My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
– Proverbs 4:20
Verses 20-22 rehearse the exhortation to be attentive to the wise sayings. The repetition supplies emphasis to the command and the need for attentiveness. From this we gather some of the means of obtaining wisdom are diligently applying ourselves to the words of wisdom. He mentions different sensory parts of the body to illustrate the whole-man involvement in acquiring wisdom. He starts with the ear in this verse. The command is to listen, to listen intelligently, to listen for understanding. Solomon elsewhere commanded us to “be more ready to hear” (Ecclesiastes 5:1) than we are to speak. So our immediate response to wise sayings is not to speak but to listen.