Proverbs 18:15

ESV An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
NIV The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.
NASB The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
CSB The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks it.
NLT Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
KJV The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

What does Proverbs 18:15 mean?

Solomon observes that an "intelligent heart" is never satisfied with their stock of knowledge. In this context, that means someone seeking godly wisdom and information (Proverbs 15:14, 32; 17:28). Instead of stagnating in his current views, the humble and sincere seeker of truth looks for ever-deeper knowledge. Not all people are equally equipped for deep intellectual pursuit; that's simply part of God's plan for diversity within the church (1 Corinthians 12:12–26). Yet each person should seek as much godly knowledge as they, themselves, can comprehend (1 Corinthians 14:20). Anything God feels all believers need to understand is accessible (Romans 1:18¬–20; Mark 10:15) to anyone who seeks it (Matthew 7:7–8).

This verse also evokes the symbolic image of an ear tipping to notice important information. It's said that part of learning is realizing how much one does not understand. The is contrasted with an attitude assuming a person already knows all that's required to start broadcasting their opinions (Proverbs 18:12–13). The more knowledge a wise person accumulates, the more he realizes that there is even more to be learned. This leads a truly wise person (Proverbs 1:7, 20) to soak in all the learning he can get.

No one should believe he knows enough to set aside learning. Even the boy Jesus "increased in wisdom" (Luke 2:52). The more a believer knows, the better they can communicate the gospel. Such a person is better equipped to minister to others (1 Corinthians 9:22). Second Timothy 3:15–17 indicates that Scriptures are crucial in making a believer wise and righteous, so he "may be complete, equipped for every good work." The apostle Peter also understood the importance of increasing one's knowledge. In 2 Peter 3:18 he exhorts believers to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
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