PROVERBS 1-4

I. Introduction. V. 1‑19

1. Title = Proverbs:

A. Websters = a short sentence expressing a well known truth or common fact established by experience or observation; a maxim (an established principle generally received and admitted as true).

B. Hebrew = word translated Proverbs means a comparison.

C. Greek = word translated proverb means an allegory (a figurative description of real facts); speech or discourse in which a thing is illustrated by the use of similes and comparisons.

D. English = our English word proverb is actually made up of two Latin words: 1) "pro" = instead of, 2)"verbs" = words, thus a proverb is a sentence that is "instead of many words."

E. Plainly stated = a proverb is a short statement that summarizes a wise principle; these sayings collected in Proverbs are divine wisdom applied to the earthly conditions of the people of God; the Jews did much teaching through proverbs because these short, "catchy" sentences were easy to remember.

2. Author = God the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16) using the human instrumentality of Solomon (mostly) (Pro. 1:1; 10:1; 25:1); I Kings 4:32 informs us that Solomon spoke 3000 proverbs which were no doubt recorded in the official records; Solomon wrote Proverbs chapters 1‑24, some of which he spoke and some may have been sayings already current among the people, perhaps for many centuries (Eccl. 12:9); Proverbs chapters 25‑29 were copied from Solomon's previously recorded proverbs, by men who were royal recorders under King Hezekiah; Proverbs chapters 30‑31 is material written by other writers (Pro. 30:1; Pro. 31:1)‑‑some believe that King Lemuel was really Solomon; Solomon was known for his wisdom, even though later in his life he turned to idolatry and folly.

3. Theme = wisdom, which is the key word in this book; refers not to worldly wisdom but heavenly wisdom which is a spiritual matter; in Proverbs wisdom is actually pictured as a lovely woman who calls to men to follow her into a life of blessing and success‑‑thus this pictures Jesus who is made unto us wisdom (I Cor. 1:30); folly is pictured as a wicked woman who tempts the foolish and leads them to hell.

4. Value = Proverbs is valuable to us as a guidebook for practical wisdom in everyday life for it deals with many facets of life; it is a good book from which to read a chapter a day, thus, reading the entire book through each month.

5. Outline:

I. Introduction. V. 1:1‑19

II. Wisdom's calls. V. 1:20‑9:18

III. Wisdom's contrasts. V. 10:1‑15:33

IV. Wisdom's counsels. V. 16:1‑31:31

 

CHAPTER 1:

 

V. 1

1. "Proverbs" = short catchy sayings that express well known truths or common facts established by experience or observation.

2. "Solomon" = the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to pen down the majority of this book (II Peter 1:21); the third king of Israel; one of king David's sons by Bathsheba; the wisest man on earth (II Chron. 1:7‑12; I Kings 4:31)

3. "David" = the second king of Israel; the youngest son of Jesse; a man after God's own heart. (I Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22)

4. "King" = ruler; leader.

5. "Israel" = the name given to the patriarch Jacob (Gen. 32:28) just after being saved; means "prince of God;" refers to the descendants of Jacob through his 12 sons (tribes) which as a nation was chosen by God to be a light to all other nations; later they are referred to as Jews.

 

V. 2

1. This verse primarily summarizes this book by mentioning the purposes for which this book was written:

      A. Knowledge.

      B. Discernment.

2. "Know" = knowledge gained by experience; involves the idea of understanding what is known.

3. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; the power by which human personality reaches its highest spiritual perfection.

4. "Instruction" = discipline or training; refers to the internal strength to act on that understanding‑‑wisdom.

5. "To perceive" = to understand; the underlying idea is to discern‑‑to see the difference between two or more things‑‑rightly divide (II Tim. 2:15); the ability to see the heart of something or to understand its true nature.

6. "Words" = speech; utterance.

7. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit.

 

V. 3

1. "To receive" = to take; to lay hold of; conveys the idea of intellectual reception.

2. "Instruction" = discipline or training; kindred word to chastisement.

3. "Wisdom" = thought fulness; implies the thinking through of  subject and then transforming one's life to live according to the standards of God Himself.

4. "Justice" = righteousness (so translated in Pro. 2:9); word includes the idea of truth and the practice of doing good; active goodness; the underlying idea is that of straightness.

5. "Judgment" = right reasoning; refers to passing a right sentence upon human actions, whether our own or another's.

6. "Equity" = righteousness of principle and practice in thought and action.

 

V. 4

1. "To give" = to supply; to furnish.

2. "Subtility" = shrewdness; the faculty of readily discerning and distinguishing ideas, and of separating truth from falsehood; we usually think of this word as meaning "trickery" because of its association with the devil in the NT (II Cor. 11:3) but that is not the case here.

3. "Simple" = the open; the open hearted; the naive; refers to those whose minds are ready to receive impressions for good or evil; those who are susceptible to external impressions and so easily misled; implies the inexperienced.

4. "Young man" = youth whether male or female; refers to the young in Christ no matter what the age.

5. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.

6. "Discretion" = prudence; cautious; watchful on all sides; examining carefully all the circumstances that may effect a determination; that which sets a man on his guard and prevents him from being duped by others.

 

V. 5

1. "Wise" = intelligent; skillful; artful.

2. "Man" = in italics thus supplied by the translators; refers to both men and women who are wise.

3. "Will hear" = not might but "will hear;" means to hear with the aspect of paying attention and obeying.

4. "Will increase learning" = not might but "will" if wise; implies a wise man will strengthen his ability to understand and use the proverbs.

5. "A man" = male or female.

6. "Of understanding" = intelligence; refers to one who lays himself open to be instructed.

7. "Shall attain" = not might but "shall;" shall gain; shall acquire.

8. "Wise counsels" = guidance; refers to the proverbs; literally, the power to "steer" his course rightly on the dangerous seas of life.

9. Verses 2‑6 gives us the reasons Proverbs was written:

      A. "To know." (verse 2)

      B. "To perceive." (verse 2)

      C. "To receive." (verse 3)

      D. "To give." (verse 4)

      E. "To understand." (verse 6)

10. Verses 4‑5 also reveals to us to whom this book is written to:

      A. "The simple." (verse 4)

      B. "The young." (verse 4)

      C. "The wise." (verse 5)

      D. "The understanding." (verse 5)

 

V. 6

1. "To understand" = to separate mentally.

2. "Proverb" = short catchy sayings that express well known truths or common facts established by experience or observation; this verse carries on the idea which is stated in verse 5; the end of the wise and intelligent man's increase in learning and prudence is that he may be thus enabled to understand other proverbs.

3. "Interpretation" = the Hebrew word here means"riddle"‑‑

something puzzling; may be regarded as pointing out that which is obscure and involved in meaning.

4. "The words of the wise" = implies that other than Solomon's proverbs are included in this collection and even they need to be understood.

5. "Their" = refers to the words of the wise.

6. "Dark sayings" = obscure sentence or thought; something so complicated that no one could decipher it without inside information‑‑help from the Holy Spirit.

7. Not all proverbs are created equal.  Some are fairly easy to understand, others are more difficult, and some are intentionally obscure.  Here Solomon is encouraging students to persevere in studying so they would grow in their ability to understand even proverbs that are of dark sayings and riddles.

 

V. 7

1. "Fear of the LORD" = reverential fear and awe of the LORD with a hatred for evil; has an attitude of obedience; in order to benefit from this Book as God intends, it must be approached with the conviction that it will be obeyed; this is the starting point of all true wisdom.

2. "LORD" = Jehovah; the self existent one who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM. (Exo. 3:14)

3. "Beginning" = starting point.

4. "Knowledge" = kin to the word "wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God. (Pro. 9:10; 15:33)

5. "But" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because the verse shows contrast between those who have an attitude of obedience and one of rebellion, between the wise and fools.

6. "Fools" = one who is destitute of reason; one who does not exercise his reason; one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom.

7. "Despise" = disrespects; to "abhor" = to cast off or reject; to neglect.

8. "Wisdom" = see #4 in this verse.

9. "Instruction" = discipline or training.

 

V. 8

1. "My" = "father" = refers to Solomon in context.

2. "Son" = "thy" = son in a literal sense; implies any one who came to him for instruction, any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; thus this applies to us as this designation is used many times throughout the book of Proverbs.

4. "Hear" = to hear intelligently; implies attention and obedience.

5. "Instruction" = discipline and training.

6. "Forsake" = reject; negated by "not."

7. "Law" = rules; guidelines.

8. "Mother" = the mother of Solomon's son; refers to every mother of a child, who having an equal or greater tenderness for her offspring, and a true and hearty regard for their welfare, will instruct them in the best manner she can, give the best rules, and prescribe the best laws she can for their good, which ought to be carefully attended to and observed as those of a father; she is mentioned because the law of God equally enjoins reverence and obedience to both parents while human laws among the Gentiles did not.

V. 9

1. "They" = refers to instructions of the father and laws of the mother that were obeyed.

2. "An ornament of grace unto thy head" = this means just as in popular opinion ornaments and jewels are supposed to set off the personal form, so obedience toward parents in the ways of virtue embellishes the moral character.

3. "Chains about thy neck" = the gold chain round the neck of a son in that day was a mark of distinction (today it is a mark of homosexuality, rebellion, and an equalizing of the sexes), and was conferred on Joseph by Pharaoh when investing him with authority and dignity (Gen. 41:42), and on Daniel by Belshazzar in the same way. (Dan 5:29)

4. Solomon portrays wisdom's benefits tangibly (possessed and realized) in order to make the pursuit of wisdom attractive, and thus encouraging his readers to persevere in their study.  The commandment to obey and honor your parents carries a promise‑‑have a longer life--that also should encourage children to obey. (Eph. 6:1‑3)

 

V. 10

1. "My Son" = this address is used 23 times in Proverbs by Solomon as he instructs his son; implies any one who come to him for instruction--any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; applies to us as we read this book.

2. "If" = introduces a negative command, a prohibition, a warning against bad company.

3. "Sinners" = not the word for sinners of the human race (Rom. 3:23); means habitual, abandoned sinners, those especially who make robbery and bloodshed a profession; those who sin habitually, knowingly, willfully, and maliciously; those who give themselves up to iniquity, and persuade others to follow their example.

3. "Entice" = to incite or instigate, by exciting hope or desire in a bad sense; to seduce; to lead astray; to induce to sin, by promises or persuasions; kin to the Greek word meaning to persuade.

4. "Thee" = "thou" = "My son."

5. "Consent not" = do not yield to or go along with; do not agree with; do not let them lead you astray.

6. A great danger which besets the simple and the young (verse 4) is that of evil companionship.  The only safety is to be found in the power of saying "no" to all such invitations to do wrong.

7. This advice compares to Paul's advice to the Ephesians. (Eph. 5:11)

 

V. 11

1. Verse 10 does not give the nature of the enticement while verses 11‑14 does.

2. "If"= introduces hypothetical examples of enticement.

3. "They" = sinners of verse 10.

4. "Come" = invitation to do evil or wrong.

5. "Us" = implies the sinner and the son yoking up for evil.

6. "Let us lay wait for blood:"

A. "Lay wait" = to watch in ambush; make designs against the good; trap honest folk; means to knot, to weave, to intertwine; applies to snares and craftiness.

B. "Blood" = refers to bloodshed accompanying robbery which is murder; may be taken for life in the sense that "the blood is the life." (Lev. 17:14)

C. This is an invitation to set up a deadly ambush against someone who has done them no wrong.  It is violence for the sake of gain.  This ambush could be any type of plot‑‑political, physical, financial, even religious.

