That's exactly what happened when I stumbled across the word endow the other day.
Immediately I thought of context: The National Endowment for the Arts, or The Financial Endowment for Harvard came to mind. Organizations such as these cannot exist without being endowed - - typically by someone or something other than themselves.
Merriam tells us that endow means to furnish with a dower (same as dowry); to provide with something freely or naturally. Then, if we follow that trail, he tells us that a dowry means an estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage, or a gift of money/property by a man to/for his bride. Seems a dowry can go either direction.
Wow. Don't we all get that! (I'm wondering why He chose to the word "her" to describe this un-endowed creature?)
So, instead of harking "Dumber than a box of rocks!"; we can hark "Dumber than an Ostrich!". (What a delight it is to use the term hark in context.)
It's not so much that ostriches bury their heads in sand as it is that they're totally oblivious to reason. They do what they do BECAUSE they are NOT able to do anything other than that.
So, my thoughts trailed along that course for awhile, leading me eventually to the subject of just how one does become endowed with wisdom or the understanding born of it? Certainly knowledge helps; the gathering of information and input and experience. But that's not all.
On I went:
And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me (Isaiah),
endowed with his Spirit.
Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son,
endowed with intelligence and discernment
2 Chronicles 2:12
Arise, shine, for your (Israel's) light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you..
...to the honor of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.
Isaiah 1:1, 9
We've all heard it said: "He/she is so smart - brilliant even; but they haven't a lick of common sense." If it's true of ostriches, then it's certainly true of me - - or it COULD BE true of me.
If we take Merriam's definition of dowry, and we see that God Himself provided for both sides of the equation where marriage is concerned, we see more clearly that He alone endows wisdom AND understanding (not to mention His endowments of each & every other thing He requires).
However, to the one who does not work but trusts God
Who justifies the ungodly (endowment),
their faith is credited as righteousness.
Now he who supplies (endows) seed to the sower and
bread for food will also supply (endows) and increase
your store of seed and will enlarge (endow) the
harvest of your righteousness.
2 Corinthians 9:10
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who has become for us (endowment) wisdom from God—
that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption
1 Corinthians 1:30
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness
(endowment) of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
In closing, let me just say how utterly blessed & baffled am I by so rich an estate. Never in a million years could I provide so rich a dowry for myself; yet I am given such because of what He's done for me (and you).
What an endowment!