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Bible Commentaries

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 ; 1Sa 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 ( 1Ki 22:30 , 1 Kings 22:34 , 1 Kings 22:35 ); Jeroboam ( 1Ki 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 1Ti 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 2 Chronicles 28:0 ). 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; 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; 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 .3 John 1:12; 3 John 1:123 John 1:12 :26 ).

shame, &c. Illustrations: Jeroboam (1 Kings 21:22 . 2Ki 13:2 , 2 Kings 13:11 ; 2 Kings 14:24 ; 2Ki 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". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/proverbs-3.html. 1909-1922.