63 Bible Verses about Shrewdness
Most Relevant Verses
Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.
And [his] master praised the dishonest (unjust) manager for acting shrewdly and prudently; for the sons of this age are shrewder and more prudent and wiser in [ relation to] their own generation [to their own age and kind] than are the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon ( deceitful riches, money, possessions), so that when it fails, they [those you have favored] may receive and welcome you into the everlasting habitations (dwellings).
Also [Jesus] said to the disciples, There was a certain rich man who had a manager of his estate, and accusations [against this man] were brought to him, that he was squandering his [master's] possessions. And he called him and said to him, What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management [of my affairs], for you can be [my] manager no longer. And the manager of the estate said to himself, What shall I do, seeing that my master is taking the management away from me? I am not able to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.read more.
I have come to know what I will do, so that they [my master's debtors] may accept and welcome me into their houses when I am put out of the management. So he summoned his master's debtors one by one, and he said to the first, How much do you owe my master? He said, A hundred measures [about 900 gallons] of oil. And he said to him, Take back your written acknowledgement of obligation, and sit down quickly and write fifty [about 450 gallons]. After that he said to another, And how much do you owe? He said, A hundred measures [about 900 bushels] of wheat. He said to him, Take back your written acknowledgement of obligation, and write eighty [about 700 bushels].
So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.
A fool despises his father's instruction and correction, but he who regards reproof acquires prudence.
Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time? Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing. I solemnly declare to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful steward, the wise man whom his master will set over those in his household service to supply them their allowance of food at the appointed time? Blessed (happy and to be envied) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will set him in charge over all his possessions.
But Jesus, aware of their malicious plot, asked, Why do you put Me to the test and try to entrap Me, you pretenders (hypocrites)? Show me the money used for the tribute. And they brought Him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, Whose likeness and title are these?read more.
They said, Caesar's. Then He said to them, Pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar, and pay to God the things that are due to God. When they heard it they were amazed and marveled; and they left Him and departed.
Should we pay [them] or should we not pay [them]? But knowing their hypocrisy, He asked them, Why do you put Me to the test? Bring Me a coin (a denarius), so I may see it. And they brought [Him one]. Then He asked them, Whose image (picture) is this? And whose superscription ( title)? They said to Him, Caesar's. Jesus said to them, Pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. And they stood marveling and greatly amazed at Him.
But He recognized and understood their cunning and unscrupulousness and said to them, Show Me a denarius (a coin)! Whose image and inscription does it have? They answered, Caesar's. He said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.read more.
So they could not in the presence of the people take hold of anything He said to turn it against Him; but marveling at His reply, they were silent.
But as to the resurrection of the dead -- "have you never read what was said to you by God, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!
But concerning the dead being raised -- "have you not read in the book of Moses, [in the passage] about the [burning] bush, how God said to him, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of [the] dead, but of [the] living! You are very wrong.
But that the dead are raised [ from death] -- "even Moses made known and showed in the passage concerning the [burning] bush, where he calls the Lord, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all men are alive [whether in the body or out of it] and they are alive [not dead] unto Him [in definite relationship to Him].
However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.
Go, make yet more sure; and know and see where his haunt is and who has seen him there; for I am told he deals very craftily. See and take note of all his hiding places and come back to me with the certain facts, and I will go with you. If he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.
Now Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart was toward Absalom. And Joab sent to Tekoah and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, Pretend to be a mourner; put on mourning apparel, do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has long been mourning for the dead. And go to the king and speak thus to him. And Joab told her what to say.
Then said Daniel to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove your servants, I beseech you, for ten days and let us be given a vegetable diet and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat of the king's [rich] dainties be observed and compared by you, and deal with us your servants according to what you see.
Then Herod, when he realized that he had been misled by the wise men, was furiously enraged, and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years old and under, reckoning according to the date which he had investigated diligently and had learned exactly from the wise men.
And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children's bread and throw it to the [little house] dogs. But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children's scraps of food. And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter [permanently].
And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs. She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups ( little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters' table. Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.
They think out acts of injustice and say, We have accomplished a well-devised thing! For the inward thought of each one [is unsearchable] and his heart is deep.
Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men; They devise mischiefs in their heart; continually they gather together and stir up wars. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent's; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
And said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes?
So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
Toward the loving and loyal You will show Yourself loving and loyal, and with the upright and blameless You will show Yourself upright and blameless. To the pure You will show Yourself pure, and to the willful You will show Yourself willful.
