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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 22:17

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge;

Adam Clarke Commentary

Bow down thine ear - From this to the end of Proverbs 22:21; are contained, not proverbs, but directions how to profit by that which wisdom has already delivered; the nature of the instruction, and the end for which it was given.

I shall give a paraphrase of this very important passage: -

    I. Solomon addresses his pupils on the use of his past teachings. See on Proverbs 22:6; (note).

  • The wise man speaks; and all his words, not merely his sentiments, are to be carefully heard.
  • He speaks knowledge - gives doctrines true in themselves, and confirmed by observation and experience.
  • These are to be heard with humility and deep attention: "Bow down thine ear."
  • 4. They must not only be heard, but meditated and pondered: "Apply thine heart to my knowledge."


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    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-22.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    This is the commencement of a new and entirely distinct section, opening, after the fashion of Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 4:1; Proverbs 7:1; with a general exhortation Proverbs 22:17-21 and passing on to special precepts. The “words of the wise” may be a title to the section: compare Proverbs 24:23. The general characteristics of this section appear to be

    (1) a less close attention to the laws of parallelism, and

    (2) a tendency to longer and more complicated sentences. Compare the Introduction to Proverbs.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-22.html. 1870.

    Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

    "Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, And apply thy heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee. If they be established together upon thy lips. That thy trust may be in Jehovah, I have made them known to thee this day, even to thee."

    There is a break here; and from this Proverbs 22:17 through the end of Proverbs 24, we have the words of the wise men. Some call these, "The Thirty Words" (consisting of two verses each);[20] but other words of wise men are added after the "thirty."

    These three verses state the purpose of the wise men's words, namely, "That thy trust may be in Jehovah." This particular section of Proverbs is not attributed to Solomon.


    Copyright Statement
    James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

    Bibliography
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-22.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise,.... Here begins a new part or division of this book. According to some, the "third"; the "first" ending with Proverbs 9:18, the "second" at Proverbs 22:16, and a "third", beginning here, and ending with Proverbs 24:34. It is certain that what follows from hence to the end of that is written in another style, by way of exhortation, caution; and instruction, and is directed to particular persons: as here an exhortation is made to Solomon's son, or to those that attended his instruction; or rather to the children of Wisdom, that is, Christ; to listen attentively to "the words of the wise"; of Solomon, and other wise men before him, or contemporary with him; or rather of Wisdom and her maidens, Christ, and the wise men sent by him; who are made wise to salvation, and furnished for every good work by him, from whom the words of the wise come; and who speak the wisdom of God in a mystery; and whose doctrines are to be heard and received, not as the word of men, but as the word of God;

    and apply thine heart unto my knowledge; the knowledge of divine and spiritual things Christ instructs in, and the knowledge of himself; which is preferable to all other knowledge, and to thousands of gold and silver; and in comparison of which all things are but loss and dung; and therefore should be applied unto with intenseness of mind, and cordially received.


    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

    Bibliography
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-22.html. 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    Here begins another division of the book, marked by those encouragements to the pursuit of wisdom, which are found in the earlier chapters. It will be observed that at Proverbs 22:22-24:12, the proverbs are generally expressed in two verses instead of one (see on Introduction).


    Copyright Statement
    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-22.html. 1871-8.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

    My knowledge — The knowledge of God, which I am here delivering.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

    Bibliography
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-22.html. 1765.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

    Ver. 17. Bow down thine ear and hear.] Here begins, say some interpreters, the third book of Solomon’s Proverbs - as the second began at chapter ten. And indeed he here seems to assume a new kind of bespeaking his son, different from his discourse in the preceding twelve chapters; and much like that in the first nine.

    And apply thy heart, &c.] q.d., Call up the ears of thy mind to the ears of thy body, that one sound may pierce both at once; otherwise thou wilt be like the wolf in the fable: thou wilt never attain to any more divine learning than to spell Pater, father, and when thou shouldst come to put together, and to put thy heart to it, as Solomon’s phrase here is, instead of Pater father thou wilt say Agnus, thy mind running a-madding after profit and pleasures of the world, as hath been once before noted.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-22.html. 1865-1868.

    The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

    v. 17. Bow down thine ear, inclining it in the attitude of the most careful attention, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge, that presented by the inspired author in this new section of the Book of Proverbs.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-22.html. 1921-23.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Of the wise; of wise and holy men of God.

    Apply thine heart; thirst after it, and give of thyself to the diligent study of it.

    My knowledge; the knowledge of God, and of thy several duties, which I am here delivering to thee.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-22.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    THE WORDS OF THE WISE.

    17. Bow down thine ear — Listen with reverence and attention.

    My knowledge — That which I communicate — my instruction: with special reference to that about to be imparted.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-22.html. 1874-1909.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Incline. Thus Solomon concludes his discourse, (chap. xxiv. 23.) in the same manner as he began it, to chap. x. Some commence the third book of Proverbs in this place; others, chap. xxv. (Calmet)


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-22.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    words of the wise. See the Structure of the whole book (p. 864). Referring to the wise men by whom Solomon was surrounded, such as Ethan, Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol (1 Kings 4:31).

    thine. Note the continuation of the second person, "the words of the wise" being addressed to Solomon.

    heart. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for thoughts and powers.

    my. Note the writer"s personality as being other than Solomon.

    knowledge = teaching.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-22.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

    From this verse to Proverbs 24:22 the continuous style is resumed from Proverbs 1:1-33; Proverbs 2:1-22; Proverbs 3:1-35; Proverbs 4:1-27; Proverbs 5:1-23; Proverbs 6:1-35; Proverbs 7:1-27; Proverbs 8:1-36; Proverbs 9:1-18; Proverbs 10:1-32. This is the third part of the book, or rather an epilogue to the previous part (Proverbs 9:1-18; Proverbs 10:1-32; Proverbs 11:1-31; Proverbs 12:1-28; Proverbs 13:1-25; Proverbs 14:1-35; Proverbs 15:1-33; Proverbs 16:1-33; Proverbs 17:1-28; Proverbs 18:1-24; Proverbs 19:1-29; Proverbs 20:1-30; Proverbs 21:1-31; Proverbs 22:1-29).

    Bow down thine ear - the introductory exhortation.

    And hear the words of the wise ... my knowledge. Solomon represents himself is the inspired mouthpiece of the godly wise of all ages.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-22.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    4. AN INTRODUCTION, CONTAINING AN EXHORTATION TO “HEAR THE WORDS OF THE WISE,” SERVING AS A HEADING TO Proverbs 22:22 to Proverbs 24:22 (Proverbs 22:17-21).

    (17) Hear the words of the wise.—Comp. chap . As “wise” is in the plural number, it would seem as if the following section contained proverbs written by others than Solomon, though they may have been collected by him. (Comp. Proverbs 24:23.)


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-22.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
    Bow
    2:2-5; 5:1,2
    and hear
    1:3; 3:1; 4:4-8; 8:33,34; Isaiah 55:3; Matthew 17:5
    apply
    23:12; Psalms 90:12; Ecclesiastes 7:25; 8:9,16

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-22.html.

    Lectionary Calendar
    Monday, October 14th, 2019
    the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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