Proverbs 19:11

The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
– Proverbs 19:11

The word for discretion means prudence, or good sense. The phrase, deferreth his anger, literally means long of nose. It is an idiom that means long, or slow, to get angry. The proverb is not describing a forgiving man, but rather a man that overlooks, or shrugs off, a personal offense. He is not easy to make angry, nor is he quick to respond to insults. The word for glory means ornament and speaks of beauty in the sense of being finely adorned. Wisdom is marked by control of oneself, not being quick tempered, and here being thick skinned (Proverbs 14:29; 16:32). This proverb also highlights the moral beauty of self-control (Proverbs 20:3) and contrasts with the ugliness where it is wanting (Proverbs 25:28).

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Proverbs 11:22

As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
– Proverbs 11:22

A nose jewel, or ring as we would say, was one means of ornamenting beauty in the Bible. Putting such a jewel on a pig’s nose does not enhance the appearance of the pig but rather draws more attention to the fact it is an unclean beast. It becomes more disgusting or downright comical as all recognize how out of place it is. A fair woman is a beautiful woman. The word for discretion means good taste or judgment. When a woman lacks sensible judgment, her physical beauty is then like the jewel put on the pig’s nose. She is a monstrosity. The outward appearance and ornamentation should agree with and adorn the inner wisdom (Proverbs 31:30; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4).

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Proverbs 8:12

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
– Proverbs 8:12

Wisdom dwells with, or resides with, prudence, indicating their compatibility. Prudence is shrewdness or discretion. It can be positive or negative depending on the context and refers to cunning or craftiness. Witty inventions are plans or plots. We might even refer to schemes. The word here also relies on context to supply the gloss. They are here paired together indicating that wisdom gives shrewdness and the skill of planning. Wisdom is street-wise and knows how to navigate life, as demonstrated in the prudent man who foresees and avoids evil (Proverbs 22:3). Such a description disabuses us of any notion of a wise person as lofty, detached, and void of common sense or any practical knowledge.

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Proverbs 5:2

That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
– Proverbs 5:2

Regarding discretion indicates to set a guard over or to keep diligently. There is also a sense of distinguishing a good plan from a bad one. Discretion carries the thought of a plan or scheme and can be good or bad depending on the context. Keeping knowledge with the lips is a safeguard of wisdom in the heart. Solomon’s aim is that the son will recognize the plan of folly and give a wise answer to it.

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Proverbs 2:11

Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
– Proverbs 2:11

Verse 10 describes the pre-condition for verse 11. The condition is met when wisdom has entered and shaped our way of thinking. Wisdom is not a checklist or flowchart for decision making. Wisdom is a way of life, a way of thought, and a way of viewing the world around us. When wisdom has so entered into our hearts and minds, the consequence is a manifested discretion and understanding. The word for discretion means purpose. It has the thought of moving in a direction deliberately. The word for understanding means reason. When we have wisdom, we have a purpose in life that we are not easily moved from. When we have wisdom, we are able to reason out what we encounter to discern if it is good or bad.

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