Main point summary
My Son, if you pursue wisdom, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Because the Lord will give wisdom to you. Then you will understand righteousness.
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her
And search for her
as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord ,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
This purpose does not make sense. The ESV and NET translated with "manner" relationship which makes more sense.
Progression: hear apply cry out lift up your voice seek search
There is no lazy way of understanding the fear of the Lord and to find the knowledge of God. David received much of an understanding of God. He wrote often how he delighted and meditated on the Word of God. Thank God for His Word. The NKJV translates in verse 2a with a "so that", making verse 1 the action and verses 2-4 the purpose of that action. Verses 1-4 are the condition for verses 5-6 and verse 9. Verses 6-8 are the ground on which verses 1-5 and verse 9 stand on. Action: Receive my words Treasure my commands Purpose (NKJV), Manner (ESV): incline your ear to wisdom apply your heart to understanding cry out for discernment lift up your voice for understanding seek her (wisdom) search for her NKJV: Receive the words of the father, to incline the ear to wisdom (Distinct statement) . The words of the father and wisdom are not the same. In this case, the words of the father should lead the son to wisdom. ESV: The son receives the words of the father by inclining his ear to wisdom (Restatement) . The words of the father and wisdom are the same. In this case, the very words of the father are wisdom and the way he receives them is by inclining his ear. If the son meets that condition, then: He will understand the fear of the Lord verse 5b He will understand righteousness, justice, equity and every good path verse 9 Verses 6-8 is the ground on how the son receives the father's words. The ground is the Lord's gracious giving of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The son cannot produce wisdom. But he can submit to what the Lord gives to him. The search for wisdom is the search for Christ: Col 2:3 - in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.