With the kind and merciful You will show Yourself kind and merciful, with an upright man You will show Yourself upright, With the pure You will show Yourself pure, and with the perverse You will show Yourself contrary.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise or anything of [lasting] worth. He catches the [so-called] wise in their own trickiness, and the counsel of the schemers is brought to a quick end.
A worthless person, a wicked man, is he who goes about with a perverse (contrary, wayward) mouth. He winks with his eyes, he speaks by shuffling or tapping with his feet, he makes signs [to mislead and deceive] and teaches with his fingers. Willful and contrary in his heart, he devises trouble, vexation, and evil continually; he lets loose discord and sows it.read more.
Therefore upon him shall the crushing weight of calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken, and that without remedy.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He Who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by Myself [who was with Me]? -- " [I am the Lord] Who frustrates the signs and confounds the omens [upon which the false prophets' forecasts of the future are based] of the [boasting] liars and makes fools of diviners, Who turns the wise backward and makes their knowledge foolishness,
For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing.
Therefore, behold! I will again do marvelous things with this people, marvelous and astonishing things; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discerning men will vanish or be hidden.
For this world's wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness; And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are.
But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?
For such men are false apostles [spurious, counterfeits], deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah). And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds.
Then the Pharisees went and consulted and plotted together how they might entangle Jesus in His talk. And they sent their disciples to Him along with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are sincere and what You profess to be and that You teach the way of God truthfully, regardless of consequences and being afraid of no man; for You are impartial and do not regard either the person or the position of anyone. Tell us then what You think about this: Is it lawful to pay tribute [levied on individuals and to be paid yearly] to Caesar or not?
But they sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to Him for the purpose of entrapping Him in His speech. And they came up and said to Him, Teacher, we know that You are sincere and what You profess to be, that You cannot lie, and that You have no personal bias for anyone; for You are not influenced by partiality and have no regard for anyone's external condition or position, but in [and on the basis of] truth You teach the way of God. Is it lawful (permissible and right) to give tribute ( poll taxes) to Caesar or not? Should we pay [them] or should we not pay [them]? But knowing their hypocrisy, He asked them, Why do you put Me to the test? Bring Me a coin (a denarius), so I may see it.
So they watched [for an opportunity to ensnare] Him, and sent spies who pretended to be upright (honest and sincere), that they might lay hold of something He might say, so as to turn Him over to the control and authority of the governor. They asked Him, Teacher, we know that You speak and teach what is right, and that You show no partiality to anyone but teach the way of God honestly and in truth. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar or not?
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the [ open] court of the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, And consulted together in order to arrest Jesus by stratagem secretly and put Him to death.
It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were all the while seeking to arrest [Jesus] by secrecy and deceit and put [Him] to death, For they kept saying, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there might be a riot of the people.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread was drawing near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to do away with [Jesus], for they feared the people.
Jacob answered, Then sell me today your birthright (the rights of a firstborn). Esau said, See here, I am at the point of death; what good can this birthright do me? Jacob said, Swear to me today [that you are selling it to me]; and he swore to [Jacob] and sold him his birthright.
Then Rebekah took her elder son Esau's best clothes which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, They worked cunningly, and went pretending to be ambassadors and took [provisions and] old sacks on their donkeys and wineskins, old, torn, and mended, And old and patched shoes on their feet and wearing old garments; and all their supply of food was dry and moldy.read more.
And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, We have come from a far country; so now, make a covenant with us.
Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave to come down to you? They sent to me four times this way, and I answered them as before.read more.
Then Sanballat sent his servant to me again the fifth time with an open letter. In it was written: It is reported among the neighboring nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore you are building the wall, that you may be their king, according to the report. Also you have set up prophets to announce concerning you in Jerusalem, There is a king in Judah. And now this will be reported to the [Persian] king. So, come now and let us take counsel together. I replied to him, No such things as you say have been done; you are inventing them out of your own heart and mind. For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, Their hands will be so weak that the work will not be done. But now strengthen my hands! I went into the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up. He said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you -- "at night they are coming to kill you. But I said, Should such a man as I flee? And what man such as I could go into the temple [where only the priests are allowed to go] and yet live? I will not go in. And behold, I saw that God had not sent him, but he made this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He was hired that I should be made afraid and do as he said and sin, that they might have matter for an evil report with which to taunt and reproach me.