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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 1

 

 

Verses 1-6

Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

Proverbs 1:1 — "The proverbs of Solomon" - Word Study on "proverbs" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "proverb" "mashal" ( מָשָׁל) (H 4912) means, "(1) a similitude, parable, (2) a sententious saying, such as consists in the ingenious comparison of two things or opinions, (3) a proverb, (4) a Song of Solomon , a poem." Strong says it means, "a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse)," and it comes from a primitive root ( מָשַׁל) (H 4910) meaning, "to rule." A proverb is a concentrated saying that contains many hidden truths, reflected in Proverbs 1:6, which say, "a proverb…and their dark sayings." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "proverb 19, parable 18, byword 1, like 1." This Hebrew word is used 6 times in the book of Proverbs ( Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 1:6; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1; Proverbs 26:7; Proverbs 26:9).

Comments- These proverbs are mostly written in couplets or triplicates, up to eight parallel thoughts. The parallel structure of these proverbial sentences, the repetition, contrast, or comparison of thought, were arranges as to facilitate the efforts of memory.

Although this book of the Old Testament uses proverbs as short saying, this same Hebrew word is also used of the lengthy prophecies of Balaam found in Numbers 23:7 to Numbers 24:24 as well as the extended poetry of Job ( Job 27:1). Isaiah uses this word in his prophecy against the king of Babylon ( Isaiah 14:4). This word is found in other places in Scriptures, such as when God made a proverb out of the nation of Israel ( 1 Kings 9:7, Psalm 69:11).

1 Kings 9:7, "Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:"

Psalm 69:11, "I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them."

We can also group the synonyms "dark sayings" and "interpretations" ( Proverbs 1:6) into this category of passages called Proverbs , as well as the all of the "parables" of Jesus Christ found within the Gospels. It is very likely that the Queen of Sheba was referring to riddles or proverbs when the Scripture tells us that she came to test Solomon with "hard sayings" ( 1 Kings 10:1).

1 Kings 10:1, "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions."

The statements, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" ( 1 Samuel 10:12), "The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge," ( Ezekiel 18:2), as well as "Physician, heal thyself," ( Luke 4:23) may all be considered as a type of Oriental proverb. 47] We can add to this list Samson's riddle as a type of proverb, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness." ( Judges 14:14).

47] W. J. Deane, S. T. Taylor-Taswell, Walter F. Adeney, T. Whitelaw, R. A. Redford, and B. C. Caffin, Proverbs ,, Ecclesiastes ,, Song of Solomon , in The Pulpit Commentary, vol 9, ed. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), "Introduction to Proverbs."

In summary, the Hebrew idea behind the "mashal" would be anything said that contains a hidden meaning.

Comments- The phrase "the proverbs of Solomon" ( משׁלי שׁלמה) is used twice in the book of Proverbs as superscriptions ( Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 25:1). We see in 1 Kings 4:29-34 that God gave Solomon a tremendous amount of wisdom. This accounts for his ability to author such a work. Although he spoke 3 ,000 Proverbs , we only have a little over 300 recorded within the book of Proverbs. This is because we have only those ten percent that are necessary for our redemption.

1 Kings 4:29-34, "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon"s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the Wisdom of Solomon , from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom."

This is also confirmed in Ecclesiastes 12:9.

Ecclesiastes 12:9, "And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs."

It is also likely that Solomon collected many of these proverbs from oral sources. He may not have been the originator of them all. In fact, we know that his father, King David, gave him many of these Proverbs , but they are his in the sense that he collected them and put them into writing ( Proverbs 4:3-4).

Proverbs 4:3-4, "For I was my father"s Song of Solomon , tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live."

Note that Song of Solomon , being a type and figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, was similar in that both Jesus and Solomon spoke in parables as a means of teaching wisdom ( John 16:25).

John 16:25, "These things in similitudes I have spoken to you, but there cometh an hour when no more in similitudes will I speak to you, but freely of the Father, will tell you."

A proverb has been called a "concentrated parable," and the parable "an extension of the proverb by a full illustration." Jesus spoke often in parables as a method of teaching wisdom.

Proverbs 1:1 — "the son of David, king of Israel" - Comments 1 - Solomon was a type and figure of the Lord Jesus Christ. In such a comparison, both Solomon and Jesus carried the titles as the son of David and the king of Israel ( Matthew 1:1, John 1:49). Both opened their mouths and taught in parables and both have ruled over God's people.

Matthew 1:1, "A roll of the birth of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham."

John 1:49, "Nathanael answered and saith to him, ‘Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel."

Comments 2 - Some scholars speculate that Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon when he was young. He may have written the book of Proverbs during his years as a king, and the book of Ecclesiastes in his old age. Matthew Henry makes an interesting comment on the introductions to the three books authored by Solomon:

"In the title of his song he only writes himself Song of Solomon , perhaps because he wrote it before his accession to the throne, being filled with the Holy Ghost when he was young. In the title of his Proverbs he writes himself the son of David, king of Israel, for then he ruled over all Israel. In the title of his Ecclesiastes he writes himself the son of David, king of Jerusalem, because then perhaps his influence had grown less upon the distant tribes, and he confined himself very much in Jerusalem." 48]

48] Matthew Henry, Proverbs, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

Note:

Ecclesiastes 1:1, "The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem."

Song of Solomon 1:1, "The Song of Solomon , which is Solomon"s."

Proverbs 1:1Comments- Proverbs 1:1 serves as the title of the book of Proverbs. It is credited to King Solomon because he was the main contributor to this collection of wisdom literature and perhaps because his name became associated with the wisdom literature in Israel. Since we know that the book of Proverbs is a collection of sayings from more than one author, and not of Solomon himself, this opening verse might be interpreted, "This is a collection of sayings of which King Solomon is credited with establishing for the people of Israel."

Solomon was given his great wisdom by God. Note Solomon"s prayer for wisdom in 1 Kings 3:5-15. According to 1 Kings 3:12 God gave King Solomon more wisdom than any man has or ever will have in this life, beside the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Kings 4:29, "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore."

1 Kings 5:12, "And the LORD gave Solomon Wisdom of Solomon , as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together."

Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

Proverbs 1:2Word Study on "know" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "know" ( יָדַע) (H 3045) means, "to see," hence, "to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to know, to be acquainted." Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, "to know, to ascertain by seeing." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 947 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "know 645, known 105, knowledge 19, perceive 18, shew 17, tell 8, wist 7, understand 7, certainly 7, acknowledge 6, acquaintance 6, consider 6, declare 6, teach 5, misc 85." This Hebrew word is used 35 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2 — Word Study on "wisdom" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "wisdom" ( חָכְמָה) (H 2451) means, "skill of an artificer, dexterity, wisdom." Strong says it means, "wisdom." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 149 times, it is translated in the KJV as, " Wisdom of Solomon 145, wisely 2, skilful Prayer of Manasseh 1:1, wits 1." This Hebrew word is used 39 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2Word Study on "instruction" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "instruction" ( מוּסָר) (H 4148) means, "correction, admonition, discipline, instruction, doctrine." Strong says it means, "chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 50 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "instruction 30, correction 8, chasten 4, chastisement 3, check 1, bond 1, discipline 1, doctrine 1, rebuker 1." This Hebrew word is used 30 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2Word Study on "perceive" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "perceive" ( בִּין) (H 995) means, "to perceive, to separate." Strong says it is a primitive root that means, "to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e. (generally) understand." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 170 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understand 62, understanding 32, consider 22, prudent 8, perceive 7, regard 6, discern 3, instruct 3, misc 27." This Hebrew word is used 34times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2Word Study on "words" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "words" ( אִמֵּר) (H 561) means, "a word, discourse" when used poetically, and it means, "a command, mandate." Strong says it means, "something said," and it comes from the primitive root ( אָמַר) (H 559), meaning, "to say." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 49 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "words 43, speeches 2, sayings 2, appointed 1, answer 1." This Hebrew word is used 22 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2Word Study on "understanding" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "understanding" ( בִּינָה) (H 998) means, "understanding, intelligence, insight." Strong says it means, "understanding," and it comes from the primitive root ( בִּין) (H 995), which means, "to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e.(generally) understand," which is the same verb used in this verse that is translated, "to perceive." Holladay says it means, "insight, perception." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 38 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understanding 32, Wisdom of Solomon 2, knowledge 1, meaning 1, perfectly 1, understand 1." This Hebrew word is used 14times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2Comments- Someone once gave a clear distinction between knowledge and wisdom. "Knowledge is the apprehension of the truth in one's mind, but wisdom is the application of truth to one's life." Bob Yandian says that knowledge is taking in the Word of God, and wisdom is the correct output or application of that knowledge. 49] A good example of the difference between knowledge and wisdom can be found in Ephesians 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love..." This verse in Ephesians tells us that we may have the correct knowledge and information to tell someone, but not be able to manage that knowledge correctly. We may say something to someone in a spirit of pride or anger, rather than in a spirit of love and edification.

49] Bob Yandian, Salt and Light: The Sermon on the Mount (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, c 1983, 1988), 11.

