In the Old Testament "prudence" is the translation of `ormah (Proverbs 8:12); also in the King James Version of sekhel (2 Chronicles 2:12, the Revised Version (British and American) "discretion"); and "prudent" is the translation of `arum, "subtle" (Proverbs 12:16,23; 13:16, etc.; compare Genesis 3:1; Job 5:12), and of bin (1 Samuel 16:18, the Revised Version margin "skillful"; Proverbs 16:21; 18:15; Isaiah 5:21; 10:13, the American Standard Revised Version "understanding," etc.), with other words. In the New Testament "prudence" occurs once as the translation of phronesis (Ephesians 1:8); "prudent" is in the King James Version the translation of sunetos, changed in the Revised Version (British and American) to "understanding" (Matthew 11:25; Acts 13:7); in 1 Corinthians 1:19, the American Standard Revised Version has "the discerning," the English Revised Version retains "prudent." In its etymological sense of seeing beforehand (contraction of "providence"), "prudence" does not occur in the New Testament. As forethought, foresight, prudence was reckoned one of the cardinal virtues by the ancient ethical writers. See the remarks of Coleridge on its lower and higher character in his Aids to Reflection, Aphor. 29.
W. L. Walker
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