Hebrew Pronunciation [tuh vew NAH]

HCSB Translation: understanding

Uses in the OT: 42


My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God
(Proverbs 2:1-5)


 Tevunah (understanding, competence, sound judgment) refers to competency at a particular skill or task relevant to living successfully within society.  It does not connote a deep intellectual understanding of this world or thought, an idea prominently associated with the synonymous binah (understanding).  Rather, tevunah refers to the skillful know-how of a craftsman (Ex. 31:3; 35:31; 36:1; 1Kg 7:14), the business savvy of a king (Ezk 28:4), the skill of the idol-maker (Hos. 13:2), and skill at speech (Job 32:11).  It may refer to skill at discerning the plans and purposes of God (Deut. 32:28), sociopolitical realities (Ob. 7-8), or spiritual realities (Isa. 44:19).  Both David (Ps. 78:72) and Solomon (1 Kgs. 4:29) were endowed with understanding to rule skillfully (Pr. 28:16). Understanding leading to skillful living is the gift of God (Ex. 31:3; 1 Kgs. 4:29) and may be gained through long life (Job 12:12).  The person who acquires understanding is happy (3:13), quiet (11:12), patient (14:29; 17:27), humble (18:2), and successful (19:8).


Word Studies courtesy of the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible. Used with permissions from B&H Publishing Group, A Division of LifeWay Christian Resources.