What is the difference between "wisdom," "understanding," and "insight"? (Proverbs 2:1-4)


Proverbs 2:1 - 22

NASB - 1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you. 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 01 2023 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
By my reading, the concepts mentioned in the question are referred to by three separate Hebrew words, anglicized as "chokmah", "tebunah", and "binah", respectively.

The entries for each of these three words in Strong's Bible Concordance indicate that they appear in the entirety of the Old Testament 149, 42, and 38 times, respectively, but are not uniformly translated into English as the same word each time. For example, "chokmah" is expressed nearly universally as "wisdom", but also on one occasion (1 Chronicles 28:21) as "skill". "Tebunah" is translated as "understanding", "discernment", "reasoning", "fruit", and "discretion". "Binah" is translated as "understanding", "knowledge", "discernment", "wisdom", "consideration", "truth", and "clearly".

In the specific passage from Proverbs referenced in the question, the word translated as "wisdom" is "chokmah", "understanding" is "tebunah", and "insight" is "binah".

By my understanding, knowledge is the acquisition of facts and truth about God and the created world. It is being aware and having information. Wisdom is understanding how and why to apply God’s truth to the specific situations of your life. Insight is an even deeper level of knowing and understanding God’s principles. It is seeing how different biblical truths fit together; it is understanding the big picture of God’s plan, and having a deep awareness of how to apply biblical principles to the way we live and do our jobs every day.

One reference has expressed it by saying that, from a theological standpoint, understanding comes from learning the principles of God's Word. Knowledge comes from the experiences and skills God provides to us, and Wisdom comes from an accumulation of the understanding and knowledge we receive over time.

December 01 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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