Proverbs 1:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young--

New Living Translation
These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.

English Standard Version
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—

New American Standard Bible
To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,

King James Bible
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced, knowledge and discretion to a young man--

International Standard Version
for giving prudence to the na�ve, and knowledge and discretion to the young.

NET Bible
To impart shrewdness to the morally naive, and a discerning plan to the young person.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
To give children cunning and to boys knowledge and intelligence.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
to give insight to gullible people, to give knowledge and foresight to the young-

Jubilee Bible 2000
to give prudence to the simple, and to the young men knowledge and council.

King James 2000 Bible
To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

American King James Version
To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

American Standard Version
To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion:

Douay-Rheims Bible
To give subtilty to little ones, to the young man knowledge and understanding.

Darby Bible Translation
to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

English Revised Version
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion:

Webster's Bible Translation
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

World English Bible
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man:

Young's Literal Translation
For giving to simple ones -- prudence, To a youth -- knowledge and discretion.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-6 The lessons here given are plain, and likely to benefit those who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught. If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon's Proverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion. Solomon speaks of the most important points of truth, and a greater than Solomon is here. Christ speaks by his word and by his Spirit. Christ is the Word and the Wisdom of God, and he is made to us wisdom.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - To give subtilty to the simple. In this verse and the following we are introduced to the classes of persons to whom the proverbs will be beneficial The ל with the infinitive, לָתֵת (latheth) shows that in construction this proposition is so ordinate with those in vers. 2 and 3, and not dependent as represented by ἵνα δῷ (LXX.)and iut detur (Vulgate). Subtilty; Hebrew, עַרְמָה (ar'mah), from the root עָרַם, (aram), "to be crafty or wily," properly means "nakedness" or "smoothness;" hence in a metaphorical sense it expresses "the capacity for escaping from the wiles of others" (Umbreit). We have this idea expressed as follows in Proverbs 22:3, "The prudent man (עָרוּם, arum) foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself." In the Arabic Version it is rendered by calliditas, "shrewdness," in a good sense. The Hebrew ar'mah, like the Latin calliditas, also means "craftiness," as appears in the use of the cognate adjective arum in Genesis 3:1, where we read, "The serpent was more subtle," etc. For "subtilty" the LXX. has πσνουργία, a Greek word which appears to be employed altogether in a bad sense, as "trickery," "villainy," "knavery;" but that scarcely appears to be the meaning of the Hebrew here, since the aim of the Proverbs is ethical and beneficial in the highest degree. The Vulgate astutia, the quality of the astutus, beside the bad sense of craftiness, also boars the good sense of shrewdness, sagacity, and so better represents the Hebrew. "Subtilty may turn to evil, but it also takes its place among the highest moral gifts" (Plumptre). The simple; Hebrew, פְתָאִים (ph'thaim), plural of פְתִּי (p'ti) from the root פָתַח (pathakh), "to be open," properly means the open-hearted, i.e. those who are susceptible to external impressions (Zockler), and so easily misled. The word occurs in Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 9:6; Proverbs 14:18; and Proverbs 27:12. The LXX. properly renders the word ἄκακοι, "unknowing of evil." The same idea is indirectly expressed in the Vulgate parvuli, "the very young;" and the term is paraphrased in the Arabic Version, iis in quibus non est malitia ("those who are without malice"). The Hebrew here means "simple" in the sense of inexperienced. To the young man knowledge and discretion. The Hebrew naar (נַעַר) is here used representatively for "youth" (cf. LXX., παῖς νέος; Vulgate, adolescens) in general, which stands in need of the qualities here mentioned. It advances in idea beyond "the simple." Knowledge; Hebrew, דַּעַת (daath), i.e. experimental knowledge (Delitzsch); insight (Gesenius); knowledge of good and evil (Plumptre). The LXX. has αἴσθησις, which clasically means perception by the senses and also by the mind. Discretion; Hebrew, מְזִמָּה (m'zimmah), properly "thoughtfulness," and hence "circumspection" or "caution" (Zockler), or "discernment," that which sets a man on his guard and prevents him being duped by others (Plumptre). Αννοια was probably adopted by the LXX. in its primary sense as representing the act of thinking; intellectus (Vulgate), equivalent to "a discerning" (see the marginal "advisement").

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

To give subtlety to the simple,.... Men of mean abilities, weak capacities, shallow understandings, incautious, credulous, and easily imposed upon: these, by attending to what is herein contained, may arrive to a serpentine subtlety; though they are simple and harmless as doves, may become as wise as serpents; may attain to an exquisite knowledge of divine things and know even more than the wise and sage philosophers among the Gentiles, or any of the Rabbins and masters of Israel; or any of the princes of this world, whose wisdom comes to nought; and become very cautious and circumspect how they are drawn aside by the old serpent the devil, or by such who lie in wait to deceive; and perform their duty both to God and man;

to the young man knowledge and discretion; or "thought" (i); who wants both: this book will teach him the knowledge of things moral, civil, and religious: to think and act aright; how to behave and conduct himself wisely and discreetly before men; and be a means of forming his mind betimes for piety and religion; and of furnishing him with rules for his deportment in future life, in all the periods of it; and in whatsoever state and condition he may come into. A "young man may cleanse his way", Psalm 119:9, reform his manners, behave with purity and uprightness, by taking "heed" to the things herein contained.

(i) "cogitationem", Pagninus, Mercerus; "bonam cogitationem", Michaelis.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. simple—one easily led to good or evil; so the parallel.

young man—one inexperienced.

subtilty—or prudence (Pr 3:21; 5:21).

discretion—literally, "device," both qualities, either good or bad, according to their use. Here good, as they imply wariness by which to escape evil and find good.

Proverbs 1:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Beginning of Knowledge
3To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,…
Cross References
Psalm 116:6
The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Proverbs 1:22
"How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 2:10
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Proverbs 2:11
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 3:21
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

Proverbs 8:5
You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.

Proverbs 8:12
"I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
Treasury of Scripture

To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

subtilty

Proverbs 1:22,23 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners …

Proverbs 8:5 O you simple, understand wisdom: and, you fools, be you of an understanding …

Proverbs 9:4-6 Whoever is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, …

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony …

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called …

to the

Proverbs 7:7-24 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a …

Proverbs 8:17,32 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me…

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto …

Ecclesiastes 11:9,10 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you …

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil …

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, …

Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

discretion

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