I. Introduction. V. 1‑19
1. Title = Proverbs:
A. Webster’s = 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. (I Kings 11:1-4)
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.
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
I. Introduction. V. 1:1‑19
II. Wisdom calls. V. 1:20‑9:18
1. Wisdom's first call‑to salvation. V. 1:20‑4:27
1) Wisdom protects our paths. V. 2:1‑22
2) Wisdom directs our paths. V. 3:1‑35
3) Wisdom perfects our paths. V. 4:1‑27
2. Folly calls. 5:1‑7:27
1) Folly's first call‑to condemnation. 5:1‑23
1. Wisdom offers men salvation but in this chapter we see folly offering men condemnation. Whenever God offers His gracious invitation, Satan is there with an alluring offer of his own.
2. "My" = refers to Solomon in context.
3. "Son" = "thine" = Solomon's 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. "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 instruction of a father.
5. "Wisdom" = the ability to understand a situation so as to know how to respond in a way that pleases God.
6. "Bow thine ear" = to stretch or spread out; implies to open your ears.
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.
1. "That" = introduces the reason to attend unto wisdom and bow thine ear to understanding.
2. "Regard" = to fix the mind on as a matter of importance.
3. "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.
4. "Thou" = "thy" = son.
5. "Keep" = to guard; to protect, maintain, and obey.
6. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.
7. "Lips" = refers to language‑‑watching what you say.
1. "For" = introduces the subject of Solomon's warning.
2. "Lips" = refers to speech.
3. "Strange woman" = "her" = one who does not belong to the family; one who indulges in sexual sins; a harlot.
4. "Drop" = to ooze.
5. "Honeycomb" = refers to dripping of honey from the comb; refers to honey's sweetness (Pro. 24:13); an image of the sweetness of love (S of S 4:11) combined with flattery‑‑"her mouth is smoother than oil" = Pro. 7:21; this leads the naive to think that this is true love.
1. "But" = reveals the contrast between the professions of the "strange woman" and the disastrous consequences which overtake those who listen to her enticements; she promises enjoyment, pleasure, freedom from danger but her end is bitter as wormwood.
2. "Her" = strange woman.
3. "End" = refers to her character as it stands revealed at the last; the final effects, like wine in Pro. 23:31‑32.
4. "Bitter" = sharp or bitter to the taste.
5. "Wormwood" = an herb that botanists of Eastern medicine considered poisonous rather that medicinal.
6. "Sharp as a two‑edged sword" = refers to a sword of extreme sharpness on both edges; means it will cut coming and going.
7. The meaning is that one who is seduced by this strange woman, the last of her is sharpness of remorse, anguish of heart, and death. Blind to the corruption below the surface, the bitter consequence of tasting forbidden sweets, he does not know that this honey is really gall, and that these flattering words will turn deadly.
1. This is a continuation of the description of the harlot.
2. "Her feet go down to death" = refers to her leading those who yield to her flattery to moral ruin and spiritual chaos of a life that has strayed from the path of rightness. (Pro. 5:20‑23)
3. "Her steps take hold on hell" = another way of saying the basic same thing; repetition of the warning.
4. "Hell" = separation from God forever.
1. "Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life" = this is literally saying that she does not walk in the way of life thus the warning to his son not to yield to her seduction.
2. "Her ways are movable" = literally, go to and fro, or fluctuate; she willfully staggers hither and thither, like the steps of a drunkard or the uncertain steps of the blind; her ways wander or are without any definite aim; moving without any certain direction.
3. "Thou canst not know them" = literally, she knows not; she knows not the way of life; she does not regard or perceive the way of life.
4. These words describe with a terrible vividness the state of heart and soul which prostitution brings upon its victims.
1. "Hear" = means to hear with the aspect of paying attention and obeying.
2. "Me" = "my" = Solomon the writer.
3. "Now" = at this time.
4. "Therefore" = introduces commands or exhortations that are the appropriate response to what has just been said.
5. "O ye children" = similar to "my son" which is used several times in this book; refers to Solomon's children; applies to all who read this book; plural, yet he immediately passes into the singular for even though the address is made to all, yet each individual is to apply it to himself.
6. "Depart" = to turn aside or away from; negated by "not."
7. "From the words of my mouth" = refers to these words of wisdom, instruction, and warning.
1. "Way" = refers to course of life.
2. "Remove thy way far from her" = this is an instruction to separate yourself from the strange woman (her); this is equivalent to what Paul said, "Flee fornication" (I Cor. 6:18) and, "Flee also youthful lust." (II Tim. 2:22)
3. "Thy" = refers to Solomon's son; applies to us.
4. "Come not nigh the door of her house" = shun the very place where she dwells; be so far from coming into her chamber as not to come near the door of her house; she and her house are to be avoided as if they were infected with some mortal disease.
1. This verse begins the reasons why the harlot is to be avoided.
2. "Thou" = "thine" = refers to Solomon's son; applies to us.
3. "Others" = refers to the harlots.
4. "Give thine honour" = refers to the grace and freshness of youth.
5. "Years" = refers to the best and most vigorous years, thus the most useful and valuable years of life.
6. "Unto the cruel" = literally, to the cruel one.
7. The thoughts of this is to guard the young man against the sins that stain and mar him. The slave of lust sacrifices "years" that could have been used for God's glory.
1. "Strangers" = refers to the harlots.
2. "Thy" = refers to Solomon's son; applies to us.
3. "Wealth" = refers to the youth's possessions in money and property and could imply strength.
4. "Labours" = toils; refers to the product of laborious toil‑‑that which you have gotten by the labor of your hands and earned with the sweat of your face. (Gen. 3:19)
5. The meaning of this verse is that a life of impurity transfers that person's substance, his wealth and possessions, to others, who will be filled at his expense, and being strangers, will be indifferent to his ruin.
6. An adulterous relationship can destroy one's well‑being and threaten financial ruin, especially if the relationship is on going. Often a partner in adultery must be supported, and even if not, gifts are part of every close personal relationship.
1. "Thou" = "thy" = refers to Solomon's son; applies to us.
2. "Mourn" = to growl or groan; this is not the wailing or subdued grief of heart which is signified, but the loud wail of lamentation--the groaning of intense mental suffering called forth by the remembrance of past folly, and which sees no remedy for the future.
3. "At the last" = at thine end; when thou art ruined.
4. "Thy flesh and thy body " = stands for the whole body, the body in its totality, not the body and the soul; synonymous terms; the use of these two terms gives force to one idea.
5. "Consumed" = to be finished; to perish; this destruction which will eventually involve the ruin of the soul is found in Pro. 6:32.
1. "Say" = indicates what he mourned in verse 11.
2. "How" = introduces the self‑reproach that accompanies the groaning; expresses, "how could it ever come to pass that I have acted in such a senseless and inexcusable manner."
3. "I" = "my" = refers to anyone who becomes involved with a strange woman.
4. "Hated" = greatly dislike.
5. "Instruction" = refers to the warning voice that advised against going with the harlot.
6. "My heart despised" = rejected inwardly the reproof which followed after he had been with the harlot.
7. "Reproof" = correction; to lay blame on with the purpose of correction.
1. "Obeyed" = to hear intelligently; means to hear and then "give heed to;" negated by "not."
2. "Teachers" = "them" = those who had given him warnings and reproofs which was done by their "voice" = advice; instruction; warning; reproof.
3. "My" = "mine" = "me" = refers to anyone who becomes involved with a strange woman.
4. "Inclined mine ear" = to prick up the ears; involves obedience; to give earnest, diligent attention to the instruction of his teacher; negated by "nor."
5. The ruined one who now was abandoned to vice admits he was not without teachers and advisors, but that he gave no heed to their warnings and reproofs.
1. "I" = refers to anyone who becomes involved with a strange woman.
2. "Almost" = nearly.
3. "All evil" = every bad and wicked thing.
4. "In the midst of the congregation and assembly" = both words designate the assembly of Israel; this applies to the church in our day.
5. The ruined one is saying, "Such was my shamelessness that there was scarcely any wickedness which I did not commit, unrestrained even by the congregation and assembly." The presence of the congregation of God's people had no restraining effect upon him.
1. Verses 15‑23 records the voice of the teacher. After warning youth against indulgence in illicit pleasures by pointing out the terrible consequences which follow such action, the teacher in verses 15‑19 indicates in what direction the satisfaction of natural wants is to be obtained, so that the heart and conscience can be kept pure and sin and evil may be avoided.
2. "Drink waters out of thine own cistern" = this is a phrase referring to having one's natural impulses satisfied in the legitimate sphere of marriage; "drinking" carries with it the satisfying of a natural want. (I Cor. 7:9; Heb. 13:4)
3. "Running waters out of thine own well" = "drink waters" = goes with this phrase as well, therefore this verse is a double emphasis on the instruction given; S of S 4:12 refers to the bride as "a spring shut up, a fountain (well) sealed."
4. Paul makes it clear that the satisfaction of sexual impulses in the marriage relationship is right and good. (I Cor. 7:2‑5)
5. The use of these figures indicates the high estimation in which the wife is to be held, since the "cistern" or "well" was one of the most valuable possessions of an Eastern house.
1. Verses 16‑17 are hard to interpret. In context fidelity in one's marriage is the subject at hand.
2. "Thy" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
3. It seems that "fountains" and "rivers of waters" refer to children (because they are plural), the legitimate issue in lawful marriage.
4. The meaning of this verse seems to be, "Let thy marriage be blessed with many children, who may go forth abroad for the public good."
1. "Them" = the children spoken of in verse 16.
2. "Thine" = "thee" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
3. By confining yourself to chaste relations only with your lawful wife and vice versa, you can be assured that your offspring is your own and not someone else's = "strangers'."
1. "Thy" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
2. "Fountain" = "wife" = denotes the same person; singular not plural as in verse 16; equivalent to "thine own cistern" and "thine own well" in verse 15.
3. "Blessed" = be happy; means may your wife be rendered happy in being the mother of your children; every Israelite wife regarded herself, and was regarded by others as "blessed" if she bore children, and unhappy if the reverse was true. (Example: Rachel in Gen. 30:1)
4. "Rejoice" = to brighten up; be gleesome.
5. "With" = because of; on account of; the wife is regarded as the sphere within which the husband is to find his pleasure and joy.
6. "The wife of thy youth" = refers to a person's first wife and indicates that she was the only wife he was to have.
1. "Her" = the wife of thy youth.
2. "Thee" = "thou" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
3. "The loving hind and pleasant roe" = this is attached to "the wife of thy youth" (verse 18), since "Let her be as" are in italics thus not in the original; this is descriptive of the beauty and gracefulness of his wife.
