Proverbs 4:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

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

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.

Proverbs 4:7 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

He now confirms and explains the command to duty which he has placed at the beginning of the whole (Proverbs 1:8). This he does by his own example, for he relates from the history of his own youth, to the circle of disciples by whom he sees himself surrounded, what good doctrine his parents had taught him regarding the way of life:

1 Hear, ye sons, the instruction of a father,

   And attend that ye may gain understanding;

2 For I give to you good doctrine,

   Forsake not my direction!

3 For I was a son to my father,

   A tender and only (son) in the sight of my mother.

4 And he instructed me, and said to me:

   "Let thine heart hold fast my words:

   Observe my commandments and live!"

That בּנים in the address comes here into the place of בּני, hitherto used, externally denotes that בני in the progress of these discourses finds another application: the poet himself is so addressed by his father. Intentionally he does not say אביכם (cf. Proverbs 1:8): he does not mean the father of each individual among those addressed, but himself, who is a father in his relation to them as his disciples; and as he manifests towards them fatherly love, so also he can lay claim to paternal authority over them. לדעת is rightly vocalized, not לדעת. The words do not give the object of attention, but the design, the aim. The combination of ideas in דּעת בּינה (cf. Proverbs 1:2), which appears to us singular, loses its strangeness when we remember that דעת means, according to its etymon, deposition or reception into the conscience and life. Regarding לקח, apprehension, reception, lesson equals doctrine, vid., Proverbs 1:5. נתתּי is the perf., which denotes as fixed and finished what is just now being done, Gesenius, 126, 4. עזב is here synonym of נטשׁ, Proverbs 1:8, and the contrary of שׁמר, Proverbs 28:4. The relative factum in the perfect, designating the circumstances under which the event happened, regularly precedes the chief factum ויּרני; see under Genesis 1:2. Superficially understood, the expression 3a would be a platitude; the author means that the natural legal relation was also confirming itself as a moral one. It was a relation of many-sided love, according to 3a: he was esteemed of his mother - לפני, used of the reflex in the judgment, Genesis 10:9, and of loving care, Genesis 17:18, means this - as a tender child, and therefore tenderly to be protected (רך as Genesis 33:13), and as an only child, whether he were so in reality, or was only loved as if he were so. יחיד (Aq., Sym., Theod., μονογενής) may with reference to number also mean unice dilectus (lxx ἀγαπώμενος); cf. Genesis 22:2, יחידך (where the lxx translate τὸν ἀγαπητόν, without therefore having ידידך before them). לפני is maintained by all the versions; לבני is not a variant.

(Note: In some editions לבני is noted as Kerı̂ to לפני, but erroneously and contrary to the express evidence of the Masora, which affirms that there are two passages in which we ought to read not לפני, but לבני, viz., Psalm 80:3 and Proverbs 4:3.)

The instruction of the father begins with the jussive, which is pointed יתמך־

(Note: The writing of -יתמך with the grave Metheg (Gaja) and Kametz-Chatuph (ǒ) is that of Ben Asher; on the other hand, יתמך־ with Cholem (ō) and the permanent Metheg is that of Ben Naphtali; vid., Michlol 21a [under the verbal form 25], 30.)

continued...

Proverbs 4:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

wisdom is

Ecclesiastes 7:12 For wisdom is a defense, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it.

Ecclesiastes 9:16-18 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard...

Matthew 13:44-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides...

Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Philippians 3:8 Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...

with

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Proverbs 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

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

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, and lose his own soul...

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be...

get understanding

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

Cross References
Proverbs 4:5
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

Proverbs 8:23
Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

Proverbs 23:23
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

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