This verse is sort of a parenthetical pause in the book’s introductory section (:1-7). Here are the first two commands in Proverbs and here, also, we meet the book’s third character – “the wise.”
In this verse the wise person listens and in the next verse (:6) he speaks. One of the things that actually makes a wise person is their willingness to “listen and add to their learning.” We are supposed to listen to others and benefit from what we hear. Of course, as we listen, we will learn both things to do and things not to do!
Here we are also introduces to the fourth character in Proverbs – “the discerning” person. Coming from the same root word as the verb “understanding” in verse 2, “the discerning” person is one who is able to receive, understand and benefit from the “guidance/directions” he receives daily.
It’s valuable to know that the wise and discerning are not people who know it all. Instead, so much of what they know has been passed on to them from others – and they can learn from anyone! The only prerequisite is a willingness to listen and learn.