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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Proverbs 3

 

 

Verse 1

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Proverbs 3:1-35.-The youth is admonished to keep God's law, which brings to the obedient long life and peace; not to forsake mercy and truth, which give favor in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord, and not in self, so shall He direct thee. Fear the Lord, and it shall be health to thee. Honour Him with thy substance, so shall thy stores be full (Proverbs 3:1-10). Bear chastisement from the Lord patiently, and take it as a proof of His love (Proverbs 3:1-12). General felicitation of the man who findeth wisdom: its preciousness, permanence, pleasantness; its agency in the creation of all things by the Lord (Proverbs 3:11-20). Resumption of the opening admonition: Keep sound wisdom as life to the soul, grace to the neck, safety to the feet in walking, the giver of sleep uninterrupted by fears, since the Lord shall be thy confidence. Instances of wisdom: Withhold not good from the needy; strive not: envy not: for the Lord curses the wicked, and blesses the just, gives glory to the lowly wise, and shameful scorn as the only promotion that awaits scornful fools (Proverbs 3:21-35). The address "my son" marks the divisions (Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 3:10; Proverbs 3:21).

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. Solomon's advice to the young, as that of a father to his son (Proverbs 1:8). Forgetfulness of God's law is the fault of the heart, not merely of the head. When the heart keeps God's precepts as a precious treasure, the memory does not easily forget them.


Verse 2

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee - (Deuteronomy 8:1; Deuteronomy 30:16; Deuteronomy 30:20; Psalms 34:12-14; "Godliness hath promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come," 1 Timothy 4:8; Psalms 133:3 .) Quarrelling, luxury, pleasure and gain-seeking, and unbelieving cares, take away that sobriety and peace of spirit which promote longevity. With all men's pains to prolong life, they generally neglect the Lord, the true Giver and Preserver, of it (Job 10:12). The Hebrew of "long life" is plural-literally, 'years of lives:' hinting at the twofold life, that here and that hereafter, which is at the Lord's disposal. "Peace" is the fruit of "love" to God's "law" (Psalms 119:165).


Verse 3

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart - never go or be anywhere without these graces accompanying thee. "Mercy" toward men; "truth," i:e., sincerity, toward God. These two comprehend all the duties we owe toward God and man. "Bind them about thy neck," not merely as an ornament (Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 5:22), but as something always near and to be kept in view, like a chain hanging from the neck (Proverbs 6:21; Proverbs 7:3; Exodus 6:8; Exodus 13:9; Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 11:18), to which allusion is made here (Song of Solomon 1:10; Song of Solomon 4:9; Ezekiel 16:11, "Write them upon the table of thine heart;" cf. Jeremiah 17:1; 2 Corinthians 3:3). The Spirit alone can enable us to "write them on the table," i:e., the tablet, of the heart (Jeremiah 31:33).


Verse 4

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. By keeping "mercy and truth" (Proverbs 3:3) thou shalt be esteemed before God and man as one of good understanding," and so "shalt find favour in the sight of God and man." The Hebrew recommends the English version, though the parallelism would strictly require, as "favour" is on the part of God and man, that so the corresponding noun should be also on the part of God and man; for which reason Maurer translates [ seekel (Hebrew #7922)] 'care,' 'considerate attention,' instead of "good understanding;" others, 'good success.' But the English version accords best with the Hebrew; moreover, the parallelism is sufficiently maintained by "good understanding" (on the part of "thee"), answering to "favour" on the part of "God and man," which results from it. With "find favour ... in the sight of God" cf. Exodus 33:12; Exodus 33:17; Luke 1:30, and especially Luke 2:52, "Jesus (who alone fully realized the picture here) increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."


Verse 5

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding - which latter cannot preserve thee. He guards against his recommendation of "good understanding" (a different Hebrew term from that here, which is binath) in Proverbs 3:4 being perverted into a ground for self-reliance. Begin with the Lord in the pursuit whether of knowledge or wealth. While you use all exertions of head and hands, regard God as all-sufficient for thee, as to obtaining every good and averting every evil. "Rest in Him," assured of His gracious will and power to save and help thee in all exigencies (Psalms 37:7). Casting every burden on Him (Psalms 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). "Not of double heart" (1 Chronicles 12:33; James 1:8). Not thrown into doubt or consternation by external circumstances, so as to lose fearless trust in God. To "lean" upon one's own understanding is to lean on a broken reed, which will pierce the hand, as Egypt proved when Israel leant on it (2 Kings 18:21; Ezekiel 29:7; 2 Chronicles 14:11. "We rest on thee;" Isaiah 10:20. "The remnant of Israel shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth"). Man's own understanding is not to be trusted in, as being weakened and corrupted, at the same time that it is puffed up with pride, ever since the fall. Therefore it is written, Isaiah 47:10, "Thy wisdom and thy knowledge it hath perverted thee;" Jeremiah 10:23, "The way of man is not in himself."


