Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget it, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
— Proverbs 4:5
There is a vast difference between the approach of the Hebrew and the Greek minds toward understanding wisdom. For the Greek, it was entirely a matter of the mind—a matter of putting things together and understanding the way the universe was made. It did not necessarily have much to do with the way one lived. Many renowned pagan writers of antiquity not only practiced, but also taught some of the most heinous of sins. In spite of their vast knowledge in some areas, their knowledge of holy and godly living was deficient, to say the least.
In Proverbs we find the door of wisdom open to everyone. But for the Greeks wisdom was reserved for a very select few. Over the gates to the school of Plato were inscribed the words: “Let no one enter herein who is not a geometrician.” Unless you were an expert in the study of geometry, you were not even invited to school.
Proverbs is quite the contrary. Here are invited the ignorant and simple, the foolish and the young—all are warmly invited to come and learn wisdom. In addition, we are told in Proverbs 1 that the wise will also hear and increase in their learning. We are repeatedly admonished that the wise, indeed, are those who hear the Word of God.