Proverbs - 12:8

8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom, but he who has a warped mind shall be despised.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Proverbs 12:8.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
A man shall be known by his learning: but he that is vain and foolish, shall be exposed to contempt.
A man is commended according to his wisdom; but he that is of a perverted heart shall be despised.
According to his wisdom is a man praised, And the perverted of heart becometh despised.
A man will be praised in the measure of his wisdom, but a wrong-minded man will be looked down on.
A man shall be commended according to his intelligence; But he that is of a distorted understanding shall be despised.
A man will be known by his doctrine. But whoever is vain and heartless will suffer contempt.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom,.... Not according to his birth and pedigree; not according to his riches and wealth; not according to the places of honour and trust he may be in; but according to his wisdom, which he discovers in his words and actions, in his life and conversation: not according to the wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and devilish; not according to the wisdom of the world, which comes to nought, either natural or civil; especially that which lies in sophistry and subtlety, in wicked craft and cunning, whereby men trick, overreach, and defraud one another; but according to that which is spiritual and evangelical; which lies in the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, and of those things which belong to salvation; the beginning of which is the fear of the Lord, and which comes from above, and is pure and peaceable. A man possessed of this is commended by all wise and good men, and by the Lord himself; as the wise man is by Christ, Matthew 7:24; who builds his house on a rock; for which reason it stands, as in the preceding verse;
but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised; and which appears by the perverse words he speaks against God and Christ; against his people, ways, and worship, as antichrist and his followers do; and by his perverse actions, which are contrary to the light of nature, to the law of God, and Gospel of Christ: and such vile persons are contemned in the eyes of all good men, and are had in abhorrence by the Lord himself; for such who despise him are lightly esteemed; see Proverbs 18:3.

The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ.

despised--as opposed to commended (Proverbs 11:12).
perverse heart--or, "wicked principles," as opposed to one of wisdom.

8 According to the measure of his intelligence is a man praised,
And whoever is of a perverse mind is despised.
Everywhere in the Mishle שׂכל has no other meaning than intellectus. The praise which is given to a man measures itself לפי שׂכלו (punctuate לפי־שׂכלו, according to Torath Emeth, p. 41, Accentssystem, xx. 1), i.e., according to the measure (so לפי is used in the oldest form of the language) of his intelligence, or as we may also say, of his culture; for in these proverbs, which make the fear of God the highest principle, שׂכל means also understanding of moral excellence, not merely the intellectual superiority of natural gifts. הלּל is here a relative conception of manifold gradations, but it does not mean renown in general, but good renown. Parallel with שׂכלו, לב refers to the understanding (νοῦς); the rendering of Lwenstein, "who is of false heart," is defective. נעוה (synon. of נפתּל and עקּשׁ, but nowhere else interchanging with it) means here a vero et recto detortus et aversus (Fl.). Such a man who has not a good understanding, nor any certain rule of judgment, falls under contempt (Graec. Venet. τῷ ὀντωτῇ εἰς μυσαγμόν, after the false reading of יהוה instead of יהיה), i.e., he defames himself by his crooked judgment of men, of things and their relations, and is on this account in no position rightly to make use of them.

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