Proverbs 1:3 To receive the instruction of Wisdom of Solomon , justice, and judgment, and equity;

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "receive" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "receive" ( לָקַח) (H 3947) means, "to take, receive." Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, "to take (in the widest variety of applications)," The Enhanced Strong says it is used 965 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "take 747, receive 61, take away 51, fetch 31, bring 25, get 6, take out 6, carry away 5, married 4, buy 3, misc 26." This Hebrew word is used 19 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "instruction" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "instruction" ( מוּסָר) (H 4148) means, "correction, admonition, discipline, instruction, doctrine." Strong says it means, "chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 50 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "instruction 30, correction 8, chasten 4, chastisement 3, check 1, bond 1, discipline 1, doctrine 1, rebuker 1." This Hebrew word is used 30 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "wisdom" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "wisdom" ( שָׂכַל) (H 7919) means, "to look at, behold, be prudent." Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, "to be circumspect, intelligent." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 63times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understand 12, wise 12, prosper 8, wisely 6, understanding 5, consider 4, instruct 3, prudent 2, skill 2, teach 2, misc 7." This Hebrew word is used 13times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "justice" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "justice" ( צֶדֶק) (H 6664) means, "straightness, recititude, right, what is right and just." Strong says it means, "rightness, recititude, justice, virtue, prosperity," and it comes from the primitive root ( צָדַק) (H 6663) meaning, "to be (causatively, make) right (in a moral or forensic sense)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 116 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "righteousness 77, just 11, justice 10, righteous 8, righteously 3, right 3, righteous cause 1, unrighteousness 1, misc 2." This Hebrew word is used 8 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "judgment" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "judgment" ( מִשְׁפָּט) (H 4941) means, "judgment, right, that which is just, lawful, according to law." Strong says it means, "a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or [participant"s] divine law, individual or collective), including the Acts , the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, including a participant"s right or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style," and it comes from the primitive root ( שָׁפַט) (H 8199) meaning, "to Judges , i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish; by extension, to govern; passively, to litigate (literally or figuratively)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used it is used 421times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "judgment 296, manner 38, right 18, cause 12, ordinance 11, lawful 7, order 5, worthy 3, fashion 3, custom 2, discretion 2, law 2, measure 2, sentence 2, misc 18." This Hebrew word is used 20 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:3Word Study on "equity" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "equity" ( מֵישָׁרִים) (H 4339) means, "straightness, happiness, peace, friendship." Strong says it means, "evenness, i.e. (figuratively) prosperity or concord; also straightness, i.e. (figuratively) rectitude (only in plural with singular sense; often adverbially)," and it comes from the primitive root ( יָשַׁר) (H 3474) meaning, "to be straight or even; figuratively, to be (causatively, to make) right, pleasant, prosperous." The Enhanced Strong says it is used it is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "equity 4, uprightly 3, uprightness 3, right things 2, agreement 1, aright 1, equal 1, right 1, righteously 1, sweetly 1, upright 1." This Hebrew word is used 5 times in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

Proverbs 1:4 — "To give subtilty to the simple" - Word Study on "subtilty" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "subtilty" ( עָרְמָה) (H 6195) means, "craftiness, guile," in a negative sense, and "prudence" in a positive sense. Strong says it means, "trickery, or (in a good sense) discretion," and it comes from the primitive root ( עָרַם) (H 6191), which means, "to be (or make) bare," but used only in the derivative sense to mean, "to be cunning." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 5 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "guile 1, wilily 1, subtilty 1, Wisdom of Solomon 1, prudence 1."

Word Study on "the simple" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612) means, "simplicity, folly," or "a simple person, one easily persuaded and enticed." Strong says it means, "silly (i.e. seducible)," and it comes from the primitive root verb ( פָּתָה) (H 6601), which means, "to open, i.e. to be roomy," and in a figurative or moral sense, it means, "to be simple or delude." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "simple 15, simple ones 2, foolish 1, simplicity 1." This Hebrew word is used 15 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- The word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612) is plural in the Hebrew text, and is more accurately read as "simple ones," as revealed in some translations, "For giving to simple ones--prudence, To a youth--knowledge and discretion." (YLT) Thus, according to its meaning "to be open," being "a simple one" is not a vice, but it is a stage of growth that we all must go through as young people. Today, we would call this the impressionable years, the time in a person's life when someone open himself up and receives what others tell him. In this same sense, Gesenius describes this person as someone who is "easily persuaded and enticed." We can see this openness of the simple person in Proverbs 14:15, which states that the simple believe every word. It is the way God created us for our good, that we might receive instruction and lay it as a foundation in our early lives. But Satan attempts to capture these simple ones during this early period of their lives in order to bring them to destruction. For example, in today's world of Muslim terrorism (2003), we are told to look for young males of Arab descent between the ages of 18 to 35 as a typical profile of someone who is given to commit such terrorist acts. This is because Satan has captured these younger men during their years of simplicity by using religion in order to lay a destructive foundation in these lives.

Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going."

This openness to receive what they hear is characteristic of young people in their teens and twenties. It is a period in life when one searches for adventure and for purpose and meaning in life. After this, people tend to become settled in their lifestyles and in their ways of thinking. In is during these years that the Lord wants to train us correctly. According to the book of Proverbs , the goal of the simple will be to become virtuous. We find a profile of this person in the last chapter of Proverbs , being called the virtuous woman. The word virtuous means "strong in character." This passage describes a person with a strong conviction and determination to live a Godly life. A person"s strength is measured not by the outward Prayer of Manasseh , but by the inner Prayer of Manasseh , by a person who has a character with godly qualities and virtues. This is the goal of the simple one. It cannot be achieved without following the path of wisdom laid out in the book of Proverbs. However, for those simple ones who do not grow, but who stay simple along the journey, the book of Proverbs begins to refer to them in a negative sense ( Proverbs 14:15; Proverbs 14:18; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12).

Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going."

Proverbs 14:18, "The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge."

Proverbs 22:3, "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." (and Proverbs 27:12)

The author of Hebrews made a similar comment about those believers who should have grown up, but were still babes in Christ, not being able to discern between good and evil ( Hebrews 5:12-14).

Hebrews 5:12-14, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Scripture References- Note similar verses.

Psalm 19:7, "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."

Psalm 119:130, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

Proverbs 1:4 — "to the young man knowledge and discretion" - Word Study on "young man" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "young man" ( נַעַר) (H 5288) means, "boy." Strong says it means, "a boy from the age of infancy to adolescence, a servant, a girl." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 238 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "young Prayer of Manasseh 76, servant 54, child 44, lad 33, young 15, children 7, youth 6, babe 1, boys 1, young 1."

Word Study on "knowledge" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "knowledge" ( דַּעַת) (H 1847) means, "knowledge, knowing, intelligence, understanding, wisdom." Strong says it means "knowledge," and it comes from the primitive root ( יָדַע) (H 3045), which means, "to know," and is used in a great variety of senses throughout the Old Testament. The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 93times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "knowledge 82, know 6, cunning 1, unwittingly 2 + 010972, ignorantly + 010971, unawares + 010971." This Hebrew word is used 40 times in the book of Proverbs.

Word Study on "discretion" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "discretion" ( מְזִמָּה) (H 4209) means, "counsel, prudence, craftiness, wickedness." Strong says it means, "a plan, usually evil," and sometimes in the good sense, "sagacity," and it comes from a primitive root ( זָמַם) (H 2161), which means, "to plan, usually in a bad sense." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "discretion 4, wicked device 3, device 3, thought 3, intents 1, mischievous device 1, wickedly 1, witty inventions 1, lewdness 1, mischievous 1." This Hebrew word is used 8 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- A young man is generally characterized by being naive and inexperienced in life. Note Psalm 119:9, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." That Isaiah , a young man will cleanse his ways by taking heed, or considering, the consequences of a decision before making it. This is how one uses discretion, by gaining knowledge of a situation first. Song of Solomon , perhaps within the context of this verse in Proverbs , ( מְזִמָּה) (H 4209) would carry the sense of "to consider." In other words, to weigh out a situation before making a decision.

Proverbs 1:4Comments- In the culture of Israel, a man was considered young until he because twenty years old. The Mosaic Law made a clear distinction of responsibility and maturity in a person's age. For example, Moses numbered the males who were above the age of twenty ( Numbers 1:3). Below this age, they were grouped with the women and children, who were not numbered. According to the Law, when an individual made a vow, he was to make an offering according to his age. Those who were twenty years old to sixty were given the same offering ( Leviticus 27:3). Thus, it appears that Solomon trained groomed these young men in his court for future service in his kingdom. Thus, this verse makes a clear distinction between these young men and other Israelites.

Numbers 1:3, "From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies."

Leviticus 27:3, "And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary."

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Proverbs 1:5 — "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning" - Word Study on "learning" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "learning" ( לֶקַח) (H 3948) means, "arts, by which any one's mind is captivated, doctrine, knowledge." Strong says it means, "something received," such as "instruction," and it comes from a primitive root ( לָקַח) (H 3947), which means, "to take," and is a common word used in a wide variety of senses. The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 9 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "doctrine 4, learning 4, fair speech 1."

Comments- The previous verse refers to "young men," who were most likely those under the age of twenty, who were being trained in the king's court. Within this context, the wise men would be those who had finished their training and had been sent out into the kingdom to perform the king's duties. Thus, Solomon is telling these wise men to continue to learn and grow in the ways of divine wisdom.

Proverbs 1:5 — "and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels" - Word Study on "understanding" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "understanding" ( בִּין) (H 995) means, "to perceive, to separate." Strong says it is a primitive root that means, "to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e. (generally) understand." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 170 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understand 62, understanding 32, consider 22, prudent 8, perceive 7, regard 6, discern 3, instruct 3, misc 27." This Hebrew word is used 34times in the book of Proverbs.

Word Study on "wise counsels" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( תַּחְבֻּלֹות) (H 8458) literally means, "steerage (as a management of ropes)," and it can be used figuratively to mean, "guidance or a plan," and it comes from a verb ( חָבַל) (H 2254) that means, "to wind tightly (as a rope)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "counsel 5, good advice 1."

Comments- Literally, a man of understanding will gain the skill to steer his life in the right direction just as a seaman learns to steer a ship.

