The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The statues of the Lord are true, all of them just;
More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold,
Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.
By them your servant is instructed; obeying them brings much reward.
Receive my instruction in preference to silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold.
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord,
And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
[This proverb is structured so that the reader understands that "Wisdom" is the highest gift, the culmination of the "intellectual gifts" followed by "Understanding" and "Knowledge." One has to first start with "Knowledge" about God, which leads to "Understanding," which then leads to "Wisdom."]
He who loves correction loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.
Without knowledge even zeal is not good; and he who acts hastily, blunders.
[This proverb is an essential reminder that it is worse to be a zealot for God and go charging off in arrogance in his name without having any of the true "Knowledge" given by the Holy Spirit than it is to have the true "Knowledge" and appear to the zealot to be "lukewarm" in your faith. The zealot blunders and does much damage based on lack of the gift of "Knowledge," that authentically only comes from the Holy Spirit.]
When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are wiser;
When the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
[Many of the proverbs are phrased in thought stimulating ways. This one is saying that simple people who lack an education or much understanding understand role models, including negative ones, very clearly. So when simple people see an arrogant man punished for his arrogance, they have an infusion of "Wisdom" because they immediately comprehend the overall pattern and spiritual lesson. The next line is not a contrast to the first, but another perspective of how knowledge is gained. Here the holy author is observing that a man who already has "Wisdom" can still gain "Knowledge" by instruction, having no need for the role modeling since he already has "Wisdom." There is a lot in the Bible that is instructive in observing and comprehending everyday human nature in addition to the spiritual].
Ecclesiastes 1: 12-18
I, Qoheleth, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, and I applied my mind to search and investigate in wisdom all things that are done under the sun.
A thankless task God has appointed for men to be busied about.
I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after the wind.
What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is missing cannot be supplied.
Though I said to myself, “Behold, I have become great and stored up wisdom beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem, and my mind has broad experience of wisdom and knowledge”; yet when I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly, I learned that this also is a chase after wind.
For in much wisdom there is much sorrow, and he who stores up knowledge stores up grief.
[Despite his self identification, we do not know who is the author of this book of wisdom because Qoheleth is a pen name, a literary name, meaning “one who convokes an assembly.” However this is a valuable citation on the subject of knowledge because this divinely inspired learned man warns that the search for secular knowledge (“under the sun” means earthly human knowledge in comparison to heavenly or Holy Spirit provided knowledge) sometimes brings a lot of unhappiness. This is as I discussed with St. Paul’s observations in the previous posting that true knowledge is spiritual, while much of secular human knowledge leads to temptation and the seamy sides of life. This is what this author is describing that he experienced when he made it his calling to seek out human based “wisdom” and “knowledge” and ended up storing a lot of grief. When one goes looking just for human based knowledge, one sees a lot of human behavior that they wish they had not seen, and also, as we see today in modern times, there are slippery ethics slopes, seeking knowledge that is based in technology and power over life and death that gradually becomes a grief filled burden rather than a blessing.]
Wisdom 1:16, 2:13
It was the wicked who with hands and words invited death, considered it a friend, and pined for it, and made a covenant with it, because they deserve to be in its possession… [who]… professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord.
[In a long list of the attributes of the wicked, the learned sage who is the unknown author of this book mentions that one of the things that the wicked claim is that they have “knowledge of God.” This is yet another warning to discern between true “Knowledge” that is the gift of the Holy Spirit and the many false prophets and secularists who claim to have “knowledge of God” through wicked or occult means].
[God’s true wisdom] For he gave me sound knowledge of existing things, that I might know the organization of the universe and the force of its elements.
Where the pupil of the eye is missing, there is no light, and where there is no knowledge there is no wisdom.
[The author, Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach, a sage who lived in Jerusalem, is explaining here that one must be humble to achieve wisdom and enlightenment because one must start with gaining true knowledge before one can be wise. Knowledge is like the pupil of the eye that gathers together the law and the facts in order to shed light on a matter, and thus be part of gained wisdom. This is yet another Biblical reference that shows knowledge to be the lowest and essential foundation of what will later be wisdom and understanding.]