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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Proverbs 4

 

 

Verse 1

IV.

(g) Seventh Discourse:—Recollections of his Father’s Instructions (Proverbs 4:1 to Proverbs 5:6).

(1) A father.—That is, of me, your teacher.


Verse 3

(3) For I was . . . son . . .—It is not only his own advice that he has to offer; he can tell his disciples of the excellent discipline and teaching he received from his parents in his old home. It may be remarked that the notices of Solomon’s early years which occur in this and the following verses harmonise well with what we know of him from the historical books of the Bible.

Tender.—The epithet applied to Solomon by his father (1 Chronicles 29:1).

Only beloved.—The word yâchîd originally signified an “only” (son), as in Zechariah 12:10. Then it came to mean “beloved as an only son,” and that appears to be the sense of it in Genesis 22:2, as applied to Isaac (for Ishmael was then living), and to Solomon here (for Bath-sheba had other children by David, 1 Chronicles 3:5). In Greek translations it is rendered “only-begotten” and “well-beloved,” epithets applied in their highest sense to Christ (John 1:14; Matthew 3:17).

In the sight of my mother.—Implying her affection, as Genesis 17:18.


Verse 4

(4) He taught me also.—Comp. David’s advice to Solomon (l Chron. , 10).


Verse 5

(5) Get wisdom, get understanding.—Like the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46).


Verse 7

(7) Wisdom is the principal thing . . .—This may also be translated, The beginning of wisdom is Get (or, to get, comp. Proverbs 16:16) wisdom: and with (i.e., at the price of) all thou hast gotten (thy possessions) get understanding.


Verse 8

(8) Exalt her, and she shall promote thee.—Comp. 1 Samuel 2:30, “Them that honour me I will honour.”


Verse 13

(13) For she is thy life.—Comp. 1 John 5:12, “He that hath the Son hath life.”


Verse 16

(16) For they sleep not . . .—The practice of evil has become as it were a second nature to them, they cannot live without it.


Verse 17

(17) The bread of wickedness.—i.e., acquired by wickedness, as (Proverbs 10:2) “treasures of wickedness.”


Verse 18

(18) But the path of the just . . .—The just have the Lord for their light (Psalms 27:1), on them the “Sun of righteousness” has arisen (Malachi 4:2). as “the light of the morning, even a morning without clouds” (2 Samuel 23:4), and this light, that is, their knowledge of God, will become clearer and clearer till the “perfect day,” when they shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). (Comp. Job 11:17; and Notes on Proverbs 6:23.)


Verse 18-19

The Two Paths

But the path of the righteous is as the shining light,

That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The way of the wicked is as darkness:

They know not at what they stumble.—Proverbs 4:18-19

The “path” which a man pursues signifies, according to the most usual meaning of the word, his style and manner of conduct, the principles according to which he acts. Thus is the word used in Proverbs 4:11 of this chapter: “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.” There is another sense in which we find the word “path” sometimes employed; it indicates the condition or destiny of a man; thus, in Job 8:11-13, “Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.” In the text “the path of the righteous” cannot properly be taken in either of these senses exclusively; it includes both. It signifies simply the just man’s course through life, comprising the development alike of his own character and conduct and of his destiny as a child of light. The word “light” is used here in a peculiar and limited sense, to mean the dawn, the sunrise. So it is used, as our English Bible expressly indicates, in Nehemiah 8:3 : “And he [Ezra] read therein before the street that was before the water gate, from the light [from the morning] until midday.” Only when we consider this do we perceive the full force and beauty of the text. “Perfect (i.e. steadfast, immovable) day” signifies, in the figurative language of the text, noon. And in this we have an example of the incompetency of that which is natural to express the spiritual and eternal. In the day of the soul there is no mere momentary noon, declining into afternoon and night. But what the thing could not properly express, the word translated “perfect” is fitted to suggest.

Inverting the order of the text we shall consider, first, the way of darkness, and, secondly, the way of light.