D. Consent thou not!

7. "Let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:"

       A. "Lurk privily" = conceal ourselves; hide.

       B. "The innocent" = the unsuspecting.

       C. "Without cause" = without having any reason for revenge and enmity (hostility).

      D. In the days of Solomon there were present bands of robbers who disturbed the security and internal peace of the country. In the NT time the same state of things continued and is alluded to by our Lord in the parable of the man who fell among thieves. (Luke 10:30‑34)

       E. Consent thou not!

 

V. 12

1. "Let us swallow them up alive as the grave:"

       A. "Swallow" = to do away with.

       B. "Them" = the innocent; the victim.

      C. "Alive as the grave" = the literal Hebrew is "as the grave, living" = the allusion is no doubt to the fate of Korah and his company who were swallowed up alive as the earth opened up (Num. 16:30‑33); so here the robbers are saying that they will suddenly and effectively destroy their victims.

       D. Consent thou not!

2. "And whole, as those that go down to the pit:"

A. "Whole" = the blameless; indicates the victims who were physically whole.

B. "Go down into the pit" = the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) translates this "let us remove his memory from the earth;" refers to a hole in the ground where all put therein would be silenced so that none would be left to tell the tale, thus giving them security against detection.

C. "Pit" = is a synonym for "sheol" which is Hebrew for the Greek "hades" which in OT time was the region of departed spirits of the lost but included the blessed dead (saved) separated by a gulf (Luke 16:26) but at the resurrection, the Lord Jesus led "captivity captive" (Eph. 4:8‑10) thus moving paradise from sheol into the third heaven. (II Cor. 12:2‑4)

D. Consent thou not!

 

V. 13

1. This verse carries on the proposal of the sinners one step farther and gives the prospect of immediate gain from the crime.

2. "We" = "our" = the sinner who entices and the one enticed.

3. "Shall find" = acquire; to come upon.

4. "All" = various kinds.

5. "Precious" = valuable.

6. "Substance" = wealth; riches of various kinds.

7. "Shall fill" = speaks of abundance not just a few items; not only valuable but numerous and plentiful.

8. "Houses" = place they lived.

9. "Spoil" = booty; items of value taken from the victim.

10. Consent thou not!

 

V. 14

1. "Cast in thy lot among us" = an invitation to join in with the robbers as an equal partner in their venture.

2. "Thy" = the son who is being enticed.

3. "Us" = "all" = the robbers or sinners plus the one being enticed.

4. "Purse" = the receptacle in which money is placed for security; here it signifies the aggregate of the gain of the robbers contributed to a common fund of which they were to be equal partners.

5. The sinners strengthen their invitation by this suggestion designed to appeal to the heart of a youth (verse 4), who by nature wants to be accepted‑‑peer pressure‑‑the power of influence. What could signify acceptance more than making him an equal partner in their venture?

6. Consent thou not!

7. To be able to discern this dangerous enticement is a mark of wisdom that Proverbs was written to cultivate.

 

V. 15

1. "My Son" = see verses 8, 10; this is basically a repetition of verse 10.

2. "Walk" = to order one's life style; negated by "not." (Psa. 1:1)

3. "Thou" = "thy" = my son; refers to those who read this book of Proverbs.

4. "In the way" = refers to the way of living or course of life.

5. "Them" = sinners of verse 10.

6. "Refrain" = withhold; to keep back; restrain.

7. "Refrain thy foot from their path" = keep back thy foot; make not one step in compliance; resist the very first solicitations to evil.

8. "Path" = equivalent of "the way."

 

V. 16

1. "For" = introduces the first reason for the negatives of verse 15.

2. "Their" = sinners of verse 10.

3. "Evil" = wickedness, especially highway robbery.

4. "Shed blood" = murder by lying in wait for blood.

5. "Run" = equivalent to "make haste" = means to hurry.

 

V. 17

1. This is the first proverb in the book.

2. Also this is the second reason for the warning given in verse 15.

3. "Surely in vain" = without cause; to no purpose.

4. This proverb means it is to no purpose to spread the net out openly, for the birds still fly in.  So the great net of God's judgments is spread out, open to the eyes of all, and yet the doers of evil, wilfully blind, still rush into it.   And so will you, if you join them.

 

V. 18

1. This is the third reason why the warning of verse 10 and 15 should be followed.

2. "They" = the sinners of verse 10.

3. The language is very similar to the sinner's invitation of verse 11.  But this verse reveals that while the sinners think they are lying in wait for someone else, in fact they are setting themselves up for destruction.  They purpose to lay wait for the blood of others but it is for their own blood.  They say they lurk privily for the innocent, but in reality, it is for their own lives.

 

V. 19

1. "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain" = warning again against yoking up with sinners to get gain but instead they get destruction.

2. "Greedy of gain" = love of money; refers to unjust gain. (I Tim. 6:10)

3. "Taketh away the life of the owners thereof" = reveals the outcome‑‑destruction.

4. "Owners" = this word does not necessarily imply that they are in actual possession of the unjust gain, but refers to the influence which the lust for gain exercises over them.

 

II. Wisdom's call to salvation. V. 1:20‑33

V. 20

1. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God.

2. "Crieth" = means to cry with a loud voice; used of a speaker who has a clear piercing voice.

3. "Without" = refers to outside the walls of Jerusalem.

4. "She" = wisdom personified; this in the feminine gender.

5. "Uttereth her voice" = to speak; to publish; continuous action.

6. "In the streets" = refers to the streets of Jerusalem.

 

V. 21

1. "She" = "her" = wisdom personified.

2. "Crieth" = to call out; different word from verse 20.

3. "In the chief place of concourse" = place where a multitude of people meet together.

4. "In the openings of the gates" = place where the elders meet and the king sits in judgment; a place where business was transacted. (Ex. Boaz in Ruth 4:1‑11)

5. "In the city" = in the heart of Jerusalem.

6. "Uttereth her words" = speaks her heart.

7. "Saying" = is in italics thus supplied by the translators when they translated the KJV 1611; reason for this word being placed here is because the next 12 verses reveal what wisdom says; we usually attribute this passage to the Lord speaking and in a sense He is for He has been made unto us wisdom. (I Cor. 1:30)

 

V. 22

1. "How long?" = a question wisdom asks three classes of people.

2. "Simple ones" = "ye" = the open hearted; refers to those whose minds are ready to receive impressions for good or evil.

3. "Love" = to have affection for.

4. "Simplicity" = silliness; weakness of intellect.

5. "Scorners" = "their" = mockers; those who mock (ridicule; to make fun of) all good.

6. "Delight" = take pleasure in.

7. "Scorning" = treating with contempt (the act of despising).

8. "Fools" = the hardened; those who walk after the sight of their eyes and the imagination of their heart; one destitute of reason; used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom; one who prefers trifling (something of very little value) and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness.

9. "Hate" = despise; to dislike greatly.

10. "Knowledge" = a clear and certain perception of truth and fact; fools hate knowledge because they prefer the folly that they know.

 

V. 23

1. "Turn" = a call to repentance which brings deliverance or salvation or conversion.

2. "You" = my son; readers of proverbs; this also probably deals with the nation of Israel, prophetically.

3. "My" = "I" = wisdom (Lord Jesus).

4. "Reproof" = correction by words; rebuke; this word in the Septuagint (Greek translation of OT Hebrew) is the same as "reprove" in John 16:8 where it means to lay blame on for the purpose of correction, sharply and sternly with authority so as to bring conviction and repentance.

5. "Behold" = a word used to get one's attention for he is about to say something very important.

6. "Will pour out" = to gush forth; means to flood, fill, and overflow; a promise to those who repent; thus, this is a conditional promise.

7. "My spirit" = wisdom's spirit; remember Jesus is our wisdom (I Cor. 1:30) thus, this has an application to the Holy Spirit who Jesus promised would come and dwell inside every saint. (John 14:16‑17)

8. "Make known" = expound; make clear; refers to teaching or instruction; this is what the Holy Spirit does. (John 16:13)

9. "Words" = truth spoken; these words are life producing when sharpened by the Holy Spirit (John 6:63) because they produce faith. (Rom. 10:17)

 

V. 24

1. "Because" = introduces the reason for wisdom's reproof in verse 23.

2. "I" = "my" = wisdom; applies to the Lord.

3. "Called" = refers to the general call that all receive (Mat. 22:14) such as:

      A. Light for all. (John 1:9)

      B. Grace for all. (Titus 2:11)

4. "Ye" = "no man" = no doubt dealing with the nation of Israel, prophetically.

5. "Refused" = refused to hearken; the wording seems to indicate they heard Wisdom's call, but chose deliberately to reject it; these verses seem to have some prophecy involved for in Solomon's day Israel was at their height of glory (II Chron. 7:13-14); also the wording reveal's the longsuffering, goodness, and forbearance of the Lord, because He (Wisdom) called for repentance and gave a promise to them in verse 23. (Rom. 2:4)

6. "I have stretched out my hand" =  a gesture to arrest attention; Paul is an example in Acts 21:40; 26:1.

7. "No man regarded" = the idea here is that no one erected or pricked up their ear to hear; no one paid attention; I'm reminded of Ezk. 22:30.

 

V. 25

1. "But" = instead of listening and obeying this verse tells us what Israel was going to do while verse 26 tells us what the Lord (Wisdom) will do in this situation.

2. "Ye" = Israel prophetically; applies to anyone who reads this book.

3. "Have set at nought" = rejected; left unattended; the Septuagint basically says, "Ye rendered my counsel of no effect."

3. "All" = the whole.

4. "My" = Wisdom--the Lord Jesus.

5. "Counsel" = advice, in the sense of recommendations for doing good, as opposed to reproofs for the avoidance of evil.

6. "Would none" = to refuse compliance with.

7. "Reproof" = correction by words; rebuke. (See verse 23)

 

V. 26

1. "I" = Wisdom--the Lord Jesus.

2. "Also" = as they scorned Him and delighted in their scorning, now He will laugh at them and their distress.

3. "Will laugh" = expresses a pleasure and delight in displaying the glory of His justice in their destruction.

4. "At" = preposition that refers to the time, or state, or condition; in context it means "in the time of."

5. "Your" = the nation of Israel prophetically; applies to all who read this book and fail to heed Wisdom's warnings.

6. "Calamity" = a heavy overwhelming misfortune that oppresses and crushes its victims.

7. "Mock" = ridicule; scoff; to treat with scorn or contempt‑‑state of being despised.

8. "When your fear cometh" = when it has actually arrived.

9. "Fear" = alarm; used for that which causes the fear or terror‑‑the dreadful calamity.

10. Let me say that Wisdom's (Lord Jesus) laughing and mocking does not come upon a nation or a person until the Lord's longsuffering has been exhausted which is a lot longer than yours or mine would be. (Rom. 2:4; II Peter 3:9)

 

V. 27

1. "When" = not "if;" carries a promise that fear will come if the Lord's condition is not met.

2. "Your" = "you" = Israel prophetically; applies to all  who read this book and do not meet the Lord's condition of verse 23.

3. "Fear" = alarm; that which causes the fear or terror.

4. "Cometh" = arrives.

5. "As desolation" = a crashing tempest; refers to the rapid gathering of the clouds and the rushing of the mighty winds which is the type of the suddenness with which in the end the judgment of God shall fall on those who look not for it.

