Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The vocabulary of wisdom

6/23/09 -- On the way to Passau, Germany

I began the Book of Proverbs this morning in my ongoing "through the Bible in a year" reading program.

This has struck me in the past, but I have never written it up. I want to take note, today, of the . . . what we might call . . . "vocabulary of wisdom." I'll precede each word with the verse number. Actual vocabulary is from the ESV. I will embolden each word the first time it appears:

1:2 -- know, wisdom, instruction, understand, insight
1:3 -- instruction, wise dealing, righteousness, justice, equity
1:4 -- prudence, knowledge, discretion
1:5 -- wise, learning, understand, guidance
1:6 -- understand, wise
1:7 -- fear of [YHWH], knowledge, wisdom, instruction
1:8 -- instruction, teaching
1:25 -- counsel, reproof
1:29 -- knowledge, fear of [YHWH]
1:30 -- counsel, reproof

2:2 -- wisdom, understanding
2:3 -- insight, understanding
2:5 -- fear of [YHWH], knowledge of God
2:6 -- wisdom, knowledge, understanding
2:7 -- wisdom, integrity
2:8 -- justice
2:9 -- righteousness, justice, equity
2:10 -- wisdom, knowledge
2:11 -- discretion, understanding
2:12 -- [NOT evil], [NOT perverted speech]
2:13 -- uprightness, [NOT darkness]
2:14 -- [NOT evil], [NOT perverseness
2:15 -- [NOT crooked], [NOT devious]
2:20 -- good, righteous

3:1 -- teaching, commandments . . .

I'm quitting here because I sense the vocabulary from here on out is pretty much repetitive of what has come before.

But/and why do I care to copy these words?

I think that it is helpful "simply" to have a vocabulary to describe what it is one should want to value or pursue. To quote two complete proverbs:
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.

- (Proverbs 3:13-18 NASB)

You've got to understand the supreme value of wisdom: it is worth acquisition at all costs. Better than gold. Beyond all the wild desire that created the myriad gold rushes of the 19th and 20th centuries: you need to understand that wisdom is more valuable still.

"The beginning of wisdom {is:} Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

- (Proverbs 4:7 NASB)

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