I

The Way of Darkness

“The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”

These words present a picture of a man out on a dangerous mountain track. He has determined upon going this way. He has despised the advice and entreaties of the guides, although aware that his track is beset with dangers. He was told before he started of the deep ravines and yawning precipices. At times, while trying to find his way, he feels the peril that he has exposed himself to in venturing upon a path so dangerous, a path with which he is totally unacquainted. Now the darkness is coming on; but he still hopes to find his way. Presently the darkness has completely hidden the path, and made it doubly perilous. To stand still is to perish in the night; and yet he cannot hope to find his way now, but wanders on in the darkness. He does not know where he is, or where he is going; the man is lost in the dark; he goes stumbling on till suddenly he stumbles upon his fate and is lost in night.

1. The way of sin at the beginning.—Sin makes us do things we should never think of doing in our right senses. It makes us the subject of the cruellest delusion. To close our eyes against the light is to surrender to the devil, who leads us captive at his will into ever-deepening darkness.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see,” and it is really astonishing to notice how determined many people are not to see what their sinful course must lead to and must end in. I have very seldom known, indeed I do not remember a single case, in which either disease, or pain, or early death, or poverty, or disgrace, or imprisonment, or madness, or any other result of wrong-doing, acted to any great extent as a warning to others pursuing the same way to destruction. The effect, if there be any effect at all, soon passes off. Not a week passes but some one is detected in fraud and embezzlement, but every other thief thinks himself cunning enough to be safe. “Dead through excessive drinking” is the verdict given day by day, all the week through, and all the year round; but every other excessive drinker thinks that he does not drink to excess, or that he has a constitution that will stand it. Thus, verily, “the way of the wicked is darkness.”1 [Note: H. S. Brown, Manliness, 89.]

Where chiefly the beauty of God’s working was manifested to men, warning was also given, and that to the full, of the enduring of His indignation against sin. It seems one of the most cunning and frequent of self-deceptions to turn the heart away from this warning, and refuse to acknowledge anything in the fair scenes of the natural creation but beneficence. Men in general lean towards the light, so far as they contemplate such things at all, most of them passing “by on the other side” either in mere plodding pursuit of their own work, irrespective of what good or evil is around them, or else in selfish gloom, or selfish delight, resulting from their own circumstances at the moment. What between hard-hearted people, thoughtless people, busy people, humble people, and cheerfully-minded people, giddiness of youth, and preoccupations of age,—philosophies of faith, and cruelties of folly,—priest and Levite, masquer and merchantman, all agreeing to keep their own side of the way,—the evil that God sends to warn us gets to be forgotten, and the evil that He sends to be mended by us gets left unmended. And then, because people shut their eyes to the dark indisputableness of the facts in front of them, their Faith, such as it is, is shaken or uprooted by every darkness in what is revealed to them. In the present day it is not easy to find a well-meaning man among our more earnest thinkers, who will not take upon himself to dispute the whole system of redemption, because he cannot unravel the mystery of the punishment of sin. But can he unravel the mystery of the punishment of No sin?… We cannot reason of these things. But this I know—and this may by all men be known—that no good or lovely thing exists in this world without its correspondent darkness; and that the universe presents itself continually to mankind under the stern aspect of warning, or of choice, the good and the evil set on the right hand and the left.2 [Note: Ruskin, Modern Painters, vol. iv. chap. xix. § 32.]

2. The way of sin as it continues.—It is a road that runs through sombre passes, like some of those paths far in the heart of the mountains, on which the sun never shines. This is worse than the Valley of the Shadow of Death, for in the fearful path of sin there is no guiding hand and no protecting staff. The darkness of this course is exhaled from the evil committed upon it.

The horrible features of Vanity Fair are carefully concealed from the young man or woman setting out in life. Satan appears then as an angel of light, with seductive air and promises of boundless pleasure and enjoyment. The unhappy victim soon begins to realize the deceitfulness of the tempter and the bitterness of sin. As he rushes with the crowd of pleasure-seekers into the haunts and circles of evil men, he becomes absorbed in their follies and fashions; opportunities of improvement are neglected, facilities of progress are forgotten, virtuous habits are thrown off, and care for higher things is neglected. By degrees, the mind and spirit become the mere vassals of animal passion or selfish gratification, and the day of life passes without any preparation for a blessed future. Amid the whirl and excitement of pleasure-seeking or money-hunting, there soon come hours of gloom and sadness. The fruits of sin are like the fabled apples of Sodom, fair to outside view but poisonous within. Many who frequent gay and festive scenes carry into them sad and heavy hearts, many of them cherish memories of days when innocence and truth gave brightness to their souls; many are haunted by lapses from virtue, and deeds of evil which were committed perhaps long ago, but which memory revives, until the heart sinks and the spirit writhes beneath the rankling of the wound. As life creeps on, the pursuit of sin becomes more irksome, the burden of a wounded conscience becomes more rankling; and unless by a heartfelt repentance, and an acceptance of mercy through Christ, the transgressor returns to the Father’s house, the end comes in darkness.1 [Note: W. J. Townsend, The Ladder of Life, 256.]

