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Why is fearing the Lord the beginning of knowledge?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom begins when we accept the wisdom of the wisest one of all. This separates worldly wisdom and spiritual wisdom. The world can come up with some pretty interesting standards for living, but ultimately it falls short of true wisdom. Worldly wisdom works for a time, but is not eternal. Worldly wisdom is selfish, focusing more on the happiness of the one who seeks it and less about others.

By “fearing” the Lord, interpreted as having a healthy respect for God, we bow to the knowledge giver then begin to receive the wisdom he passes down to us. If we don’t respect the source, we won’t respect the knowledge.

Fools, as the passage states, hate wisdom and despise receiving discipline for breaking the rules of that wisdom. The fools prefer selfish endeavors.

Wise people receive knowledge, but they can only do that when they are humble.