6. "Destruction" = ruin; a heavy overwhelming misfortune that oppresses and crushes its victims.

7. "A whirlwind" = a hurricane which carries away everything with it.

8. "Distress" = adversity.

9. "Anguish" = oppression.

 

V. 28

1. "Then" = at that time; at the time when their fear arrives.

2. "They" = Israel prophetically; anyone who reads this book and fails to meet the Lord's condition of verse 23.

3. "Call" = to call out due to their need being recognized; to pray.

4. "Me" = "I" = Wisdom‑‑the Lord.

5. "But" = reveals contrasts.

6. "Answer" = respond; pay attention; negated by "not."

7. "Seek early" = diligently; implies to search in earnestness; to look intently.

8. "Find" = to obtain by seeking; negated by "not."

9. A good example of this is Esau in Heb. 12:16‑17.

 

V. 29

1. "For" = introduces the reasons (really four in verses 29‑30) they could not find Wisdom‑‑the Lord.

2. "They" = Israel prophetically; applies to all who read this book and fail to meet the conditions of verse 23.

3. "Hated" = despise; to dislike greatly.

4. "Knowledge" = a clear and certain perception of truth and fact.

5. "Choose" = to select; negated by "not;" signifies not only the choice of, but also the fuller sense of love for.

6. "Fear of the LORD" = reverential fear and awe of the LORD with a hatred for evil; includes an attitude of obedience.

 

V. 30

1. "They" = "their" = "own" = Israel prophetically; applies to all who read this book and fail to meet the Lord's condition of verse 23.

2. "Would none" = were not willing to heed or obey.

3. "My" = Wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.

4. "Counsel" = advice in the sense of recommendations for doing good.

5. "Despised" = to reject with scorn (extreme despising); to sneer or turn up their noses.

6. "Reproof" = correction by words; rebuke.

 

V. 31

1. "Therefore" = in view of the facts of the four reasons listed in verses 29‑30--"they shall eat the fruit of their own way" = equivalent to Gal. 6:7‑‑whatsoever man soweth that shall he also reap.

2. "Be filled" = filled to satisfaction‑‑theirs; satiated‑‑to furnish enjoyment to the extent of desire.

3. "Devices" = purposes; counsel; refers to ungodly counsels and evil devices.

 

V. 32

1. "For" = introduces a repetition of the judgment of God for failing to meet the Lord's condition of verse 23; Note: this judgment does not come without the exhausting of the longsuffering, goodness, and forbearance of God. (Rom. 2:4)

2. "The turning away" = apostasy‑‑turning away from the warnings and invitations of Wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus; implies rebelliousness against God.

3. "Simple" = the open; the open‑hearted; the naive; refers to those whose mind are ready to receive impressions for good or evil.

4. "Slay" = to smite with deadly intent.

5. First "them" = simple.

6. "Prosperity" = security; carelessness; refers not to outward prosperity but to the attitude which it too often produces‑‑the easy‑going indifference to truths.

7. "Fools" = one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations.

8. "Destroy" = to perish.

9. Second "them" = fools.

 

 

V. 33

1. "But" = shows contrast of results between failing to meet the Lord's condition (mentioned in previous verses) and meeting that condition (this verse).

2. "Whoso" = refers to any person or any nation. (II Chron. 7:14)

3. "Hearkeneth" = to hear intelligently; implies obedience.

4. "Me" = Wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.

5. "Shall dwell safely" = to reside or permanently stay without danger; with confidence; implies those who obey will dwell calmly and undisturbed amidst the distractions of the world.

6. "Shall be quiet" = will be untroubled; shall live in tranquillity; the tense means not only future but present as well.

7. "From the fear of evil" = refers to not only being free from the calamity because of obedience but also being free of the fear of it coming as well.

 

CHAPTER 2:

 

 

III. Wisdom Protects Our Paths.

      1. God’s commands to His own. V.1-9

V. 1

1. "My" = Solomon who is the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to pen down the book of Proverbs. (II Peter 1:21)

2. "Son" = "thou" = "thee" = this address is used 23 times in Proverbs by Solomon as he instructs his son; implies any who come to him for instruction; any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; applies to us as we read this book.

3. "If" = is conditional and serves to introduce the series of clauses (verses 1‑4) which lay down the condition upon which the promises depend.

4. "Receive" = to receive graciously; implies that the endeavor after Wisdom is to be honest and sincere.

5. "Words" = something said; doctrines of the gospel.

6. "Hide" = lay up; refers to laying up, as of treasure, in some secret place‑‑heart, so you can retain them in memory, and frequently think of them, meditate upon them, and constantly observe them. (Psa. 119:11, 127‑128)

7. "Commandments" = commands that are of divine origin even if passed on by fathers.

 

V. 2

1. "So that" = introduces the result of receiving his words and hiding his commandments. (verse 1)

2. "Thou" = "thine" = son; applies to all who read this book.

3. "Incline" = to prick up the ear; involves obedience; to give diligent attention to the precepts of wisdom.

4. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God.

5. "Apply" = means to turn the heart with the whole scope of its powers, in the spirit of humility and eagerness, to understanding.

6. "Heart" = that which is central; the seat of spiritual life; represents the inward‑‑the intellectual faculty or mind.

7. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

 

V. 3

1. "Yea" = introduces a subject with the sense of indeed, verily, truly, it is so.

2. "If" = is conditional and serves to introduce another clause which lays down the condition upon which the promises depend.

3. "Thou" = "thy" = applies to all who read this book.

4. "Criest" = to call out; the word implies earnestness; the endeavor after wisdom should not only be sincere but earnest.

5. "Knowledge" = insight; there is very little difference between knowledge and understanding; the Septuagint (Greek translation of OT Hebrew) translates this "wisdom."

6. "Liftest up thy voice" = similar to "criest" and implies earnestness.

7. "Understanding" = intelligence; the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short, it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

 

V. 4

1. "If" = again this is conditional and serves to introduces yet another clause which lays down the condition upon which the promises depend.

2. "Thou" = applies to all who read this book.

3. "Seekest" = to search out; implies striving after. (Luke 13:24)

4. "Her" = Wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.

5. "Searchest" = equivalent to "dig."

6. "As silver" = "as for hid treasures" = this means we should study as intensively as we would search a field if we knew that it contained buried treasure; this parallels Jesus' parable of the man who finds hid treasure in the field. (Mat. 13:44)

 

V. 5

1. "Then" = introduces the promises in answering to the conditional "if" of verses 1-4; the earnest endeavor after Wisdom pays off with the reward, and those that seek shall find. (Mat. 7:7‑8; tense is continuous)

2. "Thou" = applies to all who read this book.

3. "Understand" = to separate mentally; implies the power of discernment.

4. "Fear of the LORD" = reverential fear and awe of the LORD with a hatred for evil; the highest form of knowledge and the greatest good; includes the whole range of the religious affections and feelings, which respond to various attributes of the Divine character as they are revealed, and which find their expression in holy worship.

5. "Find" = attain; acquire.

6. "Knowledge of God" = insight; when this is possessed, it will increase and deepen the feeling of reverence‑‑"fear of the LORD‑‑there can be no knowledge of Him without reverence of the LORD.

7. "LORD" and "God" = it is difficult to draw a distinction between them here, yet "LORD" or Jehovah may refer more especially to the Personality of the Divine nature, while "God" or Elohim may refer to Christ's glory.

8. Some scholars seem to think that a distinction is made between the knowledge of God and the knowledge of man. The knowledge of man is of little worth.

 

V. 6

1. "The LORD" = "His" = Jehovah; the self existent One who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; the OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM. (Exo. 3:14-15)

2. "Giveth" = will give; men do not gain wisdom by any efforts of their own, but God gives it according to the laws of His own goodness; this is to be understood that this applies only to those who meet the conditions outlined in verses 1‑4 to seek after it earnestly and truly.

3. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; the Lord Jesus. (I Cor. 1:30)

4. "Out of His mouth" = this means that God communicates wisdom through the medium of His Word; His Word is conveyed to us through men divinely inspired. (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21)

5. "Knowledge" = insight.

6. "Understanding" = intelligence; the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

 

V. 7

1. "He" = the LORD of verse 6.

2. "Layeth up" = store up.

3. "Sound wisdom" = sound efficient wisdom‑‑sound judgment or knowledge; wisdom that leads to practical success.

4. "Righteous" = upright; straight; fitting; proper; those who live lives of integrity.

5. "Buckler" = a shield; to put a shield about; implies protection.

6. "Them" = those who "walk uprightly" = those who walk in innocence; to maintain a course of life regulated by right principles and directed to right ends.

 

V. 8

1. "He" = "his" = the LORD of verse 6.

2. "Keepeth" = to guard; to watch; this verse points out more fully in what way the LORD is a Protector of His saints.

3. "Paths of judgment" = the path in which the just walk; corresponds to the "way of his saints."

4. "Preserveth" = to hedge about; to guard; to protect; to attend to.

5. "Paths" = is synonymous with "way" = a course of life.

6. "Saints" = the devout and God‑fearing; set apart; saved; Christians; those who have had a "sanctifying work" of the Holy Spirit completed in their lives. (I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13; John 16:8‑11)

7. The saints are always under the watchful care and mighty protection of the LORD.

 

      2. God’s care for His own. V. 10-22

V. 9

1. "Then" = further introduces the promises in answering to the conditional "if" of verses 1-4.

2. "Thou" = applies to all who read this book.

3. "Understand" = to separate mentally; implies the power of discernment.

4. "Righteousness" = justice (so translated in Pro. 1:3); word includes the idea of truth and the practice of doing good; active goodness; the underlying idea is that of straightness.

5. "Judgment" = right reasoning; refers to passing a right sentence upon human actions, whether our own or another's.

6. "Equity" = righteousness of principle and practice in thought and action.

7. "Every good path" = this expression summarizes the three‑‑righteousness, judgment, and equity.

 

V. 10

1. "When" = carries a promise for it is available (James 1:5); when Wisdom is secured, certain advantageous results follow. (verses 11ff)

2. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; applies to the Lord Jesus. (I Cor. 1:30)

3. "Entereth" = implies not only to come in, but to rest there; indicates permanent residence.

4. "Thine" = "thy" = applies to all who read this book.

5. "Heart" = center of the life of will and desire, of the emotions, and of the moral will.

6. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.

7. "Pleasant" = sweet; lovely; beautiful.

8. "Soul" = seat of emotions and passions; used along with "heart" seems to indicate both the moral and spiritual sides of man's nature.

 

V. 11

1. "Discretion" = prudence; cautious; watchful on all sides; examining carefully all the circumstances that may effect a determination; that which sets a man on his guard and prevents him from being duped by others; the outward manifestation of wisdom.

2. "Preserve" = to hedge about; to guard ; to protect; to attend to.

3. "Thee" = applies to all who read this book.

4. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

5. "Keep" = to guard; protect; to keep safe in the sense of watching over or guarding.

 

V. 12

1. "To deliver" = to snatch away; to tear one's self away.

2. "From the way of the evil man" = from an evil way; refers to one whose activity is contrary to God's will; these verses show that discretion, (verse 11) arising from wisdom being resident in the heart, will be a sufficient safeguard against such allurements--temptations.

3. "From the man that speaketh froward things" = again, discretion will be a sufficient safeguard against such allurements--temptations.

