“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7 NIV
In my studies this morning I went to over to "Blue Letter Bible" for the interlinear Hebrew words and definitions in these verses and I spent some time on verse 7.
- fear, terror, fearing
- fear, terror
- awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)
- fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety
The last 2 aspects of the definition of the Hebrew word translated to "fear" are the ones we want to consider in this particular verse.
"The fear of The Lord is expressed in the reverential submission to His will - the characteristic of true worship." (From the NET notes on Proverbs 1:7 in YouVersion)
- first, beginning, best, chief
- choice part
I love the last aspect of the definition of the Hebrew word translated "beginning" in this verse. The first. The choice part. The best part. The desired part. The best way to do something.
So if we are looking for an explanation of the last verse above, I believe we could say that Solomon is trying to say that "These Proverbs will help you with the ways to walk the straight and narrow, and they will help you discern the ways of The Lord, BUT first and foremost, reverence of The Lord is the best way to gain knowledge".
Here are some more notes from Proverbs 1:7 in the NET version in YouVersion:
"The fear of the Lord is the foundation for wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 NIV
And the discipline leading to wisdom: “He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.” Proverbs 15:32-33 NASB
It is expressed in the hatred of evil: “"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” Proverbs 8:13 NASB
And avoidance of sin: “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 NASB
And so results in prolonged life: “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.” Proverbs 10:27 NASB
and: “The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.” Proverbs 19:23 NASB
I don't know about you, but I could definitely use some more "fear of The Lord" in my life. Especially if it leads to better sleep. So in my prayers today, I challenge you to be more reverent (feeling and showing deep respect) towards The Lord in your prayers, in your conversations with others and in all of your comings and goings. Be intentional in your praises, ALWAYS giving all the Glory to the only one deserving of it, our Father in Heaven, the only True God. In His precious Son Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen & Amen.