Proverbs (Part 088) - Pro 8:10-12


10. Pro 8:10 - "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold." A. Receive my instruction, i. Wisdom exhorts us to receive her instruction. a. Receive v. - I. 1. a. trans. To take in one's hand, or into one's possession (something held out or offered by another); to take delivery of (a thing) from another, either for oneself or for a third party. d. To take from another by hearing or listening; to attend, listen, or give heed to. b. Instruction n. - 1. The action of instructing or teaching; the imparting of knowledge or skill; education; information. c. One of the fundamental purposes for which God gave us the book of Proverbs was for us "to receive the instruction of wisdom" (Pro 1:3). d. Therefore, in order to receive wisdom's instruction, read the proverbs regularly. (i) If we receive God's word we will get wisdom and be wise (Pro 2:1, 6) which will prompt us to receive further commandments from God (Pro 10:8). (ii) The more of God's word we receive, the more we will grow spiritually and the more we will desire to learn more (Pro 4:18). (iii) It's never too late in life to start receiving instruction in order to learn to be wise (Pro 19:20). B. and not silver; i. Wisdom is not forbidding us from ever receiving silver. a. It's not wrong to receive silver as payment for goods or services or as a gift (Gen 23:16). b. Wisdom is telling us that if it's a choice between receiving her instruction and receiving silver, choose instruction. c. In other words, we should value wisdom and instruction far greater than silver. d. The reason for this is because wisdom is far more valuable than silver (Pro 3:14; Job 28:15). e. Wisdom's instruction in the word of God is superior to silver because of its inherent value, and also because it will teach us how to get, save, spend, retain, and pass down silver to our children and grandchildren. C. and knowledge rather than choice gold. i. Knowledge is gained through instruction (see definition above). ii. Those who love instruction love knowledge (Pro 12:1). iii. Like instruction, knowledge should be preferred over precious metals such as choice gold because it is far more valuable (Pro 20:15). 11. Pro 8:11 - "For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." A. For wisdom is better than rubies; i. The price of wisdom is above rubies (Job 28:18). a. Rubies are among the most rare and expensive gemstones on earth, costing between $1,000-$3,000 (and some in the 10's of thousands of dollars) per carat for one of high quality. b. Wisdom is more precious than rubies (Pro 3:15). c. To this day, rubies are referred to as precious (of great price; having a high value; costly - OED) stones. ii. As wisdom describes the exceeding value of instruction and knowledge, she compares it to increasingly more valuable commodities. iii. In the previous verse she began by comparing them to silver and then to gold. a. Historically gold was worth about 16 times as much as silver. b. Today it is worth about 68 times as much (July, 2021). iv. By weight, rubies, depending on their quality, are worth hundreds to thousands of times as much as gold. v. The lips of knowledge are a precious jewel which exceed the value of gold and a multitude of rubies (Pro 20:15). vi. We should now begin to understand the immense value that God places on wisdom. vii. Since wisdom is found in God's word (Pro 2:6), how valuable must reading, searching, and meditating in the scriptures be in the eyes of God? B. and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. i. In the unlikely case that a man has no interest in silver, gold, or rubies, God gives one final comparison that proves the unparalleled value of wisdom. ii. All of the things that a man desires cannot equal wisdom. iii. Wisdom doesn't merely surpass the value of a man's most prized possessions; or even all the things that he owns; or greater yet, all the things that he desires; but rather all the things that he may desire. iv. Take all of the endless things that a man can think of and wish for and add them all together, and they are not only unequal to wisdom, but they are not to be compared to her. v. Just as a drop cannot be compared to an ocean, or a candle to a forest fire, so all the priceless things a man can conceive of cannot be compared to wisdom. vi. Is it any wonder why God said that "Wisdom is the principal (first or highest in rank or importance) thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding" (Pro 4:7)? 12. Pro 8:12 - "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." A. I wisdom dwell with prudence, i. Wisdom and prudence are very similar attributes. a. Wisdom n. - 1. a. Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, esp. in practical affairs: opp. to folly. b. Prudence n. - 1. Ability to discern the most suitable, politic, or profitable course of action, esp. as regards conduct; practical wisdom, discretion. c. Wisdom is the capacity to use sound judgment to make good decisions; prudence is the ability to do so in practical situations in life. ii. Wisdom and prudence are so similar they are roommates. a. Dwell v. - 1. trans. To lead into error, mislead, delude; to stun, stupefy. Obs. (last used in 1300) 4. To abide or continue for a time, in a place, state, or condition. 7. To remain (in a house, country, etc.) as in a permanent residence; to have one's abode; to reside, ‘live’. (Now mostly superseded by live in spoken use; but still common in literature.) b. Wisdom and prudence dwell together with the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 2:3 c/w Col 2:9 c/w Eph 1:8). B. and find out knowledge of witty inventions. i. A wise and prudent man finds out knowledge of witty inventions. a. Find v. - 20. find out. a. To discover by attention, scrutiny, study, etc.; to devise, invent; to unriddle, solve. b. This means that a wise man labors to study in order to learn about witty inventions. c. Witty adj. - 1. Having wisdom. 2. a. Having (good) intellectual ability; intelligent, clever, ingenious; skilful, expert, capable. b. In unfavourable sense: Crafty, cunning, wily, artful; skilful in contriving evil; also, foolishly ingenious in devising something to one's own hurt. d. Invention n. - I. The action, faculty, or manner of inventing. 1. The action of coming upon or finding; the action of finding out; discovery (whether accidental, or the result of search and effort). Obs. or arch. 2. The action of devising, contriving, or making up; contrivance, fabrication. 3. The original contrivance or production of a new method or means of doing something, of an art, kind of instrument, etc. previously unknown (see invent v. 3); origination, introduction. II. The thing invented. 6. Something devised; a method of action, etc. contrived by the mind; a device, contrivance, design, plan, scheme. (Now merged in 8 and 9.) 9. Something devised or produced by original contrivance; a method or means of doing something, an instrument, an art, etc. originated by the ingenuity of some person, and previously unknown; an original contrivance or device. ii. Wise men don't necessarily create witty inventions; they rather find out about them. a. Worldly men are often wiser in a worldly sense when it comes to business, industry, and inventions (Luk 16:8; Psa 73:12; Gen 4:20-22; Gen 25:27). b. Godly wise men will use this world and the witty inventions designed and built by worldly men (1Co 7:31). c. Godly men are sometimes inventors themselves such as king Uzziah who had cunning men invent engines to shoot arrows and great stones to protect Jerusalem (2Ch 26:15). iii. Wise men also find out knowledge of witty inventions in the bad sense (crafty, cunning, wily inventions). a. The Bible condemns "inventors of evil things" (Rom 1:30). b. With the exception of Pro 8:12, "inventions" in the Bible are always evil (Psa 99:8; Psa 106:29, 39; Ecc 7:29). c. In this case, wise men will pay attention to learn of evil inventions of the wicked (either material or spiritual) so they can avoid them (Eph 5:6-17).
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