What does Proverbs 2:6 mean?
ESV: For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
NIV: For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
NASB: For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
CSB: For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
NLT: For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
KJV: For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Verse Commentary:
While this is the beginning of a new section and a new statement in whole, it also serves as a conclusion to the preceding five verses. Solomon reminded the reader to prioritize the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 2:5). Now he reminds us that the only true source of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding is the Lord Himself. If God is the storehouse of these wondrous gifts, and we have been encouraged to seek after them like great treasure, how can we obtain them? Here, the answer is simple: by seeking them from God. The underlying theme of these verses is a subtle sense of another virtuous characteristic: courage.

When the Bible provides encouragement, it often connects it to a command to persevere, or to be courageous. For instance, Hebrews 4:16 tells us to approach the throne of grace with confidence or boldness, after reassuring us that Christ understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Likewise, James 1:5–6 tells us to ask God, without doubting, for wisdom. Hebrews chapter 6 ends with a call to remember the example of Abraham, and the work of Christ, as we press forward beyond spiritual immaturity, in the face of persecution. As such, the Bible points out that real courage is something which comes from God, in response to God.

In a sense, "courage" can be considered an attribute of God, but it must be carefully defined. A.W. Tozer stated that "[God] does not possess [His attributes] as qualities; they are how God is as He reveals Himself to His creatures." Therefore, God does not display courage in the face of adversity, because no one can oppose Him. Rather, He is the perfect example of courage in that He acts boldly, without fear.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 2:6–8 provides reasons for those who follow God, those who pursue His wisdom, to be confident in the face of adversity. These verses speak of God providing knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. They refer to God as a shield, and a guard, and One who watches over those who exhibit integrity. The Bible often connects reassurance with a call to persevere in the face of trials: this is what we often refer to as courage. While not explicitly mentioned here, courage is a common trait listed by ancient philosophers as a core virtue. These verses provide a flavor of that idea.
Chapter Summary:
In Proverbs chapter 2, Solomon highlights various virtues, as well as provides encouragement to live a virtuous life. As in chapter 1, specific concepts wil reoccur, and are used in certain ways. Here, these are ideas such as courage, integrity, wisdom, and justice. The gist of this passage is the positive effect that virtue—including these various aspects—will have on one's life. In contrast, those who pursue non-virtuous living will suffer dire consequences.
Chapter Context:
The overarching theme of Proverbs chapter 2 is the relationship between virtue and discernment. As described here, virtuous living is moral living. As a person strives to live a moral life, he or she develops a greater ability to discern right from wrong. Further, beyond simple matters of right and wrong, as virtue grows within a person, he or she becomes more proficient at discerning trickier situations. Real life predicaments often present two or more seemingly valid options. Discernment, then, also includes determining which of many different options is actually best. Likewise, many life situations appear to offer only a variety of bad options. There, discernment is once again required, to determine which option presents the correct choice, or to recognize where a ''good'' option has been hidden.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 4/15/2024 11:50:13 PM
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