Proverbs 1:5Comments- The Hebrew words for "wise" man (H 2450) and a man of "understanding" (H 995) in Proverbs 1:5 are also used in Proverbs 1:2. Thus, Proverbs 1:5 says when a man begins to seek wisdom and understanding ( Proverbs 1:2), he will learn how to walk and live in the path of divine Wisdom of Solomon , in a lifestyle of learning how to make wise decisions and how to take wise counsel ( Proverbs 1:5).

Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

Proverbs 1:6 — "To understand a proverb, and the interpretation" - Word Study on "proverb" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "proverb" "mashal" ( מָשָׁל) (H 4912) means, "(1) a similitude, parable, (2) a sententious saying, such as consists in the ingenious comparison of two things or opinions, (3) a proverb, (4) a Song of Solomon , a poem." Strong says it means, "a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse)," and it comes from a primitive root ( מָשַׁל) (H 4910) meaning, "to rule." A proverb is a concentrated saying that contains many hidden truths, reflected in Proverbs 1:6, which say, "a proverb…and their dark sayings." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 39 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "proverb 19, parable 18, byword 1, like 1." This Hebrew word is used 6 times in the book of Proverbs ( Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 1:6; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 25:1; Proverbs 26:7; Proverbs 26:9).

Word Study on "the interpretation" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "interpretation" ( מְלִיצָה) (H 4426) means, "a mocking Song of Solomon , an interpretation, hence, what needs an interpretation, an enigma, an obscure saying. Strong says it means, "an aphorism," and it comes from a primitive root ( לִיץ) (H 3887), which means, "to make mouths," hence, "to scoff, (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language), to interpret, to intercede." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "interpretation 1, taunting 1."

Comments- The phrase "and the interpretation" refers to the message that lies below the surface of a proverb. When someone digs into a proverb and begins to examine it truth, there is a rich storehouse of wisdom that can be found to enrich one's life. Each proverb is like a priceless jewel. But it is of no value to the one who does not possess its hidden interpretation. This is why Proverbs 1:6 parallel's the phrase "its interpretation" with "dark sayings", since the meaning of a proverb has to be dug out and understood before it has value to its hearers.

Proverbs 1:6 — "the words of the wise, and their dark sayings" - Word Study on "the words of the wise" - The phrase "the words of the wise" ( חֲכָמִ֗ים דִּבְרֵי) is used four times in the Old Testament ( Proverbs 1:6; Proverbs 22:17, Ecclesiastes 9:17; Ecclesiastes 12:11). Within the context of Proverbs 1:6, it serves as a synonym for the word, "proverb." Note the other three uses:

Proverbs 22:17, "Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge."

Ecclesiastes 9:17, "The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools."

Ecclesiastes 12:11, "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd."

Comments- Wise men played an important role in ancient societies, serving as the king's chief advisors. We see this in the books of Genesis , Daniel and Esther.

Genesis 41:8, "And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh."

Genesis 41:33, "Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt."

Exodus 7:11, "Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments."

Daniel 1:4, "Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all Wisdom of Solomon , and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king"s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."

Daniel 1:20, "And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm."

Daniel 4:18, "This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee."

Esther 1:13, "Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king"s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:"

Many nations set wise men in the positions of leaders and counsellors.

Jeremiah 49:7, "Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?"

These wise men served as leaders in the nation of Israel.

Deuteronomy 1:15, "So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes."

They stood with the priests and prophets of the land in shaping the moral fiber of the nation.

Jeremiah 18:18, "Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words."

They often sat at the city gates with the elders ( Job 29:7-25).

Wisdom was not limited to the palace or city gates. It was also honoured in the villages and in the homes.

Ecclesiastes 9:15, "Now there was found in it a poor wise Prayer of Manasseh , and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man."

Thus, a society could be divided into two groups; those who have Wisdom of Solomon , and those who lack wisdom. Within the group of people who lacked Wisdom of Solomon , there were two types; the diligent who took counsel, and the fools and the wicked who shunned it. Thus, we see this same group of people within the book of Proverbs.

Word Study on "dark sayings" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "dark sayings" ( חִידָה) (H 2420) means, "something twisted, involved," hence, "subtlety, fraud, a difficult sentence, an enigma, a sententious expression." Strong says this word means, "a puzzle, hence, a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim," and it comes from a primitive root ( חוּד) (H 2330), which literally means, "to tie a knot," but figuratively used, "to propound or put forth (a riddle)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 17 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "riddle 9, dark sayings 3, hard question 2, dark sentence 1, proverb 1, dark speech 1."

Comments- Because a parable is written in the form of a concentrated truth, within its brief words are hidden many deeps sayings that are not easily understood. The apostle Peter uses a similar phrase, "hard to be understood," in describing Paul's teachings ( 2 Peter 3:16). For those who are able to interpret spiritual truths with spiritual hearts, these dark sayings are brought to light ( 1 Corinthians 2:13).

2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

1 Corinthians 2:13, "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man"s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

God has always spoken in proverbs or parables and dark sayings. Note:

Psalm 49:4, "I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp."

Psalm 78:2, "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old."

1 Corinthians 2:7, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"

1 Corinthians 2:13-14, "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man"s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Only the Holy Spirit can give us true understanding. Why does God not reveal His parables to the wicked? Note:

Mark 4:11-12, "And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."

God does not reveal His whole counsel to the wicked because then they would become accountable to live by it. This would bring greater judgment upon their heads on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, in God"s grace and mercy, He allows them to live their lives in ignorance so that their judgment will be less.


Verses 7-9

Exhortation to Fear God and Parents: The Key of Life Revealed- The first key that Solomon gives to us to enable us to unlock the secrets to life's journey is the instruction that we are to fear the Lord by initially respecting our parents in the home ( Proverbs 1:7-9). This is where a person's journey into fellowship with God begins in a life of godliness. God gave every human being parents and a home where discipline is taught as a way of starting us on our journey that will take us to Heaven's gates and into God's eternal presence. Our salvation experience is our decision to fear God and honor our parents. All other journeys lead to destruction. This journey will bring us into adornment and honor, which is referred to in Proverbs 1:9. So we see that the fear of the Lord opens the door of our hearts to receive the anointing. Thus, Proverbs 1:7-9 can be understood to be a summary of the entire book of Proverbs. It can be compared to the introduction of a thesis in which the issues and message of the document is summarized in the opening paragraph.

Reverence for Parents - Reverence for parents ( Proverbs 1:8) naturally follows Proverbs 1:7, for learning to obey our parents becomes our first lesson in reverence for God. God has established the institution of the family unit so that every human can begin his/her life with an environment that develops the fear of God in one's heart. When a child develops a genuine devotion to his parents, he naturally will learn this same devotion to the Lord. His loyal and gentle spirit serves as an ornament of grace that makes this person stand out in a crowd above others of less character.

Obedience to parents is of utmost importance. Even if parents are wrong, a child"s responsibility is obedience. However, most of the time, the parents know more than the children do.

Illustration- In June 2002, our oldest child Elisabeth faced her first real test of who to follow. Not yet four years old, she had to decide whether to follow her parents ( Proverbs 1:8), or the peer pressure of her playmate ( Proverbs 1:10). My wife and I found her coming out of our neighbour's house with her playmate in order to run down the street to visit an unknown neighbour. We told her not to go to this strange house and explained to her why. Then, we left her standing in the street with her playmate while we took the younger child on a stroll. We kept looking back to see if she would run off with her playmate to this house when we got far enough away. Sure enough, when we reached the end of the street and looked back, she was gone. My wife moved quickly back up the street and into the next street looking for her. She saw her running back to our house after having followed her playmate most of the way. We took her into our home and talked to her about obeying her parents. She explained that her playmate told her that when we were gone to run with him to the neighbour's house. She gave into this call until guilt turned her steps around and she found herself running back home. She did not get a spanking that day; but hopefully she learned an important lesson heeding the call of her parents above others.

"fools...my son" - There are two types of people that need wisdom and instruction: the fools and children. Matthew Henry says, "Fools are persons who have no true Wisdom of Solomon , who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and willful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honourable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us." 50]

50] Matthew Henry, Proverbs, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Proverbs 1:7-9.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 — "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge" - Word Study on "the beginning" - Holladay translates the phrase "the beginning" as "the starting point." JFB says, "the first part, the foundation." The TSK says, "the principal part." Toy translates this word as "its foremost and essential element." 51] This means that the fear of Lord is the basic ingredient necessary in the heart of man for him to understand what he sees and perceives around him. Another way of stating this fact is to say that man must begin to see this life"s experiences from God"s perspective, the way God sees his creation.

51] Crawford H. Toy, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Proverbs ,, in The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899), 10.

Illustration- Paint is made up of a carrier, such as oil or water, plus pigments and other ingredients. Cake is primarily made up of flour. In the same way, an accumulation of experiences in life must all be perceived in light of the fear of God, or knowing how God sees these experiences. This means that when one sees life from God"s perspective and with the fear of God, all the other ingredients in life make sense. These life experiences have little value without a divine perspective, just as the smaller ingredients in paint make little sense or have little value without being mixed with a carrier. Cake also is not a cake, when flour is not added. It is just a mixture of useless ingredients.

Comments on "The fear of the Lord" - The theme of fearing the Lord is repeated throughout the book of Proverbs. This is the key to unlocking the secrets of true wisdom. The book of Proverbs contrasts the fool as the person who has no fear of God in his heart. A study of Psalm 34reveals to us that the fear of the Lord is something in which we must learn to walk.

Psalm 34:11-14, "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."

Psalm 34describes the person who walks in the fear of the Lord as "the humble, one who seeks the Lord, a poor Prayer of Manasseh , the righteous, them that are of a broken heart, such as be of a contrite spirit, His servants, and them that trust in Him."

