Proverb for the Day 1:3 — Want To Be Different?

for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 

This third verse in Proverbs addresses the third purpose of the book. It’s a powerful statement for anyone wanting to change their life.

While this English translation is appropriate, I want to suggest a slight adjustment – although I will admit no one’s ever considered publishing any of my translations!

The Hebrew text indicates this verse (and the third purpose of Proverbs) is in two parts:

1.  “Acquiring” or receiving “discipline” (noun).  Taking on the trained life of a disciple is a clear benefit of Proverbs. For those of us who struggle with discipline but want to do better, this book can help.

2.  “Being “prudent” (or “have insight” – verb) with three special qualities – “right,” “just” and “fair.”

“Right” is the standard Hebrew word for “righteous,” and “just” the standard Hebrew word for “justice.” These are godly qualities that define who He is and how He wants us to be.

The third word is “fair.” While an appropriate translation, it just doesn’t carry the same connotation as our usage today.

The Biblical idea is “even,” “level” or “smooth.” Literally “level places” (plural form of the Hebrew word for “straight” or “upright’).

The third purpose of Proverbs is to help us “give attention to” getting our lives on “level places.” I’ll suggest the translation “balanced.”

Great thoughts for someone in recovery – acquiring “discipline/training” and “giving attention to” the qualities of being right and just – like God – and being at “level places” or “balanced” in our daily lives.