Of what Christians call “the Divine Government”—but which he regarded as “the sum of the customs of matter,” Huxley believed it to be “wholly just.” “The more I know intimately of the lives of other men (to say nothing of my own),” he wrote, “the more obvious it is to me that the wicked does not flourish, nor is the righteous punished. But for this to be clear we must bear in mind what almost all forget—that the rewards of life are contingent upon obedience to the whole law—physical as well as moral—and that moral obedience will not atone for physical sin, or vice versa. The ledger of the Almighty is strictly kept, and every one of us has the balance of his operations paid over to him at the end of every minute of his existence. The absolute justice of the system of things is as clear to me as any scientific fact. The gravitation of sin to sorrow is as certain as that of the earth to the sun, and more so—for experimental proof of the fact is within reach of us all—nay, is before us all in our own lives, if we had but eyes to see it.”1 [Note: Life of T. H. Huxley, by his Son, i. 220.]

3. The way of sin as it ends.—The sinner has no prospect of light beyond. There are no Beulah heights for him at the farther end of the gloomy valley. His night of sin will be followed by no dawn of blessed light. He presses on only to deeper and yet deeper darkness. If he will not return, there is nothing before him but the darkness of death. The one way of escape is backwards—to retrace his steps in humble penitence. Then, indeed, he may see the welcome light of his Father’s home, and even earlier the Light of the world, the Saviour who has come out into the darkness to lead him back to God. For the sinner who persists in his evil course there can be no better prospect than that described by Byron in his poem on “Darkness”—

The world was void,

The populous and the powerful was a lump,

Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,

A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.

The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,

And nothing stirr’d within their silent depths;

Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,

And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp’d

They slept on the abyss without a surge—

The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,

The moon, their mistress, had expired before;

The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,

And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need

Of aid from them—She was the Universe.

The death of Lord Pembroke, whose character and aims Spencer estimated very highly, removed one more from the ever narrowing circle of his friends and acquaintances. To the Countess of Pembroke he wrote on 26th June 1895: “On the great questions you raise I should like to comment at some length had I the energy to spare. The hope that continual groping, though in the dark, may eventually discover the clue is one I can scarcely entertain, for the reason that human intelligence appears to me incapable of framing any conception of the required kind. It seems to me that our best course is to submit to the limitations imposed by the nature of our minds, and to live as contentedly as we may in ignorance of that which lies behind things as we know them. My own feeling respecting the ultimate mystery is such that of late years I cannot even try to think of infinite space without some feeling of terror, so that I habitually shun the thought.”1 [Note: D. Duncan, The Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer, 370.]

II

The Shining Way

“The path of the righteous is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

1. The “path of the righteous” has all the great characteristics suggested by light, namely, truth, purity, joy, life. Perhaps the leading idea is that of holy gladness. In Scripture the favourite emblem of heaven and the heavenly, of God and the godly, is light,—of the evil power and the evil place, darkness; and none could be more striking and expressive. It is expressive of all the phenomena of the two contrasted worlds, alike in their nature, in their origin, and in their consequences. And light, as symbolical of the good, speaks to us of enlightenment of the understanding, the purity of holiness, and true happiness, even as darkness speaks to us of the opposites. Light means wisdom and holiness; and thus the Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, uses it: “Ye were sometimes darkness” (i.e. foolish and unholy), “but now are ye light in the Lord”: your ignorance, that is to say, has been dispelled by the knowledge in Christ of the Holy God and reconciled Father. “Walk as children of light”; act, that is, in accordance with those principles of heavenly wisdom wherewith your darkened understanding has been enlightened, and shine in the bright purity of holiness. The just man, then, is a child of light, first of all, because through Divine grace he has been endued with wisdom, and has the seeds of holiness implanted within him.

