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

New Living Translation
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

English Standard Version
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

New American Standard Bible
"The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

King James Bible
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Wisdom is supreme--so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding.

International Standard Version
Wisdom is of utmost importance, therefore get wisdom, and with all your effort work to acquire understanding.

NET Bible
Wisdom is supreme--so acquire wisdom, and whatever you acquire, acquire understanding!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Wisdom is the summit; get wisdom, and with all your possessions purchase understanding.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding with all that you have.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

King James 2000 Bible
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.

American King James Version
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.

American Standard Version
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; Yea, with all thy getting get understanding.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The beginning of wisdom, get wisdom, and with all thy possession purchase prudence.

Darby Bible Translation
The beginning of wisdom [is], Get wisdom; and with all thy getting get intelligence.

English Revised Version
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: yea, with all thou hast gotten get understanding.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

World English Bible
Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.

Young's Literal Translation
The first thing is wisdom -- get wisdom, And with all thy getting get understanding.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-13 We must look upon our teachers as our fathers: though instruction carry in it reproof and correction, bid it welcome. Solomon's parents loved him, therefore taught him. Wise and godly men, in every age of the world, and rank in society, agree that true wisdom consists in obedience, and is united to happiness. Get wisdom, take pains for it. Get the rule over thy corruptions; take more pains to get this than the wealth of this world. An interest in Christ's salvation is necessary. This wisdom is the one thing needful. A soul without true wisdom and grace is a dead soul. How poor, contemptible, and wretched are those, who, with all their wealth and power, die without getting understanding, without Christ, without hope, and without God! Let us give heed to the sayings of Him who has the words of eternal life. Thus our path will be plain before us: by taking, and keeping fast hold of instruction, we shall avoid being straitened or stumbling.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. The older versions, such as the Alexandrian LXX. (the verse is omitted by the Vatican LXX.), Targum, and Syriac, agree in rendering this verse, "The beginning of wisdom is get wisdom," which is equivalent to saying that the beginning of wisdom consists in the acquisition of wisdom, or, as Umbreit explains, "in the resolution to get wisdom." That this rendering, which is adopted by Luther, Delitzsch, and Umbreit, may be correct appears from Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10, where we have the same construction, only in inverted order. Seneca's aphorism is conceived in much the same spirit: "Magna pars boni est velle fieri bonum" - "A large part of good is the wish to become good;" i.e. that the beginning of being good depends to a large extent upon the wish to become so. The objections to this rendering are:

(1) That it is difficult to see how the beginning of wisdom can be the acquisition of it.

(2) That elsewhere, as in Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10, the beginning of wisdom is represented as the fear of the Lord.

(3) That it does not fall in well with the context or with the aim of the father's teaching, which is to hold up wisdom as pre-eminently a blessing, as the most excellent and highest thing attainable. On the other hand, Hitzig, De Dieu, Doderlein, Zockler, render as in the Authorized Version, "Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom;" i.e. wisdom is the highest good, and therefore ought to be obtained. The word reshith is found with this signification in ch. 24:20; 1 Samuel 2:29; Job 40:19; Jeremiah 49:35; Amos 6:1-6. And with all thy getting get understanding. This does not mean, as the Authorized Version seems to imply, that while you are acquiring other things, you are to acquire wisdom, but that wisdom is to be purchased with all you have acquired or gotten. "Getting" (kin'yon) is the purchase money. No price is too high to be paid for her, no sacrifice too great; cf. the parables of the hidden treasure and goodly pearl (Matthew 13:44: Luke 10:42), in both of which the man sold "all that he had" to obtain the prize. There is a play upon the words in the original (kin'yan'ki k'neh), which is preserved in our translation.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Wisdom is the principal thing,.... Or principal, one; the principal of persons and things; the principal of persons, angels or men: Christ is superior to angels, having a more excellent name and nature than they; he is the God, the Creator, and head of them, and is above them in the human nature; he is superior to men, to the greatest of men, he is King of kings and Lord of lords, and to the best of men the saints. Are they kings? he is their King: are they priests? he is the great High Priest: are any of them prophets, teachers, shepherds? he is the great Prophet in Israel; a Teacher, that never any taught or spoke like him; the chief Shepherd and Bishop of souls: is the church a family? he is the Master of it: is it a body? he is the Head: is it a building? he is the Foundation and Corner Stone; yea, the chief Master Builder. He is the beginning and chief of all God's ways, and the chief in them; in election, in the council of peace, and covenant of grace; in redemption and salvation, in grace and glory; he is all in all. Or the words may be rendered, "Wisdom is the beginning" (q); so Christ is called, Colossians 1:18; a phrase expressive of his eternity, and of his being the first cause and author of all things, both in the old and new creation. Or thus, that which is "the beginning of wisdom get" (r), &c. which is the fear of the Lord; see Proverbs 1:7;

therefore get wisdom; not an interest in Christ, but a knowledge of it; and make use of all means to obtain a greater knowledge of him, and of interest in him, which is what the apostle calls "winning" Christ; by which he means, not getting an interest in him, that he had already, but gaining a greater degree of knowledge of him, as the context shows, Philippians 3:8; or, "buy wisdom" (s); that is, without money and without price; so Christ advises to buy gold and white raiment of him, his grace and righteousness, Revelation 3:18;

and with all thy getting get understanding; another name for Christ; see Proverbs 8:14; Or, "along with all thy getting" (t), or "above all"; let not Christ be wanting; he is the one thing needful, the good and better part and portion, which, if missing, all other substance signifies little: or part with all for this pearl of great price, Wisdom, and prefer it to all worldly substance; look upon all but dross in comparison of Christ and the knowledge of him: all other gettings or substance are only for the body, this for the soul, and the eternal welfare of it; they are only for a time, this for eternity; they are not satisfying, but, having this, a soul has enough, has all things; Christ being his, all things are his; he possesses all things, and all other things are not blessings without him.

(q) "principium sapientiae", Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (r) "Principium sapientiae est hoc, comparas sapientiam", Michaelis; "quae est caput sapientiae eam acquire", &c. Junius & Tremellius. (s) "eme sapientiam", Pagninus, Cocceius. (t) "in omne possessione tua", V. L. "in omne acquisitione tua", Montanus; "prae universis quae possides", Tigurine version, Vatablus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7. (Compare Job 28:28).

getting—or possession; a desire for wisdom is wise.

Proverbs 4:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Listen to a Father's Instruction
6"Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. 7"The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. 8"Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her.…
Cross References
Proverbs 4:5
Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

Proverbs 8:23
I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth and do not sell it-- wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
Treasury of Scripture

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.

wisdom is

Ecclesiastes 7:12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency …

Ecclesiastes 9:16-18 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor …

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

Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which …

Philippians 3:8 Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency …

with

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

Proverbs 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to …

Psalm 49:16-20 Be not you afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house …

Ecclesiastes 2:4-9 I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards…

Mark 8:36,37 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, …

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

get understanding

Psalm 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

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