Proverbs 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 1:5, NIV: "let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance--"

Proverbs 1:5, ESV: "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,"

Proverbs 1:5, KJV: "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:"

Proverbs 1:5, NASB: "A wise person will hear and increase in learning, And a person of understanding will acquire wise counsel,"

Proverbs 1:5, NLT: "Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance"

Proverbs 1:5, CSB: "let a wise person listen and increase learning, and let a discerning person obtain guidance--"

What does Proverbs 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This is a transition verse. Unlike verses 3, 4, and 6, verse 5 does not contain one of the purpose ("to") statements. Instead it shows the transition from wisdom to understanding. The first three stages—knowing wise teaching, receiving that instruction into knowledge, and acting wisely—now take a dramatic turn. Solomon is going to give his children a directive which comes with this wisdom.

Once one is wise and increases in knowledge, they now have a responsibility to pass that knowledge on. The ideal motivation of seeking wisdom is not so much obtaining it for ourselves, but attaining a position where we can guide others. Those who have knowledge and understanding have an inherent responsibility to guide, or give "wise counsel." We should not bottle up our wisdom and hide it. We must train others, likewise, to live wisely.

For those who have earned their experience at great cost, as Solomon did, this is a very heart-felt request. Especially when dealing with our own children, we desperately want to be sure they do not make the same mistakes we did. In no uncertain terms, we "beg" them to pay attention to our advice, which is based on hard experience.