We can learn the fear of the Lord by continually reading His Word so that our hearts may not be lifted up against Him.

Deuteronomy 17:19-20, "And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, Hebrews , and his children, in the midst of Israel."

This was the role of the priests of Israel.

2 Kings 17:28, "Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD."

Thus, the Scriptures teach us that the fear of the Lord is a choice that we make, rather than an experience that we have ( Proverbs 1:29).

Proverbs 1:29, "For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:"

Thus, the fear of the Lord is chosen by those who received the instruction of God's Word. This leads to the fact that the opposite of fearing the Lord is to be high-minded, or of a proud heart:

Romans 11:20, "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:"

Also, the opposite of fearing the Lord is despising Him:

Proverbs 14:2, "He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him."

If we despise the Lord over a long period of time, our hearts will become hardened and we will fall into sin and destruction

Proverbs 28:14, "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief."

Song of Solomon , note the progression of events in the heart of the sinner. He first makes the decision not to fear the Lord ( Proverbs 1:29). In pursuing his own ways, he exalts his own reasoning above the Word of God, thus becoming highminded ( Romans 11:20), or full of pride. His heart begins to despise the things of God and the people of God, since it condemns him. After a period of time, and after refusing repeated calls to repent, God turns him over to a reprobate mind ( Romans 1:21-32) and his heart becomes hardened ( Proverbs 28:14). We see this same progression of events in reverse order in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

Comments on "is the beginning of knowledge" - The phrase "the beginning of knowledge," means, "the beginning of a life abounding with the virtues described in Proverbs 1:2-6." Therefore, the word "knowledge" is simply used to represent all of the virtues of wisdom. This word is used because it is the virtue that we begin within our quest for wisdom. The word "knowledge" is used figuratively in this verse to represent all of the virtues listed in the previous verses. Knowledge is one of the first ingredients in the path to godliness listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7.

2 Peter 1:5-7, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

Comments- In his book The Call Rick Joyner is told, "Obedience in the fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom of Solomon , but the fullness of wisdom is to obey because of your love for God." 52] For example, when I was a child, I ate my vegetables out of fear of punishment from my parents if I did not eat them. Today, I eat vegetables because I have grown to love them.

52] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999), 61.

Comments- We are told in James 1:21 to receive God"s Word with meekness of heart. Many people have read the Scriptures, but it is only is a humble heart where these words can take root and grow. The hardened heart cannot receive instructions. Thus, the second part of this verse warns us of the fool, whose heart is too hardened to receive instruction, "but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

James 1:21, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

Comments- When a man is saved, he begins a walk in the fear of the Lord. This begins a journey of learning God's ways. Many people come to God after years of striving for happiness, peace, joy, prosperity and the wisdom of this world. But 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, "The foolishness of God is wiser than men," even "the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" ( 1 Corinthians 1:21). Man's plans, his Wisdom of Solomon , and human ingenuity always have and will always fail. Only God's wisdom works for the ultimate goal, which is a blessed life.

1 Corinthians 1:20-25, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

Wisdom does not come from a good education, nor does it come from learning social behaviors of people. True wisdom originates from the heart of man and proceeds to change the outward man. It begins with a genuine fear of God and completes its task by changing the whole Prayer of Manasseh , spirit, soul and body.

Thus, the path of divine wisdom is not an intellectual achievement, but it is a spiritual journey, that will last into eternity as we come to know the fullness of God.

A good definition of this verse is found in Psalm 111:10 b, which says that all who do His commandments have good understanding.

Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."

Proverbs 1:7 — "but fools despise wisdom and instruction" - Word Study on "fools" - Strong says the Hebrew word "fools" ( אֱוִיל) (H 191) comes from a root verb that means, "to be perverse." This word occurs 26 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "fool(s) 20, foolish (man) 6." This word is used 19 times in Proverbs and only seven times outside this book of wisdom.

Comments- The entire book of Proverbs will be spent contrasting the wise man with the fool. The fool is not someone who is mentally deficient, but rather a person whose heart is rebellious towards the things of God. For example, in Luke 12:16-20, the rich man was intelligent enough to gather great wealth, but in God eyes, he was considered a fool.

Luke 12:20, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"

Just as Proverbs 1:2-6 give us a brief introduction to wisdom by listing its virtues, so does Proverbs 1:7 b contrast this passage by giving us a brief introduction to the fool.

Just as 7a uses the word "knowledge" figuratively to represent all of the virtues of wisdom listed in Proverbs 1:2-6, so does 7b used the words "wisdom and instruction" in a figurative sense to represent all of the virtues of wisdom listed in the previous verses.

Fools despise and look down upon the way of righteousness and pure living. They refuse to correct their lives by God's Word. The author is going to give an example of a fool in his folly in Proverbs 1:10-19. Wisdom will then show how a fool"s life will end in destruction and a wise person will be blessed ( Proverbs 1:20-33).

This description of how fools despise wisdom helps us to understand that a wise man is someone who is teachable and ready to receive correction in his life, a person who is motivated by the fear of God in his heart.

Proverbs 1:7Comments- The theme of Proverbs is clearly stated in Proverbs 1:7 a, which also indicates to us that there will be signposts that are posted throughout the journey to show to us that we are on the right path. For the way is narrow, and many are the deceptions along the way. As the list of virtues in Proverbs 1:2-6 gives us a brief introduction to characteristics of the wise Prayer of Manasseh , the following verse, 7b, contrasts this passage with a brief introduction to the fool.

Proverbs 1:7Comments- Keith Johnson teaches a series on how to train children and instill Godly character into their lives from a young age. During this series of teachings, one of the most profound things that he says was when he was dealing with parents who could not handle their rebellious child. The Lord spoke to Keith Johnson and reminded him of the time when his own two-year son stood in front of him and spoke back strongly to his father. Johnson lifted up his two-year old son and shoved him against a piece of furniture, looked into his small eyes and spoke so strongly into the child's face that the child began to tremble. The Lord told Keith Johnson that on that day the fear of God was instilled into this young child's life. The problem with the parents he was dealing with was that there was never a time when the fear of God was placed into the life of their rebellious child by instilling a fear of father and mother. 53]

53] Keith Johnson, "Sermon," Saskatoon Christian Center, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Without the fear of God in a child's life, which must be instilled through parental discipline while the child is young, a person will grow up and even may become saved in church, but he will always have a problem with submission to those in authority over him. While some children will have the fear of God instilled in childhood, others will grow up without this holy fear. For those who grow up will have to come to the Lord with a different type of discipline, which is described later in this chapter. Calamity and problems will provoke some to come to the Lord and serve him. For example, my brother Jerry said to me that the Lord told him his sons would come to the Lord through hard times. This is because the fear of God was not instilled within their hearts as a child.

When a young man enrolls into the U. S. military service, he does not immediately go into training for the job that will be assigned to him. He first goes through boot camp and learns discipline and submission. His military sergeant's duty is to instill fear and respect into the hearts of these young men. For those who do not allow this process to take place, but remain stubborn and unteachable, they are dismissed from military service even before their educational training begins. This is because fear and respect are the first ingredients to proper training.

Proverbs 1:7Comments- After having learned what virtues we are to pursue on this daily journey in Proverbs 1:2-6, Proverbs 1:7 tells that this pursuit begins with the fear of the Lord. As we learn to walk in these virtues and taste of this world's riches, many become deceived and pursue the riches only. As they lose the fear of the Lord, their heart becomes deceived and they start to walk as the fool. Thus, this verse becomes the key to reaching our destination of eternal rest.

We will learn now to develop the fear of the Lord within our hearts in Proverbs 2:1-5 as we partake of God's Word. For this is the ingredient that is necessary to keep up on the divine journey that will take us to our destination of eternal rest.

Proverbs 1:7Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Job 28:28, "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."

Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Proverbs 1:8 My Song of Solomon , hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 1:8Word Study on "instruction" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "instruction" ( מוּסָר) (H 4148) means, "correction, admonition, discipline, instruction, doctrine." Strong says it means, "chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 50 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "instruction 30, correction 8, chasten 4, chastisement 3, check 1, bond 1, discipline 1, doctrine 1, rebuker 1." This Hebrew word is used 30 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- This word is most often translated as "instruction," but quiet often "chastisement." This word means any form of discipline and instruction that leads to a changed life.

Comments- The phrase "my son" is the voice of wisdom speaking. Here wisdom is personified, not as a father or mother, but as a tutor or guardian over a young man. For a teacher often addressed his students in this manner.

In the first nine chapters, where wisdom is personified, it speaks directly to young men as opposed to young women. The phrase "my son" is used fifteen times in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. Why is this the case? We can imagine living in the court of King Solomon. He has brought the finest young men into his palace in order to give them the best training possible as future leaders of Israel, to be sent out into different provinces of the kingdom. Women were not trained in this same capacity in those days.

We can see him teaching wisdom to these young men. Inspired after hearing such speeches, these young men pass thru the courtyards discussing the meanings of these proverbs with their colleagues. Each of these chosen youth is given a guardian to minister to him and to insure that he follows the rules of the palace.

We see this similar structure in Pharaoh"s court, as Moses" mother is hired to nurse him:

Exodus 2:7-9, "Then said his sister to Pharaoh"s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh"s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child"s mother. And Pharaoh"s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it."

Acts 7:21, "And when he was cast out, Pharaoh"s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son."

Moses was then trained in all the wisdom of Egypt:

Acts 7:22, "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds."

In the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar, we see Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, appointed to oversee Daniel , Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, as these young Jews were trained in the court of the king.

Daniel 1:4, "Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all Wisdom of Solomon , and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king"s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."

Wisdom is speaking as one of those overseers, or guardians. Galatians portrays the Mosaic Law as a guardian or schoolmaster, much as wisdom is personified here. Wisdom also is our tutor to bring us to Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:24, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

In contrast, women were not trained and educated in the courts of the kings. We see Ester in the courts of King Ahasuerus, but not being trained for leadership. She was there rather for the king"s pleasure.

These guardians not only had the job of ensuring a good education, good study habits and good social behavior for these chosen young men, they also had the responsibility to discipline them if needed. In the same way, wisdom has the task of correcting God"s children when they go astray off the path of wisdom.

Comments- God created the family unit for a reason. No one is more concerned about a child"s well being than his own biological parents. Even parents who do not live a godly life will often instruct their children in the ways of godliness. God gave parents the responsibility of being the first influence in the lives of children. Thus, this passage in the book of Proverbs begins with parental wisdom.

Proverbs 1:9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

Proverbs 1:9Word Study on "an ornament" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( לִוְיָה) (H 3880) means, "a garland, a wreath, so called from the idea of joining and bending." Strong says this word means, "a wreath," and it comes from the primitive root ( לָוָה) (H 3867), which means, "to twine, to unite, to remain." Baker says it means, "a garland, a wreath," and says, "It indicates, probably figuratively, a decorative headpiece worn as a sign of approval and honor, gracing a person"s features." This Hebrew word is used only two times in the Old Testament, with both occurrences being found in Proverbs ( Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 4:9).

Proverbs 4:9, "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee."

Comments - We can imagine a woven turban as a similar headdress, which would represent a position of recognition or leadership in the oriental culture, thus giving honor and authority.

Comments - Modern English versions use a variety of translations for the phrase "an ornament of grace." The ASV translates it as "a chaplet of grace," which is a garland or wreath worn on the head. Rotherham reads, "a wreath of beauth." The RSV translates it as "a fair garland." The YLT reads, "a graceful wreath."

Comments- The headdress in the oriental culture would represent a position of recognition or leadership, thus giving honor and authority. Commentators suggest that the necklace would also have been given to the young man in recognition of certain achievements. Since these graceful ornaments are used figuratively in Proverbs 1:9, they represent the virtues of wisdom that are listed in Proverbs 1:2-6. Proverbs 4:9 calls these ornaments a "crown of glory." By obedience to one's parents and others in authority, young people will find grace or favour from God and man. They will be considered in highest regards above their fellows. These ornaments of favour and honor are true riches to be gained and worn as part of one's character.

Often I have admired young people who were groomed by loving parents. There are those people who stand out in a crowd because of the wisdom that emanates from them, much as an ornament of jewelry accents a person"s physical appearance. In contrast, I have seen the child that was left to himself, struggling in social behaviors, looking foolish in so many ways.


Verses 7-18

God the Father's Foreknowledge: Calling Us to Our Journey (Preparation for the Journey) - Most scholars consider Proverbs 1-9 to be a discourse, or a tribute, to wisdom. This section serves as an introduction to Solomon's collection of wise, pithy sayings that follows. This introductory material is a preparation for being able to understand the rest of the book. Its underlying emphasis is the divine calling that God gives to every human being. Therefore, we find the statement of wisdom "crying out," "uttering her voice" and "calling" used repeatedly throughout this section of Proverbs.

In these first nine introductory chapters, wisdom is personified as a person speaking in the feminine gender. Just as an artist sketches an outline of a painting, then splashes colors upon the canvas, until a beautiful painting emerges, so in these chapters of Proverbs does wisdom begin to reveal itself verse by verse (as an artist reveals a picture color by color) until chapter 8, when wisdom is seen as an intimate part of God and His creation. Wisdom is personified as a person speaking because man would be incapable of understanding his experiences in life without divine wisdom being given to him. This impartation is done in the person of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom is personified as a woman because the Hebrew word translated as "wisdom" is in the feminine gender.

These chapters contrast the table of blessings ( Proverbs 9:1-6) with the trap of death ( Proverbs 1:17-19, Proverbs 9:18). The wise man chooses wisdom"s table of blessings. In contrast, the fool chooses the trap of death, supposing that it is a table of blessing. Studying this introduction is a necessary preparation for finding one's way through the rest of the book of Proverbs. Thus, a drama immediately unfolds in the introduction, revealing to us how wisdom sets a man free, but the trap of death ensnares its victims in the strongholds of sin. These strongholds do not turn its captives loose until it completes its assignment of death. In contrast, wisdom leads a man into his rightful place of glory and honor above God's creation ( Proverbs 3:35, Proverbs 31:30), and into submission to his Creator.

This section of Proverbs is actually a call to follow the path of Wisdom of Solomon , in which wisdom presents his arguments for choosing the path of wisdom over the path of the fool. God calls mankind to righteousness in this present Church age through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that has been sent upon the earth, who convicts the world of sin righteousness and judgment ( John 16:7-11); but prior to this age God called mankind to righteousness through Wisdom of Solomon , which testified from Creation ( Romans 1:19-23), and from society. We see in these chapters that wisdom is a path that is to be diligently followed. Wisdom is a decision that is made on a daily basis, and these daily decisions will determine our destiny, both in this life and in the life to come. This book of wisdom contrasts the wise man with the fool throughout the book. As we will see in Proverbs , every decision that we make is either a wise decision, or a foolish one. Every decision affects our eternal destiny. This section begins with a call to follow wisdom ( Proverbs 1:7-9), and ends by explaining how every human being decides between destinies, heaven or hell ( Proverbs 9:1-18).

In the path of Wisdom of Solomon , there are many dangers. It is for this reason these nine chapters give us many warnings against the evil man and the adulteress, even before the real journey begins. The path of wisdom is narrow and easily missed. All of us have fallen off this path at one time or another in our lives. This book of Proverbs was written by King Song of Solomon , considered the wisest person that has ever lived. Yet, even he fell off this path of wisdom because he allowed pride to blind his vision and dull his hearing. This gives us an indication of how narrow is this path to follow.

Pride is an attitude of the heart. It is the very reason that Solomon fell into idolatry. It is the root cause of every man"s failure. It comes clothed in many forms, such as false humility and it clothes itself in Prayer of Manasseh -made titles of honour, such as "honorable, his lordship, his excellence, his grace, cardinal, pope, etc." For example, the Pope in Rome carries the title of "His Holiness". These nine chapters open and close with Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10, which reveal the secret of avoiding failure, which is caused by pride. We are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ( Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10). This fear keeps us from falling off the path of wisdom.

This introductory material in Proverbs 1-9 makes up almost one third of the book. Why is this introduction to Proverbs so lengthy relative to the overall length of the book? It is because the preparation for our journey in life is also lengthy. Solomon was taught for many years before he took the throne as king of Israel. Good training takes time and a good education does not come quickly. The degree that a person receives a secular education usually determines the height of his career. In comparison, the degree that a person becomes rooted and grounded in the Word of God will determine the height of that person"s ministry. You must take the time to receive this introductory training in the first nine chapters of Proverbs before you are ready for the journey. The better we are able to understand the introduction of the book of Proverbs , the better we will be able to understand the rest of its teachings.

For hundreds of years in western civilization, a theological education was a part of a well-rounded education. All students learned the classical languages of Hebrew, Greek and Latin in order to study theological literature. The children of Israel were also to give each child a theological education. Solomon received such an education. Therefore, we can see this introduction to Proverbs as the theological training that everyone should go through in preparation for the journey in life.

One further note is worth mentioning about chapters 1-9. Upon reading, we must ask the question as to why this lengthy introduction in Proverbs spends so much time describing and warning the readers about the harlot. Perhaps because this is the one area that trapped and deceived Song of Solomon , the wisest man that ever lived. This is the area that Solomon knows many of the young men he is training for leadership positions in the kingdom will be tempted. In addition, in a figurative sense, such spiritual adultery represents a believer who chooses to love the things of this world above his love for God.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Call of Wisdom to Young & Tender — Proverbs 1:7-33

2. Answering Wisdom's Call (A Hearing Heart) — Proverbs 2:1-22

3. The Blessings of Wisdom — Proverbs 3:1-35

4. Three Paths of Wisdom — Proverbs 4:1-27

5. Three Paths of Destruction — Proverbs 5:1 to Proverbs 6:11

6. Characteristics of the Evil People — Proverbs 6:12 to Proverbs 7:27

7. Characteristics of Wisdom — Proverbs 8:1-36

8. Wisdom's Final Call (Food for the Journey) — Proverbs 9:1-18


Verses 7-33

The Father Calls Us to Wisdom - It is God who calls us to salvation, and not a work of ourselves. Thus, it is God's foreknowledge motivated by His boundless love for mankind that initiates this call. Proverbs 1:7-33 describes this divine call from God. Romans 8:29-30 tells us that calling is the second phase of the Father's foreknowledge in His overall divine plan of redemption. This divine calling is the underlying theme of Proverbs 1:7-33.

The opening statement in this passage ( Proverbs 1:7 a) tells us that it is the fear of the Lord that will guide us along our journey to rest. These verses on the fear of the Lord will serve as signposts that are posted throughout the journey in order to show to us that we are on the right path; for the way is narrow, and many are the deceptions along the way. As the list of virtues in Proverbs 1:2-6 gives us a brief introduction to characteristics of the wise Prayer of Manasseh , the following verse ( Proverbs 1:7 b) contrasts this passage with a brief introduction to the fool.

Our divine calling from God begins at home, as a child learns to obey his parents. Reverence for parents ( Proverbs 1:8) naturally follows Proverbs 1:7, for learning to obey our parents becomes our first lesson in reverence for God. When a child develops a genuine devotion to his parents, he naturally will learn this same devotion to the Lord. His loyal and gentle spirit serves as an ornament of grace that make this person stand out in a crowd above others of less character ( Proverbs 1:9).