Verse 6

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. "Acknowledge Him" by referring all thy ways to His will, trusting in His power, wisdom, providence, goodness, righteousness, and feeling that without Him you can do nothing. Have Him always before, your eyes (Psalms 139:2). Pray to Him, and consult Him in everything you take in hand. Keep His glory in view, as your end in all your ways; attribute all your blessing to Him alone, and to Him give thanks for all. The promise follows the precept. You will not be disappointed in your confidence, whereby you consult Him in all things. He will guide you to all holiness and all happiness.


Verse 7

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Be not wise in thine own eyes (Romans 12:16): fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Do not think so highly of thine own wisdom as to think thou canst stand by it independently of the wisdom of God (Isaiah 5:21; contrast Psalms 131:1; 1 Corinthians 8:1-2; Galatians 6:3; 1 Corinthians 3:18, "If any man seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise"). "Fear the Lord:" the true antidote to "being wise in one's own eyes" (cf. Romans 11:20, "Be not high-minded, but fear;" cf. the apocryphal Sirach 25:12-13, 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of His love, and faith is the beginning of cleaving unto Him: give me any plague but the plague of the heart'). It is "by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6), as Job did (Job 1:1 ). These two, fearing the Lord and departing from evil, are the true way of obtaining the free gift of salvation from Him.


Verse 8

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones - "it," namely, the obedient "fear of the Lord" just described (Proverbs 3:7). Plasters and emollient ointments are often applied to the person for healing purposes. The navel is the channel of supplying nutriment to the infant in the womb. It also denotes the whole belly, with the intestines near it as the softer parts of the body. The bones, the harder part, follow. The two together represent the whole frame. The fear of the Lord nourishes alike the inner graces and powers of the spiritual life and its outer operations. "Marrow" - literally, moistening, in reference to the marrow, which is the vital moisture of the bones (Job 21:24, end; contrast Psalms 102:3; Proverbs 17:22, end).


Verse 9

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase - by offering freely gifts for His service (Exodus 23:19; Malachi 3:7-10). This is another part of the worship of God, besides those just enumerated (Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 3:5; Proverbs 3:7). David would not 'offer burnt offerings unto the Lord his God of that which cost him nothing', (2 Samuel 24:24). Yahweh complains of Israel's niggardliness toward Him as a proof of want of love (Isaiah 43:23). To have mercy on the poor is to "honour" God (Proverbs 14:31).


Verse 10

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. So far from becoming poorer by giving to the Lord's honour out of thy substance, it is thus that thou shalt become abundantly enriched with all manner of meat and drink. So, in Hezekiah's time, Azariah, the high priest, said, "Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty, and the Lord hath blessed His people, and that which is left is this great store." So Haggai (Haggai 1:6; Haggai 1:9; Haggai 1:13; Haggai 2:15-19}. And the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:10-16).


Verse 11

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD neither be weary of his correction:

My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction. Since heretofore Solomon had instructed the youth in what he ought to do, so now in what he ought to suffer. Religion consists not only in action but also in passive obedience. "Despise not" chastening, as if it were useless and irksome. He hereby anticipates a covert objection, If all the favour in the sight of God and man, and the health which have been attributed to the fearers of the Lord (Proverbs 3:1-10) really be theirs, how is it that we see them often so sorely afflicted? The reason is, the Lord sends these afflictions, not for evil, but for good to His people. 'Chastisement [ kolasis (Greek #2851), or rather, punishment] is for the sake of the sufferer; vengeance [timooria], for the satisfaction of him that inflicts it' (Aristotle, 'Rhetoric,' I., 10). The Lord does not even so much punish, as chasten His child. Chastisements are blessings in disguise (Job 5:17; Psalms 94:12; Revelation 3:19). "Neither be weary" - [ taaqots (Hebrew #6973), from qowts (Hebrew #6975), a thorn.] Do not regard it as an annoying thorn. 'Two things are forbidden here.

