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do towards thee: be not over curious to know them, or if known, lay them not to heart ; be not troubled at them ; do not set thyself to revenge them; let them not disquiet thy mind; see them, and yet see them not, 1 Sam. ix. 20; 2 Sam. xiii. 20; 1 Sam. xxv. 25. and x. 27; Prov. xix. 11. and xx. 3. It is a great point of wisdom to dissemble injuries, to connive at them, to take no notice of them, to pass them by with meekness and neglect, 2 Sam. xvi. 10, 11. This meekness is here required to be shewn even towards mean and abject persons, or towards the poorest servant in a family, who soinetimes utters (probably through our own provocation) some hard and undutiful speeches against us, John xiii. 13, 14.
22. For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth, that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
The consideration of our own frequent passions and infirmities should excite us patiently to suffer, and willingly to pardon, the oversights of our brethren, Gal. vi. 1; Tit. iii. 3; Jam. iii. 1, 2; Mat. vii. 1-5. The more sensible any man is of sin in himself, the more meek and charitable he will be towards others. Pride is the ground both of contention and censoriousness, Prov. xiii. 10.
· 23. | All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.
He professes the truth of all his former instructions, that wisdom is an excellent protection to a righteous man against his own corruptions, and their consequent dangers, and confirms it by his own experience and trial, according to the great wisdom which God had given him. At the same time, he acknowledges how short le came of that wisdom, the attainment of which he had promised himself, and the great difficulty he found in his various researches. First, he was endued with the spirit of God, and with his fear, which is ever accompanied with spiritual wisdom, Ps. cxix. 99, 100. Secondly, he had the personal and extraordinary promise of wisdom above any other man, 1 Kings iii. 12. Thirdly, he had used all the means to increase this excellent gift of God in himself: he very highly prized it, Prov. iii. 13—26. and viii. 11. 12; he had the benefit of a religious education, and his father's instructions to quicken him in it, Prov. iv. 4–13; he set his heart entirely upon it, that, according to the property of wise men, he might increase in wisdom and knowledge,
earnestly to God for it, which is an excellent
means to get wisdom, Jam. i. 5; Ephes. i. 17; Col. i.9; 2 Chron. i. 10; he had humility, and a due sense of his want of wisdom, which is also a fit disposition to expect divine teaching, 1 Cor. iii. 18. and viii. 2; Ps. xxv. 9; Mat. xi. 25; 1 Kings mi. 7. Fourthly, he possessed all external helps and accommodations towards the obtaining of wisdom, as wealth, peace, power, authority, and he could call in all the assistances which might be useful to him in it, Eccles. ii. 9, 10. Fifthly, he had an extraordinary stock of infused knowledge to begin with, which he greatly improved by long and accurate experience, 1 Kings iv. 30; Eccles. i. 16. And yet after all this he confesses, that though he said he would be wise, though the purpose of his heart was wholly set upon it, yet he found it was far from him: hereby teaching us, first, the unsearchable depth and distance of wisdom in its vast superiority to the noblest and most sublime understanding, Job xxviii. 12-21 ; xxxvii. 15-23. and xxxviii. passim, Rom. ix. 33, 24. Secondly, that the most eminent saints are most sensible of their imperfections; as the more delicate the senses are, the more sharply are they affected with what of fends them, Rom. vii. 14-24. and xii. 3; 1 Cor. xv. 9, 10. and xii. 9, 10. Thirdly, that it is the nature of spiritual wisdom to discover spiritual wants, and the more the soul knows of God, the greater does it discern and bewail its distance from him; as things nearest the center make most haste unto it, Exod. xxxiii. 11, 18.
24. That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?
Or, “ That which hath been, is far off and exceeding deep:” the word is doubled to note the superlative degree, as Prov. xx. 14. He here assigns the reason why he was far from wisdom, because the works of God, either of creation, redemption, or providence, are very profound, abstruse, and mysterious, greatly distant from the eye, and beyond the comprehension of the weak and narrow reason of man, Prov. ii. 4; Job xi. 6-10; Ps. cxxxix. 6.
25. I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.
“ I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom," &c.; or, I and my heart turned every way, left no means unattempted exactly to discover wisdom. The
using of many words to one purpose implies the exquisite and curious search which Solo. mon made in this enquiry, as Deut. xiii. 14: see ch. i. 13, 17. and ii. 3, 12. He was not so much discouraged by the difficulty, as excited by the excellency of wisdom, and its profoundness and abstruseness only urged him to multiply his endeavours in searching after it. “ To seek out wisdom, and the reason of things;" i. e. the curious art and subtle contrivance of things: the same word is used ver. 27, 29; ch. ix. 10; 2 Chron. xxvi. 16; by which we are taught, in the disquisition of knowledge, especially of that which is spiritual, not to content ourselves with a superficial shew, but to gain deep and solid principles, that we may with confidence give a reason of the hope that is in us, 1 Pet. iii. 15; and to acquire a distinct comprehension of the truth, that we may be rooted and grounded in it, Ephes. iii. 16, 17, 18. and iv. 14; Coloss. ii. 7; and so be qualified to give clear and deliberate judgment upon it.-" I and my heart;" i. e. I did heart. ily and seriously seek out. The copulative vau either imports a preposition, I with my heart did search, as 1 Sam. xiv. 19; or a more clear explication, I, that is, my heart, so the learned conceive this copula to signify in Gen. xxxv. 12; 1 Chron. xxi, 12; 2 Sam. xvii., 12; 1 Sam.