Proverbs 4: 7


In The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 4 Verse 7 states:
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
at the cost of all you have, get understanding.

Please explain what Get understanding at the cost of all you have.


Its sometimes useful to look at other translations when a verse does not make sense to you

For instance the RSVCE

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

King James

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

These translations suggest that a priority should be given to acquiring wisdom, but its not necessarily a matter of literally giving all you have.

I’d suggest the Book of Wisdom for more insight on the issue of obtaining wisdom.


Deut 6:4ff Hear O Israel the Lord is God, the Lord Alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

'at the cost of all you have" is an allusion to the verse in Deut, above. “with all your strength” is interpreted in Judaism as meaning all your resources. In general, the “shema” quoted above is the “pledge of allegiance” to God.

In the Lord’s prayer, the phrases “hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as it is in heaven.” are considered similarly as vows or oaths to God to hallow his name.

I’ve lost the verse, but it states that in the negative, to not obey God’s commandments is to not hallow his name. Before we dare say “give us this day…(anything)” we make our commitment to God, our Father, to do his will.

So, we have to go to school or work, if we can, and live our daily lives, shovel snow, cut grass, etc. but our eyes, spiritual eyes, are on the Lord and we should always be moving towards him.

I would have liked to win the recent $1.5 billion lottery drawing, but what I prayed for was, Lord, I need YOU. We need to be willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of our salvation. Life is short. It goes by fast. We have to keep focused on what is important and leave behind what it not.


Before wisdom, all we have is our self, our ego-self, which is basically ignorant and arrogant.
In other words, we basically only listen to our self, our criticism, our judgments, our resentments, etc.
In this state, we have no interest or time to listen to anything other than self.
All we have is ‘self’.

What it costs to listen and attain wisdom, is all we got - our self. Wisdom is everything other than self. The price for everything that is not ‘self’ is self.
To listen to other than self is to not listen to self. That is, to be humble and anonymous.
To read a book, and only listen to what is read is to stop listening to self being critical, judgmental, etc. To listen with an open mind that is void of self.

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.


It just means to prioritize the search for moral and religious truth over the things of this life.


For me,

“Trade all of your ideas, beliefs, dreams and hopes and freely accept God’s loving wisdom.”

For me: “Don’t be tricked like Eve and Adam; eat from the Tree of Life.”


Since Jesus Christ is the wisdom and understanding of God incarnate, Proverbs 4:7 is a call to “get Jesus,” to become his disciple. Nothing and no one is more important than that.
“If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)


a person may have a lot of money or a lot of opportunities but it will lose every thing, due to lack of wisdom and understanding


In addition to my previous post, there is this saying:
Learn to listen, listen to learn.

Meaning, to listen is to have one’s mind not preoccupied with anything other than what you are listening to (other people, nature, the book being read, etc). It is only by listening 100% can we take in 100%.

Same with seeing. Learn to see, see to learn.
Same with all the other senses.


I think Todd got it right, I’ll just add a few Bible verses showing how Christ is compared to Wisdom in Scripture:

Prov 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

Prov 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.

Compare that with Jn 1:1-2:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ***The same was in the beginning with God. ***

Prov 3:19 The LORD ***by wisdom ***hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Again similar to:

Jn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made



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