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Proverbs 3:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than corals,[8]
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

[8] Or jewels

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For the gain from her is better than gain from silver: The value of wisdom supersedes that of silver. The Hebrew noun gain (sǎ·ḥǎr) has the sense of an advantage or benefit that one receives or acquires. The primary meaning is that of receiving or acquiring profit or gain, namely, by way of money or possessions by means of trade, dealings, buying and selling. It is being used here in a figurative sense because we do not literally make wisdom a commodity (product). What the author means is what we receive or acquire (gain) when we discover or possess wisdom.

And her profit better than gold: This refers to the discovering wisdom (knowledge, insight, understanding) in verse 13. The Hebrew noun profit (teû·ʾā(h)) is referring to a word that is commonly used for agricultural produce but has the general sense of the financial gain, income (what is valuable) that one acquires over a period of time.

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She is more precious than corals (jewels): Of course, here again, she, is referring to wisdom. The Hebrew adjective precious (yā·qār) is referring to something of great value or worth of high quality; not to be wasted or treated carelessly. The Hebrew noun (penî·nîm) rendered literally as corals in the UASV and jewels in the ESV, CSB, and the NASB is a hard stone-like substance that is made from the bones of tiny sea creatures. It is found in the ocean in a variation of colors, which include red, white, and black. Corals were very abundant in the Red Sea. In Bible times, the red coral was highly sought after and was made into jewels and other decorations. (Prov. 8:11) Nothing you desire can compare with her: The author, Solomon, knows the value of gold, silver, and corals (jewels) better than most, so he is also very much aware that they can only buy material gain but wisdom can buy what money cannot.

The merchant sat in the center of an ancient town ready to do commerce, ever seeking to get his hands-on silver, gold, and precious jewels. His bottom line was to make the greatest gain possible. True enough silver and gold can buy much, but an unwise merchant will never have much anyway. What wisdom has the ability to acquire is what silver and gold could never ascertain. Wisdom is far more valuable than any treasure, gain or profit.

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