Although the heart of every believer knows that God"s wisdom is higher, he cannot help but hear the voice of the wicked ringing in his ears ( Proverbs 1:10-19). These verses tell us that the wicked seek to exploit others for their own greedy gain, not knowing that they are actually destroying their own souls.

In the midst of the voices of this world, the believer hears the call of wisdom ( Proverbs 1:20-33). This call cries loudly from within the heart of each believer. For those who choose this path, there is safety without fear ( Proverbs 1:33). Those who scorn this voice will find distress ( Proverbs 1:27). If the voice of wisdom is not heeded, she will not answer on the day of their calamity ( Proverbs 1:28). Thus, Proverbs 1:7-33 gives us an initial call to pursue wisdom ( Proverbs 1:20-33), but not before wisdom allows us to hear the call of the wicked ( Proverbs 1:10-19).

Outline- Note the proposed outline:

1. Exhortation to Fear God and Parents — Proverbs 1:7-9

2. The Call of the Wicked Man — Proverbs 1:10-19

3. The Call of Wisdom — Proverbs 1:20-23

4. The Consequences of Rejecting Wisdom"s Call — Proverbs 1:24-33

This Passage Parallel's Solomon's Youth While He was Young and Tender- This passage of Scripture reveals to us the call of wisdom to those who are simple as well as wise. If we find a parallel of the theme of this opening passage within the life of Song of Solomon , it would be his years as a youth, in which he is described by his father David as being "young and tender" ( 1 Chronicles 22:5). During those years, he learned to discern between the call of God and that of the wicked.

1 Chronicles 22:5, "And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. Song of Solomon , David prepared abundantly before his death."

The Characteristics of the Wicked- In Titus 1:6 we see two prevalent characteristics of undisciplined children, which Paul describes as "riotous and unruly." Such children live in a riotous manner and they are full of rebellion.

Titus 1:6, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly."

Paul lists these two vices as the characteristics of children who have no fear of God or reverence for their parents. Also, the book of Proverbs deals with these two topics in the opening passage. Proverbs 1:10-19 deals with riotous living and Proverbs 1:20-33 deals with rebellion. This peer pressure towards a riotous lifestyle and then rebellion are two common experiences that young people have to deal with. A riotous lifestyle develops into a heart of rebellion. At first, it appears a fun and games, but then the heart of that young person has to justify himself against his better conscious. This is when he hardens his heart in order to continue such a lifestyle, or he must repent and follow his conscious. These court guardians were very likely to have instructed these young men about these very same issues.


Verses 10-19

The Call of the Wicked- On this journey there are always two voices pulling at our ears, the voice of the fool and the voice of wisdom. As Christians, we can describe these two voices as the outward voice of Prayer of Manasseh , and the inward voice of our conscience and the Holy Spirit. Even from a child, as we are learning to obey our parents ( Proverbs 1:8-9), there are foolish children clinging to us with enticements to follow them.

In contrast to the call of wisdom to pursue its virtues ( Proverbs 1:20-33), the call of the fool is greedy for gain, "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain"( Proverbs 1:19). This passage is a warning against greed, or covetousness. The sinner's goal is not to benefit those who answer his call. Rather, his goal is for personal gain. Out of the abundance of his mouth the sinner speaks and reveals his objective, that of personal gain.

The Tempter himself, Satan, enticed Jesus with these same words ( Luke 4:6-7).

Luke 4:6-7, "And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine."

Peter tells us in his second epistle that the world has been made corrupt through the lust that dwells within the heart of a fallen humanity.

2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

James writes in his epistle that the spirit that dwells within man "lusts to envy."

James 4:5, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?"

Thus, the voice of the wicked can be recognized by its vices that are manifestations of manipulation ( Proverbs 1:10), cruelty ( Proverbs 1:11-12) and a greedy heart ( Proverbs 1:13-14):

1. He entices and manipulates ( Proverbs 1:10)

2. He wants to do things his way ( Proverbs 1:11)

3. He wants secrecy and not openness ( Proverbs 1:11)

4. He pursues injustice ( Proverbs 1:11)

5. He speaks of taking and not giving, of death and not life ( Proverbs 1:12)

6. He pursues earthly things rather than Godly virtues ( Proverbs 1:13)

7. They make promises of which they have no intent to deliver ( Proverbs 1:14)

When someone yields to the enticing voice of the sinner, we would say today, "He got in with the wrong crowd!" Why would a sinner be interested in befriending someone? Remember that even a sinner cannot succeed in this life without relationships with others. Although these relationships are short-term and much abused by the sinner, he still must pursue them in order to reach his greedy desires. Therefore, he is out hunting for someone to entice and in the end to simply for his own selfish gain.

Now such a corrupt person lacks the ability to sustain a relationship with someone else over a long period of time. Once this relationship requires that they give and submit on their part, once it requires a sacrifice and a loss, they are compelled to end this relationship and seek a new one; for their purpose is personal gain and not the well-being of others. They may give a little up front to make you think that this is a giving relationship, but it is all for show to manipulate others. The owner of the nightclubs does not care about your well-being. The tobacco companies do not want you to know that cigarettes cause cancer and kill their victims. They simply want your substance, and they laugh all of the way to the bank while destroying the lives of their victims.

Today, I am amused by the many voices of the enticer. I used to be confused before I renewed my mind with the Word of God. This was because this voice of enticement lured me, it attracted me and grabbed my interest, and my unrenewed mind thought that there was some truth and relevance to those words. Now, I can discern between the voice of wisdom and the words of enticement much better, and it now amuses me to see how foolish the world is to yield to such messages.

The Message of the Sinner Describes a Highway Robbery- In Proverbs 1:10-14 the words of the sinner describe the common method of that day for highway robbery to occur. This is well illustrated in the story of the Good Samaritan ( Luke 10:30-37). This is still a common way to get gain in undeveloped nations. Robbers lay wait beside roads and attack innocent travelers.

Proverbs 1:10 My Song of Solomon , if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Proverbs 1:10Word Study on "entice" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "entice" ( פָּתָה) (H 6601) means, "to spread out, to open, to be roomy." Strong says this primitive root word literally means, "to open, to be roomy." In a mental or moral sense, it is used figuratively to mean, "to be made simple or to delude." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "entice 10, deceive 8, persuade 4, flatter 2, allure 1, enlarge 1, silly one 1, silly 1." From this same primitive root comes the much-used word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612), which is found 15 times in the book of Proverbs of its 19 Old Testament uses.

Proverbs 1:10Comments- Even while a young man is hearing the call of the fool, his mind is reflecting back upon the words of his parents ( Proverbs 1:8-9). This is why the words of the parents in Proverbs 1:8-9 immediately precede the call of the fool in Proverbs 1:10. He has been taught to "consent" to his parents will all of his young life. Now, he has to learn to say no. This is not easy for many teenagers.

Proverbs 1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Proverbs 1:11Comments- They propose mischief and harm to the innocent. We can contrast the hidden secrets of the wicked seen in this verse (lay in wait…lurk privily) with the openness of divine wisdom seen in Proverbs 1:20-21.

Proverbs 1:20-21, "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,"

Proverbs 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

Proverbs 1:12Comments- They propose destruction.

Proverbs 1:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Proverbs 1:13Comments- Just as Solomon declares his rewards for those who follow him ( Proverbs 1:2-6), so does the sinner declare what he considers true riches. Although Solomon possesses his wealth, the sinner is only hoping for his wealth. The sinner is deceived into pursuing material wealth, while Solomon presents divine virtues as the greater riches. Solomon has the power and authority to deliver his wealth to those who heed his voice, while the sinner fails to realize that he has no power to fulfill his promises to those whom he deceives. Those who follow the path of wisdom are sure to receive their rewards, while those who pursue the sinner fall into ruin, never realizing a reward.

A fool perceives earthly possessions as being "precious" because he is blind to the value of true wisdom. In contrast, God says in the book of James that this "precious substance" will become "corrupted treasures" that shall be a witness against the owners on Judgment Day ( James 5:1-3). Yet, these evil men will hazard their very lives, and some of them will lose their lives, for what they perceive as precious substance. Everything that we possess originates from the dirt; our clothes, the homes we live in and the cars we drive, everything. It all is made of the dirt that we walk on, but in the deception of their hearts, they call it "precious."

James 5:1-3, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and our garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

These enticers propose greedy gain in order to entice their victim, but, little do they know how God"s divine laws of justice will quickly diminish this spoil ( Proverbs 13:11). The first proverb given in this book ( Proverbs 10:2-3) will deal with this issue.

Proverbs 13:11, "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."

Proverbs 10:2, "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked."

Proverbs 1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

Proverbs 1:14Comments- The lure of giving you some of the booty is used as an enticement to join them.

Proverbs 1:15 My Song of Solomon , walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

Proverbs 1:15Comments- Do not go the least distance with them, none whatsoever ( 2 Corinthians 6:17).

2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

Proverbs 1:16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Proverbs 1:16Comments- Proverbs 1:16 reveals how the evil man has come into bondage to such acts of evil that he literally runs to it with no control over his God-given ability to reason the consequences of his wicked deeds. The wicked is in bondage to material possessions rather than he being in control of his possessions. Therefore, the next verse illustrates an animal"s God-given ability to avoid danger in contrast the evil man"s blindness to fall into an obvious trap.

Proverbs 1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

Proverbs 1:17Comments- When a bird sees a trap, he has enough sense to stay away. Thus, the following verse says that a fool does not have even the sense that God gave to the animal kingdom.

