his truth in human words does not itself settle the question of how simple or sophisticated, how transparent or complex, the Bible is. Human language encompasses an immense range of simplicity and difficulty. Nor does the fact that God accommodated himself self to human understanding in itself say anything about the level of intelligence and artistic sophistication possessed by the writers and assumed audience of the Bible.

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS Young Christians

The preface quoted above that cites the example of Jesus to support the claim that the Bible is simple shows how winsome the claims can be on the surface and yet how wrong they actually are when we stop to analyze them. Contrary to the implication of the statement that “Jesus was able to communicate clearly, even to children,” we have no recorded statements of Jesus to children. And what about the claim that Jesus “was very careful not to give people more than they could grasp”? This is directly contradicted by Jesus’ explanation of why he spoke in parables: “To you [the disciples] it has been given to know … but to them [the unbelieving masses] it has not been given…. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:11, 13, ESV). This is indeed a mysterious statement, already giving the lie to the claim that Jesus’ statements are simple and easy to understand. My interpretation of Jesus’ statement is that he did not intend his statements to carry all of their meaning on the surface. I would also speak of “delayed action insight” as summing up Jesus’ strategy, by which I mean that those who ponder Jesus’ sayings will come to an understanding of them, whereas people who are unwilling to penetrate beneath the surface will not.


If we stop to consider what the implied opposites of “simple” are, it becomes obvious that multiple qualities can be set over against simplicity. Something can be simple as opposed to complex and intricate. It can be simple as distinct from sophisticated. Or it can be simple and easy to understand instead of difficult. As we turn now to look at specimens of biblical passages, all of these qualities-simple, complex, difficult, sophisticated-will be present, for the Bible is all of these in different passages.

To test how simple or complex and difficult the Bible is, we need only to look at the text itself. To begin, a cursory glance at any scholarly Bible commentary will reveal at once how difficult a book the Bible often is. Scholars pore over it, write whole books on it, write articles on the minutest details, and disagree with each other (or admit perplexity themselves) over what the text says and means. Even when the vocabulary is translated into simple terms, the very arrangement and content of the material show that the Bible is not a simple book. Consider the following (randomly selected) passage (Isaiah 38:12-13, ESV):

Isaiah 38:12-13 English Standard Version

12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
    he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;
13     I calmed myself until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from day to night you bring me to an end.

This is not a simple passage. It requires one’s best powers of concentration to follow the flow of thought and images. In what sense is the speaker’s dwelling plucked up? How can a person roll up his or her own life like a weaver? How can God cut a person off from a loom? Exactly how does God bring the speaker to an end? Why does the speaker claim to have calmed himself “until morning,” specifically? What does it mean that God brings the speaker to an end “from day to night”? What are we to make of the way in which the speaker shuttles back and forth between referring to God as “he” and “you”? I repeat-this passage is not simple. On the contrary, it is a difficult passage. Let me note in passing that the relative difficulty of the passage is not a matter of vocabulary, and thus merely scaling down the language in translation will not make the passage easy to assimilate.

Related to the claim that the Bible is a simple book is the assumption that the Bible carries all of its meaning on the surface. The passage from Isaiah that I have quoted belies this claim too. One cannot read quickly through the passage. It requires stopping and pondering. This is the normal situation with the Bible, which is a meditative book, often elusive on a first reading.

Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1

The relative difficulty of the passage from Isaiah is a literary difficulty in the sense that it consists of the flow of thought and the presence of figures of speech. Another type of difficulty that we encounter in many passages of the Bible is the presence of weighty and intricate theological content. Here is a random specimen: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18, ESV). There are some big words and big ideas here: wrath, revealed, ungodliness, unrighteousness, suppress the truth. A lot of the theological teaching of the Bible is like this. It inclines toward technical theological logical terminology. It is impossible to retain the full theological meaning if one removes all vestiges of technical vocabulary.

Much of the Bible is intricately and artistically organized. There is a lot of chiasm in the Bible, for example. Chiasm, from the Greek word for “crossing,” consists of a passage that repeats the main elements of the first half in reverse order in the second half. Here is an example (with key terms highlighted to show the balance and symmetry):

Amos 5:4-6 English Standard Version

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel:

“Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
    or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
    and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

Seek the Lord and live,
    lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
    and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,

Modern biblical scholarship has repeatedly shown how rhetorically sophisticated a book the Bible is. This is not to say that the Bible is not sometimes simple. It is. Here is a type of passage that we find throughout the Bible:

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 English Standard Version

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

But writing that is this simple and direct comprises relatively little of the Bible. In fact, I had to look for a relatively long time to find a passage that was totally devoid of figurative language or statements that required interpretation. Totally transparent passages are the exception rather than the rule in the Bible.

APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person

The Bible encompasses an immense range of style and content. Someone has said that in the waters of Scripture a lamb can walk and an elephant can swim. Victorian poet Francis Thompson called the Bible “the most elastic of all books,” adding that “whoever opens it, learned or simple, equally finds something … appropriate to his understanding. “

What is the result when translation committees begin with the assumption of a simple Bible that carries its meaning on the surface and is devoid of sophisticated technique? When translators begin with the premise that the Bible is uniformly simple, they use the process of translation to produce the Bible that they envision. They simplify the vocabulary and syntax. They modify or eliminate figurative language. They add explanatory commentary in their translation. They eliminate theological logical language. Rhetorical patterning often evaporates. The end product is a Bible that deviates significantly from the original.


Contrariwise, if translators begin with no presuppositions about the level of difficulty represented by the Bible, they are free to follow the actual contours of the writing and to be faithful to whatever they find in the biblical text. Sometimes the text before them will, indeed, be simple. At other times it will be difficult, complex, or elusive. The task of translators is simply to reproduce in English whatever they find in the original. When they do, they will have created a translation that is transparent parent to the original text-not necessarily transparent to a modern reader, but to the original text. – Leland Ryken. The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation (p. 67-71). Kindle Edition.

So, some biblical truths lie on the surface and can be easily understood: “milk for babes.” This will give one minimum spiritual strength but can also evidence the need for further digging beneath the surface. 

Requirements That Must Exist

Proverbs 2:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to discernment;[1]

After reading verses 1-5 of chapter 2, one can clearly see that it is their responsibility to acquire wisdom. You or your is found eleven times in these first five verses. Each of us is obligated to incline our ear, apply our heart, cry out for, lift our voice, seek, search for wisdom, and then we will understand the fear of Jehovah, the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of God we will find. All of this is found in God’s Word. What exactly is wisdom, though? It is the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on knowledge and experience; wisdom is sensibly applied knowledge. The genre of wisdom literature is found all throughout the Bible, but especially in the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. However, Wisdom is found in all of the genres of Scripture, even the life lessons within the narrative accounts.

In Chapter 1, Solomon gave his listeners a visual word picture of the consequences for those who do not listen to the corrective words of wisdom, warnings. In Chapter 2, he praises the incredible blessings and happiness that wisdom brings. In 2:1-4, Solomon lists three conditional clauses (requirements) that must exist or be brought about before it is possible that one can understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God, each beginning with the word “if you (singular)” (vss 1, 3, 4). That is a big “if” because most of mankind pays no attention to God’s Word. Clearly, it is up to you to seek wisdom and its handmaidens: discernment and understanding. First, “if you” are going to find joy in studying God’s Word, you must be willing to receive Jehovah’s words (the Bible) and treat it like it is a treasure that you would never wish to lose valuing it above all else. My words refer to the Law (thoughts and ideas) that Solomon has embraced in active faith and obedience, which he is teaching as well.

Are you really “attentive” and listening carefully when the Word of God is being explained at your Christian meetings? (Eph. 4:20-21) Do you ‘incline your heart [seat or center of the intellect] to discernment’ (commit yourself to), which is the insight, good sense, or wisdom to apply God’s Word correctly. Of course, in order to incline your heart to discernment, you must be present at Christian meetings. (Proverbs 18:1) Thus, every Christian meeting can be a blessing for you if you are attentive and follow along in your Bibles. (Ac 2:1-4; Heb. 10:24-25. Being attentive means paying attention, taking notice of (maybe taking notes on a tablet), accepting the information as true, and responding to it.

We must pay close attention to the Word of God, for it is the wisdom of God, which can make us wise to the path to salvation and how not to stumble off of that path. We need to appreciate that the inspired words that the authors penned while being moved along by the Holy Spirit are, in fact, are the words of God and are the source and standard of wisdom and understanding. We must listen to them, obey them, get them down into our minds that are mentally bent toward evil and down into our treacherous hearts. This will give us the mind of Christ, making us biblical-minded, with a biblical worldview. We need to receive the Word of God, the readiness of mind and move to welcome it. This needs to be the case with the commandments as well as the promises, without grumbling or questioning. As an aside, questioning a doctrinal view is not questioning the Word of God; it is challenging the word of man that developed the doctrinal view. We must receive and retain the Word of God and lodge it in our hearts, that it may always be there to guide us.


