Proverbs 1:2

NET ©

To learn wisdom and moral instruction, and to discern wise counsel.

NIV ©

for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;

NASB ©

To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding,

NLT ©

The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings.

MSG ©

Written down so we'll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it's going;

BBE ©

To have knowledge of wise teaching; to be clear about the words of reason:

NRSV ©

For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight,

NKJV ©

To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding,

KJV
To know
<03045> (8800)
wisdom
<02451>
and instruction
<04148>_;
to perceive
<0995> (8687)
the words
<0561>
of understanding
<0998>_;
HEBREW
hnyb
<0998>
yrma
<0561>
Nybhl
<0995>
rowmw
<04148>
hmkx
<02451>
tedl (1:2)
<03045>
LXXM
gnwnai
<1097>  
V-AAN
sofian
<4678>  
N-ASF
kai
<2532>  
CONJ
paideian
<3809>  
N-ASF
nohsai
<3539>  
V-AAN
te
<5037>  
CONJ
logouv
<3056>  
N-APM
fronhsewv
<5428>  
N-GSF
NET © [draft] ITL
To learn
<03045>
wisdom
<02451>
and moral instruction
<04148>
, and to discern
<0995>
wise
<0998>
counsel.
NET © Notes

tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here designates purpose. This is the first of five purpose clauses in the opening section (1:2a, 2b, 3a, 4a, 6a). This clause reveals the purpose of the collection of proverbs in general. The three purpose clauses that follow qualify this general purpose.

tn Heb “to know.” The verb יָדַע (yada’) here means “to gain knowledge of” or “to become wise in” (BDB 394 s.v. 5). This term refers to experiential knowledge, not just cognitive knowledge; it includes the intellectual assimilation and practical use of what is acquired.

sn The noun “wisdom” (חָכְמָה, khokhmah) could be nuanced “moral skill.” It refers to “skill” that produces something of value. It is used in reference to the skill of seamen (Ps 107:27), abilities of weavers (Exod 35:26), capabilities of administrators (1 Kgs 3:28), or skill of craftsmen (Exod 31:6). In the realm of moral living, it refers to skill in living – one lives life with moral skill so that something of lasting value is produced from one’s life.

tn Heb “instruction.” The noun מוּסָר (musar) has a three-fold range of meanings: (1) physical or parental: “discipline; chastisement” (2) verbal: “warning; exhortation” and (3) moral: “training; instruction” (BDB 416 s.v. מוּסָר; HALOT 557 s.v. מוּסָר). Its parallelism with חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom, moral skill”) suggests that it refers to moral training or instruction that the Book of Proverbs offers to its readers. This instruction consists of wisdom acquired by observing the consequences of foolish actions in others and developing the ability to control the natural inclination to folly. This sometimes comes through experiencing chastisement from God. Sensing something of this nuance, the LXX translated this term with the Greek word for “child-training.”

tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here designates a second purpose of the book: to compare and to make proper evaluation of the sayings of the wise. The term בִין (bin, “to discern”) refers to the ability to make distinctions between things. This is illustrated by its derivatives: The related preposition means “between” and the related noun means “space between.” So the verb refers to the ability to discern between moral options.

tn Heb “words of discernment.” The noun בִינָה (binah, “discernment”) functions as an attributive genitive: “discerning words” or “wise sayings” (so NLT). This noun is a cognate accusative of the infinitive of the same root לְהָבִין (lÿhavin, “to discern”). The phrase “to discern words of discernment” refers to the ability (1) to distinguish truth from falsehood or (2) to understand wise sayings, such as in Proverbs.