The message of Fox was to make men realize that individual inspiration was not a thing of the past, and that true assurance and guidance were open to every man who would follow the inward illumination. Attention to this inner light resulted in the discovery of sin and of the overcoming life in Christ. “Every one of you hath a light from Christ which lets you see you should not lie, nor do wrong to any nor swear nor curse nor take God’s name in vain, nor steal. It is the light that shows you these evil deeds: which, if you love and come unto it and follow it, will lead you to Christ who is the way to the Father, from whom it comes: where no unrighteousness enters nor ungodliness. If you hate this light it will be your condemnation: but if you love it and come to it, you will come to Christ.” The important thing for men to realize is that they have the witness of God in their own hearts against moral evils. It is not any outward code, scriptural or social, which reveals sin as sin, but the light of God in the conscience. If men would humbly and patiently wait upon God, the path of obedience would be made plain and the power to obey be abundantly bestowed.1 [Note: H. G. Wood, George Fox, 28.]

2. The life of the righteous is a life of increasing lustre. Like the light, it shineth “more and more.” The day does not burst upon the earth at once. The night does not vanish and come to an end in a moment. There is a slow and gradual change; at first a very faint light far away in the eastern sky, while all the rest is dark; then it spreads gently wider and higher, and wakes up all things to a new life, bringing to sight mountains and valleys, streams and woods, which lay but now in the thick darkness, as though they were not. Then, at last, when all the shadows have grown pale, and the flood of shining light has poured its streams into every secret place, so that there is night and darkness no more—then the glorious sun comes forth, “like a giant refreshed,” at first indeed made dim by the mists that still hang upon the earth, but soon breaking through, as it were, till he rides high in the clear sky, and, with the full power of his light and heat, pours down upon earth “the perfect day.” But it is not always so. There are mornings of a different sort. Sometimes clouds and storms come with the breaking day. The sullen thunder-cloud, or the heavy gloom of mists and rain, half hide the feeble light. The sun passes behind great folds of heavy cloud, and you can see his rays only now and then through some rent or opening in the curtain that hides him from view. But he stays not, he changes not, in his course. He fulfils his daily round. He is the same, whatever else may be. And, whether it be in calm, or whether it be in storm, the light “shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Such is the parable of the text. The path of the righteous begins like the light of dawn. It is small in its beginning. The new-born Christian is like a rising sun struggling through the mists of morn. It must travel to its noon. Moving in the skies, far beyond all malign influence of earth, no hand but that of the Creator can stay it in its onward progress. Black clouds may steal it from the eye, but no cloud touches its fiery rim. Behind and above the cloud, it travels to its noon. For us its brightness may be absorbed in darkness, but in itself it shineth bright as ever. Even so is it with the Christian. Far above and beyond the malign influences of this sinful world, he too travels to his everlasting noon. No hand but the hand of the Almighty Redeemer, who set him forth on his glorious course, can touch him. Clouds of sorrow, and it may be clouds of sin, may dim his glory to the earthly eye, or leave him even in black eclipse; but behind the darkness he proceedeth from height to height, climbing the heavens.

“Divine grace” (says Leighton, on 1 Peter 1:7), “even in the heart of weak and sinful man, is an invincible thing. Drown it in the waters of adversity, it rises more beautiful, as not being drowned indeed, but only washed: throw it into the furnace of fiery trials, it comes out purer, and loses nothing but the dross which our corrupt nature mixes with it.” It belongeth then, by very necessity of nature, to the child of God that he grow—grow, so to speak, in bulk of spiritual life, grow in strength of all spiritual faculties, grow in largeness of spiritual result. Where there is no growth, there is no life. The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more.1 [Note: J. Hamilton, Faith in God, 334.]

