Daily Wisdom 2

“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Proverbs 1:2).

The second verse of the Book of Proverbs introduces the major subject of the book: wisdom. The English word wisdom is the translation of several Hebrew words in the Book of Proverbs; the most common is hokmah. This word speaks of the skill with which craftsmen, sailors, singers, mourners, administrators, and counselors perform their duties.

The word wisdom appears over fifty times in the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs 4:7 declares, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Wisdom is the principal thing. It is more valuable than gold, silver, or rubies.

While wisdom is the first quality mentioned in verse 2, instruction follows closely. The Book of Proverbs is designed so that one who studies it will receive both wisdom and instruction. The word “instruction” is translated from the Hebrew musar and implies chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, and restraint. The Book of Proverbs was one of the chief elements in the educational curriculum of ancient Israel. Parents used it to teach their children. When the first elementary schools for boys began about two centuries before the time of Christ, it was one of the main resources used by the teachers.

A genuine education is a painful process; there is no such thing as “easy” learning. At some point in the process, students must apply themselves diligently to the subject at hand and do so at the expense of other, more pleasant, pursuits.

The proverbs are designed not only to give wisdom and instruction but to enable students to “perceive the words of understanding.” The Holy Spirit has elected to give us truth and wisdom by use of words. Some 2,500 times the Old Testament declares, “Thus saith the LORD.” The Bible nowhere suggests that God communicates merely by general ideas, thoughts, or concepts. Rather, it declares He has spoken in words.

The Bible identifies “understanding” with departing from evil (Job 28:28). The words of Scripture will cause a person to depart from evil and to go in the right way.

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Daily Wisdom 1

One of my earliest books is titled Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World: A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs. It is published by Word Aflame Press and is available at pentecostalpublishing.com and as a Kindle download from amazon.com and as an Apple Book.

It has occurred to me that some who read this blog may enjoy brief excerpts from this book, perhaps as daily devotions. I am also in the process of posting video readings from another of my books, If God Loves Me, Why Am I Hurting?

Beginning with this post, I plan to offer these excerpts. They will not be identical to the study notes I wrote on the Book of Proverbs for the Apostolic Study Bible. I hope they will be useful to you.


Proverbs 1:1: “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel.”

The Book of Proverbs opens with the clear statement that Solomon, the son of David, is the author. There is no question that the first twenty-nine chapters are proverbs of Solomon. Some suppose, however, that chapters 30 and 31 were authored by others, because of the statements at the beginning of those two chapters. We will comment on that when we reach those texts.

Regardless of whether the last two chapters of Proverbs were authored by Solomon, we know they are inspired Scripture. The entire book was included in the Hebrew canon (the collection of books accepted as inspired) before the time of Christ, and He gave his stamp of divine approval to the entirety of the Old Testament, including Proverbs (Luke 24:44). In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Proverbs was included in the section known as Psalms, which we call the poetry and wisdom literature.

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