Proverbs 9:9 ISR98 "Give instruction to a wise one, and he is wiser still; Teach a righteous one, and he increases in learning."
My son and I are studying Algebra together. Right now we are at a place that discusses functions. The mathematical definition of a function is: "A function is a special relationship where each input has a single output." In other words, if you put something in, you will get something out. If I give a dollar to an investor, then I expect to get $500 out. If I give flour and sugar to a baker, I expect to get cookies back.
If I have a function equation that says y = x +1, then anytime I put a number in for x, I should get an expected result for y. If x is 2, then y is 3. If x is 50, then y is 51. If x is 999, then y is 1000.
Proverbs 9:9 looks like a function to me. If you put something in, this is what you should expect to get out.
I have two or three essential tools that I like to use for studying Scripture. One is BletterBible.com because if you look up a verse and click on the word TOOLS, it will break down the verse in its Hebrew components. From there, I take a trip that is probably a little more convoluted than most. Rather than using the dictionary at Blue Letter, I like to use lexicon from the Mechanical Translation by Jeff A. Brenner. It's a personal choice. It just reads better to me. This lexicon is only based on the Torah, the first 5 books of our Bibles, so when I find a word in Blue Letter that I want to look up, I scroll down to the bottom to see where I can find this word in the Torah. From there I get the definition in the lexicon.
Follow with me through this. Based on this, these are the definitions of the translated (not added for clarity) words in Proverbs 9:9. Remember, go here and click on TOOLS.
תן n.t.n Trans: GIVE(V) Def: To make a present; to present a gift; to grant, allow or bestow by formal action. To place in its proper position. Alt Trans: allow; made; make; set in place Str: 5414
ם hha-kham (m.) Trans: SKILLED.ONE Def: A person characterized by a deep understanding of a craft; One with the ability to decide or discern between good and bad, right and wrong. Str: 2450
ע y.d.ah Trans: KNOW(V) Def: To have an intimate and personal understanding; to have an intimate relationship with another person, usually sexual. Alt Trans: reveal self (when written in the hitpa'el [reflexive] form) Str: 3045
צדיק tsa-diq (m.) Trans: STEADFAST.ONE Def: One that makes or sets right. Conforming to fact, standard or truth. Str: 6662
ף y.s.p Trans: ADD(V) Def: To augment something by increasing it in amount or supply. Alt Trans: again (when written in the hiphil [causative] form) Str: 3254
ח (m.) Trans: LEARNING Def: Teachings and instructions that are received in the sense of being taken. Str: 3948
To me, what this verse is saying is that knowledge and wisdom is only as good as the person who receives it. Matthew 9:17, “Neither do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
So if you give (bestow, grant) skill, ability, and discernment (input) to someone who is already skilled, the output is a person who possesses an even greater level of "intimate and personal understanding." If you look at the Hebrew in Blueletter the word for a wise person is just translated twice. In other words, the wise get wiser.
If you take a person who is righteous or just (one who CONFORMS to the only standard of truth, the Word of Elohim), and you input learning (teaching and instruction), that person, like an investment banker, will increase it, grow it, exponentially.
What does this mean to me personally? My personal application is to make sure that in my studying of the Word, that I pay closer attention to the vessel that I am putting that knowledge IN rather than just focusing on the pursuit of knowledge. If in all my studying, I am not producing good fruit, the problem is in me, not the Word.
Matthew 7.15-27 ISR98
“But beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are savage wolves. “By their fruits you shall know them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? “So every good tree yields good fruit, but a rotten tree yields wicked fruit. “A good tree is unable to yield wicked fruit, and a rotten tree to yield good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, by their fruits you shall know them – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.”
Did you catch the function? “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
It's not just HEARING. The function has to work so the right thing will come out.
We live in a very desperate and sad state of the Word right now, and unfortunately, very few of us (myself included) take the time to dig deeply into the Word to discover it's hidden truths. I pray that as you read this, you will not be content to sit on the beach and stick your toes in the ocean of the Word of Elohim. Go deeper! Don't worry about the shallowness of others around you. Get it for YOURSELF.
My prayer: Work on ME, Abba so that when Your Word goes in, what YOU desire comes out.
Jeremiah 15:16 ISR98
"Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. For Your Name is called on me, O יהוה Elohim of hosts."