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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #02450 - חָכָם
1) wise, wise (man)
1a) skilful (in technical work)
1b) wise (in administration)
1c) shrewd, crafty, cunning, wily, subtle
1d) learned, shrewd (class of men)
1f) wise (ethically and religiously)
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
חָכָם adj. i.q. Gr. σοφός; prop. capable of judging (see the root), knowing; hence
(1) skilful in any art, Isaiah 3:3, 40:20 2 Chronicles 2:6, 12 2 Chronicles 2:12 more fully חֲכַם־לֵב e.g. Exodus 28:3, 31:6 35:10 36:1, Exodus 36:2, Exodus 36:8 (compare Homer, εἰδυῖαι πραπίδες). Jeremiah 10:9, מַעֲשֵׂה חֲכָמִים “the work of skilful artificers.” Jeremiah 9:16, חֲבָמוֹת “(mourning women) skilful” (sc. קִינָה) of lamentation.
(2) wise, i.e. intelligent (φρόνιμος, verftändig), endowed with reason and using it, Deuteronomy 4:6, 32:6 Proverbs 10:1, 13:1 Hos. 14:10 often joined to נָבוֹ Deu. locc. citt. opp. to נָבָל ibid.; אֱוִיל, בְּסִיל Proverbs 17:28; Ecclesiastes 6:8 sagacious, shrewd, 2 Samuel 13:3; Jeremiah 18:18; Isaiah 19:11, 29:14 wise from experience of life, and skilful with regard to affairs both human (Proverbs 1:6; Ecclesiastes 12:11) and divine (Genesis 41:8 hence used of enchanters and magicians, Exodus 7:11, compare Ch. חַבִּים); endued with ability to judge (1 Kings 2:9); hence subtle or crafty, Job 5:13 strong and stedfast in mind, Isaiah 31:2. The range of virtues and mental endowments which were in Hebrew included by this word may be well gathered out of the history and manners of those whose wisdom became proverbial; such as Solomon (1 Kings 5:9, seq.), Daniel (Ezekiel 28:3), the Egyptians (1 Ki. loc. cit.). Thus the wisdom of Solomon was manifested in acuteness in judging (1 Kings 3:16, 10:1, seq.); in his knowledge of many subjects, especially those of nature (1 Kings 5:13); in the abundance of hymns and sentences, which he either composed himself or else retained in memory (1 Kings 5:12; Proverbs 1:1); in his right judgment in human matters, etc.; elsewhere, wisdom also includes skill in civil matters (Isaiah 19:11), in prophesying, explaining dreams, using enchantments (Exodus 7:11; Daniel 5:11). [But observe that in this enumeration, wisdom which comes from God, and even actual inspiration, are blended with the works of darkness, such as magic.] Higher and greater wisdom is attributed to angels than to men, 2 Samuel 14:20 so also to God, Job 9:4 comp. 28:1, seq. The heart is spoken of as being the seat of wisdom; hence often לֵב חָכָם Proverbs 16:23, and חֲכַס לֵב 11:29 16:21. Plur. חֲכָמִים wise men, magicians, Genesis 41:8.
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