(1) Do not despise (make light of) the Lord's chastening, as if thou couldest easily cast it off-in insensibility to it, not (1) Do not despise (make light of) the Lord's chastening, as if thou couldest easily cast it off-in insensibility to it, not recognizing the Lord's hand in it, and not humbling thyself under it.

(2) Do not, on the contrary, through pusillanimity, be weary, and impatient, and desponding under the burden' (Thomas Cartwright). Seneca ('Consol. ad Polyb.,' ch. 36:) says, 'Not to feel thy evils would be inhuman, not to bear them, unmanly' (Isaiah 9:9-10; Isaiah 9:13).


Verse 12

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth - (Deuteronomy 8:5.) In Hebrews 12:6 this verse is quoted with a slight alteration, designed by the Spirit to bring out a somewhat varied aspect of the same truth - "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." Scourgeth implies the kind of correction, as severe, even to drawing "blood" (Hebrews 12:4). "Receiveth" (i:e., takes to Himself as His child accepted and beloved) answers to "delighteth."


Verse 13

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. The concluding inference from what went before, Since the benefits of wisdom are so great, happy is he who, whether by prayer, diligent application, or chastening, attains to it. On "findeth," cf. Matthew 13:44; note, Proverbs 2:4. Solomon often returns to the praises of wisdom, as being the main theme of the book. "Getteth:" the Hebrew verb is literally to flow forth [ puwq (Hebrew #6329)]: hence, to make to flow; to draw forth; to get, (cf. margin) So "bring forth," (Psalms 144:13; Proverbs 8:35; margin)


Verse 14

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

"The merchandise of it" is what it (wisdom) bugs-the gain which redounds from it-namely, salvation. Wisdom is itself an article of merchandise "better than silver," because wisdom such as Solomon means involves with it salvation and eternal life (Job 28:13, etc.; Matthew 16:26). "The gain" - literally, the produce, as from lands: a new image; as in Proverbs 3:18 it is called a "tree of life."


Verse 15

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Arnold Booti, 'Animadversiones,' and Maurer, translate 'corals' for "rubies" (cf. Lamentations 4:7; Job 28:18). "All the things thou canst desire:" cf. "pleasant stones," or stones of desire (Isaiah 54:12); cf. the "one pearl of great price" (Matthew 13:46).


Verse 16

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

Length of days is in her right hand (cf. note, Proverbs 3:2); and in her left hand riches and honour. Wisdom is described as a royal virgin or queen, with both hands full of gifts: in her right hand (the superior hand) is length of life, the chief of earthly blessings, and one which probably (though not expressly) God promised to Solomon himself in connection with the gift of wisdom (1 Kings 3:12-13). True wisdom is the path to life, because it shuns perils and averts them, and provides advantages; controls the passions; teaches prudence and temperance; and especially because eternal life is its final issue (Cornelius a Lapide).


Verse 17

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Both the way, and the end to which the way leads, is peace. Though her ways are painful to the flesh, they are "pleasantness" to the spirit: not merely pleasant, but "pleasantness" itself; not merely peaceable and peaceful, but "peace" itself. 'There are many ways in the world pleasant, but not safe; others safe, but not pleasant.'


Verse 18

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her. "Lay hold" (machaziquim) - literally, lay hold with a tenacious grasp, not to be severed from her: from a Hebrew root 'strong.' Compare Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 13:12; Proverbs 15:4, for similar references to "the tree of life." Wisdom brings life to her possessors, as the tree of life in Paradise would have done to our first parents, but that they forfeited it (Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22-24). Wisdom - i:e., the saying knowledge of God in Christ, or Christ Himself-restores us to the life eternal which we lost in Adam. The fruit of other trees appeases hunger for a time: this tree forever. It saves not merely from death, but from disease (Revelation 22:2; Revelation 22:14; Revelation 2:7; Ezekiel 47:12).

And happy is every one that retaineth her. "Happy" is in the Hebrew singular, but the participle is plural: literally, 'they that retain her are each one happy.' In one sense, it is we who lay hold upon (cf. 1 Timothy 6:12) and retain her in our close embrace (for it is not the careless and superficial, but the earnest and persevering, that reach heaven). But in another sense it is she that lays hold of and retains us, if we be hers (Philippians 3:12, end; Isaiah 65:1).


