11 ¶ The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
To be wise in your own conceits is to be self righteous and full of self worship. You’re puffed up and think you’re better than other people. Previous Proverbs have said;
Proverb 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
Proverb 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
The Christian is told not to be wise in his own conceits. Neither over the Jews;
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Nor over other Christians in his own congregation.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rich people are not necessarily wise because they have money and poor people are not necessarily stupid because they have not. Solomon, the king and the preacher, noticed this in his life.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 ¶ I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
The poor man that has understanding can expose the rich man without wisdom, which is what understanding is, for the fool that he may be. Here are wisdom and understanding given as synonymous, as in many cases, words connected by “and” are synonymous and are alternative words to each other in definition;
Exodus 36:1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.
Deuteronomy 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
For instance, this is the nature of the inspiration given to men from God to write the Bible, to translate it, or to copy it, if such inspiration has, indeed, been put on them. The Bible is not usually word for word dictation but the results of the wisdom God gave unto men who were sometimes exiles, poor, despised, and ignored who obeyed and honored Him, and whom He chose to preserve His words.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
So, with regard to this Proverb, don’t mistake being clever, resourceful, cheap, arrogant, manipulative, and selfish for wisdom. You might be exposed for a fool by someone you wouldn’t permit to shine your shoes. Just remember Paul’s admonition to us.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.