What does Proverbs 2:7 mean?
ESV: he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
NIV: He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
NASB: He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
CSB: He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity
NLT: He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
KJV: He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
NKJV: He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
Verse Commentary:
Overall, this passage of Proverbs describes the idea of living virtuously; in the context of ancient philosophy, this means pursuing certain attributes, such as wisdom, justice, integrity, and courage. The end result of living a virtuous life is given, in part, in this verse. Those who "walk in integrity" can count on God to act as their shield. The Hebrew term translated "shield" here is mā-gēn, which refers to a "defender," and was sometimes used in reference to the scaly hide of a crocodile. The image is of something which provides a sense of personal security, of safety.

This passage also ties together the ideas of virtuous living and discernment. Discernment can be seen in a well-practiced trait of wisdom, remembering that in Proverbs wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. Simply knowing facts in one's mind is not enough to see good results. We need to apply what we know, in the right way, and at the right time. Often, this is easier said than done. It can require a good dose of courage, and this passage gives us confidence that God is on the side of those who do just that.
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 6/21/2024 5:28:31 PM
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