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

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

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

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.

Proverbs 4:7 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Wisdom is the principal thing - ראשית חכמה reshith chochmah, "wisdom is the principle." It is the punctum saliens in all religion to know the true God, and what he requires of man, and for what he has made man; and to this must be added, under the Christian dispensation, to know Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, and for what end He was sent, the necessity of his being sent, and the nature of that salvation which he has bought by his own blood.

Get wisdom - Consider this as thy chief gain; that in reference to which all thy wisdom, knowledge, and endeavors should be directed.

And with all thy getting - Let this be thy chief property. While thou art passing through things temporal, do not lose those things which are eternal; and, while diligent in business, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.

Get understanding - Do not be contented with the lessons of wisdom merely; do not be satisfied with having a sound religious creed; devils believe and tremble; but see that thou properly comprehend all that thou hast learnt; and see that thou rightly apply all that thou hast been taught.

Wisdom prescribes the best end, and the means best calculated for its attainment. Understanding directs to the ways, times, places, and opportunities of practicing the lessons of wisdom. Wisdom points out the thing requisite; understanding sees to the accomplishment and attainment. Wisdom sees; but understanding feels. One discovers, the other possesses.

Coverdale translates this whole verse in a very remarkable manner: "The chefe poynte of wyssdome is, that thou be wyllynge to opteyne wyssdome; and before all thy goodes to get the understandynge." This is paraphrase, not translation. In this version paraphrase abounds.

The translation in my old MS. Bible is very simple: Begynnynge of wisdam, welle thou wisdom; in al thi wisdam, and in al thi possioun, purchas prudence. He is already wise who seeks wisdom; and he is wise who knows its value, seeks to possess it. The whole of this verse is wanting in the Arabic, and in the best copies of the Septuagint.

Instead of קנה חכמה keneh chochmah, get wisdom, the Complutensian Polyglot has קנה בינה keneh binah, get understanding; so that in it the verse stands, "Wisdom is the principle, get understanding; and in all this getting, get understanding." This is not an error either of the scribe, or of the press, for it is supported by seven of the MSS. of Kennicott and De Rossi.

The Complutensian, Antwerp, and Paris Polyglots have the seventh verse in the Greek text; but the two latter, in general, copy the former.

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.

Library
Monotony and Crises
'When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.'--PROVERBS iv. 12. The old metaphor likening life to a path has many felicities in it. It suggests constant change, it suggests continuous progress in one direction, and that all our days are linked together, and are not isolated fragments; and it suggests an aim and an end. So we find it perpetually in this Book of Proverbs. Here the 'way' has a specific designation, 'the way of Wisdom'--that is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Two Paths
'Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. 14. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16. For they sleep not,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Epistle cxx. To Claudius in Spain .
To Claudius in Spain [78] . Gregory to Claudius, &c. The renown of good deeds being fragrant after the manner of ointment, the odour of your glory has extended from the Western parts as far as here. Besprinkled by the sweetness of which breath of air, I declare that I greatly loved one whom I knew not, and within the bosom of my heart seized thee with the hand of love; nor did I love without already knowing him to be one whose good qualities I had learnt. For of him who is known to me by great
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Twenty-Fourth Day. Firmness in Temptation.
"Jesus saith unto him, Get thee hence, Satan."--Matt. iv. 10. There is an awful intensity of meaning in the words, as applied to Jesus, "He suffered, being tempted!" Though incapable of sin, there was, in the refined sensibilities of His holy nature, that which made temptation unspeakably fearful. What must it have been to confront the Arch-traitor?--to stand face to face with the foe of His throne, and His universe? But the "prince of this world" came, and found "nothing in Him." Billow after
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

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.

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