An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Two times in Solomon’s short and relatively easy-to-understand statement, he uses the word “knowledge” to press home his point: It is something to desire. His statement mentions two aspects of the human condition: the heart and the ear. These items are further qualified as an intelligent heart and the ear of the wise. All of these items lead to the apparent issue: knowledge is something to pursue, and it is good for us to have it. How, then, should it be pursued?
First, an intelligent heart acquires knowledge. The heart is the center seat of emotions of the human condition. Elsewhere, Solomon tells us to guard our heart because it is the focal point of all our behavior (Prov. 4:23). It is essential, therefore, to fill that heart with good knowledge. Each day we fill our hearts with something. Knowledge comes at us in various forms and from multiple directions. Not everything we learn is good for the soul. If we pursue the wrong kind of knowledge, the wrong types of behavior will follow. An intelligent heart will seek edifying knowledge, which leads to righteousness and godliness and nourishes and strengthens one’s walk with the Savior. A stupid heart will gather to itself any knowledge without discernment, and it will lead to ruin.
Second, the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Again, the source of knowledge is essential. The ear is often the gateway to the heart, though it isn’t the only door. The eyes, too, are often used to gain knowledge (reading, watching, etc.). Here, Solomon employs the “ear-gate.” What is it we are listening to regularly? Often both senses are in view simultaneously (watching television, for instance). We must employ our ears to true, helpful knowledge that will sustain us in the pilgrimage of this life.