Bible Book List
Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5948 shrewdness
5948 shrewdness

5948 shrewdness

Astuteness or craftiness in dealings with others, especially in using one’s understanding and judgment to one’s own advantage. Scripture commends it when it is seen in wise words and actions directed towards a worthy goal, but condemns it when it takes the form of cunning and deceitful scheming for sinful and selfish ends.

Shrewdness as astuteness

It is encouraged in believers Mt 10:16; Lk 16:8-9 Jesus Christ explains the parable of the dishonest manager (Lk 16:1-7) and urges his disciples to be shrewd in their use of worldly wealth.

Practical demonstrations of astuteness Mt 7:24-25 pp Lk 6:47-48 See also Pr 12:23; Pr 14:15; Pr 15:5; Pr 18:15; Mt 24:45-47 pp Lk 12:42-44

Jesus Christ’s wisdom in answering his enemies Mt 22:18-22 pp Mk 12:15-17 pp Lk 20:23-26 on the matter of paying taxes to Caesar; Mt 22:31-32 pp Mk 12:26-27 pp Lk 20:37-38 on the question of the resurrection; Jn 8:7 regarding the woman caught in adultery

Further examples of astuteness 1Sa 23:22-23 David’s shrewdness in fleeing from Saul; 2Sa 14:1-3 Joab’s ruse to persuade David to call Absalom back from exile; 1Ki 3:28 Solomon’s wise judgment; 2Ch 11:23 Rehoboam acts wisely to secure his kingdom; Da 1:11-13 Daniel avoids eating royal food and wine; Mt 2:16 Herod is outwitted by the Magi; Mk 7:27-29 pp Mt 15:26-28 the Syro-Phoenician woman’s wise response

Shrewdness as crafty and deceitful scheming

It demonstrates human sinfulness Ps 64:6 See also Job 15:5; Ps 83:3; Ps 140:1-3; Pr 7:10; Ac 13:10; Eph 4:14

It is condemned by God 2Sa 22:26-27 pp Ps 18:25-26 God is shrewd in dealing with those who cleverly deceive others; Job 5:12-13 See also Ps 94:11; Pr 6:12-15; Pr 12:2; Isa 5:21; Isa 44:24-25; 1Co 1:19; Isa 29:14; 1Co 3:19-20

Others dislike it Pr 14:17; Pr 25:23

It is a characteristic of Satan 2Co 11:3 See also Ge 3:1; 2Co 2:11; 2Co 11:13-15

The craftiness of Jesus Christ’s enemies Mt 22:15-17 pp Mk 12:13-15 pp Lk 20:20-22 The Pharisees try to trap Jesus Christ over paying taxes; Mt 26:3-4 pp Mk 14:1-2 pp Lk 22:1-2 The religious leaders plot Jesus Christ’s death.

Further examples of crafty scheming Ge 25:31-33 Jacob buys Esau’s birthright; Ge 27:15-16 Isaac is tricked into blessing Jacob; Ex 1:10 Pharaoh plans to reduce the number of Israelites; Jos 9:3-6 The Gibeonites deceive Joshua; 2Sa 13:3 Jonadab plots for Amnon against Tamar; Ne 6:2-13 schemes against Nehemiah; 2Co 12:16 Paul sarcastically echoes the slander against him that he tricked people into giving him money.

See also

2081Christ, wisdom
6186evil scheming
8365wisdom, human