Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Proverbs 3

Verse 1

My son. See note on Proverbs 2:1.

keep = watch, guard. See note on Proverbs 4:23.

Verse 2

they. Not the "law" and "commandments" of Proverbs 3:1, for they are feminine, but the "days" of Proverbs 3:2 (which are masculine, agreeing with the verb "add", which is masculine also). See App-74.

add to thee. This, in the Hiphil = make increase for thee, or cause thee to increase or grow [in wisdom]: i.e. as the days and years lengthen and increase they will add to thy wisdom if thou forget not, &c. So in other passages where wisdom is supposed to promise long life, which it does not. See notes on Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27.

Verse 3

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.

Bind. Like the phylacteries. Compare Proverbs 6:21; Proverbs 7:3; and see Exodus 13:16.

Verse 4

understanding = insight. Hebrew. sekel. See note on "wisdom" (Proverbs 1:2), No. 6. Not the same word as in Proverbs 3:5.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

man. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

Verse 5

Trust = Confide. Hebrew. batah. App-69.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

with all thine heart. Illustrations: Abraham (Genesis 24:1-8; compare Proverbs 19:14); Eleazar (Genesis 24:12-27); Jephthah (Judges 11:11); David (1 Samuel 30:6-8); Asa (2 Chronicles 14:9-15); Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4-7; 2 Kings 19:14-37); Nehemiah (Proverbs 1:4-11; Proverbs 2:4-8).

understanding = discernment. Hebrew. binah. See note on "wisdom" (Proverbs 1:2), No. 2.

Verse 6

acknowledge = recognize, or own.

direct = rightly divide: i.e. dividing and thus showing what is right or pleasing to God. Hebrew. yashar. Numbers 23:27. Compare Judges 14:3, Judges 14:7; 1 Samuel 18:20, 1 Samuel 18:26. Rendered by Septuagint orthotomeo, the same word as in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Verse 7

Be not wise, &c. Illustrations: Ahab (1 Kings 22:30, 1 Kings 22:34, 1 Kings 22:35); Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-33; 1 Kings 13:33, 1 Kings 13:34; Asa (1 Kings 15:19); Ben-hadad (1 Kings 20:10, 1 Kings 20:11); quoted Romans 11:25; Romans 12:16.

Fear = revere. See note on Proverbs 1:7.

the LORD. Jehovah (with "eth) = Jehovah Himself. App-4.

depart from = shun, or avoid.

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

Verse 8

health = healing. Occurs only here.

navel. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part) for the whole body (App-6). But Septuagint and Syriac, following a different spelling, read "body".

marrow = moistening.

Verse 9

Honour . . . substance. This proverb has led to a universal custom. Compare 1 Timothy 5:3, 1 Timothy 5:17. Acts 5:2 ("price" = honour); Proverbs 19:19. Illustrations: Abraham (Genesis 14:20. Hebrews 7:2); Jacob (Genesis 28:22); David (1 Chronicles 29:1-5, 1 Chronicles 29:28); Widow (Mark 12:41-44); Woman (Mark 14:3-9); Cornelius (Acts 10:2, Acts 10:4); Philippians (Proverbs 4:15-19).

Verse 10

presses = wine-vats. Hebrew. yekeb. Not gath; a wine-press.

burst out = overflow.

new wine. Hebrew. tirosh. App-27.

Verse 11

despise not = shrink not from. Quoted from Job 1:20-22, and in Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:6. James 5:17. Compare Job 34:31, Job 34:32. One of the passages quoted in the NT. from Proverbs, viz. Proverbs 3:11, Proverbs 3:12 (in Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:6. Compare Revelation 3:19); Proverbs 3:34 (James 4:6); Proverbs 11:31 (in 1 Peter 4:18); Proverbs 25:21, Proverbs 25:22 (in Romans 12:20); Proverbs 26:11 (in 2 Peter 2:22). Illustrations: David (2 Samuel 15:25, 2 Samuel 15:26; 2 Samuel 16:10-12; 2 Samuel 23:5); Hezekiah (Isaiah 39:5-8, contrast Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:22, and Jehoram, 2 Kings 6:31-33); Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:2. Compare Isaiah 1:5).

Verse 12

whom, &c. Joseph (Genesis 37:23-36; Genesis 39:20; Genesis 40:23. Compare Psalms 105:18); Israel (Deuteronomy 8:3-5, Deuteronomy 8:15, Deuteronomy 8:16); Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:35-37); Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Verse 13

Happy = Oh, the blessedness, as in Psalms 1:1. Note the eight occurrences of this Beatitude in Proverbs: Proverbs 3:13; Proverbs 8:32, Proverbs 8:34 (blessed); Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 16:20; Proverbs 20:7 (blessed); Proverbs 28:14; Proverbs 29:18.

