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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 2

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-5

The difficulty of obtaining Wisdom 2:1-5

Even though Wisdom wants people to adopt her (Proverbs 1:20-33), she is hard to obtain. The person who wants her has to work hard for her (Proverbs 2:3). If understanding does not come easily, one should work harder to obtain it. [Note: See Julius H. Greenstone, Proverbs with Commentary, p. 17.] He or she must start with revelation, and study it diligently, in order to obtain spiritual rather than merely academic wisdom. The "fear of the Lord" emphasizes awe, and the "knowledge of God" stresses intimacy. [Note: For a synthesis of what the Book of Proverbs reveals about God, see Zuck, pp. 238-39.]

"If you want wisdom, you must listen to God attentively (Matthew 13:9), obey Him humbly (John 7:17), ask Him sincerely (James 1:5), and seek Him diligently (Isaiah 55:6-7), the way a miner searches for silver and gold.

"Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn’t a once-a-week hobby, it is the daily discipline of a lifetime. But in this age of microwave ovens, fast foods, digests, and numerous ’made easy’ books, many people are out of the habit of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord. Thanks to television, their attention span is brief; thanks to religious entertainment that passes for worship, their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn’t ’pleasant to [their] soul’ (Proverbs 2:10). It’s no wonder fewer and fewer people ’take time to be holy’ and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 36.]

Verses 1-22

3. Wisdom as a treasure ch. 2

Chapter 2 is a discourse that sets forth the blessings that wisdom confers.

Verses 6-9

The giver of Wisdom 2:6-9

The searcher for wisdom will find what God gives when he or she searches divine revelation (Proverbs 2:6). The knowledge of how to live comes with the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:7). The success in view is correct behavior (Proverbs 2:7-9). Lovers of wisdom are godly (Proverbs 2:8, Heb. hasidim, loyal sons of the covenant).

This is another passage in which we can see the difference between Hebrew wisdom literature and that of other ancient nations. Solomon identified Yahweh as the source of wisdom. Only through relationship with Him can a person be truly wise and experience the blessings of wisdom.

Verses 10-22

The fruit of moral integrity 2:10-22

Wisdom safeguards a person morally. The first part of this pericope shows how God protects the wise (Proverbs 2:10-11; cf. Proverbs 2:7-8). The last part presents the temptations one can overcome as he or she seeks wisdom (Proverbs 2:12-19). When a person submits himself or herself to God and gains wisdom, the ways of the wicked will lose some of their attractiveness. The wise person will see that the adventuress who promises thrills is offering something she cannot give, except in the most immediate sensual sense.

The "strange" woman (Proverbs 2:16) is one "outside the circle of his [a man’s] proper relations, that is, a harlot or an adulteress." [Note: Toy, p. 46.] The word does not necessarily mean that she is a foreigner. Probably she is a stranger to the conventions of Israel’s corporate life. [Note: William McKane, Proverbs: A New Approach, p. 285.]

"If the evil man uses perverse words to snare the unwary [Proverbs 2:12], the adulteress uses flattering words. Someone has said that flattery isn’t communication, it is manipulation; it’s people telling us things about ourselves that we enjoy hearing and wish were true." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 37.]

The "covenant" she has left (Proverbs 2:17) seems to refer to her own marriage covenant (Malachi 2:14), rather than to the covenant law that prohibited adultery (Exodus 20:14). [Note: Ross, p. 914.] The "land" (Proverbs 2:21-22) is the Promised Land of Canaan.

This chapter, like the previous one, ends by contrasting the ends of the wicked and the righteous (Proverbs 2:21-22; cf. Proverbs 1:32-33). It is a long poem that appeals to the reader to pursue wisdom, and then identifies the benefits of following wisdom. Chapter 2 emphasizes moral stability as a fruit of wisdom.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 2". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/proverbs-2.html. 2012.
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