The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that is translated as “wisdom” in English is rendered in Amganad Ifugao and Tabasco Chontal as “(big) mind,” in Bulu and Yamba as “heart-thinking,” in Tae’ as “cleverness of heart” (source for this and all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), in Palauan as “bright spirit (innermost)” (source: Bratcher / Hatton), in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “with your best/biggest thinking” (source: Robert Bascom), and in Dobel, it is translated with the idiom “their ear holes are long-lasting” (in Acts 6:3) (source: Jock Hughes).

See also wisdom (Proverbs).

Translation commentary on Proverbs 13:10

“By insolence the heedless make strife”: This line is literally “Only by pride comes strife” or “Pride causes only strife.” Compare 11.2 and 12.15. “Insolence”, like pride or arrogance, refers to having an excessively high opinion of oneself, that is, being conceited. “The heedless” is not in the Hebrew text. Revised Standard Version and other translations have changed the vowels of the word translated “only” to get a word meaning an inconsiderate, thoughtless person, that is, one who is “heedless”. Toy and W.O.E. Oesterley omit the word rendered “only” and the following preposition; Oesterley’s translation is “Insolence makes strife.” Good News Translation keeps the full form of the Hebrew and gets approximately the same translation. “Strife” refers to conflict, discord, or lack of harmony. Contemporary English Version says “Too much pride causes trouble.” Bible en français courant has “Pride only serves to start quarrels.”

“But with those who take advice is wisdom”: This line is about the same as 11.2b, and some make it identical to that line by changing the word rendered “those who take advice” to one meaning “humble.” However, this change is not required on either textual or translational grounds. “Those who take advice” means people who are willing to listen to advice; they are contrasted with the arrogant or “insolent” people in line 1. “Is wisdom” means that people who seek advice show wisdom or are wise. This line may be rendered, for example, “but it is wise to ask for advice.” We may also translate this line by focusing on “wisdom”, as New Jerusalem Bible “wisdom lies with those who take advice.” We may also say, for example, “Wisdom is shown by those who listen to advice” or “If a person is willing to listen to what other people say, that person is wise.”

Quoted with permission from Reyburn, William D. and Fry, Euan McG. A Handbook on Proverbs. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2000. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .