What does Proverbs 7:4 mean?
ESV: Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,
NIV: Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' and to insight, 'You are my relative.'
NASB: Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' And call understanding your intimate friend,
CSB: Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your relative.
NLT: Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.
KJV: Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Verse Commentary:
A theme of these early chapters in Proverbs is the value one ought to place on godly wisdom. In this passage, Solomon continues to extol the importance of wisdom, here comparing it to one's trusted family and friends. These are the kinds of people who can be trusted to understand what a person is experiencing. They can empathize with him in times of trouble and counsel him when he faces decisions.

Wisdom and discretion enable a person to persevere in trials, knowing God's purpose is to prove our faith and make us spiritually mature. James invites us to ask God for wisdom when we encounter "trials of various kinds" (James 1:2–5). He also promises the crown of life to those who, by faith, endure trials (James 1:12). Romans 8:28–29 assures us that God uses the sufferings of this present time to work for our good so that we will become like Jesus. According to Colossians 1:9 god-driven wisdom and knowledge enable believers 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" (Colossians 1:10).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 7:1–9 echoes the warnings given in Proverbs chapters 5 and 6. This section emphasizes the value of carefully heeding Solomon's instruction. Such attention to Solomon's teaching equips Solomon's son to avoid falling victim to an adulteress. While the statements here are specifically directed to a man, the principles apply to men and women, alike. The principles can also be more broadly applied to temptation to sin in general, not just temptation to adultery. Godly wisdom is the best defense against falling into temptation.
Chapter Summary:
Repeating a theme common to the early chapters of Proverbs, Solomon once again presents a dire warning about the dangers of adultery. This comes in the form of a story about a foolish young man being seduced by a predatory woman. Solomon says this is something he has seen—meaning this is likely a summary of many such examples he has witnessed in his life. The result of these reckless sins is misery and death, for both men and women alike.
Chapter Context:
In Proverbs 5 and 6 Solomon warns his son against adultery. He describes the evil woman, the adulteress, as deceptive and dangerous. While this is valid in a literal sense, it also serves as a general warning about the seductive nature of sin. In this chapter he continues his counsel about adultery, stressing the tactics used in temptation and how falling to them leads to death. The following chapter will return to the personification of wisdom as a woman, begging to be honored.
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 4/18/2024 6:59:15 PM
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