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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Proverbs 2

 

 

Verses 1-22

Proverbs 2:1-22. Third Discourse.—The wise man praises Wisdom, describing the blessings of obedience to her. The deeper religious element in wisdom appears, the fundamental conception of Hebrew prophecy, that the knowledge of God is the supreme good.

Proverbs 2:1-11. If the young man hearkens to wisdom, prizes it above all other gain, he will acquire the true knowledge of God. Yahweh alone gives wisdom, and He gives it only to the upright.

Proverbs 2:5. The phrase "knowledge of God" occurs in the OT only here and in Hos. Also Elohim only occurs elsewhere in Pr. in Proverbs 2:17, Proverbs 3:4, Proverbs 25:2, Proverbs 30:9.

Proverbs 2:7. sound wisdom: cf. Job 6:12. The root possibly means "to assist," "support," hence "effectual wisdom," implying success in life.

Proverbs 2:8. his saints: rather "his pious ones." The term hasidim (Psalms 4:3*) occurs only here in Pr.

Proverbs 2:12-19. He who possesses true wisdom in the knowledge of God will be preserved from the perverse and self-opinionated man and from "the strange woman." These may be personifications, like Wisdom, representing some form of foreign philosophy or heretical teaching, so the later Jewish commentators explain. But probably the reference is to literal vice. The strange woman is the professional prostitute, possibly a foreigner and connected with foreign idolatrous cults (cf. Josephus, Ant., xii. 4-6; Sirach 9:3-9; Sirach 23:16-26).

Proverbs 2:17. friend of her youth: "husband" rather than "God." For the phrase cf. Jeremiah 3:2-5.

Proverbs 2:18. LXX reads "she has set her house by death," RV presupposes a change in the accents, MT is rendered in RVm, the Targums and Peshitta suggest "her house is a pit of deep gloom."—the dead: the rephaim, the inhabitants of Sheol, beyond God's jurisdiction. For history of term see Charles' Eschatology (cf. Genesis 14:5*, Job 26:5*, Isaiah 14:9).

Proverbs 2:20-22. Blessing of the upright who hearken to wisdom, and punishment of the wicked. The result of conduct is expressed in the material form of older Jewish hopes. A long life in the land of Israel was the ideal of good, but the phrases "to possess," "inherit," or "dwell in the land" remained as the expression of blessing when its local and temporary sense had been forgotten (cf. Matthew 5:5). Psalms 37 represents this point of view very fully.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/proverbs-2.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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