Proverbs 1:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 1:3, NIV: "for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair;"

Proverbs 1:3, ESV: "to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;"

Proverbs 1:3, KJV: "To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;"

Proverbs 1:3, NASB: "To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice, and integrity;"

Proverbs 1:3, NLT: "Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair."

Proverbs 1:3, CSB: "for receiving prudent instruction in righteousness, justice, and integrity;"

What does Proverbs 1:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse gives four terms which take learning to a new level. In verse 2, the reader is instructed to use Proverbs to discern and identify wise instruction. "Wise dealing" is from the Hebrew haskēl, literally meaning "prudence," "instruction," or "wisdom." In verse three, Solomon urges the reader "to receive" that instruction, or to commit the information to knowledge. The Hebrew phrase translated "to receive instruction" is lā qahat mūsar, literally meaning "to teach or cause intelligence." This is the character trait of "learning to learn." That transition occurs through instruction in four character traits: wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity.

Righteousness is also a causative term and means "morality" or "justice." Receiving righteousness is learning to live a moral life. The word translated as justice means "discretion" or "determination;" it is the term used for a verdict or judgment. The third character trait to receive is discernment, or the ability to judge information and situations. Finally, equity means "prosperity and agreement." This character trait is about treating others equitably, but does not mean blanket equality. Instead, this translates to something more like "fairness." To be "fair" means to give to one what he is due. In tandem, these four traits outline the second purpose of the book of Proverbs. We are to receive the ability to: learn, live moral lives, discern the right course of action, and treat others according to what they deserve.