4. "Man" = used generically as a representative of the whole class of base and wicked men.

5. "Froward thing" = perverseness (acting in opposition to what is proper); wilful misrepresentation of that which is good and true.

6. "Speaketh" = perverse speech is the fruit of a heart inclined to evil.

 

V. 13

1. "Who" = refers to the evil man spoken of in verse 12; verses 13‑15 give us a more detailed description of those who speak perversely.

2. "Leave" = to depart from; abandon; forsake; deserted; equivalent to apostatize: the tense reveals a completed action.

3. "Paths of uprightness" = the way that is right; straightness; refers to the way of straightness standing in opposition to perverseness in verse 12.

4. "Walk" = to pursue a course of action.

5. "Ways of darkness" = includes the ideas of ignorance, error, and evil deeds; to walk in the ways of darkness, is to persist in a course of wilful ignorance, to reject deliberately the light of knowledge, and to work wickedness in two ways:

A. By performing "the works of darkness" which Paul exhorted the church at Rome to cast away. (Rom. 13:12)

B. By having fellowship with "the unfruitful works of darkness" against which Paul warned the Ephesians. (Eph. 5:11)

6. A major theme of Proverbs is that there are "two ways" and it teaches that it is impossible to pursue both sin and righteousness, light and darkness.  To follow one is to abandon the other.

7. Those whose words encourage others to sin are really walking in darkness.

 

V. 14

1. "Who" = refers to the evil man spoken of in verse 12.

2. "Rejoice" = glad; gleeful.

3. "To do evil" = to follow darkness and sin.

4. "Delight" = to spin around under the influence of any violent emotion; refers to vigorous, enthusiastic expressions of joy.

5. "Frowardness" = perverseness (acting in opposition to what is proper.)

6. "Wicked" = bad; evil; morally wrong; one guilty of sin against God; denotes the kind of life that is opposite to God's character.

7. The evil man's happiness and pleasure in life comes from pursuing those things that are vile and have pleasure in others that practice such sins as mentioned in Rom. 1:28‑32.

8. This is exactly opposite of those who possess charity or love in action‑‑they "rejoiceth not in iniquity." (I Cor. 13:6)

 

V. 15

1. "Whose" = "they" = "their" = the evil man of verse 12.

2. "Ways" = actions.

3. "Crooked" = not straightforward; twisted; bent.

4. "Froward in their paths" = perverse (acting in opposition to what is proper) in their actions.

5. Sinners in their perverseness are always winding about, turning in every direction.  The result of abandoning an honest way of life in order to walk in darkness (verse 13) and rejoicing in evil rather than good (verse 14) is that their entire lives are perverse.

 

V. 16

1. "To deliver" = to snatch away; to tear one's self away.

2. "Thee" = applies to all who read this book.

3. "From the strange woman" = one who does not belong to the family; one who indulges in sexual sins; these verses show that discretion  (verse 11),arising from wisdom being resident in the heart, will be a sufficient safeguard against such allurements.

4. "The stranger" = "her" = foreigner; the text is referring to a woman of ill repute--immoral or bad character.

5. "Flattereth" = to be smooth, slippery, deceitful; lying in order to manipulate someone.

6. "Words" = speech; she does not speak perversely like the wicked (verse 12) but uses flattery to gain her ends.

 

V. 17

1. "Which" = who; refers to the woman of verse 16 who is a person not a thing; therefore this is feminine gender and not neuter.

2. "Forsaketh" = to depart from; abandon; forsake; deserted; to leave behind; same word as "leave" in v. 13.

3. "The guide of her youth" = refers to her companion or familiar friend, namely, her husband since marriage in those days took place at a relatively young age; this sin is not fornication (which might lead to marriage; Exo. 22:16), but adultery (for which the penalty was death. Lev. 20:10).

4. "Forgetteth" = heedless; careless; neglectful; inattentive; implies rejection.

5. "The covenant of her God" = divine ordinance with vows taken; a solemn oath that sealed the relationship with promises of blessing for keeping the covenant and curses for breaking it; spoken of as a "covenant of God" because He witnessed the transaction between the husband and the wife of his youth. (Mal. 2:14‑15)

6. Just as the wicked man's abandonment of the paths of uprightness led to further sin (verse 13), her rejection of her husband reveals her rejection of the covenant of God.  This verse demonstrates that marriage is not merely a social contact, undertaken for the good of society or the protection of women and children.  Instead, marriage falls under the standard of God's covenant because it is one of the Creator's purposes for His creatures. (Gen. 2:18‑25)

 

V. 18

1. "For" = refers back to verse 16 and indicates how great is the deliverance accomplished by wisdom.

2. "Her" = the strange women of verse 16.

3. "House" = includes all who belong to her.

4. "Inclineth" = sinks down; refers to humiliation or moral danger.

5. "Death" = the moral ruin and spiritual chaos of a life that has strayed from the path of rightness. (Pro. 5:20‑23)

6. "Her paths unto the dead" = when one yields to this woman's flattery a path is being followed because every life always moves in some direction; but the end of this road is death and ruin.

 

V. 19

1. "None" = no one; refers to one who has been entangled and overcome; one who leaves the path of rightness and becomes possessed with the sexual sin of adultery (really sensual demon or demons) because they "go unto her" = committed (continuous, habitual lifestyle) adultery and they cannot "return again" = turn back to the path of rightness. (Mat. 12:43‑45)

2. "Neither take hold of the paths of life" = almost the same wording as the first phrase of this verse; not only does adultery violate the covenant (verse 17) but as this and other passages demonstrate, it leads to death (Pro. 5:20‑23; 7:22‑27); it is as difficult to bring back a person, who has an eager appetite for illicit sexual pleasure, to chastity as a dead man to life‑‑impossible with man but not with God. (Mark 10:26‑27)

3. Those who succumb to the flatterer and so become involved in adultery will not find their way back because their foolish and sinful choices move them constantly away from the path of life.

4. The sin which those who have dealings with the strange woman commit is deadly and leads on to death, and from death there is no return, nor laying hold of or regaining the path of life.

5. Paul also had strong words about this sin. (Eph. 5:5; Heb. 13:4)

 

V. 20

1. "That" = introduces the result of being delivered from these temptations (verses 12,16); it also carries us back to verse 11 where we find discretion (the outward manifestation of wisdom) as a protecting power is developed in a negative way by delivering one from the evil man and the strange woman and now it is developed in a positive direction.

2. "Thou" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

3. "Walk" = to pursue a course of action.

4. "In the way of good men" = refers to the way of righteousness, the way of God's commandments, and the way of obedience.

5. "Keep" = to observe; to attend to; to fix the attention upon as an object of pursuit.

6. "Keep the paths of the righteous" = to carefully attend to the life of obedience which they follow.

7. The previous picture of shame and sin is brought before the disciple as an incentive to a better course of life.

 

V. 21

1. "Upright" = righteous; the upright in heart, who have a right spirit renewed in them; refers to those who have chosen the path of life and walk upright in their lives because of what the Lord has done inside their heart; the saved.

2. "Dwell" = to reside or permanently stay.

3. "In the land" = "it" = for Israel it meant the land of Canaan; refers to the world to come not only a future state of happiness in heaven but the Messiah's kingdom on earth. (Mat. 5:5)

4. "Perfect" = those who have all grace implanted in them though it is not come up to maturity; those who are perfectly holy in Christ, though not in themselves; those who are perfectly justified by His righteousness, though as yet imperfect in themselves; refers to those saved.

5. "Shall remain" = permanently stay.

 

V. 22

1. "But" = shows the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

2. "Wicked" = bad; evil; morally wrong; one guilty of sin against God; denotes the kind of life that is opposite to God's character.

3. "Shall be cut off from the earth" = means they will not dwell in the new earth but shall perish out of his land. (Psa. 10:16)

4. "Trangressors" = those who acted treacherously, deceitfully, and covertly against God and upright men.

5. "Shall be rooted out of it" = these shall not only be cut off as trees to the stump, but be rooted up, and have neither root nor branch left. (Mal. 4:1)

6. These verses (21‑22) demonstrate God's primary concern for His people, that they might choose life and live. (Deut. 30:15‑20)

 

CHAPTER 3:

 

IV. Wisdom Directs Our Paths.

      1. Listen to the Word. V. 1-4

 

V. 1

1. "My" = refers to Solomon, the human instrument that God used to pen down this book. (II Peter 1:21)

2. "Son" = "thine" = Solomon's son in a literal sense, implies any one that came to him for instruction, any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; thus, this applies to us as this designation is used many times throughout the book of Proverbs.

3. "Forget" = implies a wilful disregard and neglect; negated by "not."

4. "My law" = my teaching; my doctrine; refers to the admonitions of the teacher.

5. "Thine heart" = the sum total of the affections.

6. "Keep" = observe; to guard, implies obedience; implies extreme conformity to their requirements. (Deut. 8:1)

6. "Commandments" = commands; refers primarily to the book of Proverbs, especially those which immediately follow this verse.

 

V. 2

1. "For" = introduces the motive for keeping the commandments of verse 1.

2. "Length of days" = extension of days; signifies the prolongation of life; represented as a blessing in the OT (Psa. 21:4); a promise to those who kept the fifth commandment (Exo. 20:12) and to Solomon if he kept the commandments (I Kings 3:14); Paul also links this blessing to obedience. (Eph. 6:1‑3)

3. "Long life" = years of life; the idea conveyed here is that of material prosperity; refers to the present stage of existence‑‑while upon this earth; stands for life in its fulness.

4. "Peace" = means internal and external contentment and tranquility of mind arising from the sense of safety; signifies to be whole, sound, and safe continuing through old age until death.

5. "They" = refers to the commandments.

6. "Shall add" = means to bring and heap upon.

7. "Thee" = applies to all who read this book.

 

V. 3

1. This verse begin the commandments alluded to in v. 1.

2. "Let not forsake thee" = one word in the Hebrew; means do not let them (the two elements of a morally perfect character‑‑mercy and truth) leave you.

3. "Mercy" = kindness; shutting out all forms of selfishness and hate; showing reverence toward God and love towards his neighbor; when exhibited in man, it is expressed in mutual outward help, forgiveness of offences, and sympathy of feeling.

4. "Truth" = stability; firmness; trustworthiness; it is that absolute integrity of character, both in word and deed, which secures the unhesitating confidence of all; involves shutting out all deliberate falsehood, all hypocrisy, conscious or unconscious.

5. "Thee" = "thy" = "thine" = refers to whoever reads this book.

6. "Them" = mercy and truth.

7. "Bind them about thy neck" = tie them about thy neck; the idea being that of their careful preservation against loss; mercy and truth are to be ornaments of the character to be bound around the neck and worn at all times; the gold chain round the neck of a son in that day was a mark of distinction (today it is a mark of homosexuality, rebellion, and an equalizing of the sexes), and was conferred on Joseph by Pharaoh when investing him with authority and dignity (Gen. 41:42), and on Daniel by Belshazzar in the same way. (Dan 5:29)

8. "Write them upon the table of thine heart" = inscribe mercy and truth deeply in your heart; impress them throughly and indelible (not to be blotted out) upon thine heart, so that they may never be forgotten, and that they may form the mainspring of your actions.

 

V. 4

1. "Thou" = refers to all who read this book and possesses mercy and truth‑‑met the condition of verse 3.

2. "Find" = to attain; obtain; not necessarily implying a previous search.

3. "Favour" = grace; undeserved favor.