(1) Growth in the spiritual life is the gradual unfolding within of the powers of a life communicated to us. There is a supernatural life within the justified, for through union with the Incarnate Word we have received from Him the life that is in Himself. The life of God dwells without measure in the Son, and passes in measure into His members. In the justified this gift of life is no longer dormant, but is stirred up, and becomes an active principle within, as its presence is recognized and responded to. This life, thus willingly yielded to, is ever manifesting its vigour in the inward growth. As in nature, so in grace, the babe becomes the child, the child develops into the young man, the young man ripens into the father. But there cannot be this growth in the Divine life without the communication to us, through the Holy Ghost, of the life of God, and our surrender to it by repentance and faith. It will not do to imagine that a man may live and die in darkness, and that then a dazzling light will be shed upon him, like some splendid garment outside him, which will make him all at once meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. No, the light must be within, kindled in the soul, growing there, cleansing and beautifying it; the soul must grow in the light. This is what we call the internal glory, the growth of the character in beauty.

Throughout these pages [of his annotated Bible], we are constantly impressed by the large mental frontier of Smetham—his range of faculty, his many-sidedness. Here is a fragrant wild flower of the sermonic type, which crops up in that paradise of perfumed philosophy, Solomon’s Proverbs. It elucidates that celestial metaphor of the soul’s advancement, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” The annotation is this: “The nature of the light remains the same. The first feeble ray of the morning has the same chemical elements as those of the brightest noon. So with Christian character.”1 [Note: W. G. Beardmore, James Smetham, Painter, Poet, Essayist, 82.]

(2) To walk in the light gives expansion to all man’s capacities. There is no mental or moral faculty of human nature which is not improved and perfected by walking in the path which leads to eternal life. This results from close and constant association with the Christ, who is the treasury of wisdom and knowledge, and the sum of all excellence. Intimate fellowship with Him is health-giving in the highest degree. It means purity of atmosphere, for He takes us to the mount of vision above the fogs and vapours of impurity and sin; it means strength, because He is the Bread of Life, of which if a man eat he lives for ever; it means growth on every side of life, because the Christians say: “Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Thus in Him and through Him the Christian is perfected.

When Christian was passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death it was night, and he could scarcely see his way, but the day began to break as he came near the end of the first part of it, and the sun shone ever brighter and brighter upon the more dangerous part of the valley, so that he was able to walk more safely. Then said he, “His candle shineth on my head, and by His light I go through the darkness.” And so, while there may be but a feeble light on your path when you first begin to love and serve Jesus, it will grow brighter like the rising sun as you continue to do Song of Solomon 1 [Note: J. Jeffrey, The Way of Life, 52.]

(3) “Unto the perfect day.” At this point the simile of the text fails. Here the sun rises but to set; it travels to its midday splendour only to give place to midnight gloom. It is not so there: her “sun shall no more go down,” for “there is no night there.” Here light streams to us from God only through created media of His appointment. He “made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also” (Genesis 1:16), and through them light streams from Him to us. Hence it is in nature as it is in grace; light and darkness are constantly interchanged, whilst we receive His gifts through created media. But in the Heavenly Country there is no such change, because “the Lord himself is her everlasting light,” and the light that is in Him streams forth upon the children of light in one unending day. Blessed permanence of that unending day, that undecaying light! There is no night there, thank God! It is not advance and retrogression, but one unchecked progress; it is not the interchange of happiness and misery, but one unending song of the children of the day, revelling in the everlasting light.

This means not only glory, but also the development of humanity beneath the rays that stream from the light of God. It is there that the hidden powers of the intellect are developed, and the magnificence of mind is manifested. It is there that the capacities of the heart to love are recognized, for there alone its hidden depths are sounded. It is there that the wondrous energies of the spirit are unfolded, in a degree now inconceivable to us, as it is flooded with the vision of God. There, and there only, is the grandeur of humanity realized, where the varied capacities of each created nature attain their perfection. In the imperfect there is no rest, but when we are perfect, “as he is perfect, in the perfect day,” then shall be realized by us the joy of the sons of God.

When the organism of the oak and the environment which fosters its growth unite to produce the sturdy king of the forest, we consider ourselves justified in concluding that God meant an oak-tree to be the outcome. And when we find a moral nature so constituted that it tends to develop along the line of rectitude, purity, and love, and an environment which offers the least resistance in the direction of righteousness, it is a safe inference that God purposed the development of that nature in the direction of righteousness. When He made the way of transgressors hard, and caused the path of the just to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day, God pointed the direction in which our race was to move. He indicated the destiny of man. He forecast the consummation of the work of the ages. He foreshadowed in that one fact the moral order and progress of man.

