NAFSHI

A Unique Online Torah Learning Resource

Mishlei 18-04 (Words)

NOTE: We are unable to provide you with a PDF copy of this article at the present time. However, we hope to resume this service in the near future. Thanks for your patience.
Key Concepts of Mishlei 18-04 (Words)
People often underestimate the significance of the words spoken by a wise man Mishlei encourages the listener to think carefully into the implications of what this man has said. There may great depth to his words of wisdom and the listener should pay special attention to the important lessons that may lie below the surface. Even the choice of words used by the wise man deserve study.
The listener should be aware that the man of wisdom is able to draw upon an unending stream of Torah knowledge and everything he says reflects what he has absorbed and thought about over the years.
Exploring Mishlei
(ד) מַיִם עֲמֻקִּים דִּבְרֵי פִי אִישׁ נַחַל נֹבֵעַ מְקוֹר חָכְמָה:
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the source of wisdom is a flowing stream.
The proverb contrasts the simple meaning of the actual words that were spoken with the unending flow of wisdom that is available to the mind of the speaker. The first part of the proverb takes us from the words themselves to the depths of meaning below the surface, which are visualized as deep waters. The second part of the proverb reminds us that the wisdom of the speaker is an unending flow, like an underground stream.
Learning Mishlei
(ד) מַיִם עֲמֻקִּים דִּבְרֵי פִי אִישׁ
נַחַל נֹבֵעַ  מְקוֹר חָכְמָה:
The words of a wise man's mouth are like deep waters — מַיִם עֲמֻקִּים דִּבְרֵי פִי אִישׁ ; the source of his wisdom is a flowing stream — נַחַל נֹבֵעַ מְקוֹר חָכְמָה .
 
Additional Insights
(1). The source of Torah Wisdom has the purity of an underground stream. Its flow is continuous and eternal. ( אבן עזרא )
(2). The two parts of the proverb suggest differences in the ease of access to wisdom. The first part looks at the words of wisdom from the point of view of the listener. Because the waters of wisdom are so deep he may find difficulty in grasping their meaning. This challenge results from his lack of preparation and his involvement in material things. The second part shows us that the man of wisdom is rewarded for his years f learning with the clarity of thinking and an unending stream of insight. ( מלבים )
(3). Words of Torah wisdom can be compared to deep waters, but only if they are authentic. That is, if they reflect years of conscientious learning by a Torah scholar. Only in that case will the source of wisdom be an ever flowing stream. This is the message of the proverb. ( תורת בר נש )
(4). In an alternative interpretation, some people use words to deceive others about the reasons and purposes of their doings. Those carefully chosen words are compared to deep waters which cannot be fathomed. In contrast, the wise man’s words are open and crystal clear. They well up from the depths of his being, like from an underground spring. ( רשר"ה )