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 believersMt 10:16; Lk 16:8-9Jesus 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.
Further examples of astuteness1Sa 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
Further examples of crafty schemingGe 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.
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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