Skip navigation.

Blog - Proverbs 3:14

|



If you like this blog, then you will like Get Wisdom, Get Understanding which is Pastor Wagner's commentary series on the book of Proverbs which is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Find out more here.

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.

Proverbs 3:14

"For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold." (Pro 3:14)


In the previous verse, Solomon stated that the man that finds wisdom is happy (blessed and fortunate). In this verse (Pro 3:14) and the following four (Pro 3:15-18), he gives several reasons why this is so. The first reason why the man who finds wisdom is happy is that its merchandise is better than the merchandise of silver. Merchandise is "the action or business of buying and selling goods or commodities for profit; the exchange of commodities for other commodities or for money" (OED). Silver has been a highly sought-after metal for millennia because it is rare, valuable, and useful in a variety of applications. Its widespread appeal due to its beauty and utility made it a commodity that could be traded for any other commodity, hence the reason it became money, a universal medium of exchange. For these reasons, its merchandise surpasses that of most other things on this earth.

The merchandise, or exchange value, of silver is high, but not as lofty as wisdom. The same properties that make silver a preferred commodity likewise make wisdom highly desirable. Like silver, wisdom is rare, valuable, beautiful, and useful. Wisdom is so rare that when Solomon was looking for a wise man, he lamented the fact that, "one man among a thousand have I found" (Ecc 7:28). Wisdom is so valuable that it is said to be "the principal thing" (Pro 4:7) which is the "first or highest in rank or importance" (OED). Wisdom is as beautiful as fine jewelry: "As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear" (Pro 25:12). And finally, wisdom is exceedingly useful, for it guides a man through all of life's decisions, enabling him to choose the best means to the proper ends. As Solomon said, it truly is better to get wisdom than silver (Pro 16:16).

The second reason that the man who finds wisdom is happy is because the gain of wisdom is better than the gain of fine gold. Gain is "increase of possessions, resources or advantages of any kind, consequent on some action or change of conditions; an instance of this; profit, emolument" (OED). Fine gold is gold that is "of superior quality, choice of its kind; free from foreign or extraneous matter, having no dross or other impurity; clear, pure, refined" (OED). Fine gold is one of the most precious metals in the world. The gain that can be acquired with fine gold is exceedingly high, yet it pales in comparison to the gain that wisdom affords.

Gold can fill a man's house with possessions; wisdom gives him the sense to resist doing so (Pro 15:16; Ecc 5:11-12). Gold enables a man to travel the world; wisdom teaches him that time spent in the house of God is far more valuable (Psa 27:4; Psa 84:10). Gold allows a man to live in pleasures; wisdom teaches him to live in obedience to God (Ecc 12:13). Gold makes gluttony possible; wisdom teaches moderation (Pro 23:20-21; Php 4:5). Gold makes many friends (Pro 19:4); wisdom filters out and excludes most of them (Pro 13:20; 1Co 15:33).

The gain of wisdom is without a doubt far better than that of fine gold, and happy indeed is the man that finds it.


Subscribe to Pastor Wagner's Blog


For the previous blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 3:13.
For the next blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 3:15 (coming soon).

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.