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Proverbs on Wisdom ☼

The Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is a medley of sayings that reflect the many-cultural influence Hebrews got from Egypt and other neighbouring countries. Proverbs are put in the mouth of king Solomon, and some may have been made by him too. [EB; "Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation: Old Testament literature: THE KETUVIM: Proverbs."]

1. Wisdom resides in the heart of the discerning and truly wise gentleman, and he should be smart enough to make it

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. [4:6-7]

When house and land are gone and spent,
then learning is most excellent.

- Samuel Foote (1720–77)

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. [4:23]

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. [13:14]

Through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you . . . [9:11-12]

A wife of noble character . . . is worth far more than rubies. [31:10, 25-27]

Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honour. [18:12]

A greedy man stirs up dissension . . . [28:25]

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent. [17:28]

For the unwise man it is best to be mute
. . .
for none is aware of his lack of wit
if he wastes not too many words.

- Havamal, v. 27 (Bray)

By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. [29:4] ◊

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. [13:22]

"I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion." [8:12]

2. Good medicine should not rob the heart of guiding rights, and should help us increase our inner and outer wealth somehow

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. [23:12]

He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace. [19:26]

3. We speak of inheritage: It pays to preserve many a sum and facet of former experiences in the shape of sound evaluations found inside maxims and proverbs, and many of these sayings advocate prudence and forethought one way or other

The prudent are crowned with knowledge. [14:18]

Preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. [3:21]


The truly wise are not gross.

To make supreme wisdom work in our way might make for great contentments.


Old Testament proverbs, Literature  

Bokser, Rabbi Ben Zion. 1951. The Wisdom of the Talmud: A Thousand Years of Jewish Thought. New York: Philosophical Library.

Ferrari, Michel, and Georges Potworowski, eds. 2008. Teaching for Wisdom: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Fostering Wisdom. Basel, CH: Springer Science+Business Media / Springer Nature.

Narada Mahathera. 1988. The Buddha and His Teachings. 3rd ed. Kandy, SL: Buddhist Publication Society.

Thompson, Mel. 2002. The Wisdom of the Ancient Greeks. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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