Proverbs 14:33

ESV Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
NIV Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.
NASB Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But among fools it is made known.
CSB Wisdom resides in the heart of the discerning; she is known even among fools.
NLT Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.
KJV Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

What does Proverbs 14:33 mean?

As explained in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1–7), a person who seeks "learning" eventually accumulates "knowledge," which allows them to apply "wisdom." Refined wisdom can be passed on to others and is called "understanding." Here, we see that reinforced: a person of understanding has wisdom securely stationed in their heart. This implies two things. First, that this wisdom is stable, present, and sure. Second, that wisdom is not in a hurry to draw attention to itself: it is "resting," not "boiling," inside the understanding person.

The person with godly understanding does not boast about his wisdom, but it manifests itself in situations and relationships. It becomes clear, especially in contrast to the foolish habit of fools: to brag about their knowledge although they have none.

The biblical term "fool" does not mean someone unintelligent or uneducated. It means someone who ignores godly wisdom and truth in favor of their own biases or preferences (Proverbs 1:7; 3:5; 12:15). A person may claim to be a genius and flaunt extensive degrees and experience, but if they deny the existence of God, they are still a "fool." Psalm 14:1 exclaims: "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good." Even if masses of people praise a person who falsely claims to be wise, God pronounces them "fools" all the same. The apostle Paul preached on Mars Hill to the intellectual philosophers of Athens, but some of them called him a babbler (Acts 17:18). They showed their foolishness by rejecting Paul's preaching about Jesus and the resurrection. Indeed, the wisdom of this world is folly with God (1 Corinthians 3:19).
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