Such traps are strongholds of sin that bind a person in its trap until it brings death. Only the table of blessings that is offered by wisdom can let a man free. This table of blessings includes the bread and the wine that represent the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture References- Note similar verses regarding animal traps:

Proverbs 6:5, "Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler."

Proverbs 7:23, "Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life."

Ecclesiastes 9:12, "For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them."

Isaiah 51:20, "Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God."

Jeremiah 5:26, "For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men."

Proverbs 1:18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

Proverbs 1:18Comments- Proverbs 1:18 tell us that these wicked men lay a trap for their own lives. They are more stupid than animals because they are captured by the very trap that they have built. They have deceived many souls, but their own soul have they deceived the most. The first chapter of Romans tells us that God will turn them over to a reprobate mind so that they will never be able to see their deception. This is God's way of judging them. Isaiah also describes His backslidden people as being more stupid than these beasts:

Isaiah 1:3, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master"s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider."

In the phrase "they lurk privily for their own lives," wisdom uses the enticer's method of lurking privily for the innocent to describe his method of destruction, so that he reaps his own judgment ( Proverbs 1:11).

Proverbs 1:11, "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:"

Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Proverbs 1:19Comments- Proverbs 1:19 says that the very unrighteous mammon that this sinner has gathered will be used to take away his life (note Galatians 6:8).

Galatians 6:8, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

James said it this way in his epistle:

James 5:1-3, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."

On the Day of Judgment, the very riches that they have stolen will be used to eat their flesh as fire. The greater the riches, the greater the fire of judgment.


Verses 20-23

The Call of Wisdom - Proverbs 1:20-33 gives us the call of wisdom. Keep in mind that the book of Proverbs is written both to the simple and to the wise, both to the sinner and to the child of God. Wisdom not only calls us to salvation, but wisdom keeps calling in order to keep us on the path of salvation.

The very tone of Proverbs 1:20-33 reveals God's love and patience to a disobedient people. God takes every opportunity to speak openly to His people ( Proverbs 1:20-21). This is because it is not His desire to bring judgment ( Proverbs 1:22-23), so He gives people an opportunity and time to repent ( Proverbs 1:25). When He does bring judgment, as upon Sodom and Gomorrah, it was not without prior warnings ( Proverbs 1:25-33). When this divine judgment comes, it then serves as an example so others will not follow the same rebellious path.

Jude 1:7, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

Therefore, God pronounces the crime ( Proverbs 1:24-25 and Proverbs 1:30) twice. Then He declares the judgment twice ( Proverbs 1:26-27 and Proverbs 1:31-32). He states that this judgment will be sure and without mercy ( Proverbs 1:28).

Wisdom's Cry- The Hebrew word "wisdom" ( חָכְמוֹת) (H 2454) is used only five times in the Old Testament ( Psalm 49:3, Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 9:1; Proverbs 14:1; Proverbs 24:7). Its more common form is ( חָכְמָה) (H 2451), which occurs 149 times in the Scriptures. Both of these words come from the same verb stem ( חָכַם) (H 2449), which means, "to be wise" (Strong).

Psalm 49:3, "My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding."

Proverbs 1:20, "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:"

Proverbs 9:1, "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:"

Proverbs 14:1, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."

Proverbs 24:7, "Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate."

Matthew Henry notes that the plural form of this rare verb is used in Proverbs 1:20, which denotes the infinite wisdom of God, as well as His manifold wisdom ( Ephesians 3:10). 54] We hear wisdom in the streets, where we see common men display their manifold characters ( Proverbs 1:20). Wisdom is displayed in the noisy conversations of people ( Proverbs 1:21 a), in the civil laws of our government ( Proverbs 1:21 b) and in the daily business transactions ( Proverbs 1:21 c). Thus, wisdom can be found anywhere if we will just listen, in the private, government and business sectors of any society.

54] Matthew Henry, Proverbs , in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Proverbs 1:20-33.

Ephesians 3:10, "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,"

God spoke to His people on many occasions and in divers ways ( Hebrews 1:1). He spoke to the patriarchs by dreams. He spoke to Moses face to face. He spoke to the nation of Israel from a fiery mountain and then by the written Law. He then spoke to them by His prophets and by divine judgment when they ignored His prophets. He spoke through the Psalm and by proverbs and by parables. He spoke by signs and wonders. He spoke to Balaam by the mouth of a donkey. Finally, He spoke to His people and to us by the recorded history in Scripture. In every way manner God speaks to His people because of His great love for us.

Hebrews 1:1, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,"

In wisdom there is no darkness. Rather, wisdom's cry in the open places and in the streets tells us that everyone one has access to the voice of wisdom. These verses teach us that wisdom has cried out to all of us and made itself available to everyone, even the most simple. There is no ear of mankind that has not heard this call. Jesus said, "many are called, but few are chosen". In other words, many people will hear the call of God, but few will choose to pursue Him.

Note that Proverbs 1:21 restates Proverbs 1:20. They literally say the same thing, which is that wisdom does not hid in the dark, but walks unashamedly in the light. One reason for this double statement is that a matter or a truth is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Here we have a double testimony of the openness with which wisdom walks. Another example of this double statement is found in Galatians when Paul places a curse upon anyone who preaches contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:8-9, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

Wisdom cries publicly with no reason to hide. God never spoke to His people Israel in secret.

Isaiah 45:19, "I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right."

Neither did Jesus Christ hide His wisdom from the public.

John 18:20, "Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."

Jesus Christ also tells us to proclaim the wisdom of the Gospel openly.

Matthew 10:27, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."

As Jesus taught openly in the Temple, so does wisdom cry in the hearing of all the people. People of wisdom have the freedom to speak openly. Wicked people have to speak in the dark in order to hide their wicked deeds. Contrast the hidden secrets of the wicked with the openness of divine wisdom.

Proverbs 1:11, "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:"

Wisdom cries out in the busiest places in society. She cries out in the crowded streets. She lifts up her voice in the major places where people meet and in the gates of the city. This is because wisdom speaks through other people and because it touches every aspect of our lives and every place we go. It speaks through situations around you. Life itself becomes a classroom, and wisdom is the teacher. Thus, in the book of Proverbs , we are shown different types of people in order to learn divine wisdom. Listen, and you will hear.

Wisdom is also seen in public places because it is available for all. In other words, it is not exclusive to the well-educated. There are many people who could not get a good education as a youth. Yet, they became successful in life because they learned much wisdom.

Wisdom invites people to feast on her riches, which are listed in Proverbs 9:1-6. Those riches are bread and wine. We know that this ultimately is a reference to the sacrificial crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He gave his body and shed His blood on Calvary.

Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

Proverbs 1:20 — "Wisdom...she" - Comments- Since wisdom is a feminine noun in Hebrew, the word is personified as a woman. However, wisdom is not just personified. She also communicates with her hearers as does a close friend openly talk to another friend from the heart. Wisdom is the voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking to our hearts daily, sometimes to encourage, sometimes to correct ( Proverbs 9:8), but always for our well-being. Her rebukes will always contain a condition of promise and hope.

Proverbs 9:8, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise Prayer of Manasseh , and he will love thee."

Proverbs 1:21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

Proverbs 1:21Comments- The judges and city elders declared decrees of the court in the gates of these ancient cities. Thus, wisdom was often heard in these places as elders and wise men interpreted the laws of Moses. It is the place where a bystander could hear the cry for reform and repentance from those being judged. It is the place where the prophets of Israel stood and proclaimed the Word of the Lord. Isaiah , Jeremiah and many others stood there.

Proverbs 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 1:22 — "How long" - Comments- We hear God's patience in these words. This phrase implies that God will patiently call people to repentance over a prolonged period of time. God says, "How long will you stay naive? How long will you scorn my ways? How long will you hate my knowledge?" At some point in time, however, the Lord will bring judgment against those who are stubborn in heart. Note a proverb that deals with this divine truth:

Proverbs 29:1, " Hebrews , that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."

Also, God also stretched out his hands continually to a backslidden nation during the time of Isaiah before He finally destroyed it.

Isaiah 65:2, "I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;"

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Proverbs 1:23"Turn you at my reproof" - Comments- This statement sounds like John the Baptist preaching. The words "turn you" mean, "you turn back" (Strong). Thus, the idea of a journey is implied in the turning back. The fool can change his direction in life if he so chooses.

Proverbs 1:23 — "I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." - Comments- This sounds like Jesus" promise of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the personification of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs is prophetic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the Church in the Church age. The Spirit of God will speak to us and guide us daily. He will warn us of things to come and urge us into a path of safety. This is why bad things happen to good people. Because even good people can ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit and walk out from under God's divine protection.


Verses 24-33

The Consequences of Rejecting Wisdom - After wisdom makes her call ( Proverbs 1:20-23), wisdom then gives warnings to those who fail to heed this call ( Proverbs 1:24-33). This passage applies to the daily walk of the Christian as well as to the sinner. For the child of God, wisdom often warns us of dangers to come, so that we will avoid calamities.

In Proverbs 1:24-33 the voice of wisdom changes from a tone of a plea to a warning. How often have we spoken to our children in love by pleading with them to do right and following this with a warning to them if they do wrong.

But thank God, this chapter which tells us of the call of wisdom does not leave us struggling to understand how to discern the voice of wisdom. In chapter two, we are told how to gain discernment by studying the Word of God ( Proverbs 2:1-5) so that we are better able to distinguish between the voice of the Holy Spirit ( Proverbs 2:6-11) and the voice of the evil man ( Proverbs 2:12-15) and the strange woman ( Proverbs 2:16-19). In the following chapters, wisdom tells us how the Word of God transforms our hearts, minds and bodies so that the voice of wisdom shines brighter and brighter as the noonday sun.

