Proverbs 3, 5-7

Hebrew  Translitteration NKJV  ASH

Proverbs 3, 5-7

Hebrew Text
5 בְּטַח֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֣ה בְּכָל־לִבֶּ֔ךָ וְאֶל־בִּֽינָתְךָ֖ אַל־תִּשָּׁעֵֽן
6 בְּכָל־דְּרָכֶ֥יךָ דָעֵ֑הוּ וְ֝ה֗וּא יְיַשֵּׁ֥ר אֹֽרְחֹתֶֽיךָ
7 אַל־תְּהִ֣י חָכָ֣ם בְּעֵינֶ֑יךָ יְרָ֥א אֶת־יְהוָ֝֗ה וְס֣וּר מֵרָֽע

bə·ṭaḥ  ’el-  Yah·weh  bə·ḵāl  lib·be·ḵā;  wə·’el-  bî·nā·ṯə·ḵā,  ’al-  tiš·šā·‘ên.  bə·ḵāl  də·rā·ḵe·ḵā  ḏā·‘ê·hū;  wə·hū,  yə·yaš·šêr  ’ō·rə·ḥō·ṯe·ḵā.  ’al-  tə·hî  ḥā·ḵām  bə·‘ê·ne·ḵā;  yə·rā  ’eṯ-  Yah·weh  wə·sūr  mê·rā‘.

New King James Version translation
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

ASH’s translation
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely upon your own understanding;
6 Know Him in all your ways, and He will direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Introduction to commentary

The pursuit of wisdom, understanding, and guidance from a divine entity is a shared sentiment across the Abrahamic traditions. Yet, how does one achieve such wisdom? What role does humility, trust, and the acknowledgment of one’s limitations play in walking the righteous path? The timeless guidance found in Proverbs 3:5-7 provides profound insights that resonate across Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings.

Consider a world where each individual recognizes their limitations, seeks divine guidance, and humbly follows the path laid out for them…

ASH’s Commentary

From a Jewish perspective, the emphasis of this passage lies in the profound trust in Hashem (God). The Tanakh teaches the importance of surrendering one’s own understanding and relying wholeheartedly on God’s wisdom and direction. The Talmud elaborates further on this, discussing the dangers of ego and the importance of humility in recognizing one’s own limitations in understanding the vastness of God’s wisdom.

In Christian teachings, the emphasis often gravitates towards unwavering faith in God, particularly in Jesus Christ. To “trust in the LORD with all your heart” becomes an embodiment of the Christian journey – a path where one seeks Christ in all things and lets Him guide every step. The New Testament is filled with teachings on the importance of faith over sight, highlighting the value of trusting God over one’s own limited perspective.

For Muslims, these verses echo the importance of Tawakkul, which is the Islamic concept of putting one’s trust in God’s plan while taking necessary actions in life. The Quran mentions, “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him” (Quran 65:3). Relying on one’s own understanding without seeking God’s guidance is seen as a path to misguidance. Moreover, Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of knowledge and seeking understanding, but always with the consciousness that God knows best.

Interreligious studies, particularly concerning the Abrahamic religions, provide valuable insights into shared beliefs and teachings. These verses from Proverbs emphasize the virtues of trust, humility, and seeking divine guidance – values that form the core of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic spiritualities. As societies become more interconnected, such shared teachings can provide common ground for dialogue, mutual respect, and peace among followers of these traditions.

In summary, Proverbs 3, 5-7 delivers a universal message, relevant across religious divides, encouraging trust in divine wisdom over one’s own understanding and the importance of humility and reverence in one’s spiritual journey. This passage serves as a beacon for those seeking purpose, direction, and a deeper relationship with the Divine across the Abrahamic traditions.

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