4. "Good understanding" = to act wisely or prudently.

5. "In the sight" = in the eyes.

6. "In the sight of God and man" = both the God of heaven and man on earth at the same time attribute favor and understanding to those who possess mercy and truth.

7. Favor and understanding are the two conditions of human growth.  This description is applied to only two persons in the Bible‑‑Samuel in I Sam. 2:26, and Jesus in Luke 2:52.  This suggest that obedience to those in authority, whether foolish (Eli in Samuel's case) or wise (Joseph and Mary in Jesus' case) yields fruits that could not otherwise have been foreseen.

 

      2. Obey the Word. V. 5-10

V. 5

1. "Trust" = entire reliance upon; to cling to; to confide in; to set one's hope and confidence upon.

2. "LORD"= Jehovah; the self existent one who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of this world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM. (Exo. 3:14)

3. "With all thine heart" = that which is central; the seat of spiritual life; represents the inward‑‑the intellectual faculty or mind; refers to all your being.

4. To trust the LORD is to obey Solomon's counsel in Proverbs, whether or not it makes sense, for the Lord is the One who breathed this book. (II Tim. 3:16)

5. "Lean" = to support one's self; implies confidence; very similar in meaning to "trust;" negated by "not."

6. "Thine" = refers to who ever reads and studies this book.

7. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit.

8. Those who gained the understanding promised by Solomon in chapter 2 might be tempted to trust that insight as though it were a skill they had developed on their own, forgetting Pro. 2:6, thus "lean not unto thine own understanding."  This admonition does not mean we are not to use our own understanding (example: form plans with discretion, and employ legitimate means in the pursuit of our  goals), but that, when we use our own understanding we are to depend upon God and His directing and over‑ruling providence.

 

V. 6

1. "Thy" = applies to those who read and study this book.

2. "In all thy ways" = this expression covers the whole area of life's action‑‑all its acts and undertakings, its spiritual and secular sides, its public and private; this means not in acts of solemn worship or great crisis only.

3. "Acknowledge" = to recognize, in all our dealings and undertakings, God's overruling providence; this is not lip acknowledgment, but one that engages the whole energies of the soul and sees in God--power, wisdom, providence, goodness, and justice; implies that we first make sure whether what we are about to undertake is in accordance with His precepts, and then look for His direction and illumination.

4. "Him" = "He" = the LORD of verse 5; "he" is emphatic, thus "He! Himself."

5. "Shall direct" = make straight or level, removing all obstacles out of the way.

6. "Paths" = course of action; a course of life.

7. "He shall direct thy paths" = under God's direction, man's course in life shall prosper and come to a successful issue; they shall be virtuous inasmuch as deviation into vice will be guarded against; they will be happy because they are prosperous.

8.  This power is properly attributed to God, for "it is not in man to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23)

 

V. 7

1. "Wise" = skillful; artful; intelligent.

2. "In thine own eyes" = in thine own estimation; the great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it.

3. "Thine" = applies to all who read this book.

4. "Be not wise in thine own eyes" = this admonition carries on the thought from the preceding verses (5‑6), approaching it from a different direction; in effect it says, "Trust in the Lord, do not trust in yourself." (Isa. 5:21)

5. "Fear the LORD" = reverence and respect the LORD‑‑the self existent One; has an attitude of obedience; this is true wisdom (Job 28:28); this is the best corrective of one's own wisdom which produces arrogance, pride, presumption of mind, which is deceptive and apt to lead to sin.

6. "Depart from evil" = to turn aside or away from darkness and sin; this is a result of possessing the fear of the LORD.

7. It is the mark of the wise man that he fears the Lord and departs from evil. (Pro. 14:16)

 

V. 8

1. "It" = refers to fearing the Lord and departing evil; singular because they go hand in hand‑‑when one fears the Lord, he will depart from evil.

2. "Health" = cure; healing.

3. "Thy" = refers to the person who fears the Lord and departs from evil.

4. "Navel" = regarded as the center of vital strength.

5. "Health to they navel" = the phrase denotes a promise of complete spiritual health to the person who fears the Lord and departs evil; it is a well‑known fact today that a tranquil life tends to be more healthful.

6. "Marrow" = literally means watering or moistening; moistening is imparted to the bones by the marrow, and thus, they are strengthened (Job 21:24); when there is an absence of marrow the bones dry up and their strength is impaired.

7. The meaning of this passage is spiritual not physical.  As health to the navel and marrow to the bones stand as representatives of physical strength, so the fear of the Lord and departing from evil is the spiritual strength of a person.

 

V. 9

1. "Honour" = glorify; reverence; any act by which reverence and submission are expressed, as worship paid to the Supreme Being.

2. "The LORD" = Jehovah; the self existent One who stands alone with no aid from anybody or any other being in this world or out of the world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus.

3. "Thy" = "thine" = applies to all who read and study the book of Proverbs.

4. "With" = by means of.

5. "Substance" = wealth; refers to what is righteously and lawfully gotten, and not by fraud and oppression.

6. "Firstfruits" = chief; choice part; firstfruits were a reminder to Israel that the produce that they reaped was the gift of God, and that the land itself was His, and they were merely tenants upon it; God desires the best--the best.

7. "Increase" = income.

8. This verse could be applied to tithing.  God does not require all to be brought, only a portion.  A tithe is a tenth of one's increase (income).  (Gen. 28:22)  A tithe is a debt we own to God and honest Christians pay their debts.

9. Some try to say that tithing was just under law.

      A. Tithing was before the law.

1) Abraham (not yet saved) started tithing by faith. (Gen. 14:20)

2) Jacob (not yet saved) continuing tithing by faith (Gen. 28:22)

      B. Tithing was during the law.

1) Moses incorporated tithing into the law. (Lev. 27:30)

2) Nehemiah restored tithing after captivity. (Neh. 13:10‑12)

            3) Malachi commanded tithing. (Mal. 3:10)

      C. Tithing is after the law.

1) Jesus commended tithing even for a lost man. (Mat. 23:23)

2) Paul told us when to bring (not send) our tithes. (I Cor. 16:2)

 

V. 10

1. "So" = introduces a promise to those (thy) who honor the Lord with their substance and firstfruits of their increase (verse 9); this promise is not so much a promise of wealth as it is a promise of provision. (Mal. 3:10‑12)

2. "Barns" = granary; storehouse.

3. "Filled" = to be full to capacity.

4. "With plenty" = abundance; conveys the idea of being full and satisfied.

5. "Presses" = vats or reservoirs into which the new wine flowed through a pipe from the wine press; consisted of a trough or hole dug into the ground or cut out of a rock, at a lower level than the wine press, to receive the new wine.

6. "Shall burst out" = shall overflow .

7. "New wine" = must; fresh squeezed grape juice but not fermented.

 

      3. Submit to the Word. V. 11-12

V. 11

1. "My" = refers to Solomon, the human instrument that God used to pen down this book. (II Peter 1:21)

2. "Son" = Solomon's son in a literal sense; implies any one that came to him for instruction, any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; thus, this applies to us as this designation is used many times throughout the book of Proverbs.

3. "Despise" = reject; consider and treat as mean and despicable (vile and worthless); negated by "not."

4. "Chastening" = reproof (lay blame on with the purpose of correction); instruction by punishment; discipline. 

5. "The LORD" = "his" = Jehovah‑‑the self existent One.

6. "Neither be weary" = do not loathe,  abhor, feel disgust nor vexation (irritation; agitation) towards; do not faint.

7. "Correction" = rebuke; reproof; punishment; chastisement; refers to what the Lord uses to correct our moral conduct and bring us back from error or sin.

8. To faint (be weary) at the Lord's correction ignores the truth of Rom. 8:28.  To loathe the correction of Jehovah is to allow it to separate and alienate us from the Lord.  Believers will not loathe God's correction but professors may call happen-stance situations (God sending rain on the just and unjust) God's correction and loathe it, thus separating them from God.

 

V. 12

1. "For" = because; gives the reason the Lord chastens.

2. First "whom" = refers to any of His children.

3. "LORD" = first "he" = Jehovah; the self existent One.

4. "Loveth" = the Septuagint uses the word agape‑‑the God kind of love; the tense is continuous.

5. "Correcteth" = chasten; implies exposure of one's sin which calls a person to repentance; Jehovah's corrections are corrections of love.

5. "Even" = after the same manner; God corrects those whom He loves after the same manner as a physical "father" corrects the physical "son" whom he loves. (Pro. 13:24)

7. "Delighteth" = to be pleased with.

8. The idea of these two verses may have been taken from Deut. 8:5 and spoken of at greater length by Paul in Heb. 12:5‑11.

9. Solomon is just reminding his son and his readers that this God is a God of love, who desires only the best for those who are His.

 

      4. Treasure the Word. V. 13-26

V. 13

1. "Happy" = blessed; spiritually prosperous; extremely blessed.

2. "Man" = mankind; a human being; refers to both male and female.

3. "Findeth" = to fine; acquire; the Hebrew expresses permanent possession; implies diligent seeking for it is not possible to discover wisdom without seeking it diligently‑‑thus meeting the eight conditions of Pro. 2:1‑4.

4. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; implies Christ and a saving knowledge of Him by means of His gospel. (I Cor. 1:30)

5. "Getteth" = word signifies to draw out, as metals are drawn out of the earth by searching and digging for or as water out of a well; also implies a gift (Pro. 2:6); apart from the gracious gift of God, there is no true wisdom.

6. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

7. Christ and the knowledge of Him, are drawn out of the mines and fountains of the Scriptures, by those who seek Him rightly.  Yet at the same time that understanding (knowledge) can only come from the Holy Spirit. (John 6:44‑45)

 

V. 14

1. "For" = introduces the reasons a person with wisdom is happy or blessed.

2. "Merchandise" = gain or profit from trade.

3. "It" = "thereof" = wisdom.

4. "Better" = more valuable in estimation; more satisfying.

5. "Silver" = money.

6. "Gain" = increase; fruit; yield.

7. "Fine gold" = money; the finest and purest gold.

8. Wisdom's value does not fluctuate based on circumstances, as does the precious metals and stock markets.  Wisdom does not tarnish, it cannot be stolen and it is not used up, unlike the valuables to which it is compared.  Christ, who is wisdom, and the things of Christ, are more valuable than silver and gold, which a man may have a large abundance of, and lose his soul, whereas Christ (Wisdom) is the salvation of one's soul. (Mark 8:36)

 

V. 15

1. "She" = "her" = Wisdom.

2. "More precious" = more valuable.

3. "Rubies" = thought to refer to a pearl; a precious stone; word to denote precious stones in general.

4. "Thou" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

5. "All the things thou canst desire" = literally, all thy desires; silver, gold, and rubies were specifically mentioned but now this phrase includes everything not mentioned that man could desire; the desires of man's heart are very extensive, and not easily satisfied.

6. "Not to be compared" = not of equal worth with Wisdom.

7. Christ (Wisdom) is the pearl of great price‑‑of more value than any pearl, or all put together. (Mat. 13:45‑46)

8. These verses do not condemn wealth or property but they do warn human beings not to be mislead into thinking the pursuit of these things are more important than the pursuit of wisdom.  If a choice must be made, choose Wisdom‑‑Christ. (Pro. 4:5,7‑8; 8:11,19; 16:16)  Solomon chose wisdom. (I Kings 3:9‑13)

 

V. 16

1. "Length of days" = that which was previously promised to obedience in verses 1‑2; long life; indicates eternal life.