Verse 19

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 'Do not marvel at my having said that wisdom secures all these blessings length of years, riches, etc.; because it has effected far greater things than these. It was by it, as one of His divine attributes, that God hath founded the earth and the heavens' (Cornelius a Lapide).


Verse 20

By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

By his knowledge the depths are broken up - into rivers and streams for the refreshment of man (Genesis 1:9-10; Job 38:8-12; Psalms 104:8-13; Proverbs 8:24-29).

And the clouds drop down the dew. Since dew does not descend from the clouds, but is formed near the ground, the Hebrew for dew is here used to express small or gentle rain (Job 36:27-28); or else "the clouds" are used here for the lower regions of the air, where the dew is formed. Scripture describes the facts of nature according to phenomena, not in scientific language, which would unfit it for the majority. As the first clause describes one instance of God's wisdom on earth, so the second describes one in the heavens or air (Deuteronomy 33:28). The dew in the East is a most important boon for vegetation, in the absence of rain.


Verse 21

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion. On these last words cf. Proverbs 1:4; Proverbs 2:7, notes. Solomon repeats similar monitions so frequently (cf. Proverbs 1:8-9; Proverbs 2:1; Proverbs 3:1) on account of men's spiritual apathy, in order to impress them the more firmly with the greatness, certainty, and importance of these truths. Keep them before thine eyes as a perpetual object of delight and source of instruction.


Verse 22

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Wisdom reveals the righteousness of God whereby the believer in Christ lives before God. Without this the man is dead in sins (Habakkuk 2:4; Ephesians 2:1). On "grace (like a graceful chain) to thy neck" cf. Proverbs 1:9.


Verse 23-24

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy feet shall not stumble - (Psalms 91:11-12; Proverbs 10:9.

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid; yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Whether in motion or at rest, or at business or at leisure, by day or by night, all shall go well with thee, or at least shall ultimately end so (Romans 8:28). The foot not stumbling means that thou shalt not fall into the temptations which the world, the flesh, and Satan present in one's way to heaven. Thy sleep shall be sweet after a faithful discharge of duty. Thou shalt not be afraid through stings of conscience, or fear of enemies, or because of anxious cares; because confidence in the Lord and a good conscience will banish all fears (Proverbs 3:26).


Verse 25-26

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked (i:e., of the desolation which the wicked plot against thee), when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken - namely, in the snares of Satan, the flesh, the world, and thy oppressors (Ecclesiastes 7:26). "Be not afraid" is at once a precept and a promise to the godly. They shall have no cause to fear evil tidings; therefore it is their privilege that they are not to fear them (Psalms 112:7; Psalms 91:5).


Verse 27

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Here Solomon passes from general recommendations of wisdom to particular precepts of it. He reverts to instances of "mercy and truth," which he had recommended in Proverbs 3:3. "From them to whom it is due" - literally, 'from the owners thereof' (cf. Proverbs 17:8). On "in the power of thine hand" cf. Micah 2:1. He who is in need has a claim of ownership upon our property by the law of love, which is the law of God. The goods which we can and ought to bestow are not ours, but the property of the poor (cf. Romans 13:8, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another"). Need makes the poor the owner, and God makes thee the dispenser of the goods which thou hast, and which he needs: so such benefits are called "righteousness" - i:e., a righteous debt or obligation (2 Corinthians 9:9; Matthew 6:1, "alms;" Greek, 'righteousness'). (Junius.) The same principle applies in the case of the spiritual knowledge which thou hast, and thy neighbour has not, and which therefore he has a claim upon thee for the supply of. None is bound 'beyond his power;' yet when he has strained his charity to the verge of, and even beyond, his ability. God especially praises it (2 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Corinthians 8:12; Mark 12:43-44).