One God, one law, one element,

And one far-off divine event

To which the whole creation moves.1 [Note: J. C. Adams, The Leisure of God, 46.]

Our destiny is potential within ourselves. Every man, woman, and child possesses this potentiality, this shaping spirit of prayer and the love of God. The golden stairs are in every home, in every house of business, and workshop, whereby, in deep communings like those of Jesus on the Galilean hills, we may bring down troops of joys and graces to fill the common day with song. It is our fault altogether if the lower chambers of life are dull and spiritless. The task is difficult no doubt. So much the more need for that steadfast communion with the Indwelling Love which gives the soul a power and persistence not long to be denied. Resolute always to see what good there is, and to throw the whole weight of our soul on to the side of that good, we shall find our love consuming the evil, and liberating kindred souls to co-operate with us.2 [Note: T. J. Hardy, The Gospel of Pain.]

Through love to light, O wonderful the way

That leads from darkness to the perfect day!

From darkness and from sorrow of the night,

To morning that comes singing o’er the sea.

Through love to light; through light, O God, to Thee

Who art the Love of love, the eternal Light of light

Literature

Adams (J. C.), The Leisure of God, 35.

Body (G.), The Life of Justification, 175.

Brown (H. S.), Manliness, 83.

Guthrie (T.), Man and the Gospel, 274.

Hamilton (J.), Faith in God, 324.

Jeffrey (J.), The Way of Life, 50.

Kemble (C.), Memorials of a Closed Ministry, ii. 199.

Lucas (H.), At the Parting of the Ways, 294.

Maclaren (A.), Expositions: Esther, etc., 108.

Owen (J. W.), Some Australian Sermons, 158.

Parr (R. H.), The Path of the Just, 294.

Christian World Pulpit, xxv. 286 (W. M. Statham).

Church Family Newspaper, July 15, 1910 (A. F. W. Ingram).

Homiletic Review, lix. 390 (R. L. Swain).

Literary Churchman, xxxv. (1889) 15 (J. E. Vernon).

Preacher’s Magazine, vi. 513 (E. J. Lyndon).


Verse 19

(19) The way of the wicked is as darkness.—By refusing to “walk in the light” of God’s Word, and conscience (1 John 1:7), the light that was in them has become darkness (Matthew 6:23); they know not whither they are going (John 12:35), and stumble (Proverbs 11:10) over difficulties which in the light they might have avoided.


Verse 22

(22) For they are life . . .—Comp. 1 Timothy 4:8, “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, (the highest happiness that man can attain to now, peace of mind,) and of that which is to come,” the assurance of a joyful resurrection.


Verse 23

(23) Keep thy heart with all diligence.—Rather, above all things that are to be guarded.

For out of it are the issues of life.—That is, from it comes life (and also death). From it proceed “all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works,” signs of the life with God within the soul; or, “evil thoughts, murders,” &c. (Matthew 15:19), “the end of which things is death” (Romans 6:21).


Verse 24

(24) A froward mouth.—Heb. ‘iqqeshûth, literally, distortion, or twisting of the truth, not the same word as in Proverbs 2:12; Proverbs 2:14.

Perverse lips—i.e., that “turn aside” from the truth.


Verse 25

(25) Let thine eyes look right on.—Comp. the advice of Sirach 7:36, “Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end,” and of Hebrews 12:2, to look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”


Verse 26

(26) Ponder the path of thy feet.—Rather, make it smooth, level: take all obstacles out of it which may prevent thy going in the way God is leading thee. Comp. the directions to cut off even the hand or the foot that offends (Matthew 18:8). This verse is quoted in Hebrews 12:13.

Let all thy ways be established.—Or, directed aright; see that they lead straight to the end (Psalms 119:5).


Verse 27

(27) Turn not aside . . .—Comp. the direction of Joshua 1:7, and the praise accorded to David (1 Kings 15:5).

 


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Bibliography Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 4:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-4.html. 1905.

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