2. "Her" = Wisdom.

3. "Right hand" = in those days the right hand was regarded as the chief place; the position of honor (Psa. 16:11); that's where Jesus sat down. (Heb. 1:3)

4. "Left hand" = when used with "right hand" the abundance of Wisdom's gifts are signified.

5. "Riches" = wealth; refers to heavenly riches‑‑peace, assurance, love, joy, and etc.

6. "Honour" = refers not to the honor that cometh from men but honor conferred by God (John 12:26); used with "riches" it stands for prosperity in general‑‑well‑being.

7. The thought of this verse is that Wisdom not only holds these blessings in her hands, but also confers them on those who seek her.

 

V. 17

1. "Her" = Wisdom.

2. "Ways" = course of life.

3. "Pleasantness" = ways in which substantial delight may be found; indicates the outcome is beautiful and lovely to look upon and affords happiness.

4. "Paths of peace" = the course of life when Wisdom leads are free from strife and alarm, and they lead to peace.

5. "Ways" = speaks of the more open or highways of life while "paths" speaks of the more private walks or byways of life; in both, one who is guided by Wisdom will walk securely.

 

V. 18

1. "She" = "her" = Wisdom.

2. "Tree of life" = refers to the tree of life which was placed in the midst of the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9) and conferred immortality on those who ate its fruit (Gen. 3:22-24); a symbol of the cross of Christ and when one partakes of Him he is guaranteed immortality. (John 1:4; I John 5:12; I Cor. 15:51‑53)

3. "Them" = "every one" = refers to those who meet the conditions in this verse.

4. "Lay hold upon her" = to fasten upon; to seize.

5. "Happy" = blessed; supremely blessed; spiritually prosperous.

6. "Retaineth" = to hold fast something taken; implies keeping or guarding.

7. This verse could be applied to actively seeking the Lord (Wisdom) and guarding the seed that has been planted until you are saved. (Luke 13:24; John 6:27; Luke 8:15)

 

V. 19

1. "The LORD" = "he" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; refers to Jesus.

2. "By wisdom" = through the instrumentality of Wisdom‑‑Jesus; this is more than just an attribute of Jehovah.

3. "Hath founded" = set; to fix firmly; refers to the creation of the "earth" which is attributed clearly to the Lord Jesus who is Wisdom. (John 1:3,10; Col. 1:16)

4. "By understanding" = refers to ability and intelligence; closely kin to wisdom.

5. "Established the heavens" = give existence to, not only the earth but the heavens as well‑‑what we can see and what we can not see. (Jer. 10:12; Col. 1:17)

6. He is not only Creator but Ruler of this earth as well as the next verse brings out.

 

V. 20

1. "His" = Jehovah; the Lord Jesus.

2. "Knowledge" = a clear and certain perception of that which exists; Jehovah has a perfect knowledge while human knowledge is very limited.

3. "The depths are broken up" = refers to Jehovah sustaining His creation; indicates the internal water stores of the earth being divided and separated in such a way to water the earth so she can bring forth fruit. (Isa. 35:6)

4. "The clouds drop down the dew" = refers to the clouds discharging their contents in showers, light rain, or as morning dew.

5. This verse is saying that Jehovah has knowledge to know just the amount of rain the earth needs at a given time and place.  A meteorological fact is alluded to here‑‑the reciprocal action of the heavens and the earth.  The moisture drawn from the earth returns again to water the earth that it may bring forth fruit. (Deut. 33:28; Isa. 55:10)

 

V. 21

1. "My" = Solomon.

2. "Son" = "thine" = Solomon's son in a literal sense; implies any one that came to him for instruction, any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; thus, this applies to us as this designation is used many times throughout the book of Proverbs.

3. "Them" = refers to his law and commandments of verse 1; could also apply to "sound wisdom" and "discretion" which came as a result of obeying the law and commandments of the Lord.

4. "Let not them depart from thine eyes" = do not let them escape or slip aside from your mind. (Deut. 6:6‑8; Heb. 2:1)

5. "Keep" = to watch; guard; protect; gives the idea of obeying; hold on to what you have attained.

6. "Sound wisdom" = sound efficient wisdom‑‑sound judgment or knowledge; wisdom that leads to practical success.

7. "Discretion" = prudence; cautious; watchful on all sides; examining carefully all the circumstances that may effect a determination; that which sets a man on his guard and prevents him from being duped by others; the outward manifestation of wisdom.

8. Sound wisdom and discretion belong to the Lord, but are conferred on those who seek them and what you have attained as you seek, guard as priceless treasure.

 

V. 22

1. "So" = introduces the promise if one meets the conditions of verse 21.

2. "They" = refers to sound wisdom and discretion of v. 21.

3. "Thy" = refers to anyone who reads this book and meets these conditions.

4. "Be life unto thy soul and grace to thy neck" = "soul" and "neck" stands for the whole man‑‑internal and external; life in its highest and widest sense is given to the soul and favor is conferred on the man if he keeps "sound wisdom" and "discretion;" this is referring to the adornment of the personal character of the person.

 

V. 23

1. "Then" = at that time; introduces more results of keeping "sound wisdom" and "discretion."

2. "Thou" = "thy" = applies to anyone who reads this book and meets the condition laid down.

3. "Walk in thy way safely" = speaks of enjoying the greatest sense of security in all situations of life‑‑promise of protection; implies going under a double guard.

      A. The peace of God within. (Phil. 4:7)

      B. The power of God without. (I Peter 1:5)

4. "Thy foot shall not stumble" = thou shalt not strike thy foot; means you will not stumble, because you will be walking in the way of wisdom, which is free from stumbling‑blocks; you will not fall into sin.

 

V. 24

1. "Thou" = "thy" = refers to any one who reads this book and meets the conditions laid down.

2. "When thou liest down"= refers to laying down to sleep in the night time.

3. "Thou shalt not be afraid" = there will be no fear when and where Jehovah is the Protector. (Psa. 4:8)

4. "Yea" = introduces what you will experience instead of fear.

5. "Thou shalt lie down and thy sleep shall be sweet" = thy sleep will be full of pleasing impressions (sweet dreams) instead of being restless (Job 7:4); sweet because of the sense of safety which comes from confidence in God. (Job 11:18)

 

V. 25

1. "Be not afraid" = fear thou not; this admonition refers to two occasions listed in this verse.

2. "Sudden fear" = refers to anything that quickly excites terror or fear, as any great disaster, sudden sickness diagnosed, bad wreck, and etc.

3. "Desolation of the wicked" = the devastation, destruction, ruin, and judgment of those who reject light willfully and knowingly. (Pro. 29:1)

4. "When it cometh" = not "if" but "when" it arrives because desolation will come upon all those who reject light; it may come upon the body where it can be seen and it will come upon the soul as it will be cast in the lake of fire one day forever; fear thou not, the Lord is just doing what He said He would do.

 

V. 26

1. "For" =  introduces the reason for the command "fear thou not" (verse 25) to those who have kept "sound wisdom" and "discretion."

2. "The LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; the Lord Jesus.

3. "Thy" = refers to those who read this book and meet the conditions laid down.

4. "Confidence" = assurance of safety; security; hope; trust; refers to confidence in the presence of "sudden fear" and "the desolation of the wicked;" has the idea of knowing that Jehovah has encircled you to protect you.

5. "Keep" = guard; to hedge about; to protect.

6. "Keep thy foot from being taken" = means that Jehovah will be your protection against all the snares and traps which the wicked lay for you; refers to keep from being caught in a net or in snares as an animal would if it did not use wisdom and discretion.

 

      5. Walk in the Word. V. 27-35

V. 27

1. "Withhold not" = do not withhold; do not keep back; a command to meet your (thine--applies to anyone who reads this book) obligation.

2. "Good" = "it" = refers to goods or good things such as food, clothing, wages, or money such as the Lord has entrusted us with.

3. "Them" = "whom" = refers to those the Lord allows us to come in contact with on a day to day basis; our neighbor--those who Jesus said to love in the second commandment (Mat. 22:39); refers to all men, especially the household of faith. (Rom. 13:7; Gal. 6:10)

4. "Due" = owner; word indicates our so‑called possessions of wealth is but a stewardship; as a steward we are to be faithful to the Lord with what He gives us by making sure we use it (not withhold) as the Lord directs. (I Cor. 4:2)

A. A tithe of the increase, to the Lord.  The rest (90%), we are accountable to the Lord for how we distribute it.

B. That which is needed to supply the necessities (not necessarily wants) of our family. (I Tim. 5:8)

C. Wages due a person you hire. (Deut. 24:14‑15; Col. 4:1) Treat the laborer honestly and fairly. Lev. 19:13; Mal. 3:5)

D. Purchase price of items bought, to the seller.  This means to pay your debts

E. Benevolence to those in need. No Scripture is of private interpretation (II Peter 1:20) therefore, this verse must be in agreement with the rest of the Bible.  We are not to give to those who will not work when they are able. (II Thess. 3:10)  Also we are not just to give when someone ask without knowing or checking out the situation. (James 2:14‑16; the Greek construction implies that the occasion has been verified that the need is legitimate.)  The Lord in the OT made provision for the poor. (Lev. 19:9-10)

5. "When it is in the power of thine hand to do it" = means while it is practicable, and you have the opportunity and means of doing good, do it.

6. "In the power" = do not withhold from the rightful owner for it is a sin to do so. (James 4:17)

 

V. 28

1. This verse is a specific application of the principle given in verse 27.

2. "Thy" = "I" = "thou" = "thee" = applies to all who read this book.

3. "Neighbor" = "them" = of verse 27‑‑the owner; those you come in contact with on a day to day basis. (Luke 10:29‑37)

4. "Say not, Go and come again, and to morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee" = this is directed against procrastination, against the postponement of giving when we are in a position to give.  (Example: Preacher Sheffy in the film Sheffy started to pray for the Lord to give a family a horse, for their's had died out in the cold and snow. Instead he saw his horse and said in essence, "why pray for something that I have in my hands to give," and he gave them his horse and he suffered the cold.)

5. This delaying tactic refuses to acknowledge that God has so provided for people so that they can meet the needs of others as well.  It also assumes that we know the future when we do not.  In fact the Septuagint adds to this verse, "for thou knowest not what the morrow will bring forth." (James 4:14; Pro. 27:1)

6. Failure to obey this command causes God to withhold from you what could have been directed your way. (Luke 6:38)

7. The Lord loves a cheerful giver. (II Cor. 9:6‑8)

 

V. 29

1. "Devise" = to plough (plow; symbolizes wicked activity; Hosea 10:13); to plot; to plan; fabricate; negated by "not."

2 "Evil" = wickedness.

3. "Thy" = "thee" = applies to anyone who reads this book.

4. "Neighbour" = "he" = those you come in contact with on a day to day basis.

5. "Seeing he dwelleth securely by thee" = knowing that he dwells with thee in peace with full trust in you; implies that he associates familiarly with you‑‑close like a friend.

6. This verse inverts the "Golden Rule" (Mat. 7:12) in a form of what has been called the "Platinum Rule"‑‑do not do to others what you would not want done to you.

 

V. 30

1. "Strive" = to wrangle; hold a controversy; to contend with the hand and with blows; negated by "not."

2. "Man" = "he" = a human being; mankind; therefore, this includes women.

