Proverbs 23:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Buy the truth and do not sell it-- wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

New Living Translation
Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.

English Standard Version
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

New American Standard Bible
Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

King James Bible
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Buy--and do not sell--truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

International Standard Version
Purchase truth, but don't sell it; store up wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

NET Bible
Acquire truth and do not sell it--wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Buy truth and do not sell wisdom, instruction or understanding.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Buy truth (and do not sell it), [that is,] buy wisdom, discipline, and understanding.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Buy the truth and sell it not, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

King James 2000 Bible
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

American King James Version
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

American Standard Version
Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea , wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Buy truth, and do not sell wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Darby Bible Translation
Buy the truth, and sell it not; wisdom, and instruction, and intelligence.

English Revised Version
Buy the truth, and sell it not; yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Webster's Bible Translation
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

World English Bible
Buy the truth, and don't sell it. Get wisdom, discipline, and understanding.

Young's Literal Translation
Truth buy, and sell not, Wisdom, and instruction, and understanding,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:19-28 The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world. The heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Look to the rule of God's word, the conduct of his providence, and the good examples of his people. Particular cautions are given against sins most destructive to wisdom and grace in the soul. It is really a shame to make a god of the belly. Drunkenness stupifies men, and then all goes to ruin. Licentiousness takes away the heart that should be given to God. Take heed of any approaches toward this sin, it is very hard to retreat from it. It bewitches men to their ruin.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - Buy the truth, and sell it not (comp. Proverbs 4:5, 7; Proverbs 16:16). Consider truth as a thing of the highest value, and spare no pains, cost, or sacrifice to obtain it, and, when gotten, keep it safe; do not barter it for earthly profit or the pleasures of sense; do not be reasoned out of it, or laughed out of it; "sell it not," do not part with it for any consideration. The second clause gives the sphere in which truth moves, or the three properties which appertain to it. These are: wisdom (chochmah), practical knowledge; instruction (musar), moral culture and discipline; and understanding (binah), the faculty of discernment (see notes on Proverbs 1:2). This verse is omitted in the chief manuscripts of the Septuagint.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Buy the truth, and sell it not,.... Evangelical truth, the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation, which comes from the God of truth; has Christ, who is the truth, for the stem and substance of it; men are directed and led into it by the Spirit of truth; the whole matter of it is truth; truth, in opposition to the law, that was typical and shadowy; to the errors of false teachers, to everything that is fictitious, or another Gospel; and to that which is a lie, for no lie is of the truth: there are several particular doctrines of the Gospel which are so called; those which respect the knowledge of one God, and three Persons in the Godhead; the deity and sonship of Christ, his incarnation and Messiahship, salvation alone by him, a sinner's justification by his righteousness, and the resurrection of the dead; the whole of which is truth, and is an answer to Pilate's question, John 18:38; and this men should "buy", not books only, as Aben Ezra interprets it, such as explain and confirm truth, though these should be bought; and especially the Bible, the Scriptures of truth; yet this does not reach the sense of the text: nor is it merely to be understood of persons supporting the Gospel ministry with their purses, by which means truth is preserved, propagated, and continued: no price is set upon it, as being above all; it should be bought or had at any rate, let the expense be what it will: "buying" it supposes a person to have some knowledge of it, of the excellency, usefulness, and importance of it; and shows that he sets a value upon it, and has a high esteem for it: it is to be understood of his using all means and taking great pains to acquire it; such as reading the word, meditating upon it, attending on the public ministry, and fervent and frequent prayer for it, and a greater degree of knowledge of it; yea, it signifies a person's parting with everything for it that is required; as with his former errors he has been brought up in, or has imbibed; with his good name and reputation, being willing to be accounted a fool or a madman, and an enthusiast, or anything for the sake of it; and even with life itself, when called for; and such a man will strive and contend for it, stand fast in it, and hold it fast, and not let it go, which is meant by "selling" it; truth is not to be sold upon any account, or for any thing whatever; it is not to be slighted and neglected; it should not be parted with neither for the riches, and honours, and pleasures of this life, nor for the sake of a good name among men, nor for the sake of peace, nor for the avoiding of persecution; it should he abode by, and not departed from, though the greater number is against it, and they the riots, the wise, and learned; and though it may be traduced as novel, irrational, and licentious, and be attended with affliction;

also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding; that is, buy these also, and sell them no; "wisdom" is to be prized above everything; it is the principal thing, and should be got; all means should he used to obtain it; it may be bought without money; it should be asked of God, who gives it liberally, and, being had, should be held fast: the "instruction" the Scriptures give, the instruction of the Gospel, the instruction of Wisdom, should be valued above gold and silver, and diligently sought after; should be laid fast hold on and not parted with: "understanding" of divine and spiritual things is to be gotten; happy is the man that gets it; and above all gettings this should be got, and all means made rise of to improve and increase it. The Targum, Syriac, and Vulgate Latin versions, connect these with the word sell only, thus, "buy the truth, and sell not wisdom, and instruction, and understanding"; but as buying and selling both refer to truth, so likewise to these also. The whole verse is wanting in the Septuagint and Arabic versions.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. Buy—literally, "get" (Pr 4:5).

truth—generally and specially as opposed to errors of all kinds.

Proverbs 23:23 Additional Commentaries
Consider Diligently what is Before You
22Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. 23Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding. 24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.…
Cross References
Matthew 13:44
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Proverbs 4:7
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 17:16
Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

Proverbs 18:15
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.
Treasury of Scripture

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.


Proverbs 2:2-4 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding…

Proverbs 4:5-7 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from …

Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish …

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding …

Proverbs 17:16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing …

Job 28:12-19 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding…

Psalm 119:72,127 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver…

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has …

Matthew 13:44,46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to treasure hid in a field; …

Philippians 3:7,8 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ…

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be …


Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and …

Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city, saying that bonds …

Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures …

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of …

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