Proverbs 2:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 2:11, NIV: "Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you."

Proverbs 2:11, ESV: "discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,"

Proverbs 2:11, KJV: "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:"

Proverbs 2:11, NASB: "Discretion will watch over you, Understanding will guard you,"

Proverbs 2:11, NLT: "Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe."

Proverbs 2:11, CSB: "Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you."

What does Proverbs 2:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verses 11 and 12 bring justice to the forefront, and begin to contrast the means of our protection—virtuous living—against the consequences we're protected from by virtue. Namely, the evils of those who do not live virtuously.

Here, Solomon tells us that discretion and understanding will protect us. Discretion can be defined as the quality of having or showing discernment. We are also told here that discretion will guard us. According to a common English adage, each person has two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak. That, in a nutshell, is a form of discretion that will guard us from many problems. Similarly, James 1:19 tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Having discretion can keep us from all of the trouble that being rash or having knee jerk reactions may cause. Likewise, understanding, as used in the book of Proverbs, is mastery of a subject. First Corinthians 6:12–20 tells us that we are to be holy in our bodies because we are joined together with Christ. Our body is no longer our own but belongs to Christ. Therefore, we are to show mastery over our body by being holy. This is the understanding that will watch over us.

As used here in the book of Proverbs, discretion protects our mind, and understanding watches over our body.