3. "Without cause" = without reason; further explained by "if he have done thee no harm" = if he has not brought evil upon you.

4. This admonition is directed against those who, from spite, jealousy, or other reasons "stir up strife all the day long" with those who are quiet and peaceable.  Plotting against or attacking someone without cause breaks the commandment (Lev. 19:18,34) and is foolish.  Fools spread strife and trouble, but the wise avoid quarrels. (Pro. 15:1,18; 16:24; 26:20‑22)

5. Solomon was concerned for the well‑being of his people so he warns his readers against harming their neighbors.

 

V. 31

1. "Envy" = jealousy; denotes wrath and indignation; discontent, excited by the sight of another's supposed success; springs from pride and ambition, discontent that another has obtained what you had a strong desire to possess; negated by "not."

2. "Thou" = applies to anyone who reads this book.

3. "Oppressor" = "his" = a man of violence whose conduct is violent and unjust.

4. "Choose none of his ways" = do not make a choice to follow the oppressor's lifestyle with a view to acquire the same wealth and power.

5. Envy often leads to admiration which can then bring about imitation. Solomon warns against indulging in this sin by being aware of it and forbidding it before it begins. (Pro. 23:17; 24:1)

 

V. 32

1. "For" = introduces the reason for Solomon's warning of verse 31.

2. "Froward" = the oppressor of verse 31; a perverted and wicked man; one who turns aside from the way of righteousness; a transgressor of the law; an apostate.

3. "Abomination" = something disgusting; something which, being impure and unclean is especially abhorrent (extreme hatred) to the "LORD" = "his" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One; the Lord Jesus.

4. "Secret" = intimacy; special favor; refers to His friendship and His closeness.

5. "Righteous" = the upright; those who pursues the path of justice; the straight-forward; refers to those who are saved.

6. Verses 32-35 contrast the wicked and the righteous.

 

V. 33

1. "Curse" = to call evil or injury down on; it is the infliction of temporal misfortunes ending with the "cutting off" of the wicked‑‑lake of fire. (Psa 37:22)

2. "Of the LORD" = denotes that Jehovah is the source of this curse.

3. "In the house of the wicked" = means the curse dwells in and rests upon his house; this is another reason why a person should not envy the prosperity of the wicked.

4. "But" = shows contrast between the wicked and the just.

5. "He" = "LORD" = Jehovah; the self‑existent One, the Lord Jesus.

6. "Blesseth" = bestows benefits‑‑both physically and spiritually; the tense reveals continuous action; blessings do not exclude affliction but "trials" are not "curses."

7. "Habitation" = dwelling; refers to a small dwelling‑‑the shepherd's hut; the contrast is made here between the large house or palace of the wicked and the small dwelling of the just.

8. "Just" = the righteous; the upright; refers to those who are saved.

 

V. 34

1. "Surely" = certainly; truly; no doubt about it.

2. "He" = Jehovah; the LORD.

3. "Scorneth" = to scoff (mockery or reproach), expressed in language of contempt (hatred of what is mean or deemed vile.)

4. "Scorners" = those who treat the precepts and truths of God with scoffing; the arrogant and proud; the overbearing; one who scorns; one who makes a mock of sin and the judgments and threatenings of God against sinners; the Lord repays scorn with scorn.

5. "But" = shows contrast between the scorners (wicked) and the lowly (righteous.)

6. "Giveth grace" = gives undeserved favor; just more of the blessings of verse 33.

7. "The lowly" = the afflicted; the meek and gentle‑‑gentle toward man and the abased and lowly before God; refers to the saved.

8. James 4:6 quotes the Septuagint from this verse.  The Lord's parable of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:9‑14 illustrates the teaching of this verse.

 

V. 35

1. "The wise" = the lowly or saved of verse 34.

2. "Inherit" = succeed to it (glory) as a matter of course by hereditary right as sons.

3. "Glory" = honor; splendor; not merely earthly distinction as the glory of man but the "glory of God;" the manifestation of that which brings forth praise. (Rom. 8:18; Eph. 2:6‑7)

4. "But" = shows contrast between the wise (righteous; saved) and fools (wicked).

5. "Shame shall be the promotion of fools" = conveys the thought that fools glory in that which is indeed their shame (disgrace); they look for promotion and they attain what they think is promotion, but the end of their attainments is shame and everlasting contempt; they choose to exalt things that are despicable, things that bring shame and a curse.

6. Solomon said, "Don't envy such people!"

 

CHAPTER 4:

 

V. Wisdom Protects Our Paths.

 

      1. Seek after wisdom. V. 1‑13

V. 1

1. "Hear" = to hear intelligently; implies attention and obedience to what you hear.

2. "Ye children" = similar to "my son" which is used several times in this book; refers Solomon's children; applies to all who read this book; David used this same phrase in Psa. 34:11, thus Solomon's use of it connects him with David and indicates the advice which follows in these next verses (verses 4-19) is in substance that which David had given his son.

3. "Instruction" = discipline and training; this exhortation is identical with that in Pro. 1:8.

4. "Father" = Solomon, speaking of himself in his capacity as a teacher or instructor of youth.

5. "Attend" = to prick up the ears; same Hebrew word as "incline" thine ear in Pro. 2:2; involves obedience; to give earnest, diligent attention to the instruction of a father.

6. "Know" = knowledge gained by experience.

7. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit.

 

V. 2

1. "I" = "my" = Solomon.

2. "Give" = to pass to another without compensation; the tense in the Hebrew denotes not only a past action, but one that is still continuing; signifies that what the teacher has given and is giving, he has received from his father.

3. "You" = "ye" = Solomon's children; applies to all who read this book.

4. "Doctrine" = instruction; knowledge orally given and received; described as "good" = sound; not weak or false; good as to the source from which it was derived, and in its effects.

5. "Forsake" = to leave; to depart from; negated by "not."

6. "Law" = refers to Solomon's rules and guidelines based upon the Decalogue (the 10 commandments or precepts given by God to Moses at Mt. Sinai and originally written on two tables of stone).

 

V. 3

1. "For I was my father's son" = this is more than the mere statement of a physical fact; it indicates that the teacher (Solomon; my) was in the highest degree an object of endearment to his father (David).

2. "Tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother" = "beloved" is in italics, thus supplied by the translators because the word translated "only" indicates that Solomon was loved of his mother (Bathsheba) as if he were an only child even though she had other sons. (I Chron. 3:5)

 

V. 4

1. "He" = "my" = Solomon's father‑‑David; the Septuagint indicates Bathsheba was involved in this teaching as well as David.

2. "Taught" = to communicate to another the knowledge of that of which he was before ignorant (unenlightened; unacquainted with).

3. "Said unto me" = Solomon now begins to speak what his father David had spoken to him in verses 4b‑19; Solomon gives credit to his father David as being a great teacher‑‑instructor of things that are right and truth; David must have learned his lesson after failing with some of his other sons, such as Amnon whom he did not instruct rightly, revealed when he raped his sister Tamar in II Sam. 13, nor did he instruct Absalom rightly, revealed when he murdered Amnon in II Sam. 13 and tried to overthrow the kingdom of his father, David in II Sam. 15‑18, nor did he instruct Adonijah rightly for I Kings 1:6 says, "his father had not displeased him at any time;" but when David was about 54 years old, Solomon was born and David seems to say to himself, "I've failed with my other sons but by God's grace I don't want to fail with this one" and he taught him right and now Solomon passes that on to us ("thine"), his readers.

4. "Heart" = that which is central; the seat of spiritual life; represents the inward‑‑the intellectual faculty or mind.

5. "Retain" = to take hold of; to hold fast; to fix firm; give heed to.

6. "Words" = refers to the instruction David had given Solomon and now he is passing on to us.

7. "Keep" = to hedge about; guard; attend to; to fix the attention upon as an object of pursuit; implies extreme conformity to their requirements. (Deut. 8:1)

8. "Commandments" = commands; refers to David's instruction to Solomon but also since this is the God breathed Word (II Tim. 3:16) it refers to us who are to observe the Lord's commands given by Solomon in this book of Proverbs.

9. "And live" = this is a promise of enjoying a long and happy life on this earth and eternal life in heaven, given to all those who keep the commandments; this is not teaching works for salvation because the Lord commands that you must repent and believe to be saved or have eternal life.

 

V. 5

1. "Get" = obtain; lay hold of; to purchase; implies seek and search.

2. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; refers to the Lord Jesus and a saving knowledge of Him by means of His gospel (I Cor. 1:30); Solomon has repeated this exhortation concerning wisdom with importunity (constantly; frequently) thus implying that wisdom is a pearl of great price. (Pro. 3:13‑14)

3. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is common sense which is closely akin to wisdom.

4. "Forget" = to neglect; mislay; implies want of memory or attention; negated by "not."

5. "Decline" = to turn away; indicates knowing what you are doing; also negated by "neither."

6. "The words of my mouth" = represents as it were the means by which wisdom may be purchased; this is not saying salvation can be bought with money (Isa. 55:1) for it can not; but it can be purchased with heavenly currency‑‑faith. (Heb 11:1; Eph. 2:8‑9)

7. "My" = David; also refers to the Lord who breathed this book through the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 3:16) through His human instrument, Solomon. (II Peter 1:21)

 

V. 6

1. "Forsake" = relinquish; let go; to reject; to abandon; to depart from; negated by "not."

2. "Her" = "she" = wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.

3. "Thee" = in context refers to Solomon to whom David was speaking; applies to anyone who reads this book and meets the conditions laid down.

4. "Shall preserve" = is synonymous to "shall keep" = to hedge about; to guard; to protect; to maintain‑‑thus take care of.

5. "Love" = to regard with affection; to be fond of; implies an ardent (hot, burning) and vehement (very eager) inclination of the mind and tenderness of affection at the same time.

 

V. 7

1. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; refers to Christ and a saving knowledge of Him by means of His gospel. (I Cor. 1:30)

2. "Principle thing" = chief or the highest good.

3. "Therefore" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because it is implied; means in view of the fact‑‑that wisdom is the principle thing.

4. "Get" = "getting" = refers to the purchase money; no price is too high to be paid for wisdom and no sacrifice too great. (Mat. 13:45‑46)

5. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit.

6. The admonition here is do not stop with wisdom but continue until you get real understanding‑‑insight or discernment.

7. Wisdom and discernment are so valuable it would be wise to sell everything that one has (all your acquisitions) in order to buy them.  Of course, neither wisdom nor the kingdom of heaven (used in the parable in Mat. 13) are for sale nor could they be bought if they were‑‑they are far too valuable.  Therefore, the language is figurative for wisdom is a gift (James 1:5) and so is salvation‑‑Wisdom or the Lord Jesus. (Eph. 2:8‑9)

 

V. 8

1. "Exalt" = to raise high; to elevate; one exalts wisdom when he follows her precepts‑‑commands.

2. "Her" = "she" = wisdom; pictures the Lord Jesus.

3. "Shall promote" = exalt; elevate.

4. "Thee" = "thou" = refers to Solomon receiving instruction from his Father David; applies to any one who reads this book.

5. "Bring to honour" = an expression of respect; good reputation.

6. "When" = because; carries a promise; verse 8‑9 gives the benefits of pursuing wisdom.

7. "Dost embrace" = to take, clasp, or inclose in the arms; means in a loving and affectionate manner, as a husband does his wife, or a son his mother; this is the conditional part‑‑that which must be done if we expect the benefit‑‑promise.

