“Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city. For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”
“Wisdom strengthens the wise,” just as muscle strengthens a body-builder or money strengthens the rich. But I think it may be more than just quantity that generates strength.
The other day I was doing some strength and plyometric training with my soccer coach, and he introduced me to a concept of which I cannot even remember the name. But anyway, we were doing some maximum effort jumps with a basketball hoop, and I was coming up about one inch short of the rim. Coach assured me that in a couple weeks I would be grabbing it.
It’s a cool thought to think that at 5’9″ I might be able to grab the rim on a 10-foot basket with some more work and strength training, and I dream as I watch 6-foot guys dunking basketballs. But even though I’m shorter and have shorter arms, it’s not an impossible goal.
Why? Coach explained that the more I jump and reach for that hoop, the more confident I get that I can reach my goal. The more confident I am, the more efficiently and powerfully I jump and the higher I go. The higher I go, the more confident I become. It just continually builds on itself until I reach my goals.
This concept seems to be here in verse 19. The more wisdom a wise person gains, the stronger he becomes and the more useful his wisdom becomes to him. His wisdom not only becomes more abundant but more useful and relevant to himself.
The end result? Wisdom strengthens more than ten rulers can strengthen a city. I like that analogy.
Verse 20 reminds me of Romans 3:10-18. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” No one is free from sin. No man is entirely just. Some people do good, but no one does good and does not sin.
Wisdom strengthens those who are wise,
Above all others these people will rise.
And there is no just man on this earth
Who has done good and not sinned since his birth.