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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Proverbs 2

 

 

Verses 1-5

Proverbs 2:1-5. My son, &c. — These words are spoken by Solomon, either, 1st, In the name of wisdom, as before: or rather, 2d, In his own name. If thou wilt hide my commandments with thee — Wilt lay them up in thy mind and heart with care, as men do their choicest treasures; So that thou incline, &c. — Give thyself to the study of wisdom with affection and diligence. Yea, if thou, criest after knowledge — Namely, unto God, the only giver of it. Hebrew, אם לבינה תקרא, if thou callest to knowledge, that is, invitest it to come to thee; earnestly desirest its guidance; If thou seekest her as silver — With the same unwearied diligence and earnest desire, and patient expectation under all delays, disappointments, and difficulties, which the men of the world use in pursuit of riches, or in digging in mines of silver; Then shalt thou understand — More perfectly and profitably; the fear of the Lord — Which is the beginning of this wisdom, Proverbs 1:7.


Verse 6-7

Proverbs 2:6-7. For the Lord giveth — Hebrew, יתן, will give wisdom — Hath promised to give it, namely, to those that so seek it. Thus he teaches them not to ascribe any wisdom they might attain to their own abilities or industry, but only to God’s favour and blessing. Out of his mouth cometh knowledge, &c. — That is, from his word or appointment, and good will, as, the word of God, signifies, Deuteronomy 8:3. He layeth up sound wisdom — Hebrew, תושׁיה, literally, essence, or substance. Dr. Waterland renders it solid blessings. Solomon seems to mean, either, 1st, Solid and true felicity, opposed to the vain enjoyments of this world, which are said to have no substance or being, Proverbs 23:5, where it is asked, Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? Or, that true and substantial wisdom which is satisfactory and everlasting, opposed to worldly wisdom, which is but an empty shadow of wisdom, and perishes with us. He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly — To protect and save them from that destruction which shall befall all the ungodly. The clause is rendered by Houbigant, He is a defence for those who act with simplicity and candour; and by Schultens, A shield to those who walk in integrity.


Verse 8-9

Proverbs 2:8-9. He keepeth the paths of judgment — Hebrew, לנצר ארחות, To keep the paths, &c. It seems to be spoken of those who walk uprightly, mentioned in the preceding verse, and it would be better translated, That they, namely, the upright, may keep the paths of judgment: that is, God is a buckler, or defence, to the upright, to protect and keep them from those temptations and snares which would seduce them from, or prevent their continuance in, the paths of judgment; as it is further explained in the following clause. Then — When thou hast done thy part, as expressed Proverbs 2:1-3, and God, in answer to thy desires, hath given thee wisdom, Proverbs 2:6. Shalt thou understand righteousness, &c. — All the parts of thy duty to man, as well as the fear of God; every good path — The practice of all virtues and graces.


Verses 10-15

Proverbs 2:10-15. When wisdom entereth into thy heart — When thou dost truly love it, and hide its precepts in thy heart; Discretion shall preserve thee — From wicked courses, and the mischiefs which attend upon them; from the way of the evil man — From following his counsel or example; the man that speaketh froward things — With a design to corrupt thy mind, and entice thee to evil principles or practices. Who leave the paths of righteousness — The way of God’s precepts; to walk in the ways of darkness — Of sin, which is often called darkness, because it proceeds from ignorance and error, hates the light of knowledge and truth, and leads to the eternal darkness of misery and despair. Who rejoice to do evil — Seeking and embracing occasions of sin, with diligence and greediness, and pleasing themselves both in the practice and remembrance of it: and delight in the frowardness of the wicked — Not only in their own sins, but in the sins of other wicked men, which shows a great malignity of mind and love to sin, Romans 1:32 : whose ways are crooked — Hebrew, who in, or with respect to, their ways, are perverse; acting contrary to the straight rules of piety and virtue.


Verse 16-17

Proverbs 2:16-17. To deliver thee from the strange woman — From the adulteress, or whore; called strange, partly because such persons were commonly heathen, or are supposed to be such by reason of that severe law against these practices in Israelitish women, Deuteronomy 23:17; or are justly reputed heathen, as being degenerate Israelites, who are often called strangers in the Scriptures; which flattereth with her words — Who useth all arts and ways to allure men to unchaste actions; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth — Her husband, whom she took to be her guide and governor, and that in her youth; which circumstance is added to aggravate her sin and shame, because love is commonly most sincere and fervent between persons married in their youth; and forgetteth — That is, violateth or breaketh, the covenant of her God — The marriage covenant, so called, because God is the author of that mutual obligation; and because God is called to be the witness and judge of that solemn promise and covenant.


Verse 18-19

Proverbs 2:18-19. For her house inclineth unto death — Conversation with her (which was most usual in her own house) is the certain way to death, which it brings many ways, and undoubtedly, without repentance, to God’s wrath and the second death. None that go unto her — That is, few or none; a hyperbolical expression, used Isaiah 64:7; return again — From her and from this wicked way unto God and his ways. Whoremongers and adulterers are very rarely brought to repentance, but are generally hardened by the power and deceitfulness of their sin, and by God’s just judgment, peculiarly inflicted upon such persons, Hebrews 13:4; neither take they hold of the paths of life — Of those courses which lead to true and eternal life and happiness.


Verses 20-22

Proverbs 2:20-22. That thou mayest walk, &c. — This depends upon Proverbs 2:11, and is mentioned as another happy fruit of wisdom, the former being declared, from Proverbs 2:12-19. In the way of good men — Mayest follow the counsels and examples of the godly. By this he intimates that it is not sufficient to abstain from evil company and practices, but that we must choose the conversation of good men. For the upright shall dwell in the land — Shall have a peaceable and comfortable abode in the land of Canaan, which also is a type of their everlasting felicity. Their life on earth shall be quiet and peaceable, to which their uprightness will contribute, as it settles their minds, guides their counsels, gains them the good-will of their neighbours, and entitles them to God’s peculiar favour: and they shall dwell for ever in the heavenly Canaan. But the wicked — That choose the way of the evil man; shall be cut off — Not only from heaven hereafter, and all hopes of it, but from the earth now, on which they set their affections, and in which they lay up their treasure. They think to take root in it, but they and their families shall be rooted out of it — In judgment to them, but in mercy to the earth. And there is a day coming which shall leave them neither root nor branch, Malachi 4:1. Let that wisdom then enter into our hearts, and be pleasant to our souls, which will keep us out of a way that will end thus.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-2.html. 1857.


Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 15th, 2018
the Second Week of Advent
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