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

And = yea, or even.

Verse 14

the merchandise of it: i.e. literal, her merchandise.

Verse 15

She. Emphatic = She, in herself.

rubies = corals, or pearls.

Verse 16

in her right hand = in her power; "hand" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), for use as a grand agency for good of all kinds. Not necessarily a long life conferred. See note on Proverbs 3:2 and App-75.

riches, &c. = to be used aright. See App-75.

Verse 17

Her ways, &c. Illustration: Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:36; 2 Chronicles 30:26. Contrast 2Ch 28). Compare Acts 2:46; Acts 8:6; Acts 13:52. 2 Corinthians 8:2.

peace = well-being, or prosperity.

Verse 18

a tree of life. See Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22, Genesis 3:24 and compare Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 13:12; Proverbs 15:4. Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22:14.

Verse 20

clouds, &c. = skies.

dew = night mist. See note on Psalms 133:3. "Dew" falls only when there are no clouds.

Verse 21

them. Is masculine, and so perhaps refers to the "mercy and truth" of Proverbs 3:3.

sound wisdom = what is stable. See note on Proverbs 2:7.

Verse 22

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

neck. Septuagint adds, "Yea, it shall be healing to thy flesh; and refreshing to thy bones".

Verse 24

liest down. Septuagint reads "sittest".

Verse 25

Be not afraid, &c. Illustrations: Moses (Exodus 14:13, Exodus 14:14); Rahab (Joshua 6:24, Joshua 6:25. Hebrews 11:31); Elisha (2 Kings 6:16, 2 Kings 6:17); Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 39:15-18).

the wicked = lawless ones. Hebrew. rasha".

Verse 26

thy confidence. Septuagint reads "in all thy ways".

keep = keep safe. Not the same word as in verses: Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 3:21.

Verse 27

Withhold not. Illustrations: Ammonites, &c. (Deuteronomy 23:3, Deuteronomy 23:4); Nabal (1 Samuel 25:10, 1 Samuel 25:11; Compare Proverbs 3:15); Widow (1 Kings 17:12. 2 Kings 4:7); Parable (Luke 10:30-35); Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:1-11; 2 Corinthians 9:1-7).

them to whom it is due = the owners thereof.

hand. Hebrew text reads "hands", but some codices, with two early printed editions and Septuagint, read "hand" (singular)

Verse 29

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

securely = confidently, or without suspicion.

Verse 30

If he, &c. (Hebrew. "im lo = verily). Render: "he hath already done thee enough harm".

Verse 31

Envy thou not, &c. = Do not become excited against, &c. Illustrations: Moses (Hebrews 11:25, Hebrews 11:26); Jezebel (1 Kings 21:7-13. Compare 2 Kings 9:30-37). Psalms 34:21.

the oppressor = the man (Hebrew. "ish) of violence. App-14.

Verse 32

froward = those who turn aside. The same word as in Proverbs 2:15; not as elsewhere in Proverbs.

abomination to the LORD. Note all the things thus declared: Proverbs 3:32 (Proverbs 11:20); Proverbs 6:16; Proverbs 8:7; Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 15:8 (Proverbs 21:27), 9, 16, 26; Proverbs 16:5; Proverbs 17:15, Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 20:10 (23); Proverbs 28:9.

secret = secret counsel. What is sealed up from all save those to whom He reveals it.

Verse 33

The curse, &c. Illustrations: Baasha (1 Kings 16:1-4, 1 Kings 16:12, 1 Kings 16:13); Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 22:13-19); Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24-28); Jehu (2 Kings 19:8-12. Hosea 1:4); Hazael (Amos 1:4); Jeroboam II (Amos 7:9); Esau (Obadiah 1:18).

the wicked = a lawless one (singular) He blesseth, &c. Illustrations: Abraham (Hebrews 11:12. Contrast Ahab, 2 Kings 10:1-11); Jacob (Genesis 30:27); Joseph (Genesis 39:2, Genesis 39:21); Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:11); the widow (2 Kings 4:2-7).

the just = just ones (plural)

Verse 34

He scorneth, &c. Quoted in James 4:6. 1 Peter 5:5.

Verse 35

shall inherit, &c. Render: "the wise shall inherit glory, but a fool is piling up disgrace". Illustrations: Asaph (Psalms 73:24); Paul (2 Timothy 4:8); others (James 1:12. Daniel 12:3. John 12:26).

shame, &c. Illustrations: Jeroboam (1 Kings 21:22. 2 Kings 13:2, 2 Kings 13:11; 2 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 15:9, 2 Kings 15:18, 2 Kings 15:24, 2 Kings 15:28). Compare Proverbs 24:8.

fools. Hebrew. kesil. See note on Proverbs 1:7.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/proverbs-3.html. 1909-1922.