Proverbs 1:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 1:6, NIV: "for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise."

Proverbs 1:6, ESV: "to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles."

Proverbs 1:6, KJV: "To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

Proverbs 1:6, NASB: "To understand a proverb and a saying, The words of the wise and their riddles."

Proverbs 1:6, NLT: "by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles."

Proverbs 1:6, CSB: "for understanding a proverb or a parable, the words of the wise, and their riddles."

What does Proverbs 1:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 6 relates the final purpose statement of Proverbs: "to understand." Solomon encourages his children to reach the level of understanding outlined in the previous verse. This requires passing that knowledge along to others. The first purpose of Proverbs is to discern right teaching. The second purpose is to live according to appropriate character traits founded in that teaching. The third purpose is to give back a good example by acting wisely. The final purpose is to be intentional about teaching others, restarting the cycle of learning. In short, the purpose of the book of Proverbs is empowering us to obtain understanding, so that we may pass on wisdom to the next generation.

A key term for understanding all of Proverbs is the Hebrew word hidah. This is most often translated as "riddle," or, in the KJV, as "dark saying." Hidah refers to a figure of speech or other indirect statement. Specifically, it means a statement which requires careful interpretation. According to the book of Proverbs, a key component of wisdom is the ability to correctly interpret statements which may or may not be meant to be taken in a simple-minded way.