Proverbs 16:16 MEANING

Proverbs 16:16
Verse 16. - To get wisdom than gold (comp, Proverbs 3:14; Proverbs 8:10, 11, 19); and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver; Revised Version better, yea, to get understanding is rather to be chosen than [to get] silver. If the clauses are not simply parallel, and the comparative value of silver and gold is So be considered, we may, with Wordsworth, see here an intimation of the superiority of wisdom (chochmah) over intelligence (binah), the former being the guide of life and including the practice of religion, the latter denoting discernment, the faculty of distinguishing between one thing and another (see note on Proverbs 28:4, and the quotation from 'Pirke Aboth' on Proverbs 15:33). The LXX., for kenoh reading kinnot, have given a version of which the Fathers have largely availed themselves: "The nests of wisdom are preferable to gold, and the nests of knowledge are preferable above silver." Some of the old commentators take these "nests" to be the problems and apothegms which enshrine wisdom; others consider them to mean the children or scholars who are taught by the wise man.

16:12. The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13. Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose. 14,15. Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. 16. There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17. A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18. When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19. Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21. The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22. As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23. The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24. The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25. This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26. We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.How much better is it to get wisdom than gold?.... To obtain and possess Christ, the fountain of wisdom, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, which treasures are infinitely preferable to thousands of gold and silver; to gain the knowledge of him, and of God in him, with which eternal life is connected, and in comparison of which all things are loss and dung; to have wisdom in the hidden part, or grace in the heart, which is much more precious than gold that perisheth; to have a spiritual experimental knowledge of the Gospel, and the truths of it, which are more to be desired than gold, yea, than fine gold; all which are to be got by diligent search and inquiry, by prayer and asking for, and to be had or bought without money and without price; and the getting of them is above all other gettings; such wisdom is more valuable in itself, has a greater intrinsic worth in it than gold; it is more profitable and useful, more solid and satisfying; it is not only better, but it is abundantly better, it is inexpressibly so; it cannot be well said how much better it is, and therefore it is put by way of question and admiration; see Proverbs 3:13;

and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver? the same thing is designed as before, expressed in different words; a spiritual understanding of Christ and the Gospel, and an experience of the grace of God; though some, as Gersom, think that wisdom is something better than understanding, as gold, to which it is preferred, is better than silver. The Septuagint render it,

"nests of wisdom, and nests of understanding;''

and the Arabic version,

"buds of wisdom, and buds of understanding.''

Courtesy of Open Bible