According to most folks - you can get wisdom from numerous sources - all of which are pretty much equal to one another. I know this is not a popular statement - but that view is contrary to what the Scriptures state. The Word of God makes it clear that the true source of wisdom is Jehovah and the Words that come from His mouth (i.e. revelation of Himself in Scripture). The world will actually lead you astray in the end - God never will.
Now in order to undestand the previous statement, you have to grasp a biblical view of life. It is not enough for us to go around and make semi-wise choices in life. The purpose God gave us life is that we would live for and unto His glory. That includes coming to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ - then living the rest of our lives to the glory of God. That is wisdom. Anything that does not ultimately lead to that end is foolishness.
Some assert that Confucius, Plato, Socrates, and other philosophers and sages offer us great wisdom. I do not disagree that they have sayings that are wise - but I also assert that the only reason their sayings reach the level of wisdom is because they agree with what the Scriptures teach us - either directly or in spirit. The problem with following such wisdom as a source is that none of these men ever came to faith in the God of the Bible. Thus, in spite of their temporary wisdom - they ended their lives in utter foolishness - following the same rebellious purposes of mankind. Unfortunately, none of their so-called wisdom led them to see their own sinfulness and the God of creation. None of their so-called wisdom led them to turn away from their own works and look in faith to God and His solution for the sin of mankind. I realize that such a statement seems either unbelievably bold or incredibly arrogant. But this is the standard worldview of the Bible.
The LORD gives wisdom - this is the assertion of this proverb. If you really want wisdom - turn to God. If you want to grasp knowledge and understanding, you are going to have to realize such things come from God's mouth - i.e. the revelation of Scripture. Jesus said, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." This does not mean that we have to hear God actually speaking to us every day. Jesus was speaking of how the Scriptures give us God speaking - His revelation of Himself and His will and ways. If we learn to listen to Him through the Word - we will truly be wise.
What does it mean to know wisdom in the area of "knowledge?" The Hebrew word here for knowledge means a technical or specific knowledge of God, of the world, and of how to make practical decisions based upon what God says. That is a wonderful thing to have - that specific "word" from God that comes from understanding and applying Scripture to your situation. The ability to technically use God's Word and the knowledge of Him and His ways to know what to do in every situation you face. The second word, understanding, helps even more. It means the ability to discern - decide between two things and differentiate between them - thus a biblically based reason and skillfulness in chosing between what is God's will and what is sinful - or in certain cases, second best. That means we have the ability through knowing God and His Word to see a choice between two or more things - and then be able to distinguish what is God's will and way - and what is not.
Some want these things through a direct - or at least that is how they represent it - communication with God. "God told me to do this or that," is their reply to just about everything. I used to do this more than I needed to and it presents a real problem for us and for those who love us. It places us in the position of infallibly knowing God's will. God said it to us - are you questioning God? I've heard from God - are you questioning Him? The problem actually is not anyone questioning God - it is that we are questioning your ability to hear Him infallibly at all times. Thus we place ourselves in a position of not being questioned about our decisions - and put our friends and family in the uncomfortable spot of not really being able to offer loving critique of our infallibility of having heard from God.
Wisdom is seeing that the way we hear from God is through His Word as His Spirit teaches us - or grants us impressions and leadings. Often what I was actually saying when I spoke of God speaking to me, was that His Word said something to me - and I was seeking to obey Him. In all honesty - I could have misinterpreted the Word - or picked a verse that agreed with what I wanted to do. Remember, the LORD gives wisdom - and it is from His mouth that the specific knowledge and discerning understanding come to make godly decisions. Therefore it is wise to appeal to His Word - and also be open to correction, suggestion, and possibly even rebuke as to our impression or leading. This requires the ability to think critically about ourselves and our decisions - which I know is very hard. But it also requires us to be able to stand on the Word when we know it is God leading us through it. In the end, it requires knowing the LORD, the Word, and a growing maturity in both. God does give wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to us. He gives it freely, according to James chapter one, to those who need wisdom and understanding. Turn to Him - to where He has spoken objectively in His Word - and learn to follow His leading - not as an infallible inner subjective word - but as a work of His Holy Spirit that can be confirmed through the Scriptures and godly counsel. He will lead you and guide you this way - and you will be far more secure in that leading - than in a subjective feeling you have inside.