“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
Growing Dominion, Part 166
“The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out”
When it comes to matters of wisdom about wealth, there are obviously many things that many poor people do not know, and which many wealthy people do. Proverbs is full of observations to that effect. Conservative Christians often do not need to be reminded of such truisms—a little sleep, a little slumber, like a door on its hinges, consider the ant, and get off your lazy butt. And, like many truisms, they contain much truth.
But there are also insights about the rich that the poor can have. Notice that this is not a statement that the wealthy don’t know everything (which everyone could easily grant), but rather a statement that on some aspects of the question, a wise man who is poor has insight that a conceited rich man does not have. And what is that? A number of translations of this verse use the expression “sees through.” The rich man is puffed up in his own eyes, and a poor man (provided he has understanding) sees right through the sham.