I Pity the Fool: Wisdom

What is wisdom & how do I get it?


Proverbs is part of a collection in the Bible known as the Wisdom Literature. [Proverbs, Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon].

Primarily attributed to King Solomon [the wisest man who ever lived, see 1 Kings 3] wrote and collected most of the Proverbs. [He also wrote Song of Solomon, & Ecclesiastes.] He was sought out by kings from around the world for his wisdom. Unnamed sages as well as Lemuel and Agur are said to have written some of the proverbs as well as the scribe Hezekiah in collecting and putting together some of Solomon’s proverbs.

Solomon lived from 971 to 931 B.C. and Hezekiah from 715 to 686 B.C. We don’t know when the sages, Agur or Lemuel lived so there is no way to definitively know when it was all compiled together.

Much of it is written from the perspective of king [royal father] preparing or passing on the necessary wisdom for his son to rule the kingdom or to be successful.

The proverbs speak with intense practicality about: work, relationships, friendship, lust, beauty, thoughts, wealth, poor, attitudes, habits, priorities, values, justice, discipline, foolishness, food, heart, forgiveness, love, future, planning, decisions, emotion/temper, compassion, arguments, laziness, morality, diligence, self-control and more.

Proverb: a short, pithy saying about life that you can carry in your pocket

They are unconnected and thematic sayings that generally use comparative and contrasting literary style. Often juxtaposing wisdom and folly; each is spoken of as a distinct path.

The Proverbs are mainly principles for life not promises from God.

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6
What is Wisdom?

Being Foolish isn’t necessarily the same as being wicked or evil

Age, Education, Intellect, Wealth doesn’t mean your wise.

Wisdom in one area doesn’t necessarily mean you are wise in every area.

Wisdom is the application of

the right knowledge,

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 12:15

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death
Proverbs 14:12; 16:25

at the right time, [wisdom requires discernment]

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Proverbs 22:3

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 26:4-5

in the right way.

All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Proverbs 16:2

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Proverbs 17:27

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rest with the LORD.
Proverbs 21:31

How do I get it?

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
Proverbs 3:14-15

The wise know where wisdom is found

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7 see also Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 29:25.

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Proverbs 2:6-8

The wise love discipline and welcome instruction.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
Proverbs 12:1

He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31

He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.
Proverbs 19:16

The wise surround themselves with wise people

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

The wise learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

The wise don’t think they are wise

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him…The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
Proverbs 26:12;16

Wisdom is primarily an issue of the heart.

As water reflect a face, so a man’s heart reflect the man
Proverbs 27:19

Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs. 4:23

A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.
Proverbs 19:3

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