Chapter 2 is an extension of Solomon’s introduction to The Book of Proverbs. In it, he continues to establish the intrinsic value of wisdom. Wisdom is the key to living life well. The opposing force to wisdom is evil. The destructive power of wickedness undermines reality and truth (the pillars of wisdom). Foolishness is the first step toward wickedness, the gateway into evil.

Chapter 2 is a poem in two parts. The first part focuses on the benefits of wisdom and the second on the dangers of wickedness, with a summary conclusion in the final two verses.

Solomon continues to explore the paradox of pursuing wisdom. The knowledge of how to live wisely begins with admitting we are incapable of knowing reality apart from faith. Without faith, the “hebel” (the vaporous reality Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes) cannot be made sense of. All efforts to do so will lead to futility.

The resolution of this paradox requires letting go of the illusion that we can gain comprehensive understanding on our own. We must receive wisdom solely as a gift from God. It is a gift received by faith. Yet, once we receive wisdom, we must be good stewards of it, which requires making good choices. In the latter vein, Solomon calls us to take ownership over implementing the principles of wisdom in our lives. To act on the perspectives we are urged to believe, and make good choices. Wisdom comes from a pattern of consistently good choices, just like walking a path requires a series of effective steps.

The way (or path) of wisdom is the alignment of our single, significant life with the cosmic, eternal design of all things. Wickedness is not a natural adversary, an equal but negative force; it is simply a perversion. Evil cannot create; it can only derail the created order. And it tries to do that very thing insistently by preying upon our thoughts and perceptions, leading to self-destructive choices.

Clinging to wisdom is a process of receiving truth from God and deciding to steward it intentionally, rather than giving in to the seductions of wickedness and the falsity of a perverted course.

Proverbs 2:1-5

Continuing his introduction to The Book of Proverbs, Solomon uses cause-and-effect descriptions to communicate the value and benefit of wisdom

Proverbs 2:6-11

God is the source of wisdom, the arbiter of wisdom, the giver of wisdom and the gifts that accompany it.

Proverbs 2:12-15

Wickedness is a perversion of God’s design for the world and for each individual life. Those who chose it find themselves fighting against reality.

Proverbs 2:16-19

Temptation threatens to drive us away from reality, from truth. Its falsity leads to deadness. Wisdom can save us from believing in the seduction of the flesh.

Proverbs 2:20-22

Solomon sums up the difference between the life of the wise and the life of the foolish.