Proverbs 24:5

ESV A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
NIV The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
NASB A wise man is strong, And a person of knowledge increases power.
CSB A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength;
NLT The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
KJV A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

What does Proverbs 24:5 mean?

Wisdom and knowledge make a man powerful. The following verse applies this same idea to war (Proverbs 24:6), yet the principle is valid in anything. A common expression in English is the advice to "work smarter, not harder." In part, this means a person can accomplish much more through wisdom and careful thinking, as compared to just brute force or effort. A person well-established in truth and wisdom (Proverbs 2:1–13) is better equipped to make decisions (Proverbs 3:21–23). Likewise, the one who pools the wisdom of many people is more likely to find a workable solution to their problem (Proverbs 15:22).

The apostle Paul understood this fact. In his letter to the Colossian believers he writes: "And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might" (Colossians 1:9–11). The truly wise person does not rely on his own strength to gain victory over temptation and to triumph over trials. He trusts the Lord for strength. The psalmist asks, "From where does my help come?" (Psalm 121:1). He answers, "My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121: 2).
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