 

V. 9

1. "She" = wisdom; pictures the Lord Jesus.

2. "Thine" = "thee" = Solomon in context; applies to any one who reads this book and pursues wisdom.

3. "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace" = "a crown of glory" = this is similar to Pro. 1:9; this means just as in popular opinion ornaments are supposed to set off the personal form, so wisdom will embellish ("deliver" = confer) thee with true dignity.

4. "Crown of glory" = in the NT this is always associated with the everlasting honors of heaven. (Heb. 2:9)

 

V. 10

1. Verses 10‑19 may have been spoken by David to Solomon as he passes on instruction to him.  Or they could be Solomon now speaking to his "Son" (thine) with application to any one who reads this book.

2. "Hear" = to hear intelligently; implies attention and obedience to what you hear.

3. "O" = used to catch the listener's attention.

4. "Receive" = to take; to lay hold of; conveys the idea of intellectual reception.

5. "My sayings" = instruction; equivalent to "the way of wisdom"  in verse 11; it is a sign of grace when a person shows themselves open to listen to instruction, but it is a greater sign when this instruction is received with readiness and pleasure.

6. "The years of thy life shall be many" = this promise is one that not only implies the prolongation of life, but also a life of prosperity and enjoyment.

 

V. 11

1. "I" = either David or Solomon as he speaks to his son‑‑"thee" = applies to all who read this book and seek wisdom.

2. "Have taught" = refers to the past and the present‑‑I have taught and I will more fully teach or pass on instruction to you.

3. "In the way of wisdom" = equivalent to his "sayings" of verse 10; means in the way that leads to or by which you come to wisdom‑‑"I have taught you in manner in which Wisdom may be attained."

4. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God; refers to Christ and a saving knowledge of Him by means of His gospel. (I Cor. 1:30)

5. "Have led" = refers to the past and the present; indicates he was an example to his son in his walk or lifestyle; in other words he didn't say one thing and do another‑‑he practiced what he preached; a problem today with many is that they preach one thing and practice another; "too much talkie, talkie, and not enough walkie, walkie."

6. "In right paths" = paths of which the characteristic is uprightness.

 

V. 12

1. "Thou" = "thy" = refers to anyone who reads this book and seeks wisdom.

2. "When thou goest" = may refer to the daily walk, the common and ordinary events or circumstances incidental to life.

3. "Steps" = pictures the smallest action of life.

4. "Straitened" = to be narrow or confined; implies to be hindered; a narrow restricted place such as all believers have to pass through to enter life (Mat. 7:13‑14); negated by "not;" this means those who obey his instructions will have freedom for their movement in the way of wisdom and they will not be impeded or cramped as they travel those right paths.

5. "When thou runnest" = may refer to cases of emergency when promptness and decisive action is called for.

6. "Stumble" = to totter; waver; to falter; faint; fall; used of one about to fall; negated by "not."

 

V. 13

1. "Take fast hold" = to fasten to; to seize; restrain; conquer; this implies the kind of grasp a shipwrecked sinking sailor would do to a plank floating by.

2. "Instruction" = discipline and training that leads to Wisdom.

3. "Let not go" = don't slacken your grasp when it has been applied.

4. "Her" = "she" = refers to Wisdom of verse 11.

5. "Keep" = to guard; the reason being "she is thy life" = she brings life to thee; this parallels the Lord Jesus in John 1:4 where "in him was life."

6. "Thy" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

 

      2. Avoid temptation and sin. V. 14‑19

V. 14

1. The father now passes from admonition to warning.

2. "Enter" = to move or pass into; negated by "not."

3. "Path" = "way" = refers to their way of living or course of life.

4. "Wicked" = "evil men" = bad; evil; morally wrong; one guilty of sin against God; denotes the kind of life that is opposite of God's character.

5. "Go not" = do not walk in; the use of this word with "enter" implies entering and going on; the sense is: "If you have entered the way of the wicked, do not continue in it."

 

V. 15

1. "Avoid" = to reject; abhor.

2. "It" = the way or path of the wicked mentioned in V. 14.

3. "Pass not by it" = do not get close to it.

4. "Turn from it" = turn aside from it, so that you do not come to stand upon it.

5. "Pass away" = put the greatest possible distance between you and it.

 

V. 16

1. "For" = introduces the reason for the warning of V. 15.

2. "They" = "their" = evil men; the wicked of verse 14.

3. "Sleep not, except they have done mischief" = wickedness has become more precious to them then sleep.

4. "Sleep is taken away" = they simply will not sleep, "unless they cause some to fall" = unless they have betrayed others into sin; unless they have done some injury by causing someone to stumble and fall.

 

V. 17

1. "For" = introduces the reason for the statement made in verse 16.

2. "They" = the wicked; evil men.

3. "Eat" = could mean they live off wickedness; they eat what they love and become what they eat, to the extent that wickedness has become more precious to them than sleep.

4. "Eat the bread of wickedness" = refers to bread which is obtained by wickedness.

5. "Drink the wine of violence" = refers to wine obtained by violent deeds.

6. "Violence" = unjust gain gotten by violence.

 

V. 18

1. "But" = shows the contrast between the path of the wicked just spoken of and the path of the just.

2. "Path" = way of living; course of life; refers to the moral course of the just.

3. "Just" = the righteous; the upright, refers to those who are saved.

4. "As the shining light" = a simile (a comparison of two things, while different have points of resemblance); compared to the light of the sun.

5. "That shineth more and more" = denotes progression or increase.

6. "Unto the perfect day" = refers to midday or high noon.

7.  This verse illustrates the gradual growth and increase of the righteous in knowledge, holiness, joy, and all of which are connected to such.

 

V. 19

1. "The way of the wicked is as darkness" = in contrast to the way of the just which is light.

2. "Darkness" = the entire absence of light; refers to the gloom the wicked are enveloped in so that they are not even able to see the obstacles and impediments that cause them to stumble; the cause of their ruin. (John 11:10)

3. "They" = the wicked.

4. "They know not at what they stumble" = implies that they are so ignorant that they neither know wickedness as wickedness, nor do they understand the destruction it involves.

 

      3. Guard your life. V. 20‑27

V. 20

1. "My" = Solomon who is the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to pen down the book of Proverbs. (II Peter 1:21)

2. "Son" = "thine" = Solomon's son; implies any who come to him for instruction; any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; applies to us as we read this book.

3. "Attend" = to prick up the ears; equivalent to the Hebrew word to "incline" thine ear in this verse and Pro. 2:2; involves obedience; to give earnest, diligent attention to the instruction of a father.

4. "My words" = truth spoken; these words are life producing when sharpened by the Holy Spirit. (John 6:63)

5. "My sayings" = similar to "my words;" instructions; it is good when a person shows themselves open to listen to instruction, but it is better when that instruction is received with obedience.

 

V. 21

1. "Them" = words and sayings.

2. "Thine" = Solomon's son; applies to any one who reads this book.

3. "Let them not depart from thine eyes" = keep them constantly in view as the guide of the whole conduct; do not let them escape or slip aside from your mind. (Deut. 6:6‑8; Heb. 2:1)

4. "Keep" = to hedge about; guard; to protect.

5. "In the midst of thine heart" = in its inmost recesses; these words and sayings are to be guarded as a man guards a treasure stowed away in the inmost chambers of a house.

 

V. 22

1. "For" = introduces the reason for keeping his words and sayings.

2. "They" = "them" = refers to words and sayings.

3. "Those" = "their" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

4. "They are life" = they bring life. (John 6:63)

5. "Find" = to acquire; refers to the use of effort to get possession; carries the idea of activity‑‑active waiting not passive.

6. "Health to all their flesh" = means that which restores health; the moral condition regarded as being deprived of strength from which it may be restored to health and soundness by the words of wisdom‑‑the effect is not only to restore to health, but to maintain in health.

7. A person who finds wisdom and uses it will be bettered, not only spiritually, but also physically.

 

V. 23

1. "Keep" = to guard; protect.

2. "Heart" = "it" = refers to the affections and the moral consciousness.

3. "With all diligence" = above everything else, keep a guard on your heart; keep the heart more than any other keeping; keep with more vigilance than men use over anything else.

4. "For" = introduces the reason for guarding your heart.

5. "Out of it are the issues of life" = indicates that the moral conduct of life, its actions and proceedings, are determined by the condition of the heart; the heart is compared with a fountain or well which were watched over with special care in the East.

6. Since all of the actions of life (literally "the outgoings of life") originate in the heart, its conditions determine whether or not one will live wisely (and continue to live) or foolishly (and die).  The currents of the moral life take their rise in and flow forth from it, just as from the physical heart the blood is propelled and flows forth into the system of arteries, by which it is conveyed to the remotest extremities of the body.  And as the bodily health depends on the healthy action of the heart, so the moral health depends on and is influenced by the state in which this spring of all action is preserved.  Thus, the heart must be guarded more carefully than anything else. Mark 7:21‑23 list the evil effects of an unguarded heart while a guarded heart will produce the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)

 

V. 24

1. Verses 24‑27 continue the subject of verse 23 by showing how the guarding of the heart is to be done.

2. "Put away" = remove.

3. "Thee" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

4. "Froward" = perverseness‑‑a disposition uncomplying, unaccommodating, or acting in opposition to what is proper or what is desired by others; that which twists, distorts, perverts, or misrepresents what is true, and hence falsehood.

5. "Mouth" = refers to speech.

6. "Perverse" = waywardness; crookedness.

7. "Perverse lips" = refers to speech which turns aside from what is true and right.

8. "Put far from thee" = remove; the admonition may have a twofold application:

      A. Do not indulge in this kind of speech yourself.

      B. Have no dealing with those who are guilty of it.

 

V. 25

1. "Thine" = "thee" = refers to all who read this book.

2. This verse is an admonition against falsehood in action while verse 24 was against falsehood in speech.

3. "Look right on" = to look straight before (in front of) one; means to fix the eyes steadily and unswervingly upon an object before them and do not allow the gaze to deflect either to the right hand or to the left.

4. "Let thine eyelids look straight before thee" = let thine eyelids direct thy way before thee; means do nothing rashly, but everything with premeditation; examine thy conduct, and see that it is right; look not aside either to the one hand or to the other, lest you may be led astray by the seductions and temptations which imperil (to bring into danger) the onward and upward progress of the soul.

5. This passage reminds us of Mat. 6:22.  The "single" eye is intent on heaven and the Lord.

 

V. 26

1. "Ponder the path of thy feet" = means "make straight or level the path of thy feet;" the sense is remove every obstacle which may impede the way of moral life and thus avoid every false step.

2. "Thy" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

3. "Let all thy ways be established" = see that thy conduct is correct; let all thy ways be definite and fixed; this is a repetition of the preceding thought.

 

V. 27

1. "Turn not to the right hand nor to the left" = the feet are not to deviate from a true course nor turn aside to byways; nothing is to be permitted to draw one off from the right way, neither adversity, nor prosperity, nor anything which can possess the power of temptation.

2. "Remove thy foot from evil" = this is a fuller expression than "depart from evil" in Pro. 3:7; means to turn aside or away from darkness and sin.

3. "Thy" = refers to anyone who reads this book.

4. The Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT Hebrew Scriptures) adds to this verse in explanation, "For the Lord knows the ways which are on thy right hand; but they are perverse which are on the left.  He shall make thy paths straight, and shall advance thy ways in peace."

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader