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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 4

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical



:-. To an earnest call for attention to his teachings, the writer adds a commendation of wisdom, preceded and enforced by the counsels of his father and teacher. To this he adds a caution (against the devices of the wicked), and a series of exhortations to docility, integrity, and uprightness.

Verse 1

1, 2. (Compare :-).

to know—in order to know.

doctrine—the matter of learning (Proverbs 1:5), such as he had received (Lamentations 3:1).

Verse 3

3. father's son—emphatic, a son specially regarded, and so called tender, as an object of special care (compare 1 Chronicles 22:7; 1 Chronicles 29:1); an idea further expressed by

only beloved—or, "as an only son" (Genesis 22:2), though he had brothers (see on Genesis 22:2- :).

Verse 4

4. He taught—or directed me.

retain—as well as receive.

keep . . . and live—observe, that you may live (Proverbs 7:2).

Verse 5

5. Get—as a possession not to be given up.

neither decline—that is, from obeying my word.

Verse 6

6. Not only accept but love wisdom, who will keep thee from evil, and evil from thee.

Verse 7

7. (Compare :-).

getting—or possession; a desire for wisdom is wise.

Verse 8

8. As you highly esteem her, she will raise you to honor.

embrace her—with fond affection.

Verse 9

9. ornament—such as the chaplet or wreath of conquerors.

deliver—(Compare :-). The allusion to a shield, contained in the Hebrew, suggests protection as well as honor (compare :-).

Verse 10

10. (Compare Proverbs 2:1; Proverbs 3:2).

Verse 11

11, 12. way of wisdom—which it prescribes.

led thee—literally, "caused thee to tread," as a path ( :-).

not be straitened—have ample room (Psalms 18:36).

Verse 13

13. (Compare :-). The figure of laying hold with the hand suggests earnest effort.

Verse 14

14. (Compare :-). Avoid all temptations to the beginning of evil.

Verse 16

16, 17. The reason is found in the character of sinners, whose zeal to do evil is forcibly depicted (Proverbs 6:4; Psalms 36:5). They live by flagrant vices (Psalms 36:5- :). Some prefer to render, "Their bread is wickedness, their drink violence" (compare Job 15:16; Job 34:7).

Verse 18

18, 19. As shining light increases from twilight to noonday splendor, so the course of the just increases in purity, but that of the wicked is as thickest darkness, in which one knows not on what he stumbles.

Verse 20

20-22. (Compare Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 4:13; Proverbs 3:8, &c.).

Verse 22

22. health . . . flesh—by preserving from vices destructive of health.

Verse 23

23. with all diligence—or, "above," or "more than all," custody (compare Margin), all that is kept (compare :-), because the heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects life and character (Matthew 12:35; Matthew 15:19).

Verse 24

24. a froward mouth—that is, a mouth, or words of ill nature. The Hebrew word differs from that used (Proverbs 2:15; Proverbs 3:32).

perverse—or, "quarreling."

lips—or, "words."

Verse 25

25. Let . . . before thee—that is, pursue a sincere and direct purpose, avoiding temptations.

Verse 26

26. Ponder—Consider well; a wise course results from wise forethought.

Verse 27

27. (Compare :-). Avoid all by-paths of evil (Deuteronomy 2:27; Deuteronomy 17:11). A life of integrity requires attention to heart, speech, eyes, and conduct.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/proverbs-4.html. 1871-8.
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