Having Insight, Good Sense, or Wisdom to Apply God’s Word Correctly

Proverbs 2:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For if you cry out for discernment[2]
    and raise your voice for understanding,

The second requirement or condition that must exist if we are to understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God is to “cry for discernment,” which, again, is the insight, good sense, or wisdom to apply God’s Word correctly. The Hebrew verb here rendered cry out (קָרָא qara) has the sense of loud, insistent crying or shouting that one needs help, begging that he be delivered from distress. Wisdom will be ours when our desire gets to the point where we are willing to cry aloud for it. The desperate one ‘cries for discernment’ to the truth of God’s Word and applies it in his life. If we cannot recognize the importance and significance, the fullness of wisdom will elude us. Discernment (Insight): A Hebrew word frequently rendered “discernment” (תְּבוּנָה tebunah) is related to the word (בִּינָה binah), translated “understanding” or “insight.” Just as is the case with understanding, discernment includes seeing or identifying things, but the sense of the word that recognizes and separates the parts, considering, or assessing one in the light of the others. It is having the capacity for rational thought or inference, or discrimination. It can be defined as understanding, insight, and discernment, a good sense or wisdom to respond appropriately and correctly to Jehovah and the Word of God. (Deut. 4:6) Understanding (בִּין bin; בּוּנָה Bunah) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who understands can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. (Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15) Discernment and understanding involve comprehending, perceiving, grasping what the authors meant, identifying individual verses in light of the whole, weighing, or evaluating one verse in the light of the others.

Seeking and Searching

Proverbs 2:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

if you keep seeking her like silver
    and searching for her as for hidden treasures,

The third requirement or condition that must exist if we are to understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God is seeking and searching for hidden treasure, i.e., be committed and determined in one’s quest. History has shown the lengths humans will go to in their quest to discover gold or silver. This makes us think of the mining exploits of men, such as those of the gold rushes in the early United States of American history. Men have spent a lifetime trying to discover gold and silver. What actual value, though, does gold really have? Indeed, we can all agree that the knowledge of God demands far greater dedication, and the treasure of eternal life is a far greater find. The knowledge of God is undoubtedly a spiritual treasure. Therefore, we should have far more zeal as we seek wisdom, discernment, and understanding of God and his will. Solomon likens this knowledge to “hid treasures.” The knowledge of God (hidden treasure) will not jump out of its place of hiding and deposit itself into the minds of those who are idle in their quest or search. It requires effort and perseverance on the part of those seeking and searching.

The “her” of seeking her and searching for her is a reference back to wisdom from verse 2. The imperfect Hebrew verb behind the English seeking (בָּקַשׁ baqash) has the sense of diligently acquiring information, trying to get to or reach something that someone greatly desires. This verb is used when one is seeking information from God. (Ex. 33:7) in a similar but figurative sense, one may “seek” the face of God. (2 Sam. 21:1) Here (baqash) is used in reference to our searching for information, that is, a mental pursuit. The imperfect Hebrew verb behind the English searching (חָפַשׂ chaphas) has the sense of searching for, examining, trying to locate or discover information, in this case about the wisdom of God. The Hebrew noun behind the English treasures (מַטְמוֹן matmon or מַטְמֹן matmon or מַטְמֻן matmun) has the sense of something of value that is hidden.


Searching for treasures requires discipline and determination. It calls for much digging, be it actual treasure or seeking and searching for the knowledge of God, for “discernment,” and for “understanding.” This also demands much digging or getting below the surface knowledge. It is not sufficient to skim over the surface of God’s Word. The invaluable treasures of the knowledge of God are for all who, like a determined, tenacious, resolute treasure hunter, are willing to seek them. Are we persistent in finding the knowledge of God? How can we improve our ability to do so? Indeed, accurate knowledge of God and his Word is like a hidden treasure. What could be more valuable than the knowledge of God and Christ, which leads to eternal life? (John 17:3) Again, this treasure must also be sought for and discovered. Then, it must also be retained. It can also be expanded or grown. All of this means much effort on our part.


Carrying Out the “If You” Conditions

Proverbs 2:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

then you will understand the fear of Jehovah
    and find the knowledge of God.

