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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 3

Verses 1-35

The Blessings of Obedience and of Chastisement

The first and third divisions, 1-10, 21-35, are exhortations to good conduct and promises of consequent blessing. The second, 11-20, declares the profitableness of divine chastening and the value of wisdom.

1. Law] or 'direction.' The teacher speaks as one having authority.

3. Mercy] RM 'kindness.' He is to retain kindness and faithfulness, as he would the signet-ring which hangs from his neck by a cord (Genesis 38:18; Son 8:6), or as the phylacteries on arm and forehead: cp. Exodus 13:9; Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18.

5. We are easily misled by passion and sin. 'Thanks to our wisdom, we should, once for all, refrain from being clever.'

8. For navel read 'flesh,' as at Proverbs 4:22. This change only requires the addition of a single letter, and it gives us the pair,' flesh and bones,' which in biblical language make up the body (Genesis 29:14; 2 Samuel 5:1, etc.). The drying up of the bones is a figure of extreme distress (Proverbs 17:22; Psa 32:3-4): hence the word 'moistening' (RM) here.

9. To honour is to pay the dues (Isaiah 43:28; Daniel 11:38; 1Ti 5:7).

10. Presses] i.e. 'vats.'

11, 12. Bp. Andrewes prayed: 'From Thine anger, and yet more from Thy ceasing to be angry, good Lord, deliver us.'

15. Rubies] here, and at Proverbs 20:15; Proverbs 31:10, more probably, 'red coral.' The finest red coral has always been very costly.

18. A tree of life] a figure derived from Genesis 3 : see also Ezekiel 47:12; Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 13:12; Proverbs 15:4.

19. It is an additional reason for esteeming her, that creation could not have been accomplished without her.

20. The depths, etc.] i.e. the subterranean storehouses from which fountains and rivers were supposed to be derived.

24. Not affrighted by horrible dreams (Job 7:14).

29. Securely] i.e. without suspicion.

32. Secret] 'counsel' or 'friendship' (RM): they belong to His 'Privy Council' (Genesis 18:17; Job 19:19; Job 29:4; Psalms 25:14; Psalms 55:14; Amo 3:7).

35. Joseph, Daniel, Ezra, Mordecai are examples.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 3". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.