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Wisdom is better

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an inheritance, and advantageous to those who see the sun,


When you place the two side by side in order to compare them, wisdom is better than an inheritance of material possessions, and its scope is greater because it is advantageous to anyone alive.


1: “is better”

This chapter has been characterized so far by a list of comparisons. The key word in each case has been the word “better,” which has consistently been the first word in the Hebrew sentence expressing the comparison. This one is no different; it is a comparison and it starts in Hebrew with “better,” or “good.”  However, it sounds a bit different from the rest and therefore most translations use the word “good” instead of “better” and they separate it from the section of comparison. At the same time, everyone agrees that this is some kind of comparison or contrast between wisdom and a material inheritance. I believe it should be translate as “better” and that it belongs with the rest of the “better” statements. The superiority of wisdom is the point of this verse and the next.

2: “beside”

While “with” is the primary meaning of this preposition, it can also mean “against, beside on alongside.”