Commentary – Proverbs 1:2

You can find an updated commentary on all of proverbs 1 thus far here.


Verse Lexicon Study Interpretation
2: “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;” Chokmah (wisdom) = Used in the old testament to describe proficiency at physical skills: tailoring, metalwork, woodwork, engraving, etc. Proverbs however uses it metaphorically to describe life in general: skilled to live a successful life.
Muwcar (instruction) = moral discipline rather than your classroom, theoretical instruction.
Biynah (understanding) = Spiritual/godly discernment, comprehension, and righteous action. Understanding what is good and what is bad from a biblical perspective.
After the introduction, Solomon tries to hook the audience: if you read this book, you stand to gain these things: 1) be skilled and successful in life, 2) be morally and mentally disciplined, and 3) gain spiritual/godly discernment of right and wrong.

What is interesting is the combination of muwcar and biynah: moral instruction towards thinking like God. Solomon is saying that what you will learn from Proverbs isn’t something you can learn in the classroom, it’s not common sense/gut feeling/worldly reasoning/intelligence. This wisdom from God is completely unrelated to your own intelligence or education; a gift.

In that sense even if our common sense is in line with God’s will, it isn’t Biynah because we have relied on our own understanding. For example, see Prov 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

This idea is also translated into the new testament: see 1 Pet 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…”. Oracles here means utterances/words, so our responsibility is to speak using God’s word, not our words, with the goal of glorifying God.

Commentary – Proverbs 1:1

Howdy!  finished my study of Proverbs 1:1, check it out here.


Verse Lexicon Study Interpretation
1: “The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel.” Mashal (Proverbs) = a short story with a moral meaning and religious allegory. Exemplified in Prov 5:15, it is the summarised expounding of a person’s wisdom to describe a crossroad: the choice individuals have to do right or wrong, and the subsequent consequences of those actions. These comparisons are strictly black or white. An introduction: Solomon proclaims himself as the author of this book, describes his authority as the King while namedropping his father, David, to gain more credibility, and explained the contents of his book as his collection of wise thoughts.

A proverb is closely related to a parable. For more information, click here.