Learn Hebrew

Hebrew for Christians
Wisdom and Understanding

Binah -

Printer-Friendly Version

Gain Understanding

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the
knowledge of the holy is understanding (Proverbs 9:10 KJV).

The Scriptures declare that the starting point for wisdom is not to be found in speculative or abstract reasoning, but in understanding that a personal, holy, and righteous God has given us absolute imperative to love and to do justly (see Mark 12:28-31). That is, we are truly wise when we reverentially submit our lives to God in obedience to His commandments.

Shin / Shaddai, Binah

Note that like other Hebrew poetry found in the Bible, this verse uses parallelism: Just as wisdom (chokhmah) comes from obeying the Lord, so understanding (binah) comes from the knowledge of the Holy One. The word binah comes from the Hebrew word for "between" (beyn), and implies the ability to distinguish the real from the unreal, the true from the false. Proper understanding, then, comes from "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15), since it is in the Scriptures that we are given the "knowledge of the Holy One" (2 Tim 3:16).

Is wisdom important? In Proverbs 4:7 we read that "wisdom is the principal (first or chief) thing." We must listen to the wisdom of God with "attentive ears" and apply our hearts to understanding (Prov. 2:2). True happiness comes when earnestly search for (and find) this wisdom for ourselves -- which is actually the search for God Himself (see Prov 2:4-5, 3:13).



<< Return


Hebrew for Christians
Copyright © John J. Parsons
All rights reserved.