Proverbs 8:12

ESV “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
NIV I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
NASB 'I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.
CSB I, wisdom, share a home with shrewdness and have knowledge and discretion.
NLT 'I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
KJV I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

What does Proverbs 8:12 mean?

In this verse wisdom is linked to a specific set of virtues: prudence, knowledge, and discretion. These are also mentioned in Proverbs 1:4.

"Prudence" is from a Hebrew word meaning sense and shrewdness. In verse 5, this was contrasted with someone gullible or naïve (Proverbs 8:5). "Knowledge," in the book of Proverbs, means information that's been learned and retained: an accumulation of facts. "Discretion" is from a Hebrew word implying purpose, discretion, or planning; the term is closely related to "wisdom," which is a capacity to make godly decisions based on knowledge.

The secular world may tout its intelligence by pointing to scientific inventions like smart phones and satellites, but the Lord gives His people discretion to know the meaning of life and the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Further, those who know Christ, the source of wisdom, know God personally and perceive what his plan is for the future. Believers also have a God-directed potential to make more responsible decisions. They can choose between right and wrong and even between what is good and what is best. In Ephesians 5:15–17 Paul exhorts: "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."
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