Proverbs 22:3 poses an intriguing question. This maxim gives every appearance of involving a moral choice. Could it also involve the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum? To produce the good result, which came first, the prudence or the vision? In light of the cause-and-effect principle gleaned from Proverbs 29:18, from the Bible's point of view, God first gives revelation (true vision), and prudence is vision's fruit. Vision motivates carefulness in conducting our affairs.
Prudence means "the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason; sagacity or shrewdness in the management of one's affairs; marked by circumspection, discreet." In other words, it enables us to exercise more control over the direction of our lives. It is a much-desired quality. Vision gives us a sensibility or carefulness that enables us to avoid dangerous pitfalls. The foolish are unwary and uncritical and naively blunder into trouble—even death. A major task of life is to learn what to respect highly. The Bible shows that most fear the wrong things. Above all, we should fear God, but most fear the world and other people.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Two): Vision
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Proverbs 22:3: