Saturday, September 27, 2008

Proverbs 1:2-4

Proverbs 1:2-4
2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

This brief passage sets forth the purpose and point of the book of Proverbs. It is also more generally a principle purpose of the Bible as a whole. In fact, it is the point of didactic books generally: its purpose is to inform - to teach.

People who try to hide the Bible from the unlearned are themselves fools, for the Bible is the light the illumines the dark mind. The simple man becomes wise through reading the Bible, for it gives him wisdom: it conveys knowledge to him.

It is especially essentially for young men. Since most of my readers are young men, I expect, I hope you will all take this verse as a particular exhortation to you to seek out and study the Holy Scriptures.

For those classically inclined here is the original and two ancient translations:

Original (Hebrew)

2לדעת חכמה ומוסר להבין אמרי בינה 3׃לקחת מוסר השׂכל צדק ומשׁפט ומישׁרים׃ 4לתת לפתאים ערמה לנער דעת ומזמה׃

LXX (Greek)

2γνῶναι σοφίαν καὶ παιδείαν νοῆσαί τε λόγους φρονήσεως 3δέξασθαί τε στροφὰς λόγων νοῆσαί τε δικαιοσύνην ἀληθῆ καὶ κρίμα κατευθύνειν, 4ἵνα δῷ ἀκάκοις πανουργίαν, παιδὶ δὲ νέῳ αἴσθησίν τε καὶ ἔννοιαν·

Vulgate (Latin)

2ad sciendam sapientiam et disciplinam 3ad intellegenda verba prudentiae et suscipiendam eruditionem doctrinae iustitiam et iudicium et aequitatem 4ut detur parvulis astutia adulescenti scientia et intellectus


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