Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Above All Acquire Wisdom
Proverbs 4:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Acquire wisdom,
and with all you acquire, acquire understanding.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Acquire wisdom: Here the Hebrew has two detached phrases that are literally “the first thing of wisdom” and “get wisdom.” Here King David in his advice to his son when Solomon was young was that wisdom is the most important thing, and therefore, he should pursue it so as to obtain it.
Wisdom: (Heb. ḥāḵ·mā(h)) 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, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. – Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8.
And with all you acquire, acquire understanding is again places the highest importance on obtaining or acquiring but this time it is in the pursuit of understanding or insight.
Understanding (Heb. teḇû·nā(h)) 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 (Heb. bî·nā(h)) 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 bîn [understanding] indicates “distinguishing between,” śākal relates to an intelligent knowledge of the reason. There is the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in a wise dealing and use of good practical common sense. Another end result is the emphasis upon being successful.” – Psa. 14:12.
As we learned in Proverbs chapter three, wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge and understanding effectively, to have success. Knowledge is acquired by our taking in facts that were gained by paying attention and experience, as well as through reading and study. However, all of that is useless if one cannot put that information to work for them. Insight is the ability to see into a situation. When one acts with insight, he has good sense in dealing with practical matters, using good judgment to consider likely consequences and act accordingly, as well as discretion. We are foolish if we forsake wisdom, as she will protect us from the difficulties of this system of things, but that protection only comes to those that remain loyal in our love for her. If we lack wisdom, then we must begin to pursue it, in addition to insight.
The education of an Israelite child was taken very seriously, as Jehovah himself commanded that parent, “You shall teach them [the law] diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7) However, before they were to teach their child, it was commanded “these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” (Deut. 6:6) As Deuteronomy, 6:7 made quite clear there is no excuse for not spending time with your child, and passing on wisdom and insight is paramount.
Acquire wisdom, and with all you acquire, acquire understanding. commands King David to his young son Solomon. How can you apply this counsel to our Bible reading? The Bible of sixty-six books is the only book to be authored by God as he used 40+ men, moving them along with the Holy Spirit as they wrote. The Bible contains God’s thoughts. There is more to acquiring God’s thoughts than merely reading the printed words on a page. We must understand what we read. Moreover, we must understand what the author meant by the words that were used, as opposed to interjecting what we feel, think, or believe God meant by those words. So, we need to meditatively read, study, and research the Bible, then, acquiring an understanding of what God meant to convey to us by the words of wisdom that he used.