The Meaning of Proverbs 1:6 Explained

Proverbs 1:6

KJV: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

YLT: For understanding a proverb and its sweetness, Words of the wise and their acute sayings.

Darby: to understand a proverb and an allegory, the words of the wise and their enigmas.

ASV: To understand a proverb, and a figure, The words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

What does Proverbs 1:6 Mean?

Context Summary

Proverbs 1:1-19 - "the Beginning Of Knowledge"
Notice the perfect balance of each clause, and the duplication of the one thought in the two clauses of each verse.
Wisdom as used in this book is more than intellectual learning or cleverness. It represents a moral quality, the result of a pure and a true life. We are conscious that many simple-minded people, who have little enough book-learning, are remarkable for sagacious advice, insight into character, the wise reading of events, an intuitive knowledge-all based on the fear of God. The headlines of Scotch copy-books used to be taken from this book. Certain it is that the young who ponder and practice these maxims can hardly fail of a successful career. [source]

Chapter Summary: Proverbs 1

1  The use of the proverbs
7  An exhortation to fear God, and believe his word
10  to avoid the enticing of sinners
20  Wisdom complains of her contempt
24  She threatens her contemners

What do the individual words in Proverbs 1:6 mean?

To understand a proverb and an enigma the words of the wise and their riddles
לְהָבִ֣ין מָ֭שָׁל וּמְלִיצָ֑ה דִּבְרֵ֥י חֲ֝כָמִ֗ים וְחִידֹתָֽם

לְהָבִ֣ין  To  understand 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive construct
Root: בִּין  
Sense: to discern, understand, consider.
מָ֭שָׁל  a  proverb 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מָשָׁל  
Sense: proverb, parable.
וּמְלִיצָ֑ה  and  an  enigma 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, feminine singular
Root: מְלִיצָה  
Sense: satire, mocking poem, mocking song, taunting, figure, enigma.
דִּבְרֵ֥י  the  words 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: דָּבָר  
Sense: speech, word, speaking, thing.
חֲ֝כָמִ֗ים  of  the  wise 
Parse: Adjective, masculine plural
Root: חָכָם  
Sense: wise, wise (man).
וְחִידֹתָֽם  and  their  riddles 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, feminine plural construct, third person masculine plural
Root: חִידָה  
Sense: riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question.