4. "Breasts" = the Hebrew word means the seat of love; simply means her love; this is not something to label as being dirty; Hollywood and dress designers have made much of exposing a woman's breasts but the Lord never intended for that to be; God made woman for the man to satisfy his God given desire in the bonds of marriage (Heb. 13:4); therefore, He made a woman to dress and undress for her husband and not others in this world. (I Tim. 2:9)
5. "Satisfy" = to slake (quench) the thirst; thus the command to "drink waters out of thine own cistern." (v. 15)
6. "At all times" = means the love of the wife and not a strange woman are to refresh and fully satisfy the husband‑‑maintain fidelity.
7. "Ravished" = has the idea of being intoxicated; let her love intoxicate thee; this describes the entire fascination which the husband is to allow the wife to exercise over him.
8. "Love" = affections.
9. When combining these phrases the wife of your youth is to be the object of your love and devotion, and the one in whom your affections are to find the fulfilment of your desires.
1. This verse shows a contrast between being intoxicated with the love of the wife of your youth (verse 19) and being intoxicated with the love of another woman, a stranger to your marriage covenant.
2. "And why" = what inducement is there; what reason can be given.
3. "My" = Solomon.
4. "Son" = "thou" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
5. "Ravished" = to be intoxicated.
6. "Strange woman" = one who does not belong to the family; one who indulges in sexual sins; a harlot.
7. "Embrace" = to take, clasp, or enclose in the arms; means in a loving and affectionate manner, as a husband does his wife.
8. "Bosom" = the breast of a human being and the parts adjacent.
9. "Stranger" = non-relative; adulterous; refers to the strange woman or harlot.
1. "The ways of man" = refers to the conduct of any individual, man or woman as "man" is used generically.
2. "Are before the eyes of the LORD" = refers to that on which Jehovah fixes His gaze and scrutiny.
3. This phrase means there is no possibility of any act of immorality escaping God's notice. The consciousness of this fact is to be a restraining motive, inasmuch as He who sees will also punish every transgression. This great truth acknowledged here is the omniscience of God, which is a truth spoken of in Job. 34:21, II Chron. 16:9, Jer. 16:17, Hosea 7:2, Heb. 4:13, and Pro. 15:3.
4. "LORD" = "he" = 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)
5. "Pondereth" = to weigh; to consider accurately; represents the idea that God weighs one's path as in a balance.
6. "Goings" = doings; actions.
7. "His" = man, including women.
8. Jehovah not only sees, but weighs all that a man does, wheresoever he be, and will apportion rewards or punishments according to a man's actions. This is not referring to heaven or hell for a person's actions will be judged at the judgment seat of the saved (II Cor. 5:10) and at the great white throne judgment of the lost. (Rev. 20:11‑12)
1. "His" = "himself" = "he" = any person‑‑man or woman.
2. "Iniquities" = sins; wickedness.
3. "Own" = his sins not those of another. (Rom. 14:11-12)
4. "Shall take" = to catch; literally means to catch an animal in a snare.
5. "Wicked" = morally wrong; bad person; refers to one who is caught in the snare of the strange woman; he becomes entangled and caught in his own sins; he is struck down and captured by them, just as the prey is struck by the snare of a fowler (a hunter who pursues wild fowl).
6. "Sins" = it is not so much every sin of man which shall hold him, though that is true, as the particular sin treated of in this warning‑‑adultery.
7. "Holden" = to keep fast; to sustain.
8. "He shall be holden with the cords of his sins" = means the cords his sin weaves around him that holds him fast; the wicked are not only trapped by their sin but they are trapped because they chose to leave the path of wisdom.
1. "He" = "his" = the person who commits adultery with the strange woman.
2. "He shall die without instruction" = means he will die premature; because he gave no heed to the instruction given him; the problem is not that he was untaught, but that he rejected the instruction he was offered (verse 13); he had been warned of the evil consequences of his sins, but he turned a deaf ear to them and the teacher now says he shall die.
3. "Greatness" = abundance.
4. "Folly" = silliness.
5. "Go astray" = same Hebrew word as "ravished" in verses 19 and 20; has the idea of being intoxicated; thus, it means to stagger.
6. With an understanding darkened and rendered callous by unrestrained indulgence in lust, and by folly which has reached its utmost limits and cannot, as it were, be surpassed, in that he has persistently and willfully set aside and scorned wisdom and true happiness, the adulterer, like the drunkard, who is oblivious of the danger before him, shall stagger to ruin.
7. Folly's first call is to condemnation.
2) Folly's 2nd call‑to poverty. V. 1‑35
a. Warning against giving surety. V. 1‑5
1. "My" = refers to Solomon in context.
2. "Son" = "thou" = "thy" = Solomon's son in literal sense; implies anyone 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.
3. "Be surety" = give security; this is equivalent of co‑signing a loan or pledging one's own property as collateral for someone else's obligation.
4. In the first Biblical occurrence of this word, Judah pledged himself as a guarantee that Benjamin would return from Egypt. (Gen. 43:9; 44:32) If he failed to bring Benjamin back to Israel their father, Judah would bear his guilt for the rest of his life. Judah then demonstrates how seriously he understood his promise when he offered to become a slave in Egypt rather than forfeit his pledge and bear his guilt. (Gen. 44:33-34)
5. "Friend" = an associate; someone close; a companion; the debtor for whom one has become surety.
6. "Stricken thy hand" = to clasp or shake hands; describes the symbolical act which accompanied the contract.
7. "Stranger" = one with whom thou art but slightly acquainted.
1. "Thou" = "thy" = the one who gives surety.
2. "Thou are snared with the words of thy mouth" = you have become entangled and involved by your own promises, and hampered by self‑imposed obligations.
3. "Snared" = to ensnare; to be taken unwarily (without vigilance and caution).
4. "Taken" = to catch; to be stricken with the net; captured.
5. "With the words of thy mouth" = the repetition is designed to bring with greater force to the mind that the entanglements in which the surety is involved are the result of his own indiscretion.
6. To endanger one's property by pledging it as collateral for someone else's loan is to be like a wild animal caught in a trap or a prisoner of war. This is largely because whoever shakes hands in pledge gives his or her belongings to another person, without really knowing whether or not that person will fulfill his or her obligation. The guarantor has no control over the person's fulfillment. He has assumed someone else's risk.
1. In this verse advice is given as to what is to be done under the circumstances of this entanglement.
2. "Do this now" = therefore; in view of the fact just mentioned; it emphasizes the command and carries with it the sense of instant and prompt action.
3. "My" = Solomon.
4. "Son" = "thyself" = "thy" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
5. "Deliver thyself when thou art come into the hand of thy friend" = set thyself free when thou findest thou are actually at the mercy of thy friend whom thou has become surety.
6. "Go, humble thyself" = present thyself as a suppliant (asking earnestly and submissively); prostrate thyself; offer thyself to be trodden upon or humble thyself like the threshold which is trampled and trod upon; the expression implies the spirit of entire submission, in which the one who gives surety is to approach his friend in order to be released from his responsibility,
7. "Make sure" = to urge severely; be urgent with; press upon him to fulfill his engagement; signifies to act fiercely against any one.
8. "Friend" = the companion, not the creditor.
9. The meaning of this verse is that if submission and persuasion does not avail, then sterner measures are to be resorted to, to gain the desired end.
1. This verse carries the thought one step further.
2. "Thine" = the one who gives surety.
3. "Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber (drowsiness) to thine eyelids" = the appeal to the friend is not to be confined to one effort but continually hound him until he fulfills his obligation.
4. This unwearied energy is demonstrated by being in pursuit of an object in which one is deeply interested.
1. "Deliver" = to snatch away.
2. "Thyself" = the one who gives surety.
3. The struggles of the "roe" and the "bird" to escape from the snare are used figuratively to describe the efforts which the one who gives surety is to make to tear and free himself from his friend.
4. Solomon is giving a warning against giving surety, not an absolute prohibition. There may be circumstances in which guaranteeing someone else's loan is wise and a right thing to do. Solomon's point is that the guarantor needs to realize how dangerous such help can be to his or her own well being before making that commitment.
5. If the one to whom you give surety fails to meet his responsibility, then whatever you put up as collateral will be lost. Thus, folly leads to poverty.
b. Warning against being a sluggard. V. 6-11
1. "Ant" = "her" = an example of wisdom to the sluggard; refers to its unwearied activity as it stores up provisions for the winter. (Pro. 30:25)
2. "Go to" = find an ant colony and watch them.
3. "Sluggard" = a person habitually lazy, idle, and inactive; sloth, which means disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.
4. "Consider her ways" = attentively regard them.
5. "Her ways" = the manner in which the ant displays her industry and foresight.
6. "Be wise" = receive a lesson of wisdom.
1. "Which" = refers to the ant.
2. "Guide" = captain; judge; refers to the judicial office; the same Hebrew word is used of a military commander (captains) in Josh. 10:24.
3. "Overseer" = a general designation for any official.
4. "Ruler" = the word signifies a lord or prince who rules.
5. All three terms refer to government. All ants in one colony occupy the same ant‑hill, yet there is no chain of command like in a bee colony. There is none to regulate or see that the work is done. Each ant works independently of the rest guided by a common instinct.
1. This verse gives a characteristic of the ant, when combined with what has just been said, gives a lesson for the sluggard to learn.
2. "Provideth" and "gathereth" = she works continuously while meat (food; grain) is available‑‑at harvest time.
1. Verses 9‑11 contain a call to the sluggard to rouse himself from inaction and the warning of the evil consequences if he fails to heed the warning.
2. This verse basically says, "What infatuation (the act of affecting with folly; a state of mind in which the intellectual powers are weakened so that the person affected acts without his usual judgment, and contrary to the dictates of reason) is this that makes you lie around lazily and sleep as if you had nothing else to do."
1. This verse is the language of the teacher describing how the sluggard slides on insensibly to ruin.
2. "Yet a little" = is a phrase on the lips of every one who makes a feeble resistance, and then yields carelessly to his weakness‑‑laziness.
1. "They" = the sluggard.
2. This verse reveals the inevitable consequences of sloth‑‑"poverty" and "want." The two terms convey the idea of utter destitution.
3. "Poverty" shall overtake a person as a swift traveler does to one who walks slowly.
4. "An armed man" = a man of a shield; refers to one fully equipped, and who attacks his foe with such force that against him resistance is useless; the destitution of the sluggard will not only be certain and swift, it will be also irresistible; as the unarmed, unprepared man succumbs to this type of man, so shall the sluggard fall before "want" = deficiency.
5. "Thy poverty" and "thy want" represent the destitution of the sluggard as flowing directly from his own habit of self‑indulgence. He, not others, is alone responsible for it.
6. Folly leads to poverty.
c. Warning against malice. V. 12‑19
1. "A naughty person" = a man of Belial; signifies a lawless person.
2. "A wicked man" = a man of iniquity which takes the form of mischief making, deceit, and sowing discord among the brethren; one who practices malice--a disposition to injure others without cause.
3. "Walketh" = course of conduct.
4. "Froward mouth" = perverseness‑‑a disposition uncomplying, unaccommodating, or acting in opposition to what is proper or what is desired by others; that which twist, distorts, perverts, or misrepresents what is true‑‑hence falsehood; the mouth or speech is the vehicle by which this person gives outward expression to the evil thoughts which are inwardly filling his heart. (Mat. 12:34)
5. In this verse the teacher begins by stating in general terms the nature and character of the man whom he now holds up as a warning to others. His whole life and conduct are marked by craftiness, deceit, perversion, and misrepresentation, and an utter want of truth.
1. "He" = "his" = the wicked man spoken of in verse 12
2. He employs his other member (the mouth was spoken of in verse 12) for the same wicked purposes. Paul said he yields his members to uncleanness. (Rom. 6:19)
3. "Winketh with his eyes" = to compress them together which gives the signal not to interfere.
4. "Speaketh with his feet" = he conveys signs by them to his companions.
5. "Teacheth with his fingers" = means to extend or stretch out the hand for the purpose of pointing out the way; the crafty and deceitful character which is here represented refers to a bad way.
6. The lesson which we may learn from this verse is not to abuse the members of our bodies, by using them for the purpose of deceit and hypocrisy, and to promote evil, but to put them to their natural and legitimate use.
1. "His" = "he" = the wicked man.
2. "Frowardness is in his heart" = his heart is full of perverse imaginations and there is where he nourishes his jealousy, his hatred, his malice, and his ill will.
3. "Deviseth mischief" = deliberate premeditation to plot mischief and devise means to carry it into action; he uses his heart as it were the workshop wherein he fabricates and prepares his wickedness.
4. "Soweth discord" = he sends forth strife; he takes delight in breaking up friendships and in destroying concord among the brethren; the motive may be either malice or self‑interest.
1. "Therefore" = in view of the facts just mentioned.
2. "His " = "he " = the wicked man who sows discord.
3. "Calamity" = oppression; misfortune; ruin.
4. "Shall come suddenly" = sooner than he anticipates; when he thinks his outrageously wicked plans are succeeding, then suddenly his victims will discover his fraud and malice, and will rise and inflict the punishment which is his due.
5. "Suddenly shall he be broken" = means to be broken in pieces quickly; conveys the idea of the complete ruin of this man.
6. "Without remedy" = there shall be no means of recovery for his shattered members; the idea seems to be taken from the shattered fragments of a potter's vessel, which it is impossible to reunite.
7. This could be the result of "one lie too many" causing everyone, especially those who had believed and trusted the lies, to turn against them.
8. Even if man does not turn on him, one day the Lord will.
1. Verses 16‑19 are not an independent section but one closely connected to that which has just preceded. The object is to show that those evil qualities of deceit and malice which are disastrous to man are disgusting to the LORD.
2. "LORD" = "him" = 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. "Hate" = to dislike greatly; to express anger toward (Psa. 7:11); an example was when Jesus had a house cleaning in the temple in John 2:13‑16.
4. "Abomination" = something disgusting; extreme hatred.
5. "Seven" = number of completion; therefore, this list could very well be a representative list for God hates all sin. Theologians say there is a total of 726 sins listed in the Bible and God hates all of them for they nailed His darling Son to the cross.
1. "A proud look" = haughty or lofty eyes; scorning to look down on others or looking upon them with disdain (to deem worthless); reckon others as unworthy to be looked upon; having an high opinion of their own worth and merit; it is not merely the look which is meant, but the temper of mind which the look expresses; the lofty look is the indication of the swelling pride which fills the heart; pride, which is directly opposite to God and to His nature and that which He sets Himself against (James 4:6); the pride of heart shows itself in the eyes. (Pro. 16:18)
2. "A lying tongue" = the willful perversion of truth; refers to a tongue speaking falsehood, knowingly and willingly with an intention to deceive and hurt others (James 3:7‑8); in this sin man resembles the Devil who was the father of lies. (John 8:44)
3. "Hands that shed innocent blood" = refers to the commandment in Exo. 20:13 "Thou shalt not kill" defined by Jesus in Mat. 19:18 as "Thou shalt do no murder."
4. "Innocent blood" = refers to the blood of a person who has done nothing wrong concerning the law; this would apply to abortion‑‑killing the unborn; God said He hates those involved in such deeds; the Lord sent Judah into captivity because King Manasseh shed innocent blood by offering his children (which influenced others to do the same) to Molech. (II Kings 21:16; 24:2‑4; II Chron. 33:6)
1. "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations" = means thoughts of wickedness which are framed and formed in the heart which is the source and fountain of all wickedness; the heart is the devil's workshop due to man's depravity and wickedness. (Mark 7:21‑23; Jer. 17:9)
2. "Deviseth" = to fabricate.
3. "Imaginations" = plans and plots.
4. "Feet that be swift in running to mischief" = to commit all manner of sin with greediness (Pro. 1:10,16); to carry out with cheerful willingness what has already been devised in the heart; thus, this is more than falling or sliding into sin, which is common to all; we had a 16 year old boy who lived with us a few years ago and this phrase describes him to a "t."
1. "A false witness that speaketh lies" = this is a sin of bearing false witness against one's neighbor; this is a breach of the ninth commandment (Exo. 20:16); refers to those who raise lies and spread them abroad and swears to them to the damage of others; Naboth was killed as a result of such persons (I Kings 21:1‑13); this is distinguished from "a lying tongue" in verse 17; in a court of law if this is practiced and caught a person can go to jail.
2. "He" = refers to a wicked person.
3. "Soweth" = one who scatters or spreads words.
4. "Discord" = opposition; contention; strife; any disagreement which produces angry passions.
5. "He that soweth discord among the brethren" = a person with such conduct as this destroys the harmony and unity of those who ought to live together in brotherly affection; God not only hates this sin but says it is an abomination (verse 16)-‑ abhorrence or extreme hatred or something that is disgusting; this sin is classified equal to sodomy. (Lev. 18:22)
6. This is used more by our adversary the devil in our churches to hinder, wreck, and destroy. Armies use this tactic to win wars‑‑divide and conquer. (I Cor. 11:18)
7. What does a person need to do when it comes your way? And it will come your way sometimes in the most subtle way.
1) Depending on the circumstance, you may need to say, "Let's go to the individual whom the accusation is against and get the whole picture." If you are the sower, you need to go and get the whole picture before you sow.
2) Consider the source.
A. Look at their track record. If their life is filled with one gossip after another or if all they really have to say is something bad about people, then do not hang around them. Pay no attention to them.
B. Look at what motivates them.
a. Jealousy = jealous of your children trying to do right while theirs don't, so they try to make theirs look better by putting yours down.
b. Selfish = who do they talk most about‑‑me, myself, and I; they do not want someone else to have good things in life‑‑vehicles, houses, clothes, and etc. (sometimes they have those things but just do not want you to have them.)
c. Looking for an excuse to leave church. Why don't people have enough character before they leave to tell the preacher, "I'm leaving. I do not agree." or whatever the situation is; we have had some to do that and some have not and when they don't usually they have to put down someone or many in the church so they will look better and have a good excuse (in their opinion) to leave.
d. Some truth the preacher dealt with made them mad, therefore instead of getting right they go off and sow words of discord‑‑hit dog usually barks.
3) Put a lid on your can and do not let garbage in‑‑do not listen to it.
4) Know who your real enemy is, your adversary, the devil. (Eph. 6:12) The devil has never told the truth yet and he wants to sow discord.
5) Keep quiet sometimes. (James 1:19‑20; Pro. 26:4; Mat. 7:6)
6) Put on the whole armor and stand. (Eph. 6:14‑17; Rev. 12:11) You are in a battle and even the lost can plead the blood.
7) Love them. (Mat. 5:43‑44; Pro. 25:21‑22; Rom. 12:20; I Peter 4:8) Some will not let you, but love them anyway.
8) Pray for them to become trophies of grace. I get no pleasure by seeing spiritual casualties along the wayside. It hurts when I hear and see someone sowing discord for I know there will be casualties along the way.
8. Folly leads to poverty. Thus the warning in this section is two‑fold:
1) This warns the reader neither to think nor act like this for those who do incur the condemnation of God‑‑spiritual poverty.
2) This also warns against associating with companions who exhibit these traits for they will, inevitably, turn against you.
d. Warning against fornication. V. 20‑35
1. "My" = "father" = refers to Solomon in context.
2. "Son" = "thy" = Solomon's son in a literal sense; implies anyone who came to him for instruction; any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; thus, this applies to us; this designation is used many times throughout the book of Proverbs.
3. "Keep" = to observe; to attend to; to fix the attention upon as an object of pursuit.
4. "Commandment" = commands that are of divine origin even if passed on by fathers.
5. "Forsake" = reject; negated by "not."
6. "Law" = rules; guidelines.
7. "Mother" = the mother of Solomon's son; refers to every mother of a child, who having an equal or greater tenderness for her offspring than the father, 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 just as those of a father are; she is mentioned because the law of God equally enjoins reverence and obedience to both parents while human laws among the Gentiles did not.
1. "Bind" = to tie; has the idea of that of careful preservation against loss.
2. "Them" = the commandment and law of father and mother mentioned in verse 20.
3. "Heart" = that which is central; the seat of affections, the will, and understanding; represents the inward--the intellectual faculty or mind; suggest that the commandments are to be linked to the affections.
5. "Tie" = to wind about; similar to "bind;" this double emphasis means that the commandment, precept, law, or whatever is intended, should be always present to the mind.
6. "About the neck" = place where ornaments were worn; in that day it was a mark of distinction when placed upon men such as Pharaoh did in Gen. 41:42 when he invested Joseph with authority and dignity and on Daniel by Belshazzar in the same way (Dan. 5:29); today ornaments on men's necks are a mark of homosexuality, rebellion, and an equalizing of sexes.
7. This verse carries Pro. 3:3 a little further and reminds us of the use of phylacteries (a slip of parchment on which was written some text of Scripture, particularly of the decalogue [the ten commandments given by God to Moses at Sinai] worn by devout persons on the forehead, breast or neck as a mark of their religion) common among the Jews in our Lord's time. The practice of binding upon various parts of the person may have had its origin in this verse and such like passages. (Pro. 1:9; Deut. 6:8) Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their going to extremes in this practice. (Mat. 23:5)
1. "Thou" = "thee" = refers to Solomon's son in context; applies to anyone who reads this book.
2. "Goest," "sleepest," and "awakest" = refers to the whole conduct of life; this thought is evidently derived from Deut. 6:6‑7 and 11:19.
3. "It" = refers to the father's commandment of verse 20; it also signifies the whole teaching of the father or the doctrine of wisdom.
4. "Lead" = to direct; therefore in the affairs of life, wisdom will so guide and control us that we shall act uprightly when the precepts of parents are treasured and obeyed.
5. "Keep" = watch over; keep safe; preserve.
6. "Talk with thee" = this is more than meditation in the night when one is aroused from sleep; it is also more than pondering or conversing with one's self; it refers to wisdom conversing with you and suggesting thoughts of how you are to behave yourself; this could apply to the Lord Jesus speaking to you in the night hour for He is made unto us wisdom. (I Cor. 1:30)
1. "Commandment" = any special or particular commandment which harmonizes with God's will and commands what is to be done and forbids what is to be left undone; refers to commands that are of divine origin even if passed on by fathers.
2. "Law" = rules; guidelines; refers to the whole law of God in its entirety‑‑the whole system of generalized instruction.
3. "Lamp" = "light" = "light" is general, as the light of the day and the sun, while "lamp" is a particular light like that of a candle which is lighted by some other source.
4. The "commandment" and the "law" alike enlighten the conscience and enable one to walk in his way of life. (Psa. 19:8; 119:105) They direct and show the true way of faith and life.
5. "Reproofs of instruction" = these are given to lay blame on with the purpose of correction; this is reproofs whose object is the discipline of the soul and the moral elevation of the character; this is the first step of chastisement of a child of God. (Heb. 12:5)
6. "Reproofs of instruction are the way of life" = they lead to life (John 16:8‑11) or prolong physical life if heeded, if not, the life for a child of God will be shortened. (I John 5:16)
1. This verse now gets to the point in context‑‑warning against fornication.
2. The "commandment" and the "law" illuminate the path of true life generally, but in a special degree they, if heeded, will guard the young against sins of impurity, fornication, and adultery.
3. "The evil woman" = a woman of evil or of a wicked disposition; one addicted to evil in an extraordinary degree.
4. "From the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman" = from the smoothness of her tongue; from her enticements.
5. "Strange woman" = one who does not belong to the family; one who indulges in sexual sins; a harlot.
6. These verses show that the "commandment" and the "law" if heeded will be a sufficient safeguard against such allurements.
1. "Lust" = to desire; to covet; it has the sense of taking delight in anything; negated by "not;" this really is what the 10th commandment states in Exo. 20:17.
2. "Her" = the strange woman.
3. "Beauty" = a word used to express what is pleasing to the other senses; blinded flesh thinks exposed flesh is beauty (even if the person is ugly as homemade soap) and desires it.
4. "In thine heart" = that which is central; represents the inward; this admonition is a warning to repress the very first inclinations to unchaste desires; they may be unobserved and undetected by others, but they are known to ourselves, and the first duty of repressing them calls for an act of determination and will on our part. (Mat. 5:28)
5. "Thine" = "thee" = Solomon's son in context; applies to everyone reading this book, male or female.
6. "Take" = to captivate; negated by "neither."
7. "Eyelids" = literally with her eyelashes; the instruments by which a woman, desiring sexual pleasure, uses to beguile or catch her victims; this could allude to the custom of Eastern (now Western as well) women painting their eyelids to give brilliance and expression; II Kings 9:30 is an example of Jezebel trying to captivate Jehu.
1. "For" = because; gives the reason for the warning just given.
2. "By means of" = through; indicates the channel that brings a man, any man caught in this snare, to extreme poverty, both physically and spiritually.
3. "Brought to a piece of bread" = refers to a small round piece of bread, such as is still baked in the East; here it is an expression for the smallest piece; in I Sam. 2:36 this same Hebrew word translated "morsel" expresses the extreme destitution to which the members of the house of Eli were to be reduced.
4. "The adulteress" = a man's wife; refers to one who has been unfaithful and has been given over to that kind of lifestyle.
5. "Will hunt" = to lie in wait for; signifies to take or capture (look at Micah 7:2 where same verb is used); refers to those beguilements resorted to by the adulteress to seduce youth.
6. "The precious life" = the soul of man‑‑the ever existing part of man and therefore it is precious (Mat. 16:26; Psa 49:8); it is for this life or soul that the adulteress hunts and which she destroys.
7. Lives of fornication and adultery therefore, carry with them the severest penalties, the loss of temporal possessions for the enjoyment of a passing passion, and far beyond this the loss of life both temporal and eternal. (Pro. 9:17-18)
1. In verses 27‑28 two questions are asked expecting the answer "of course not." By these two questions the teacher illustrates the evil consequences of the sin of fornication.
2. "Take fire" = signifies to take burning or live coals from the hearth.
3. "In his bosom" = the chest or breast of a human being and the parts adjacent; if fire was placed upon one's chest area his clothes would definitely be burned.
4. "Man" = "his" = refers to anyone who commits the sin of fornication.
5. The teacher compares fornication to a burning fire in its consequences.
1. "One" = "his" = refers to anyone who commits the sin of fornication.
2. "Upon hot coals" = the Hebrew indicates these coals are thoroughly ignited.
3. "Feet burned" = to be burned or scorched so as to leave a mark by burning; this is not referring to some illusion magicians perform or some demonic demonstration that occurs in many foreign countries.
4. The teacher is saying that the flames of lust will certainly be visited with punishment and with the stings of conscience.
1. "He" = "his" = refers to anyone who commits the sin of fornication which includes adultery in this verse.
2. "Goeth in to" = "toucheth" = means to have sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage. (I Cor. 7:1)
3. "Shall not be innocent" = there are two thoughts about this statement here:
1) Can mean "he shall not be pure" = which is true.
2) Can also mean "he shall not be let go unpunished" = which is also true.
4. It is as great a folly to suppose that an adulterer or fornicator will escape punishment as to imagine that no injury will follow when fire has been applied.
1. "Despise" = overlook; negated by "not."
2. "Thief" = "he" = "his" = one who steals or takes from others what does not belong to him.
3. "Satisfy his soul" = to sustain his life as noted by the word "hungry."
1. "But" = shows the contrast; even though they may have sympathy for the thief who stole because he was hungry, he still must be punished.
2. "He" = "his" = the thief of verse 30.
3. "Be found" = seized; caught and legally convicted.
4. "Restore" = pay back.
5. "Sevenfold" = the Scripture mentions twofold in Exo. 22:1‑4, 9 and fourfold in Luke 19:8; it has been suggested that in the time this book was written the penalty had been increased to sevenfold but there is no real basis for this thinking; this probably means the thief has to make complete restitution because seven is the number of completion.
6. "He shall give all the substance of his house" = this phrase seems to strengthen the fact that "sevenfold" means complete restitution even if it requires everything the man possessed to make that sevenfold restitution.
1. "But" = in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators because it is clearly demanded by the contrast which is insinuated; the man who steals due to hunger has a motive for stealing, but the adulterer has no such excuse for his crime, which is an unwarrantable invasion of his neighbor's rights.
2. "Whoso" = "he" = "his" = any person who commits adultery or fornication.
3. "Committeth adultery with a woman" = has sexual relations with someone beside his lawful wife.
4. "Lacketh understanding" = refers to the condition to which lust has reduced him; lust has displaced right reason; means devoid of judgment; without intelligence; senseless and stupid; in modern phraseology, he has taken leave of his senses; there are honest ways of satisfying his desires‑‑marriage. (Heb. 13:4)
5. "Doeth it" = committeth adultery.
6. "Destroyeth his own soul" = means he is a self‑murderer or a self‑destroyer; this in context with verse 33 indicates that he fails to anticipate the consequences of his actions that set him on a path of self‑destruction that leads to physical and social punishment, a ruined reputation and publicly ostracized, and the Levitical law stated adultery was punishable by death (Lev. 20:10); Paul also indicated it would destroy the body (I Cor. 6:18); also if this sin is not gotten under the blood there will come spiritual destruction.
1. "Wound" = a stroke; blow; this seems to refer to punishment which the outraged husband (dealt with in verse 34) will inflict upon the adulterer; it may also have reference to the punishment inflicted by the Law.
2. "Dishonour" = disgrace; very shameful; disgrace will be attached to his name which will cause public ostracization (Pro. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1); this was the way the Lord intended for this sin to be dealt with, but sad to say it is not this way today in our society.
3. "He" = "his" = refers to one who commits adultery.
4. "His reproach shall not be wiped away" = the brand of disgrace attached to his name will be perpetual, not confined to this life only, but extending beyond it, so that when men recall it, the stigma will be attached to it‑‑even if one is saved; Rahab is an example, because to this day she is known as Rahab the harlot even though she was saved.
1. "For" = introduces the reason for what has just been stated.
2. "Jealously" = that passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love.
3. "Rage of a man" = the glow of a man's anger; a man's fierce anger; jealousy awakens and inflames the wrath and anger of a man or husband to its highest degree; it invokes the strongest feelings for revenge.
4. "A man"= "he" = the husband of the wife who has been violated.
5. "Therefore" = in view of the fact the husband's jealousy has stirred him to anger‑‑rage.
6. "He will not spare" = means the injured husband will not show any clemency or mercy to the adulterer‑‑the man who has wronged him so deeply.
7. "In the day of vengeance" = refers to every occasion on which the husband can exercise his revenge--individually or in a court of law.
1. "He" = the jealous husband.
2. "Thou" = refers to the one who violated the jealous husband's wife.
3. "Ransom" = a bribe offered by the adulterer to be let off but "he will not regard" = the bribe will be rejected.
4. "Neither will he rest content" = he will not be willing to forego his right of revenge‑‑"though thou givest many gifts" = refers to money or bribes offered to free from punishment; "many gifts" indicates many ever increasing in value; the Hebrew text gives the idea that these gifts or bribes are offered by a third party on behalf of the adulterer.
5. There is no gift or bribe that can restore either the violated mutual relationship or the husband's trust in his wife.
6. Folly's second call is to poverty.
3) Folly's 3rd call‑‑to death. V. 1‑27
1. "My" = refers to Solomon in context.
2. "Son" = "thee" = Solomon's son in a literal sense; implies anyone who came to Solomon 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. "Keep" = observe; to guard; implies obedience; to fix the attention upon an object of pursuit; implies extreme conformity to their requirements.
4. "Words" = something said; doctrines of the gospel.
5. "Lay up" = to hide; to store up; to hoard or reserve as a precious treasure.
6. "Commandments" = commands; refers primarily to the book of Proverbs, especially those which immediately follow this verse.
1. "Keep" = observe; to guard; to fix the attention upon an object of pursuit; implies obedience or extreme conformity to their requirements; mentioned twice in these two verses which emphasizes the importance of that stated.
2. "Commandments" = commands; refers primarily to the book of Proverbs especially those which immediately follow this verse.
3. "Live" = refers to longevity of life; also implies eternal life; folly brings death while obedience brings life.
4. "My" = Solomon.
5. "Thine" = Solomon's son; applies to us.
6. "My law" = my teaching; my doctrine; refers to the admonitions of the teacher in line with Divine law.
7. "As the apple of thine eye" = literally, the little man of the eye, so called from the miniature reflection of objects seen in the pupil, especially of the person who looks into another's eye; this is a proverbial expression for anything particularly precious and liable to be injured unless guarded with scrupulous care. (Psa. 17:8; Zech. 2:8)
1. "Bind" = to tie; has the idea of that of careful preservation against loss.
2. "Them" = the commandments and law mentioned in verse 1.
3. "Bind them upon thy fingers" = wear my commandments like a ring on thy finger, so that they may go with thee whereever you go; could apply to phylacteries which were worn both on the hand and the forehead, and consisted of a leather box containing strips of parchment, on which was written Scripture.
4. "Write them upon the table of thine heart" = inscribe the commandments and law 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 may form the mainspring of your actions.
5. "Heart" = that which is central; the seat of affections, the will, and understanding; represents the inward‑‑the intellectual faculty or mind; suggests that the commandments are to be linked to the affections.
1. "Say" = speak; call.
2. "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); here wisdom is personified, and the connection with her indicated by the relationship which best expresses love, purity, and confidence‑‑"my sister."
3. "My sister" = a term of endearment in the Bible. (Song of Solomon 4:9)
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. "Kinswoman" = familiar friend.
6. This personification compares the young man's relationship with wisdom to marriage and then contrasts this with an adulterous relationship, which is by implication, foolish.
7. Solomon is saying, "Let prudence (wisdom) and sound sense (understanding) be as dear to thee as a close friend even as the wife of your youth."
1. "That" = introduces one of the reasons for keeping the commands of Solomon. (verses 1‑2)
2. "They" = refers to the commandments and law.
3. "Thee" = Solomon's son in context; applies to all who read this book.
4. "Strange woman" = "stranger" = "her" = one who does not belong to the family; one who indulges in sexual sins; a harlot.
5. "Flattereth with her words" = to be smooth with her speech.
6. Obeying his father's teaching and loving wisdom will protect his son from the temptation to indulge in extramarital immorality and inoculate him against the flattery that smooths the slide into sin.
1. "For" = introduces a personal example of Solomon.
2. "At the window of my house" = Solomon gives a graphic description (verse 6‑23) of a scene witnessed outside his house.
3. "Casement" = a lattice (Judges 5:28) which served the same purpose as our Venetian blinds, excluding the sun, but letting the cool air pass into the room; a person in the house could see all that was going on in the street without being seen by those outside.
4. Although the teacher says that he saw these events from his window he quickly assumes the role of an "omniscient" narrator, since he watches the youth walking through town (verse 8), witnesses their meeting (verses 10,13), overhears her words (verses 14‑20), and sees the young man caught in the snare (verses 21‑23)‑‑all of this in the dark. (verse 9) He writes from an omniscient point of view in order to be able to include whatever information he needs in order to make his point‑‑showing the consequences of not properly responding to his teaching.
1. "Beheld" = saw; though it was night (verse 9) there was light enough from the moon or stars or from illuminated houses to see clear enough to describe this incident.
2. "Simple ones" = seducible; the inexperienced who are easily led astray; every generation does not need to discover (experience) everything for themselves but can "stand on the shoulders" of previous generations by learning from others before them; therefore, this story (one of the longest poetic narratives in the Bible) is told not to entertain, but to instruct those who are naive, those who have not yet learned these lessons.
3. "Discerned" = distinguished; seen; discovered.
4. "A young man" = one of "the youths" = the naive; the inexperienced.
5. "Void of understanding" = to lack heart; means a lack of sense or discernment; indicates a fool, who, without any deliberate intention of sinning, put himself in the way of temptation, played on the borders of transgression (Eph. 5:11; I Thess. 5:22); the way of escape was before him, as in all temptations (I Cor. 10:13), but he would not or did not take it.
1. "Her" = strange woman of verse 5.
2. "He" = a young man of verse 7.
3. "Passing through the street near her corner" = seems to imply that he did not take to the broad, open street, but sneaked about at corners, where he could watch the woman's house without being observed by others.
4. "He went the way to her house" = the verb signifies that he sauntered slowly along.
1. "Twilight" = dusk.
2. "In the evening" = used to distinguish it from the morning twilight.
3. "In the black and dark night" = deep darkness.
4. The progression from twilight to darkness attempt to show how long he wandered about.
1. "Behold" = a word used to cause the reader to pay close attention to what was about to be stated.
2. "Him" = the young man of verse 7.
3. "Met him a woman" = the woman comes forth from her house into the street; a proceeding which would at once show what she was, especially in the East, where females are kept secluded and never appear at night or unattended.
4. "With the attire of an harlot" = refers to the woman being dressed in some conspicuous garments, very different from the sober clothing of the pure and modest; her attire catches the eye at once, and identifies her. (Gen. 38:14‑15)
5. "Subtil of heart" = of concealed heart; implies she hides her real feelings, perhaps affection for a husband while she seeks only to satisfy her evil passions.
1. Verses 11 and 12 are in parenthesis which shows the teacher inserted this to describe the character and habits of this woman, not as she appeared on this occasion, but as she is known to the writer.
2. "Loud" = boisterous; clamorous as in Pro. 9:13 where it means to rage, war, or be in tumult.
3. "Stubborn" = ungovernable or not subjected to authority like an animal that will not bear a yoke.
4. "Her feet abide not in her house" = she is the opposite of the careful, modest housewife, who stays at home and manages her family affairs. (Titus 2:4‑5)
1. "Now is she without, now in the streets" = this represents the woman, not as a common prostitute, but a licentious (loose; wanton; unrestrained) wife, who, in her unbridled lustfulness acts the part of a harlot.
2. "Lieth in wait at every corner" = seeking to entice some victim.
1. "She caught him, and kissed him" = she is utterly void of shame, like Potiphar's wife. (Gen. 39:12)
2. "With an impudent face she said" = shamelessly she strengthened her face and said; implies she put on a bold and brazen look to suit the licentious words which she spoke.
1. "I" = "me" = "my" = the woman portraying a harlot; the adulteress.
2. "Peace offerings" = Lev. 7:28‑33 gives the law for offering this peace offering; part of the sacrifice was unto the Lord and it was consumed by fire; the breast and right shoulder were allotted to the priests; the rest of the animal belonged to the person who made the offering and this part she said is "with me" = I have it in my possession, the feast is ready and I want to share it with you.
3. "This day have I payed my vows" = this means certain offerings were due from her and she had duly made them; the religious nature of the feast is utterly ignored or forgotten; this shameless woman uses the opportunity simply as a convenience for her sin.
1. "Therefore" = in view of the facts just stated.
2. "Came I forth to meet thee" = she uses religion as a pretext for her proceedings, trying to blind his conscience and to gratify his vanity.
3. "Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee" = she tries to persuade this young man that he is the very lover for whom she is looking, whereas she was ready to take the first that accepted her offer; her speech is a well polished weapon.
1. Verses 16‑18 are filled with erotic imagery similar to that found in the Song of Songs, and carefully calculated to arouse his passion until he could no longer resist.
2. "Decked my bed" = to spread over; refers to three things:
1) "With coverings of tapestry" = means cushions and pillows spread out ready for use.
2) "With carved works" = literally striped, or variegated coverings; coverlets striped in different colors; gives the idea of richness and luxury.
3) "With fine linen of Egypt" = coverlets of Egyptian thread; indicates extreme fineness, costly and much prized.
3. The mention of these articles denotes the foreign commerce of the Hebrews, and their appreciation of artistic work. The prophet Amos (Amos 6:1,4) denounces those that lie upon beds of ivory and stretch themselves upon their couches.
1. "Perfumed" = to sprinkle.
2. "With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon" = these substances were dissolved in or mixed with water, and then sprinkled on the bed; the love of such things are reckoned as a sign of luxury and vice.
3. "Bed" = the Hebrew could refer to her body which she boldly offers to him.
1. "Come" = go with me to my bed.
2. "Let us take our fill of love until the morning" = implies that together they will drink their fill (to slake the thirst; translated "satisfy" in Pro. 5:19) of love all night and delight in each other with their lovemaking; her language could not be more explicit since the word translated "love" is always used in a sexual context when plural, as it is here.
1. "Goodman" = "he" = an old word meaning "master of the house" or husband; the Hebrew is simply "the man" which probably shows her disdain (to scorn; to deem worthless) for him.
2. "He is gone a long journey" = means he has gone to a place of great distance, therefore he will not be back for some time; this fact might assure her lover that he was safe from her husband's jealousy. (Pro. 6:34)
1. "He" = "him" = her husband.
2. "Money" = silver.
3. "Appointed" = properly means the full moon.
4. "He hath taken a bag of money with him" = this indicates he had business to transact which will occupy his time and prevent his return before the appointed hour; this gave further assurance that the young man would be safe from her husband's jealousy.
5. "Will come home at the day appointed" = will come home at the full moon; since it was mentioned in verse 9 that the night was dark, it is plain that there were still many days before the moon was full and the husband returned.
1. "Her" = "she" = the adulteress.
2. "Him" = the young man of verse 7.
3. "With her much fair speech" = she says more than the teacher reports, flattering, enticing, and reassuring until he can resist no longer.
4. "She caused him to yield" = she netted him; she caused him to go astray; first, she influenced his mind, and bent his will to her purpose by her evil speech; she talked him over even though he had put himself in the way of temptation, and now had not power to resist her seductions.
5. "With the flattering of her lips she forced him" = drew him away; his body followed the lead of his blinded mind; she drove him headlong to ruin.
1. "He goeth after her straightway" = instantly, suddenly, casting aside all scruples, he gave himself up to the temptation and with no further delay accompanied her to the house.
2. "As an ox goeth to the slaughter" = he no more realizes the serious issue of his action than an irrational beast, without knowing the future, walks contentedly to the slaughter‑house, and is undisturbed in the face of death.
3. "As a fool to the correction of the stocks" = the youth is compared to the madman or idiot who is taken away, unconscious of his fate, to a shameful deprivation of liberty.
1. "Til a dart strike through his liver" = this is an image of a mortal wound (a liver that has been split by an arrow) and reveals how serious of a crime adultery is‑‑a capital crime in OT time. (Lev. 20:10)
2. "As a bird hasteth to the snare" = this is another comparison; lacking both the resources to resist and the wisdom simply to run away, he is helpless like a bird once it touches the snare.
3. "Knoweth not that it is for his life" = the infatuated youth does not consider that his life is at stake, that he is bringing upon himself temporal and spiritual ruin.
1. The narrative ended in verse 23 and the teacher makes a practical exhortation drawn from it.
2. "Hearken" = to hear intelligently and obey.
3. "Me" = Solomon; refers to his commands that were of Divine origin.
4. "Now" = at once.
5. "Therefore" = in view of the facts just stated.
6. "O" = used to catch the listener's attention.
7. "Ye children" = similar to "my son" which is used several times in this book; refers to Solomon's children; applies to all who read this book; he begins this chapter by addressing his words to one, "my son" (verse 1), now he turns to the young generally, knowing how necessary his warning is to all strong in passion, weak in will, and wanting in experience.
8. "Attend" = to prick up the ears; same Hebrew word as "incline" thine ear in Pro. 2:2; involves obedience; means to give earnest, diligent attention "to the words of my mouth" = refers to these words of wisdom, instruction, and warning.
1. "Her" = the adulteress.
2. "Thine" = Solomon's son or children; applies to all who read this book.
3. "Let not thine heart decline to her ways" = refers to affections and morals‑‑don't let them deviate from the way of wisdom to the ways of an adulteress.
4. "Go not astray in her paths" = don't wander from the path of wisdom and wind up in the adulteress' paths.
5. The heart must be guarded at all times. (Pro. 4:23) Successful resistance is therefore not a matter of willpower, but of submission and obedience.
1. "For" = introduces the reason for the warning of V. 25.
2. "She" = "her" = the adulteress.
3. "She hath cast down many wounded" = many are slain whom she hath caused to fall--caused to yield to her seduction.
4. "Many strong men have been slain by her" = the adulteress marks her course with ruined souls, as a ruthless conqueror leaves a battle field strewn with corpses.
1. "Her house is the way to hell" = to yield to her seduction leads to an early grave and a loss of one's soul in hell.
2. "Going down to the chambers of death" = once entangled in the snare of the adulteress, the victim may pass through many stages, but he ends finally in the lowest depth‑‑destruction of body and soul.
3. The warning is quite simple--if the adulteress has destroyed many in this way, she can also destroy you. The only antidote is to learn well what the teacher is saying.
4. The adulteress promised love is an invitation to a bed in the grave.
3. Wisdom's second call‑to wealth. V. 1‑36
1. The wealth referred to here is true wealth‑‑the wisdom that is far above silver, gold, and precious jewels. (verses 10‑11)
2. "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; a figure of Him who is the Wisdom of God, the co‑eternal Son of the Father. (I Cor. 1:30)
2. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; in short it is closely akin to wisdom; along with wisdom it is personified = "her."
3. "Cry" = "put forth her voice" = to call out.
1. "She" = wisdom.
2. "She standeth in the top of high places" = she takes her stand, not in the darkened corners of the streets, like the adulteress mentioned in the last chapter, but in the most open and elevated parts of the city, where she may be best seen and heard by all who pass by; contrasted to the secret and stealthy enticements of vice; true also of Christ who is wisdom. (John 18:20)
3. "By the way in the places of the paths" = a place where many paths converge, and where people meet from different areas of the country.
1. "She" = wisdom.
2. "Crieth" = to shout; to herald forth.
3. "At the gates" = the location of courts of law and where legal business was transacted (Ruth 4:1); wisdom was especially needed in legal decisions and those who were considered wise would be found there, so that from listening to them the naive could hear wisdom.
4. "At the entry of the city" = inside the gate where people pass on their way to the country.
5. "At the coming in at the doors" = that by which a person enters into town or city.
6. These three places are similar and easily accessible public places. They emphasize wisdom's availability and encourage students to attend her. Wisdom is not difficult to find for those who respond to her invitation. This could be similar to "Obey the light you have and the Lord will give you more light."
1. "I" = "my" = wisdom.
2. "Call" = to call out to; to give an invitation.
3. "Men" = "you" = men in the highest sense, who have some wisdom and experience, but need farther enlightenment.
4. "Sons of man" = children of Adam, who are human beings in the lowest sense, who are taken up with material interest.
5. The use of these two terms describe the higher and lower, the stronger and the weaker. (Psa. 49:1‑2) In other words, wisdom is available to all and so is Christ. (II Peter 3:9)
1. "O" = used to catch the listener's attention.
2. "Ye simple" = seducible; refers to those not yet perverted, but easily influenced for good or evil; those who are susceptible to external impressions and so easily misled; implies the inexperienced.
3. "Understand" = to separate mentally.
4. "Wisdom" = not the usual word for wisdom in OT; same Hebrew word as "subtility" in Pro. 1:4; means the faculty of readily discerning and distinguishing ideas and of separating truth from falsehood.
5. "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.
6. "Be of an understanding heart" = the heart is considered the seat of the mind or understanding.
7. Verses 4‑5 probably refers generally to all who need wisdom's teaching. Wisdom calls as well as the temptress (adulteress of chapter 7) and all must choose between the two voices. Choosing wisdom is to choose life, light, and right and choosing the temptress is to choose death. (Deut. 30:19)
1. "Hear" = to hear intelligently; implies obedience.
2. "I" = "my" = wisdom personified.
3. "Excellent" = princely; noble; refers to plain evident truths.
4. "The opening of my lips shall be right things" = that which I (wisdom) announce when I open my mouth is just and right.
1. "My" = wisdom personified.
2. "Mouth" = organ of speech.
3. "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.
4. "Wickedness" = that which is contrary to moral truth and right.
5. "Abomination" = something disgusting; an abhorrence.
1. "All" = the whole.
2. "Words" = "them" = that which is said or stated.
3. "Righteousness" = justice; word includes the idea of truth and the practice of doing good; active goodness.
4. "Froward" = perverseness; willful misrepresentation of that which is good and true; acting in opposition to what is proper; negated by "nothing" = not one thing.
5. "Perverse" = crookedness; distortion of the truth; negated by "nothing."
1. "They" = the words of wisdom.
2. "Plain" = straight forward; correct.
3. "Him" = "them" = refers to human beings whether it be an individual or a group.
4. "Understandeth" = to separate mentally.
5. "Right" = upright; straight forward.
6. "Find" = acquire.
7. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.
8. The person who listens and retains the words of wisdom is rewarded by having his understanding enlightened. (I Cor. 2:9‑11)
1. "Instruction" = reproof; warning.
2. "My" = wisdom.
3. "Receive my instruction, and not silver" = means to acquire wisdom rather than silver, if a choice is given you.
4. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.
5. "And knowledge rather than choice gold" = means to acquire knowledge rather than gold, if a choice is given you.
1. "Wisdom" = "it" = 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)
2. "Rubies" = thought to refer to a pearl; a precious stone; used to denote precious stones in general.
3. "Better" = having good qualities in a greater degree than another.
4. "All the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it" = wisdom is beyond all thoughts and desires and even what seems to be the master thought or desire cannot equal wisdom nor measure up to it nor even come close.
1. In verses 12‑21 wisdom tells of her own excellence.
2. "I" = "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)
3. "Dwell" = to reside or permanently stay.
4. "Prudence" = discretion; the faculty of readily discerning and distinguishing ideas, and of separating truth from falsehood; wisdom inhabits prudence and possesses that cleverness and tact which is needed for the practical purposes of life.
5. "Find out" = acquire.
6. "Knowledge" = insight.
7. "Witty inventions" = counsels; plans.
8. Wherever wisdom is, prudence, knowledge, and the ability to plan wisely are also found. Wisdom presides over all well‑considered designs and plans.
1 "The fear of the LORD" = reverential fear and awe of the LORD with a hatred for evil‑‑so stated in this verse.
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 I AM. (Exo. 3:14)
3. "Hate" = despise; to dislike greatly.
4. "Evil" = wickedness; refers to darkness and sin; wisdom now gives a few examples of the evil she speaks of:
1) "Pride" = a synonym to "arrogancy" = means giving one's self an undue degree of importance; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents.
2) "The evil way" = sins of conduct, "way" being equivalent to "manner of life."
3) "The froward mouth" = literally, mouth of perverseness; sins of speech that are evil.
5. "I" = wisdom; the use of the word "hate" with "I" or wisdom implies that possessing wisdom is equivalent to the fear of the LORD.
1. "Counsel" = advice.
2. "Mine" = "I" = wisdom.
3. "Sound wisdom" = refers to that which is essentially good and useful.
4. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; insight.
5. "I have strength" = wisdom directs the energies and powers of her pupils, which without her control would be spent wrongly or uselessly.
6. Wisdom does not merely possess these attributes, they are her very nature.
1. "Me" = wisdom.
2. "Kings reign" = by possession of wisdom kings are enabled to discharge their function duly and righteously.
3. "Princes decree justice" = refers to rulers who make judicial decisions; can refer to the Lord Jesus since Isa. 32:1 clearly does; could also apply to the courts of our land.
1. "Me" = wisdom.
2. "Princes" = officials; not the same Hebrew word as in verse 15 but similar.
3. "Rule" = to govern; to exercise authority.
4. "Nobles" = great; elevated; dignified.
5. "Judges" = one who pronounces a sentence on a person.
6. All leaders, no matter what capacity they are in, need wisdom to help them make right choices and decisions.
1. "I" = "me" = wisdom; applies to the Lord Jesus.
2. "Love" = to have affection for.
3. "Them" = "those" = refers to anyone who responds toward wisdom with love and seeking.
4. "I love them that love me" = love attracts love.
5. "Seek early" = one word in the Hebrew: equivalent to seeking diligently, earnestly, and strenuously.
6. "Shall find" = shall acquire or obtain; this promise reminds me of what the Lord said in John 8:31‑32 and Luke 11:9-10.
1. This verse reveals that the search for wisdom is worthwhile.
2. "Riches" = wealth.
3. "Honour" = dignity; exalted rank; distinction; God gave both to Solomon in reward of his petition for wisdom. (I Kings 3:9‑13)
4. "Me" = wisdom.
5. "Durable" = firm and lasting; the use of this word to describe riches (wealth) indicates these riches are spiritual not just physical.
6. "Righteousness" = purity of heart; this is also with wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus. (Jer. 23:6)
1. "My" = wisdom.
2. "My fruit is better than gold" = wisdom is called "a tree of life" in Pro. 3:18, therefore fruit is mentioned because a tree has fruit of some kind.
3. "Fine gold" = purified gold; gold from which all mixture or alloy has been separated; the first word "gold" indicates the dug ore which has impurities in it but wisdom is better than that and even better than purified gold.
4. "Revenue" = produce; profits; refers to how wisdom pays off‑‑better than "choice silver."
1. "I" = wisdom.
2. "Lead" = to walk.
3. "I lead in the way of righteousness" = means I act always according to the rules of justice; this is true of wisdom as a principle and wisdom, the Lord Jesus. (John 8:28‑29)
4. "In the midst of the paths of judgment" = means wisdom stays out of the ditch and walks in divine justice; I swerve not to one side or the other. (Pro. 4:27; Deut. 5:32; Isa. 30:21)
1. "I" = "me' = wisdom.
2. "Those" = "their" = refers to anyone who walks in wisdom.
3. "Love" = to have affection for.
4. "Inherit substance" = acquire real, valuable possessions.
5. "I will fill their treasures" = I will deposit to their account; refers to our spiritual account more so than physical.
6. Those who love wisdom will walk in her path, follow her leading; and thereby, doing God's will they will be blessed with success. For they will lay up treasure in heaven, will provide bags which are not old, and will be preparing for "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away." (Mat. 6:20; Luke 12:33; I Peter 1:4)
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; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is I AM. (Exo. 3:14)
2. "Me" = wisdom.
3. "Possessed me in the beginning of his way" = the Hebrew basically says that Wisdom existed eternally in the Godhead and was said to be "formed" or "brought forth" when it operated in creation, and when it assumed human nature‑‑Word (Wisdom) became flesh. (John 1:1,14)
4. "Before his works of old" = double emphasis denoting previous existence of Wisdom.
5. Wisdom was the characteristic of God from the beginning.
1. "I" = wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.
2. "Set up" = to pour forth; to appoint or establish; implies to anoint as a king thus referring to Wisdom as the Lord Jesus, the anointed one. (Psa. 2:6)
3. This verse is stating that Wisdom was from everlasting exalted as ruler and disposer of all things which is expressed by three synonyms:
1) "From everlasting" = in eternity past.
2) "From the beginning" = before the world was created. (John 17:5)
3) "Or ever the earth was" = this looks to the most remote time after the actual creation, while the earth was being formed and adapted.
1. This verse sets forth the pre‑existence of Wisdom still more expressly.
2. "When there were no depths" = the deep; the abyss; before He made the abyss, Wisdom was present.
3. "I" = wisdom; the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. "Was brought forth" = indicates wisdom's conception in the Divine mind and being put forth in operation.
5. "When there were no fountains abounding with water" = means when there were no springs in the interior of the earth. (Gen. 7:11)
1. "Before the mountains were settled" = refers to the foundations being laid for the mountains. (Gen. 1:9; Job 38:4,6; Psa. 90:2)
2. "Before the hills" = just gives double emphasis that wisdom existed before creation began.
3. "I" = wisdom; the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. "Brought forth" = I was on the scene.
1. "He" = the LORD.
2. "Made" = created; gives three synonymous expressions:
1) "The earth" = this ball of clay or dust.
2) "The fields" = refers to land that is cultivated.
3) "The highest part of the dust of the world" = this expression means all the mass of earth's dust.
3. This repetition is to let us know Wisdom existed before creation began.
1. "He" = the LORD.
2 "I" = wisdom telling her part in the work of creation.
3. "When he prepared the heavens" = could refer in Gen. 1:1 when God created the heavens; also could refer to when God made the firmament, and divided the waters above it and below (Gen. 1:7); either way Wisdom was there and co‑operated.
4. "When he set a compass upon the face of the depth" = this means that God made this earth a ball, in a circle since "compass" here means circle. (Isa. 40:22)
5. Before He did all that, Wisdom existed.
1. "He" = the LORD.
2. "When he established the clouds above" = the reference is to the waters above the firmament (Gen. 1:7) which are suspended in the atmosphere. (Job 26:8)
3. "When he strengthened the fountains of the deep" = when the deep burst forth with power. (Gen. 7:11; Job 38:16)
4. Wisdom was present when the LORD did these things.
1. "He" = "his" = the LORD.
2. "When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment" = refers to the LORD setting the boundaries of the seas and oceans‑‑the waters. (Job 38:8, 10‑11)
3. "Commandment" = any special or particular commandment which harmonizes with God's will or what He wants done.
4. "When he appointed the foundations of the earth" = this applies to what the LORD said to Job in Job 38:4‑6; Job was not there but wisdom was.
1. "Then" = when all these things just mentioned was created or done by the LORD.
2. "I" = wisdom as a principle and also the Lord Jesus.
3. "Him" = "his" = the LORD.
4. "By" = beside; near.
5. "As one brought up with him" = refers to closeness, as a child is to the parent.
6. "Daily" = day by day.
8. "Delight" = enjoyment.
9. "Rejoicing always before him" = this expression denotes the pleasure when the execution of the Lord's commands came about, as the Creator rejoiced in His workmanship (Gen. 1:4,10,12,18,21,31), so Wisdom also rejoiced.
1. "Rejoicing" = describes a response to the Lord's work that brings pleasure and delight to Him.
2. "His" = "me" = the LORD.
3. "Habitable part of his earth" = refers to the earth being adapted so mankind could exist on it.
4. "My" = wisdom.
5. "Delights" = enjoyment; refers to something that gives one pleasure, that being the "sons of men" = human beings; man is the principle object of creative wisdom's pleasure and her joy is fulfilled only in the Incarnation (God robed in flesh); when the Word became flesh (John 1:14), then was the end and design of creation exhibited and the infinite love of God was made visible.
1. "Now therefore" = in view of the facts just stated; refers to verses 22‑31; in light of Wisdom's pre‑existence, His role in creation (verses 22‑31) and all the benefits that she freely bestows upon those who seek her, her students should listen, and then she gives further reasons for paying attention to her.
2. "Hearken" = to hear intelligently; to listen; implies obedience.
3. "Me" = "my" = wisdom as a principle and Wisdom ‑‑ the Lord Jesus.
4. "O ye children" = similar to "my son" = which is used several times in this book by Solomon referring to his son or to any who read this book; here wisdom is speaking and refers to those who seek wisdom as her offspring.
5. "Blessed" = happy; spiritually prosperous.
6. "Keep" = to hedge about; to guard; to protect; to attend to.
7. "Ways" = a course of life or mode of action.
1. "Hear" = to hear intelligently; to listen; involves obedience; same Hebrew word as "hearken" in verse 32.
2. "Instruction" = "it" = discipline or training; this is the first part of chastisement.
3. "Be wise" = be intelligent; skillful; artful.
4. "Refuse" = to reject; to decline to receive what is offered; negated by "not" = don't reject instruction.
1. "Blessed" = happy; spiritually prosperous.
2. "Man" = refers to any person, male or female, who listens to wisdom.
3. "Heareth" = to hearken; to hear intelligently; to listen; implies obedience; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle of hearing and obeying.
4. "Me" = "my" = wisdom.
5. "Watching" = to be alert; sleepless; to be on the lookout.
6. "Watching daily at my gates" = the image suggested is:
1) That of the Levites guarding the doors of the temple.
2) That of a lover at his lover's gate.
7. "Waiting" = same Hebrew word as "keep" in verse 32; to hedge about; to guard; to protect; to attend to; this implies diligence.
8. "Waiting at the posts of my doors" = keeping close to the entrance, so as to be sure of not missing her whom he longs to see.
1. "For" = introduces the reason why the man is blessed who attends to the instruction of wisdom.
2. "Whoso" = whosoever; refers to any person.
3. "Findeth" = acquires.
4. "Me" = wisdom as a principle and Wisdom--the Lord Jesus.
5. "Life" = eternal life; if the instruction of wisdom is heeded it will lead to life who is the Lord Jesus, in whom is life (John 1:4; I John 5:12); to hearken to wisdom would be equivalent to walking the narrow way (road of light) which leads to the strait gate‑‑life.
6. "Shall obtain" = to attain; to acquire.
7. "Favour" = grace; undeserved favor; Titus 2:11 says the favor (grace) of God brings salvation‑‑life.
8. "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 this world; OT equivalent of the Lord Jesus who is the I AM. (Exo. 3:14)
1. "But" = reveals the contrast of hearing the instruction of wisdom or rejecting it.
2. "He" = "his" = any person.
3. "Sinneth against" = has the idea of deviating from the right way or failing to hit the mark; thus "he who misseth me" = which is a good contrast to "whoso findeth me." (verse 35)
4. "Me" = wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.
5. "Wrongeth his own soul" = mistreat; one who takes a path which does not lead to wisdom is guilty of moral suicide.
6. "All they that hate me love death" = they who will not hearken to wisdom and who scorn her instruction, love death, because they love the things and the practices which lead to temporal and spiritual death. (John 3:36)
4. Wisdom's third call‑to life. V. 1‑18
1. "Wisdom" = "her" = "she" = 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)
2. "Wisdom hath builded her house" = as the strange woman in Pro. 7 possessed a house to which she seduced her victim, so Wisdom is represented as having a house which she has made and adorned, and to which she invites her pupils; concerning Wisdom as representing the Lord Jesus, this could be applied to:
1) Christ's incarnation, when he built for himself a human body. (John 1:14; 2:19)
2) Christ's work in forming the Church, which is His mystical body (Mat. 16:18; I Peter 2:5), which is typified by the local churches.
3. "She hath hewn out her seven pillars" = "seven" probably refers to completion or perfection; pillars were used in larger houses to support a second floor walk way around a first floor central courtyard inside the entrance of a house; most houses with pillars had only four but more pillars were used by the wealthy in larger houses; since Wisdom has boasted of her wealth (Pro. 8:18‑21), it is fitting that she live in a house that reflects her status.
1. "She" = "her" = wisdom as a principle; applies to the Lord Jesus.
2. "She hath killed her beasts" = the word "killed" refers to butchery, not sacrifice, which probably shows this is not a religious feast but an important meal, given in honor of special guests.
3. "She hath mingled her wine" = refers to mixing water with wine (generic word for "fruit of the vine") which is grape juice to make it palatable to drink; this does not refer to adding drugs to wine in order to increase its potency (Pro. 23:29‑30); the notion is that the fluid for the guest's pleasure is properly prepared, that there may be no lack when they arrive.
4. "She hath also furnished her table" = "also" means "even" as in "she has even arranged her table" which indicates that her preparation went beyond the usual meal.
1. "She" = "her" = wisdom.
2. "She hath sent forth her maidens" = this is the final stage of her preparation; her maidens are the extension of her invitation beyond the sound of her voice; may apply to those the Lord sent forth--the apostles and His disciples.
3. "She crieth upon the highest places of the city" = her invitation is loud ("crieth") and in public‑‑in a prominent part of the city; wisdom's invitation is open to all who hear, not secret or private like folly's invitation given from her seat by her doorway. (verse 14)
1. "Whoso" = whosoever; refers to any person.
2. "Simple" = "him" = seducible; the naive; the inexperienced who are easily led astray; refers to those whose mind is ready to receive impressions for good or evil.
3. "Let him turn in hither" = this is a direct address to the inexperienced, calling them to turn aside from the way which they are going and come to her‑‑Wisdom.
4. "Wanteth understanding" = to lack heart; to lack discernment.
5. Since she is not at home (verse 3), she is not inviting them to "turn in" to her house, but to come to her so that she can take them to the feast which she has prepared. The call assumes that the naive will recognize that they need instruction.
1. "Come" = invitation to attend the feast she (wisdom) has prepared.
2. "Bread" and "wine" = represents all needful nourishment; "bread" = the staple of life; refers to any kind of food in the Bible.
3. Christ said He was the Living Bread in John 6:51. This invitation reminds me of the allegory of the great supper "Come, for all things are now ready." (Luke 14:17) Also Isa. 55:1 invites the thirsty to come.
4. There is no doubt that these verses are a prophecy of the gospel feast. In Mat. 26:26‑28 our Lord gave bread and wine (unleavened fruit of the vine) as symbols of His broken body and shed blood through which a person can have life‑‑through Him not the symbols.
1. "Forsake the foolish" = leave those who practice folly. (Eph. 5:11; I Thess. 5:22)
2. "And live" = the reward of responding to Wisdom's invitation; this is not a mere prosperous life on earth that is promised, but something far higher and better. (John 6:51)
3. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit; insight.
4. "Go" = to walk; to order your course of life‑‑"in the way of understanding"--equivalent to the narrow way or the road of light that leads to the strait gate. (Pro. 21:16)
5. The reward of the promise of life is set between the negative "forsake" and the positive command‑‑"go."
6. The implication is that Wisdom is about to teach them how to live a life characterized by insight. Some of this instruction follows in verse 7‑12 but most of it is contained in the rest of the Book of Proverbs.
1. "He" = "himself" = refers to anyone, male or female, who tries to correct a scorner or a wicked man.
2. "Reproveth" = to correct; to instruct.
3. "Scorner" = one who scoffs at truth; one who makes a mock of sin and the judgment and threatenings of God against sinners; those who mock (ridicule; to make fun of) all good.
4. "Shame" = reproach; insult; this is the result of one trying to correct the wicked‑‑they will curse and hate whoever tries to correct them; it is not the fault of the messenger or message that brings this about, but the hardness of heart and the pride of the hearer that makes the wicked despise the teaching and hate the teacher.
5. "Rebuketh" = to lay blame on sharply and sternly with authority.
6. "Wicked man" = a person morally wrong; a bad person.
7. "Blot" = scorn; reproach.
8. This verse states the effect which experience proves to occur in such cases. Prudence, caution, and tact are needed in dealing with these characters because evil men regard the one who reproves as a personal enemy and treat him with injurious words and deeds.
1. "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee" = don't correct and instruct one who makes light of truth, for he will personally hate you; there are times when reproof only hardens a person further; this is equivalent to what Jesus said in Mat. 7:6; it is needful at times to keep our thoughts to ourselves so that they may see in us the light of the Lord and realize they are in great need of the Lord Jesus.
2. "Thee" = refers to anyone who had intention of reproving a wicked person.
3. First "he" = scorner.
4. Second "he" = a wise man.
5. "Rebuke" = to lay blame on with the purpose of correction, sharply and sternly with authority.
6. "Wise man" = an intelligent, skillful, and artful person whether male or female.
7. "Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee" = this is a contrast to the reaction of a wicked man who is reproved. (Psa. 141:5)
1. "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser" = the Hebrew merely has "give to the wise" with no object mentioned but the context suggests "instruction," thus in italics and supplied by the translators, even though it takes the form of rebuke in verse 8; instruction is the first step of rebuke.
2. First "he" = a wise man.
3. "Yet" = more.
4. Second "he" = a just man.
5. "Just man" = one who is righteous; refers to the same individual as a "wise man."
6. "Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning" = instruct a just man and he will increase in insight; the wise are rewarded with larger measures of wisdom, because they are simple, humble, and willing to learn having that childlike spirit which Christ commends. (Mat. 18:3)
7. A person's response to the content of this Book reveals the state of his or her heart.
1. "Fear of the LORD" = reverential fear and awe of the LORD with a hatred for evil; has an attitude of obedience; the previous contrasting pictures lead to the question of whether or not one fears the Lord.
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. "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)
5. "Knowledge" = insight; experimental knowledge; knowledge of good and evil.
6. "The holy" = the Holy One; refers to the Lord which is where and how wisdom begins; the only knowledge worth having, and which is profitable for practical purposes of life, is the knowledge of God; this Hebrew word is plural, thus equal to Elohim translated "God" in Gen. 1:1; this refers to the plurality of God‑‑God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
7. "Understanding" = the power of distinguishing right from wrong and truth from counterfeit.
1. "For" = introduces the reason for the advice given in verse 6 as wisdom resumes the direct address that was interrupted by a parenthetical explanation of verse 7‑10.
2. "Me" = wisdom as a principle and Wisdom‑‑the Lord Jesus.
3. "Thy" = anyone who responds to wisdom's invitation.
4. "Days shall be multiplied" = equivalent to "the years of thy life shall be increased" = this is a promise of a reward of longer life physically for the possession and practice of wisdom; for example: if one possesses and practices wisdom he will not put himself in harm's way; therefore, he will live longer; also he will have eternal life which has no end; the same result is attributed to the "fear of the LORD." (Pro. 10:27; 14:27)
1. "Thou" = "thyself" = anyone who reads this; whosoever.
2. "If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself" = Wisdom will bring a person good (I Cor. 3:8); Job 22:2 supports this statement; this is a strong statement of personal responsibility; but this does not mean that personal choices do not affect others for they do. (Rom. 14:7)
3. "Scornest" = to scoff (mockery or reproach) expressed in language of contempt (hatred of what is truth and right).
4. "But" = reveals the contrast between being wise and being foolish; being wise will bring a person good and being foolish will bring a person harm.
5. "Bear" = refers to reaping the result of your foolishness and sin. (Num. 9:13; Jer. 31:30; Num. 32:23; Ezk. 18:20; Gal. 6:7)
6. "Alone" = sin and you will reap what you sow; this does not mean that no one else will be affected for they will. (Rom. 14:7)
1. The rest of this chapter contains the invitation of Folly, the rival of Wisdom.
2. "A foolish woman" = literally, the woman of folly; she is regarded as a real person and between her and Wisdom, man has to make his choice.
3. "Clamorous" = to be in great commotion or tumult; to rage; to be loud; spoke of as "loud and stubborn" in Pro. 7:11 which is quite different from her dignified calm rival--Wisdom.
4. "She" = the woman, Folly.
5. "Simple" = means she has no power against evil, and no moral fiber to resist temptation; open to all forms of evil; without moral scruples.
6. "Knoweth nothing" = ignorant with an ignorance that is willful and reckless.
1. "For" = introduces her actions which lets us know why she is "clamorous, simple, and knoweth nothing." (v. 13)
2. "She" = the woman, Folly.
3. "She sitteth at the door of her house" = like Wisdom (verse 1), she has a house of her own, and imitates her in inviting guests to enter; she does not send forth her maidens like Wisdom, nor stand in the streets and proclaim her mission (verse 3); all she has to do is sit and beckon and use a few seductive words.
4. "On a seat in the high places of the city" = her house is in the highest and most conspicuous part of the city, and she sits before her door in reckless immodesty performing her shameful trade.
1. "To call passengers who go right on their ways" = Folly, with shameless boldness cries out to all that pass by; she addresses her solicitations to persons who are going straight on their way, thinking nothing of her, having no idea of deviating from their pursued object; as they walk in the path of right and duty, she tries to turn them aside.
2. Folly's invitation seems to be addressed to all who pass by but actually it is aimed to those who are trying to live upright. Anyone who is not trying to do so is already living foolishly. They have already visited Folly's house and tasted her "delights" in some form or fashion. Therefore, she has no further interest in them.
3. False doctrine (folly) retains some element of truth, and it is because of the mixture that it draws a following and thrives for a time.
1. "Whoso" = whosoever; refers to any person.
2. "Simple" = "him" = seducible; the naive; the inexperienced who are easily led astray; refers to those whose minds are ready to receive impressions for good and evil.
3. "Let him turn in hither" = this is a direct address to turn aside from the way which they are going and come to her‑‑Folly; these are the same words which Wisdom uttered in verse 4; this refers to those who have not yet made their final choice and can still be swayed and led astray by lower considerations.
4. Many find it hard to distinguish between the good and the evil, the false and the true, especially when their sensual appetite is aroused and sides with the temptress‑‑Folly. It is no marvel that such are easily deceived for we are told that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. (II Cor. 11:14)
5. "Wanteth understanding" = to lack heart; to lack discernment; to this person Folly says‑‑verse 17.
1. "Stolen waters" = a metaphor (a word expressing comparison), referring to an adulterous relationship; this is in contrast to "Drink waters out of thine own cistern" (Pro. 5:15) = a phrase referring to having one's natural impulses satisfied in the legitimate sphere of marriage. (I Cor. 7:2,9; Heb. 13:4)
2. "Are sweet" = attractive; pleasures are attractive because they are forbidden‑‑unlawful.
3. "Bread eaten in secret is pleasant" = another metaphor using "bread" instead of "water" but basically saying the same thing as the first phrase.
4. Folly's feast is poor in comparison to Wisdom's; water instead of wine. (verse 5)
1. "But" = reveals the contrast between what Folly states and what the real truth is.
2. "He" = "Him" = the simple of verse 16.
3. "Her" = Folly.
4. "Knoweth" = knowledge gained by experience; involves the idea of understanding what is known; negated by "not."
5. "That the dead are there" = refers to those who respond to Folly's invitation and are in her house ("there") and are dead spiritually.
6. "Guests" = those who responded to her seductive invitation.
7. "Are in the depths of hell" = refers to a real place of punishment one will be consigned to at physical death if they practice sin with Folly; it is a place of torment (Luke 16:23‑24) where there will be destruction (not consumed but suffering forever and ever) of body and soul.
8. Wisdom and Folly have each spoken and the pros and cons have been given. Now it is up to the reader and hearer to make the right choice. Choose Folly and die. Choose Wisdom and live.