The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 92 of 138
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The obscurity it is here stated is in the translation, and not in the inspired original.
The first proverb occupies verses 2 and 3, the infinitives being translated "to know", "to
perceive", and "to receive"; the complete proverb therefore is obtained by just adding the
little word is to verse three, thus:--
"To know wisdom, and instruction;
To perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
IS justice and judgment and equity."
We will return to a closer consideration later. The second proverb is contained in
verses 4 and 5:--
"To give subtilty to the simple;
To the young man knowledge and discretion;
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
And a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels."
The third proverb occupies verses 6 and 7:--
"To understand a proverb and the interpretation;
The works of the wise, and their dark sayings;
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
But fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Let us now consider the first proverb, "To know wisdom and discipline". The word
rendered "instruction" is translated elsewhere "chastening" (Prov. 3: 11;  13: 24;
Job 5: 17), "chastisement" (Isa. 53: 5), "correction" (Prov. 7: 22; 23: 13),
"discipline" (Job 36: 10).
Here we have wisdom and its practical application toward us in discipline; next comes
the perception of wisdom. The word "to perceive" and the word "understanding" are
cognate. Literally the words read, "to make discern speeches of discernment", and by
thus contemplating the actual wording we find on the threshold of the book a parallel to
Phil. 1: 10, and II Tim. 2: 15, the idea of discerning the point of a speech that possesses
discrimination being prominent. "To receive the instruction of wisdom"; instruction we
have translated "discipline" in verse 2. Wisdom here is not the same as in verse 2, it is
rather something clear or prudent; thus we have four steps toward the goal of this
To KNOW wisdom, to recognize it when we see it.
To KNOW it when it touches us as discipline.
To DISCERN things that differ in the speeches of the wise.
To RECEIVE the discipline that prudence demands.
All this is righteousness, and judgment, and equity. The whole good path (2: 9)
demands something even more than is laid down in the four steps detailed above. The
recognition of the fact first, however, then the understanding of it is the right order.
Ponder well this opening proverb. We who are justified freely by grace, who desire to