Proverbs 1:4

4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,[a]knowledge and discretion to the young—

Proverbs 1:4 in Other Translations

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth--
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
4 To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality.
4 for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced, knowledge and discretion to a young man-

Proverbs 1:4 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 1:4

To give subtlety to the simple
Men of mean abilities, weak capacities, shallow understandings, incautious, credulous, and easily imposed upon: these, by attending to what is herein contained, may arrive to a serpentine subtlety; though they are simple and harmless as doves, may become as wise as serpents; may attain to an exquisite knowledge of divine things and know even more than the wise and sage philosophers among the Gentiles, or any of the Rabbins and masters of Israel; or any of the princes of this world, whose wisdom comes to nought; and become very cautious and circumspect how they are drawn aside by the old serpent the devil, or by such who lie in wait to deceive; and perform their duty both to God and man;

to the young man knowledge and discretion;
or "thought" F9; who wants both: this book will teach him the knowledge of things moral, civil, and religious: to think and act aright; how to behave and conduct himself wisely and discreetly before men; and be a means of forming his mind betimes for piety and religion; and of furnishing him with rules for his deportment in future life, in all the periods of it; and in whatsoever state and condition he may come into. A "young man [may] cleanse his way", ( Psalms 119:9 ) , reform his manners, behave with purity and uprightness, by taking "heed" to the things herein contained.


F9 (hmzm) "cogitationem", Pagninus, Mercerus; "bonam cogitationem", Michaelis.

Proverbs 1:4 In-Context

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 8:5
  • 2. Proverbs 2:10-11; Proverbs 8:12

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew word rendered "simple" in Proverbs denotes a person who is gullible, without moral direction and inclined to evil.
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