“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 1

“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 1

The word “whoso” is found 54 times in the King James Version. Interestingly, exactly half of these are found in the book of Proverbs. Of these 27 occurrences, let us take note of a few in this series of studies.

Beginning in Proverbs 1:20, wisdom is personified. That is, wisdom is pictured as if it were a living being. Verse 20 states, “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets.” Hence, that which follows is as if wisdom has a voice and is instructing as a teacher. Wisdom reveals, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh” (Prov. 1:24-26). The failure, then, to heed the “voice” of wisdom will result in severe consequences. The text further reveals that those who refuse to listen to wisdom will reach a point in which they need wisdom’s message. However, when that time comes and they call for the instruction of wisdom, such will not be at their disposal. Although they call, wisdom will not respond (Prov. 1:28). Since they refused wise counsel when it was available to them wisdom will, in like manner, turn her back upon them in time of need (Prov. 1:29, 30); and they, in turn, will suffer the consequences (Prov. 1:31). However, wisdom closes her comments on a positive note: “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Prov. 1:31).

As with most of the Proverbs, these are general in nature and will not work out exactly in this fashion on every occasion. We know, for example, of individuals who do foolish things, disregarding wisdom, and who suffer little to no consequences. Likewise, we know of individuals who “hearken” to wisdom, yet who have terrible things befall them. However, the general rule that one who follows wisdom’s directives will “dwell safely” is certainly true. This being the case, are you a “whoso” who hearkens unto wisdom?


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