Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:23 AM

What is Wisdom?

Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:23 AM
Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:23 AM

The “wisdom” that is the subject of Proverbs is not merely intellectual and philosophical. It is practical, involving what the person who is wise does in any given situation. It is ethical, meaning that it gives moral guidance and leads to right living. And it is religious, in that its foundation is God’s wisdom; as the book states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Prov. 9:10.[i]

The essence of wisdom is skill, the ability to do a job. The same Hebrew word is used of the skilful workers who prepared Aaron’s garments and of those who built the tabernacle and the temple (Exod. 28:3; Exod. 31:1–11; 1 Kings 7:14). Their exceptional ability to work with fabric and bronze was necessary and admirable (Prov. 22:29). Such skills were only obtained through hard work.

The wisdom offered by the book of Proverbs is skill for living. Wisdom is not merely intellectual or academic; it is primarily moral. The book of Proverbs teaches you how to live skillfully in every area of your life including family, finances, friendships, speech, and work. The goal of wisdom is that you might achieve a life of beauty and significance so that at the end of your days you will have accomplished something worthwhile and lasting. Jesus is the one who exemplifies wisdom, as he lived on earth with perfect skill. It is through Christ that we are made wise and gain the ability to live wisely.



[i] Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (2000). A handbook on Proverbs. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (15). New York: United Bible Societies.

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