Verse 28

Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

Publius Syrus says, 'He gives twice to one in need, who gives at once.' The good Samaritan acted and gave to his neighbour instantly (Luke 10:29-36). The Greeks had an adage 'A slow-paced favour is a favourless favour;' and Seneca ('Benef.' 1: 2), 'That is a thankless benefit, which has long stuck in the hands of the giver;' for 'he who has been slow in doing it, has for long disinclined to do it.' Do not put off your needy neighbour with fair words, much less with contemptuous ones (James 2:15-16). Do not delay your charity until "tomorrow," for perhaps tomorrow will not be at your disposal, as today is. Some hindrance may arise in the meantime. Your wealth may perish, or yourself, or your neighbour, before tomorrow. You cause him to lose his time, you protract his torture, and put him to the shame of begging a second time. 'They who put off their beneficence until they die are like the pigs, which are never of use until they come to be slaughtered' (T. Cartwright). (Compare Ecclesiastes 11:2; Ecclesiastes 11:6.)


Verse 29

Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. After having praised beneficence, Solomon proceeds to forbid malevolence, especially toward neighbours living peaceably near. If you are to do positive good, much more are you to refrain from devising and doing evil to your neighbour.


Verse 30

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Solomon forbids all avoidable strifes and disputes. Even if he have done thee harm, reprove him for his fault, but still love him (Leviticus 19:17; Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3).


Verse 31

Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Envy thou not the oppressor - when he is in prosperity (Psalms 37:1) - literally, the man of violence. Even if one have 'done thee harm,' do not retaliate; nor, on the other hand, envy his wickedly gained prosperity.

And choose none of his ways - because success seems to attend them. Envy of the prosperous easily leads to imitating his ways. Solomon showed the godly man how to behave toward God and his neighbour. Now it is shown how he is to act toward himself.


Verse 32

For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous - Hebrew, the upright (note, Psalms 25:14). His familiar intimacy (Hebrew, cowd (Hebrew #5475)) is the privilege of the righteous. They have the favour of their King (Job 29:4; John 7:17; John 15:15; Genesis 18:17; Amos 3:7). The "for" introduces the reason why the froward oppressor should not be envied, much less followed-namely, because their seeming prosperity is not from the Lord, and is not real or substantial. He will make an awful example of them at last, and often does so even here (Psalms 37:20; Proverbs 16:18). They are raised on high only to be cast down with the heavier fall. On the contrary, however outwardly afflicted the upright may be, they enjoy the secret consolations and friendship of God, (2 Corinthians 7:4. etc.) Not His secret decrees (Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18; Romans 11:34), but all that He reveals, and that is for their good, is their privilege to know (Deuteronomy 29:29). The secret of true happiness from God is theirs, by the Spirit's imparting to them "the wisdom from above."


Verse 33

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just - (Psalms 37:22; Psalms 37:35-36.) The house of the Wicked, notwithstanding their present prosperity, is tainted with a curse, like a leper's house, which was therefore pulled down (Leviticus 14:45; Zechariah 5:4; Malachi 2:2). "The habitation" - literally, the cottage or shepherd's hut, such us David was raised from (Hebrew, nevee), in contrast to the house or grand mansion of the wicked. The humble cottage of the godly is infinitely better than the stately palace of the sinner; because the Lord's curse is on the latter, but His blessing on the former (Psalms 84:10).


Verse 34

Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Retribution in kind. "Surely" - literally, if, or since [ 'im (Hebrew #518)]; seeing that (Job 14:5; Gejer). Or else, 'As surely as He scorneth the scorners, so surely doth He give grace to the lowly.' James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5, quote it, "God resisteth (Greek, setteth himself in array against) the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." The antithesis or contrast between "scorneth" and "giveth grace" requires that grace here should include externally manifested favour (note, Proverbs 3:4) in the sight of God and man, as well as internal grace. "The scorners" through pride set themselves in array against God (Proverbs 1:22); therefore God sets Himself in array against them (James 4:6), and puts them at last to open scorn. They scorn the lowly pious, saying, See what good success results from their piety! God therefore, in turn, makes them an object of lasting scorn (Psalms 2:4); but He giveth grace inward and spiritual now, and grace outward and manifested at last to the lowly pious. Of them it may be said as Sallust says of Cato, 'The less he sought glory the more he obtained it.'


Verse 35

The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

The wise shall inherit (literally, shall possess by inheritance, 1 Peter 1:3-4) glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools - literally, shame (is) exalting fools. When they seem to be exalted, it is only that they my be at last put to shame. All their good things will be reversed. When glory shall be the promotion and perculiar and permanent inheritance of the godly wise, shame shall be the only promotion that ungodly fools shall have.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-3.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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