The Progression of Calamity as a Form of Divine Judgment- We see a progression of events in Proverbs 1:24-33. When God calls out to a person and this call is not heeded ( Proverbs 1:24-25), the Lord will send calamity in order to get their attention ( Proverbs 1:26). This calamity brings fear into the heart of the poor soul. This is the first phase of judgment. When the sinner does not respond to this judgment, God goes to phase two and intensifies the calamities. As they continue and do not cease, the person fall into distress and anguish ( Proverbs 1:27). It is only in such a desperate condition that a hardened heart will call upon God ( Proverbs 1:28), but, alas, it is too late. God will not hear. Since they chose not the fear of God ( Proverbs 1:29), they will receive the fear that comes from calamities, called the fear of evil ( Proverbs 1:33). God will bring them into the third phase of judgment, which is destruction ( Proverbs 1:32).

Judgment in the Epistle of Romans - We see this three-fold progression of judgment in Romans 1:18-32. Mankind left serving God and worshipped idols. God then gave them up unto fornication ( Proverbs 1:24). As they continued in their sins God then gave them up unto homosexuality ( Proverbs 1:26).

Judgment in the Book of Genesis - This same progression of degradation in the heart of man can be found in the book of Genesis:

1. Proverbs 1:19-20 ( Genesis 1 - The creation of man)

2. Proverbs 1:21 ( Genesis 4:16, "Cain went out of the presence of the Lord."

3. Proverbs 1:21 ( Genesis 6:5, "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

4. Proverbs 1:22 ( Genesis 11 - Tower of Babel)

5. Proverbs 1:23 ( Joshua 24:2 - Abraham"s fathers served other gods.)

6. Proverbs 1:23 ( Genesis 19 - Sodom and Gomorrah)

According to Romans 1:18-32 idolatry leads to fornication and fornication leads to homosexuality. This progression of events is easy to see within the book of Genesis. This progress of depravity can progress in a nation as well as in a person. In the time of Noah, man had progressed to a state of depravity that God had to destroy them.

Judgment in the Book of Isaiah - It is interesting to compare this progression of events to that found in Isaiah 1:3-9. The people hardened their hearts ( Proverbs 1:3) and became very corrupt as a result ( Proverbs 1:4). This led to sickness ( Proverbs 1:5-6), then divine judgment upon their nation ( Proverbs 1:7-8) and eventually the destruction of all but a remnant of people ( Proverbs 1:9). This was all because God gave up on His chastisement realizing it would not do any good. Thus, He says, "Why should ye be stricken any more?" ( Proverbs 1:3).

Judgment in the Book of Revelation - When we read about the Tribulation Period in the book of Revelation we see how God pours out His judgments in progressive intensity. Although many people will repent and be saved during these days, we read how many of these men repented not despite these intense calamities. But it becomes clear that these calamities were designed to bring man to repentance.

Revelation 9:20, "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:"

Revelation 9:21, "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."

Revelation 16:9, "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."

Revelation 16:11, "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

In one book written by a person who visited Heaven, Jesus was asked if His death on Calvary was the most difficult thing that He had ever gone through. Jesus replied, No, that the most difficult thing He will ever have to face had not yet taken place. For the most difficult thing that He will ever have to do will be to turn His back upon the many souls who have rejected Him on the Day of Judgment.

Judgment in the Epistle of 1Corinthians- We see a three-fold form of chastisement for God's children in 1 Corinthians 11:30, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Note that this verse lists the effects of God"s chastisement in a progressive order. God first allows problems to come into our lives to get our attention. These problems weaken us. If we still persist, God will allow sickness to come into our lives. Finally, if we continue in sin, God will take us home early to be in heaven. He will judge us now so that we will not go to Hell.

As young Christians, we look for God to work miracles in our lives and bring us out of problems. As we continue in the Christian life, God requires that His children grow in the knowledge of His Word and live by faith in Him. If we fail to grow in His Word and allow it to become a part of our daily lives ( Hebrews 5:11-14), we will face a time when He will not step in and work a miracle because He is requiring us to trust and obey His Word. Miracles are often given to young believers to "jump-start" their faith in God, and to direct them to His Word. If we do not grow in His Word, we will find ourselves poorly equipped for the future, and overcome in times of trouble because we are unable to apply God's Word to our lives and walk through difficulties in victory. This is the reason God's children walk in lack and sickness in the midst of God's exceedingly great and precious promises.

Illustration- Kenneth Copeland tells the story of Roy Hicks, who compiled over the years many testimonies of calamities that his church members and other Christians encountered in their lives. 55] Copeland said that almost without fail, the Christian experienced a "forewarning" of impending danger before it happened. In other words, the Holy Spirit warned the believer that there was danger lurking down that path. When the believer took that path despite the warning, the calamity did occur, even when the believer had prayer for protection. This is because he had walked out of the protective will of God. My pastor sent me into the mission field with these words, not knowing that within a few years, his church building would be hit by a tornado with him and his wife in the building, being divinely delivered from harm. He said, "The safest place to be is in God's will."

55] Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Illustration- Kenneth Copeland said on his program that the Lord spoke to him and said that on the day the Twin Towers were struck by terrorists on 11September 2001, God warned everyone who worked in those buildings. He spoke to some who were too dull to hear. He spoke to others who heard but did not heed their inner witness. He spoke to others who took heed and saved their lives.

Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

Proverbs 1:24"Because I have called, and ye refused" - Comments- God called to Israel before destruction came. Note:

Isaiah 66:4, "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."

God called to Judah before destruction came. Note:

Jeremiah 17:13, "O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters."

Note also:

Zechariah 7:11, "But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear."

This is similar to the story in Luke 7:29-35 :

Luke 7:32, "They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept."

This cry is similar to the time when Jesus wept over Jerusalem because the people had rejected Him as the Messiah.

Luke 19:41-42, "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."

Proverbs 1:25 — "I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded" - Comments- While the phrase "Because I have called, and ye refused" implies words, the phrase "I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded" implies actions. Thus, God had performed many divine interventions in a man's life as a way of letting him know that God was real. He saved them from death, from an accident and calamity. Yet, they would not turn to Him although He had been working in someone's life for years. Still, a man refuses to come to God.

Proverbs 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

Proverbs 1:25-26Comments- The rebellious sinner has laughed at God ( Proverbs 1:25). Now God will laugh at them ( Proverbs 1:26). Note a similar verse:

Psalm 2:4, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision."

Proverbs 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Proverbs 1:27Comments- We see an example of Proverbs 1:27 when the Lord judged Israel ( Isaiah 33:14). Fear took hold of them suddenly and by surprise

Isaiah 33:14, "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"

Proverbs 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

Proverbs 1:28Comments- We are told to seek the Lord while He may be found, because there is coming a time when He may not be found.

Isaiah 55:6, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:"

King Saul called upon the Lord, but He did not answer.

1 Samuel 28:6, "And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets."

The Lord did not hearken to the five foolish virgins:

Matthew 25:11-12, "Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."

Those whom the master shut out were not heard:

Luke 13:25, "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:"

The reason that God will not hear is found in Proverbs 29:1.

Proverbs 29:1, " Hebrews , that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."

Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Proverbs 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

Proverbs 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

Proverbs 1:31Comments- In the seven years of working at Lighthouse Television in Kampala, Uganda, we have had a number of adversaries. One person sent us death threats. Amazingly, within a few years, this person was on death row having been arrested for murdering others. He now lives under a death threat. Another individual attempted to cut off the television station from airing its signal. Within a few years this individual died and God cut him off. As I look back at these situations, I see how clearly each of these individuals ate the fruit of their own way and was filled with their own devices.

Proverbs 1:31Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 11:6, "The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness."

Proverbs 14:14, "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself."

Proverbs 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Proverbs 1:32 — "and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them" - Word Study on "prosperity" - Strong says the Hebrew word "prosperity" ( שַׁלְוָה) (H 7962) means, "security," and it comes from a primitive root ( שָׁלָה) (H 7951) meaning, "to be tranquil, i.e. secure or successful." In the KJV this word is translated, "abundance, peace (-ably), prosperity, quietness."

Comments- This word shows that the fool's deception is to believe that his prosperity brings lasting prosperity, when it in fact brings destruction. It looks like prosperity, but it is actually destruction in disguise.

Comments- There are a number of illustrations for Proverbs 1:33 b in the Scriptures. We find a wealthy man named Nabal in 1 Samuel 25:1-38 who refused to help David when he and his men were in exile. David came near to slaying him because Nabal's prosperity was partly credited to the fact that David protected this man's flocks. The Lord then slew Nabal because of his wicked heart. When Jesus was teaching about covetousness He told the story of the rich fool who has plenty. He then said to himself in a covetous spirit that he would heap his goods into barns and endeavor to eat, drink and to be merry ( Luke 12:16-21). Yet he did not know that very soon God required his soul. In order to overcome covetousness Paul told Timothy to warn those who were rich with this world's goods to be generous towards others. Note:

1 Timothy 6:17-19, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

Proverbs 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 1:33 — "and shall be quiet from fear of evil" - Comments- This promise of quietness from fear of evil becomes one of the greatest prayers in the Holy Scriptures ( 1 Corinthians 4:10, Psalm 23:4, Matthew 6:13). Those who do not choose the fear of the Lord ( Proverbs 1:29) will receive the fear of their own evil calamities that will soon befall them.

1 Chronicles 4:10, "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."

Psalm 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Matthew 6:13, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

Proverbs 1:32-33Comments- Two Destinies Given to Men - Proverbs 1:32-33 reveals that there are two, and only two, destinies for every human being. There is heaven and there is hell, but no alternatives. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that many will follow the path of destruction, while few will find the path of wisdom and life ( Matthew 7:13-14).

Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 1:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-1.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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