The value of “wisdom” and “understanding” is suggested here by David’s words to his son Solomon (:4-9) – who, in turn, imparted them to his sons (:1). “Wisdom is supreme,” it’s number one, your highest priority. “Though it cost all you have,” also go after “understanding.”
While this might sound contradictory, it is simply one of the many places in Proverbs where “wisdom” and “understanding” are mentioned almost interchangeably. While this verse is typical Hebrew poetry, where the second phrase is a restatement of the first, it also suggests the extremely close relationship between “wisdom” and “understanding.”
These two qualities are commonly mentioned together and/or in this poetic juxtaposition (see 2:2, 6; 3:13, 19; 4:5, 7; 7:4; 8:1; 9:10; 16:16; 19:8; 24:3). In fact, in a number of places “knowledge” is also added to the mix (2:6; 3:19-20; 9:10; 24:3-4).
Confusing? It doesn’t have to be. The best way to appreciate the interconnection of these three qualities is to know about bananas and grapes. While apples and oranges grow individually on trees, bananas and grapes grow as a group – in bunches and clusters. Get wisdom and along with it comes knowledge and understanding. We really can’t have one without the others!
They’re sort of a package deal, get one and we get them all. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!