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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : JFB Commentary : Proverbs Index : Chapter 3

Proverbs, Chapter 3
Chapter 2 | Chapter 4
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Proverbs 3 in the note window.

      Pr 3:1-35. The study of truth commended. God must be feared, honored, and trusted, and filial submission, under chastisement, exhibited. The excellence of wisdom urged and illustrated by its place in the divine counsels. Piety enforced by a contrast of the destiny of the righteous and the wicked.

      1. law [and] commandments--all divine instructions (see on Ps 119:1 and Ps 119:4).
      let thine heart keep--or sincerely observe (Pr 4:13 5:2).

      2. length . . . life--often promised as blessings (Ps 21:4 91:16).
      peace--includes prosperity (Ps 125:5).
      add--abound to thee.

      3. mercy and truth--God's faithfulness to His promises is often expressed by these terms (Ps 25:10 57:3). As attributes of men, they express integrity in a wide sense (Pr 16:6 20:28).
      bind . . . write . . . heart--outwardly adorn and inwardly govern motives.

      4. favour--grace, amiability (Pr 22:11 Ps 45:2); united with this,
      a good understanding--(Compare Margin), a discrimination, which secures success.
      in the sight . . . man--such as God and man approve.

      5. Trust . . . heart--This is the center and marrow of true wisdom (Pr 22:19 28:25). The positive duty has its corresponding negation in the admonition against self-confidence.

      6. ways--(Ps 1:1).
      acknowledge--by seeking His wise aid (Pr 16:3 Ps 37:5 Jer 9:23,24).
      direct--literally, "make plain" (compare Heb 12:13).

      7. (Compare Pr 27:2 Ro 12:16).
      fear . . . evil--reverentially regarding His law.

      8. It--This conduct.
      health--(Compare Margin).
      to thy navel--for all the organs of nourishment.
      marrow--(Compare Margin).
      bones--frame of body. True piety promotes bodily health.

      9, 10. (Compare Pr 11:25 Ex 23:19 De 18:4 Isa 32:8 2Co 9:13).

      10. presses--or wine fats (Joe 2:24 3:13).

      11, 12. The true intent of afflictions considered; they do not contradict the assertion of the blessed state of the pious (Job 5:17 Heb 12:5,6).

      12. he delighteth--or receiveth as denoting reconciliation regarding the offense which produced chastisement.

      13. findeth--literally, "reaches," or "obtains by seeking."
      getteth--literally, "draws out," as metals by digging.

      14, 15. The figure of Pr 3:13 carried out.
      it--that is, wisdom.
      merchandise of silver--acquisition by trading.
      fine gold--dug gold, solid as a nugget.

      15. rubies--gems, or pearls.

      16, 17. Wisdom personified as bringing the best blessings (compare Mt 6:33 1Ti 4:8).

      17. Her ways--such as she directs us to take.

      18. Wisdom allegorized as
      a tree of life--(Ge 2:9 3:22) whose fruit preserves life, gives all that makes living a blessing.

      19, 20. The place of wisdom in the economy of creation and providence commends it to men, who, in proportion to their finite powers, may possess this invaluable attribute, and are thus encouraged by the divine example of its use to seek its possession.

      21. sound wisdom--(compare Pr 2:7).
      let . . . eyes--that is, these words of instruction.

      22-24. assign reasons in their value for happiness and ornament, guidance and support in dangers, both when waking and sleeping.

      25. Be not--or, "You shall not be."
      sudden fear--what causes it (Pr 1:27), any unlooked-for evil (Ps 46:3 91:12 1Pe 3:14).
      desolation--(Pr 1:27).

      26. The reason; such as are objects of God's favor.
      be thy confidence--literally, "in thy confidence," in the source of thy strength (compare Na 3:9, for the same construction, Hebrew).

      27, 28. Promptly fulfil all obligations both of justice and charity (compare Jas 2:15,16).

      29, 30. Do not abuse confidence and avoid litigation.

      31. oppressor--or man of mischief. The destiny of successful evildoers warns against desiring their lot (Ps 37:1,2,35,36).

      32-35. Reasons for the warning.
      froward--(Pr 2:15).
      secret . . . righteous--in their communion (Am 3:7).

      33. curse . . . wicked--It abides with them, and will be manifested.

      34. The retribution of sinners, as in Ps 18:26.

      35. inherit--as a portion.
      shame--or disgrace, as opposed to honor.
      promotion--(Compare Margin); as honor for well-doing makes men conspicuous, so fools are signalized by disgrace.

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