If you fulfill these three “if you” requirements or conditions of verses 1, 3, 4 and keep searching for, examining, trying to locate, or discover information for wisdom, God says that you will finally understand the fear of Jehovah but will also find the knowledge of God. You are promised that you will gain God (2:5-8), and you will attain the wisdom of God. (2:9-11) The person searching for wisdom will find far more than mere human wisdom, as God is the source of all wisdom. When you enter the path that takes you deeper and deeper into the wisdom of God, you will find the very knowledge of God at the end of the path. When we recognize and accept the sovereignty of God, the fear of Jehovah, we will be ready to truly listen and accept him. Solomon identifies this treasure for you as “the knowledge of God,” specifically, the truth about God and his will and purposes as revealed in the Bible. (2:5) There are numerous aspects to this treasure: true teachings, wise counsel, insight into the nature of God and his personality, as well as what lies ahead, and much more.


God Gives Wisdom to His Holy Ones

Proverbs 2:6-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For Jehovah gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his holy ones.

Jehovah represents himself symbolically as having a mouth (פֶּה peh) to convey to the reader about his communication, speech that gives you information, exhortation, counsel, or commands, which are contained in Scripture, wherein God speaks to you. (cf. Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) The upright (יָשָׁר yashar) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12) You, the holy one is keeping the new covenant (Jer. 31.31; Heb. 8:8-12); thus, you know wisdom, which has served as a shield (מְגִנָּה meginnah) of defense from the offensive weapons of Satan, the world, and your own human imperfection, as you walk (הָלַךְ halak) in integrity (תֹּם tom) a state of blamelessness being free of guilt, guarding (נָצַר natsar) you, making you safe from danger within your relationship with Jehovah (Ps 40:12) on the paths of justice, watching (שׁוֹמֵר Shomer or שֹׁמֵר Shomer) over them. Hebrew terms relating to integrity have the root meaning of that which is “whole” or “complete.” They often suggest moral soundness and uprightness. Those walking in integrity are unbending in devotion to Jehovah. He is a protective shield for such blameless ones because they display true wisdom and conform to His righteous standards. This does not mean, though, that Jehovah will not allow you to be tested. He did so even with Job. “God is faithful,” the apostle Paul noted to the Corinthians. In full, he said, “No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Jehovah God will give wisdom to those seeking and searching as though it were a hidden treasure. Imagine a gold mine on the side of a hill. If someone wanted enough money to have a meal or two without working too hard, he could just pick up some specs of gold on the hillside. However, if he wanted a lifetime of meals, a life of financial security, he would be working in the mine daylight to dark. Sadly, when those searching for treasure crossed America to California in 1849 in search of gold, they soon discovered that the odds of striking it rich were ten thousand to one. It is quite different from Jehovah God, as he gives wisdom to all, “from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Yes, God gives out wisdom free; he is the mine for those that want to be wise.


We need to make this a part of our prayer life. The psalmist prayed, “Teach me your way, O Jehovah, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11) This is one prayer that we know will be answered. However, the answer will be based on the level that we act in harmony with our prayers. Are we willing to buy out the time to acquire wisdom, understanding, and discernment? A mere 30-60 minutes a day of Bible study will bring results that one might not have ever imagined. Are we willing to work 30 years to pay off a house, 40-45 years to receive a social security check (USA), but not 30-60 minutes a day to acquire the wisdom of God that leads to eternal life?

The Bible is set up to offer spiritual food for the babe, the young man, and the older man, as it certainly has different stages of difficulty. There is no guarantee that deeper study will equal spiritual maturity, but the lack thereof will lead to spiritual immaturity. While there is no assurance, if we are progressed in the deeper truth of God’s Word, we should also be progressed in holiness and obedience to God’s will. 

[1] The Hebrew word rendered here as “discernment” (tevunah) is related to the word binah, translated “understanding.” Both appear in Proverbs 2:3.

[2] See 2.2 ftn.





The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2
The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02
English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II


How to Interpret the Bible-1
israel against all odds ISRAEL AGAINST ALL ODDS - Vol. II


THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1


The Epistle to the Hebrews
Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS Young Christians


9798623463753 Machinehead KILLER COMPUTERS


Homosexuality and the Christian second coming Cover Why Me_
Human Imperfection HUMILITY




Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1


THERE IS A REBEL IN THE HOUSE thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman
Young Christians DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)
Homosexuality and the Christian THE OUTSIDER RENEW YOUR MIND


APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person
Abortion Booklet Dying to Kill The Pilgrim’s Progress
ARTS, MEDIA, AND CULTURE Christians and Government Christians and Economics


40 day devotional (1) Daily Devotional_NT_TM Daily_OT
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)


The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches

Apocalyptic-Eschatology [End Times]

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Identifying the AntiChrist second coming Cover
ANGELS AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ ezekiel, daniel, & revelation


Oren Natas_JPEG Seekers and Deceivers
02 Journey PNG The Rapture

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: