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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Proverbs 1

 

 

Verse 1

of. Genitive of Relation (App-17), being the title or heading of the whole book, some being "for" him; others "by" him. If not, why the words of Proverbs 10:1? Chapters Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 10:19 are not to "my son", but are in the third person, "he" and "him". See App-74, and note also other sub-headings, Proverbs 25:1; Proverbs 30:1; Proverbs 31:1. All these are covered by the Genitive of Relation (App-17).


Verse 2

To know = For discerning. So in verses: Proverbs 1:3, Proverbs 1:4, Proverbs 1:6.

wisdom. Hebrew. chokmah. There are six words rendered "wisdom" in this book.

(1) chokmah, rendered "wisdom" except in the passages below. It occurs thirty-nine times in singular, and three times in plural (Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 9:1; Proverbs 24:7 = true wisdom); forty-two times altogether (6x7. See App-10).

(2) binah = discernment or discrimination. Once rendered "wisdom" (Proverbs 23:4). Elsewhere, in twelve passages rendered "understanding"; once "knowledge" (Proverbs 2:3).

(3) leb = heart; rendered "wisdom" four times (Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 11:12; Proverbs 15:21; Proverbs 19:8).

(4) "armah = shrewdness; rendered "wisdom" only in Proverbs 8:5; elsewhere only in Proverbs 1:4 rendered "subtilty"; Proverbs 1:12 rendered "prudence",

(5) sahal = prudence, or good sense, rendered "wisdom" once (Proverbs 1:3); and

(6) sekel = insight, rendered "wisdom" (Proverbs 12:8; Proverbs 23:9); elsewhere rendered "understanding" (Proverbs 3:4; Proverbs 13:15; Proverbs 16:22), and "prudence" (Proverbs 19:11). For "sound wisdom", see note on Proverbs 2:7.

instruction = admonition or discipline. Sometimes rendered "chastening".

words = sayings. Hebrew. "imrah. See App-73.

understanding. Hebrew. binah. See note on "wisdom", Proverbs 1:2.


Verse 3

wisdom. Hebrew. sakal. See note on Proverbs 1:2 (No. 5), above.


Verse 4

subtilty = prudence. Same root as Genesis 3:1. Compare Matthew 10:16. 1 Samuel 23:22. Not the same word as Genesis 27:35.

simple = artless, guileless, unsuspecting. Compare verses: Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 1:32, Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 9:4, Proverbs 9:16; Proverbs 14:15, Proverbs 14:18; Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 21:11; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12.


Verse 5

will hear. Illustrations: Eunuch (Acts 8:27, Acts 8:39): Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:7); the Bereans (Acts 17:11, Acts 17:12); Apollos (Acts 18:24-28).


Verse 6

the interpretation = satire, or the point of what is said. Occurs only here and Habakkuk 2:6.

words. Hebrew. dabar. App-73.


Verse 7

fear = reverence. This expression occurs fourteen times in Proverbs (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:29; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 14:26, Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 15:16, Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 16:6; Proverbs 19:23; Proverbs 22:4; Proverbs 23:17). See App-75.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

the beginning. And only the "beginning", not the end. It is not "wisdom" itself. True wisdom is to justify God and condemn oneself. See note on Job 28:28, and Compare Proverbs 9:10. Psalms 111:10.

fools. Hebrew. "evil. In this book three Hebrew words are rendered "fools": (1) "evil = lax or careless habit of mind and body. Occurs nineteen times in Proverbs, viz. here, Proverbs 7:22; Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 10:10, Proverbs 10:14, Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 11:29; Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 12:16; Proverbs 14:3, Proverbs 14:9; Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 16:22; Proverbs 17:28; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 24:7; Proverbs 27:3, Proverbs 27:22; Proverbs 29:9. (2) kesil = fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety. Occurs forty-nine times in Proverbs, viz. verses: Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 1:32, Proverbs 1:35; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 10:1, Proverbs 10:18, Proverbs 10:23; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 13:16, Proverbs 13:19, Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 14:7, Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 14:24, Proverbs 14:33; Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 15:7, Proverbs 15:14, Proverbs 15:20; Proverbs 17:10, Proverbs 17:12, Proverbs 17:16, Proverbs 17:21, Proverbs 17:24, Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 18:2, Proverbs 18:6, Proverbs 18:7; Proverbs 19:1, Proverbs 19:10, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 21:20; Proverbs 23:9; Proverbs 26:1, Proverbs 26:3, Proverbs 26:4, Proverbs 26:5, Proverbs 26:6, Proverbs 26:7, Proverbs 26:8, Proverbs 26:9, Proverbs 26:10, Proverbs 26:11, Proverbs 26:12; Proverbs 28:26; Proverbs 29:11, Proverbs 29:20; and eighteen times in Ecclesiastes. (3) nabal = a vulgar churl. Occurs only three times in Proverbs: viz. Proverbs 17:7, Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 30:22; not in Ecclesiastes.

despise = have always despised, &c. Illustrations: Cain (Genesis 4:6-8); Hophni and Phinehas (1 Samuel 2:12, 1 Samuel 2:25); Nabal (1 Samuel 25:25); Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:13); Athenians (Acts 17:18, Acts 17:32); Jews and Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 1:24).


Verse 8

My son. See the Structure (p. 864) for the portions so addressed (Proverbs 1:6, Proverbs 1:9, Proverbs 1:18; Proverbs 19:20-34; Proverbs 27:1, Proverbs 27:29, Proverbs 27:27; Proverbs 30:1, Proverbs 30:31, Proverbs 30:31). Occurs fifteen times in this member. hear, &c. Illustrations: Isaac (Genesis 48:15); Moses (Hebrews 11:23); Samuel (1 Samuel 1:28; 1 Samuel 2:18; 1 Samuel 3:19-21); Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15. Acts 16:1, Acts 16:2).

thy father. The address is educational, this being the duty of the father, corresponding with Proverbs 31:1-9, as contrasted with "the words of the wise", also addressed to "my son" (Proverbs 19:20, Proverbs 19:24, Proverbs 19:34; Proverbs 27:1, Proverbs 27:29, Proverbs 27:27).

thy mother. Compare Proverbs 31:1-9.


Verse 9

they: i.e. instruction and law.

ornament = garland.

neck. Showing cheerful and willing obedience, in contrast with stiffneckedness (Exodus 32:9) and pride (Isaiah 3:16). See also Genesis 41:42.


Verse 10

sinners. Hebrew. chata". App-44.

Consent thou not: Illustrations: Joseph (Genesis 39:9, Genesis 39:10); prophet (1 Kings 13:8, 1 Kings 13:9); Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:49, contrast 2 Chronicles 18:2; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37); Joash (2 Chronicles 24:17, 2 Chronicles 24:18).


Verse 11

blood. Figure of speech Metalepsis (App-6), "blood" put for bloodshedding, and then bloodshedding put for the one whose blood was shed. See Isaiah 33:15.

the innocent = an innocent one (singular)

without cause. Compare John 15:25.


Verse 12

the grave. Hebrew. sheol. App-35.

pit. Hebrew. bor, a hole bored or dug. Hence a dry pit or grave. Compare Genesis 37:20.


Verse 15

path. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, Syr, and Vulgate, read "paths" (plural)


Verse 16

their feet = they. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for the persons who run. Quoted in Romans 3:15. evil = mischief. Hebrew. rcl"a". App-44.


Verse 17

in vain, &c. = it avails not. Figure of speech Paroemia. App-6. The sight of the net does not deter the birds. They (emphatic) still go on to their capture and death. The next verse requires this sense. So men go on in their evil ways, though they know it is to their own ruin (Proverbs 1:18).


Verse 18

lives = souls. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.


Verse 19

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

owners. Hebrew. ba"al, as in Proverbs 1:17. The "owners" of a soul are like the "owners" of wings, and are caught in their own trap with their eyes open.


Verse 20

(20-33) (Note the Extended Alternation in these verses).
21. The Call made.
Expostulation of Wisdom with the simple.
Promise to hearers.
25. The Call made.
Expostulation of Wisdom with refusers.
Promise to hearers.

Wisdom. Hebrew. chokmah. See note on Proverbs 1:2.

without. The emphasis is on the publicity of her call.

streets = open or broad places, especially about the city gates (Deuteronomy 13:16), or open squares. Genesis 19:2. Judges 19:15, Judges 19:20; 2 Chronicles 29:4, &c.


Verse 21

saying. The Ellipsis of this verb has frequently to be supplied. See note on Psalms 109:5.


Verse 22

love. The second feature. The first was ignorance in Proverbs 1:7.


Verse 23

Turn, &c. = Turn [and listen to] my reproof.

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6), to emphasize the conditional promise.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject) for all spiritual blessings.


Verse 24

refused: i.e. refused [to hear], verses: Proverbs 1:24-33.


Verse 26

I: i.e. I, Wisdom.

fear = what you fear. "Fear" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause) App-6, for the calamity which produced the fear. Note the Introversion in Hebrew of "fear", "desolation", "destruction", "anguish", in verses: Proverbs 1:26, Proverbs 1:27.


Verse 27

desolation = tempest.

destruction = calamity.


Verse 28

Then, &c. Illustration: Israel (Deuteronomy 1:45, Deuteronomy 1:46). See also Isaiah 1:15. Jeremiah 11:11. Ezekiel 8:18. Hosea 5:6.


Verse 29

For that = Forasmuch as.


Verse 31

Therefore, &c. Illustrations: Israel (Numbers 11:4-6;. Psalms 106:13, Psalms 106:14. Compare Numbers 11:20-23 and Psalms 106:15. See also Numbers 14:44, Numbers 14:45). Under Samuel (1 Samuel 8:7, 1 Samuel 8:19.


Verse 32

shall slay them. Illustrations: Israel (Deuteronomy 32:15-25. Hosea 13:6-8); Babylon (Isaiah 47:7-9); Moab (Jeremiah 48:11-15); Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49); Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2, Ezekiel 28:7).


Verse 33

shall dwell safely. Illustrations: Noah (Genesis 6:22; Genesis 7:23. Hebrews 11:7); Shadrach, &c. (Daniel 3:25. Psalms 138:7); Daniel (Daniel 6:10, Daniel 6:22. Psalms 119:10); Christ"s sheep (John 10:28).

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-1.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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