WisdomAfter finishing the 150 song list of the Psalms, we enter into the Wisdom Books.  First out of the gate is the book of Proverbs.  Probably written and compiled by Solomon (David’s son) around 1000 B.C. – it contains practical moral and spiritual truth in proverbial form for the people of God.  It is fitting for Solomon to have spoken/written a majority of these because (if you remember) it was Solomon who pleased God by asking for great wisdom above treasure (1 Kings 3).  Being as there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs – many Christians choose to study 1 chapter a day for a month to help them learn godly wisdom.

There are six Hebrew words which are translated as “wisdom” throughout Proverbs.  Each holds distinct characteristics and highlights a separate form of being wise:

1.  CHOKMAH – This word is used roughly 40 different times in proverbs and refers to “having good sense”.  This refers to having your wits about yourself… being a good administrator.

“For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom (CHOKMAH); from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Prov 2:6

2.  BIYNAH – This word means “discernment or discrimination” and is also translated  as “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge”.   This refers to making good decisions in all situations.

“The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding (BIYNAH) will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]”Prov 1:5 

3.  LEB – This refers to the heart – which is viewed as the center of a man and where wisdom is manifested in Hebraic philosophy (unlike the head/mind to the Greeks).  It is used 4 times in Proverbs.

“Folly is pleasure to him who is without heart (LEB) and sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly [making straight his course].”Prov 15:21 

4.  ARMAH – This refers to “shrewdness or one who is prudent”.  It is used 3 times in Proverbs as “wisdom”, “subtlety”, and “prudence”.

“O you simple and thoughtless ones, understand prudence (ARMAH); you [self-confident] fools, be of an understanding heart.” Prov 8:5

5.  SAKAL – Another word for “prudence of good sense”.  It is only used one time in Proverbs:

“Receive instruction in wise (SAKAL) dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,”Prov 1:3

6.  SEKEL – This final word for wisdom refers to “insight and discretion”.   It is used 3 times in Proverbs and points to one who can foresee into a situation with clarity before he makes a huge mistake.

“Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.” Prov 19:11

As we read through this very valuable book – think about these 6 different words for wisdom and how they apply to your life.  May the LORD grant you an abundance of wisdom in every situation you face as you study His Word!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,