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- upon the highest places]—That is, the most conspicuous part of the city; but it may, perhaps, allude, as Calmet thinks, to the tops of houses and parapets, from which it was customary to proclaim aloud what they desired to be publicly known.—(See Matt. x. 27.) 'bameans a summit or high place, as. seems clear from the context, and the parallel place ch. viii. 2. . As it is araç dey. it may be illustrated from the Arabic, and Schultens appeals to the Arabic jis, to which he attributes the sense of converus fuit, though it is not allowed either by Golius or Castell. Parkhurst derives it from 903 to hit or strike. Perhaps both 'ba, and 9 a body, may be referred to 902 radix inusit. which, in Chaldee and Rabbinical, means clausit, cinxit ; hence 92, in Syriac and Chaldee, means a wing.–See Simonis, Lex, ed. Eichhorn, in 90a.
· 7. the wicked his faults]—The words “ getteth disgrace" must be supplied from the first line; namely, he who reproves a scorner, and he who points out to a wicked man his (the wicked man's) faults, getteth nothing but ridicule and disgrace. So Cocceius and Parkhurst.
8. Reprove not, fc.)—By a scorner is meant an obstinate, wicked person, who scorns admonition and laughs at wholesome counsel.—(Ch. i. 4.) With such a one advice and reproof are alike ineffectual; and he who attempts to admonish him gets nothing but ridicule and contempt. “ Speak not in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of thy words;" (ch. xxii. 9;) and our Saviour says, “ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine;” (Matt. vii. 6;) where, by “ that which is holy,” we are to understand the doctrines of the Gospel, and by “ dogs and swine," the wicked who pertinaciously continue in their sins and despise the truth.—(See Grotius, Whitby, and Vorstius, de Adagiis, cap. iv. p. 779.) “ Nulli nisi audituro dicendum est,” says Seneca. (Ep. 29.) But these expres sions are not to be regarded as a dissuasive against reproof from those whose character and office entitle them to give it. There are frequent injunctions in Scripture to use every endeavour, by example, by exhortation, by rebuke, to reform the wicked and impenitent; (1 Thess. v. 14; 2 Thess. iii. 14, 15; 1 Tim. v. 20; 2 Tim. iv. 2;) and in Proverbs. Solomon himself gives great praise to manly and well-timed rebuke.(Ch. x. 17, xii. 1, xiii. 18, xv. 5, 31, 32, xxv. 12, xxvii. 5, xxviii. 23.) The precept, therefore, in this verse, is to be understood as a caution against indiscriminate reproof; for unless it be given prudently and discreetly, it will be useless, and sometimes injurious.
- a wise man]—The 5 in Dans supplies the place of ns, indicative of the accusative.—(Noldius, 44; Altingii Fund. Punct. p. 432.) Lomed is used in like manner in Syriac.Schaaf, Lex, Syriac.
9. Give reproof, &c.]—Notwithstanding the observations of Glass (Phil. Sac. p. 221) and'others, I am far from being convinced that you ever means to teach. The expression seems elliptical, and may be supplied from the preceding verses; i. e. give the reproof before mentioned to a man who desires wisdom, and he will become wise.“ A wise man," " a righteous man,” are to be understood of men comparatively so. Similar remarks occur ch. xix. 25, xxi. 11, and they may be illustrated by Matt. xiii. 12; xxv. 29.
10. The fear of Jehovah]—This is not parallel with ch. i. 7, as the expressions in the original are different. The fear of the Lord, in one point of view, is the beginning or commencement of wisdom, because it is the foundation upon which true wisdom is built; and, in another point of view,
it is the principal part of it, because it is essential to wisdom, which cannot exist without it, and because it is the highest wisdom to reverence and obey the Almighty. See Gussetii Lex. 3301, 0.P.
- of the Holy One]-Dimock asks, “ May the text be understood of the Trinity ?” a hint worth all his and Houbigant's guesses put together. The nature of the aphorism, and the parallelism in which it corresponds with Jehovah in the first line, show that it signifies the Triune God. He is often denominated w17p, and some have thought that he is called 'vip ch. xxx. 3 ; Job. v. 1, xv. 15, but this is very uncertain. 7°wo7p, however, appears clearly to be used for God in Dan. iv. 14, Heb.; (see Wintle in loc. and particularly Horsley's Sermon 29;) and in other Scriptures he is designated by a plural noun; as, Gen. i. 1, 26, iii. 5, 22, xi. 7, xx. 13, xxxv. 7; Deut. iv. 7; Josh, xxiv. 19; Ps. cxlix. 2; Eccles. xii. 1; Isaiah, vi. 8, liv. 5. For my own part, when I reflect that the name of God (o'mbx) is of a plural form; that it is joined with plural nouns, adjectives, and verbs; that other appellations are applied to him in the plural number; and yet that one grand object of the Jewish economy was to establish the unity of the Godhead; I cannot but conclude, that something more was intended by these plural terms than dignity and eminence, namely, that they were designed to indicate, though obscurely, a plurality of Persons in the Unity of the Divine Essence.—(See Maurice on the Oriental Trinities.) This opinion, however, is opposed by some eminent scholars, Storr, Observat, &c. p. 98; Doederlein, Institutio Theologi, I. i. c. 1, $ 113, &c. A variety of authors on this subject are referred to in Simonis, Lex. voc. Dioks.
12. If thou be wise]—If thou be wise, and listen to my reproof and instruction, thou wilt do it to thine own
advantage; but if thou scorn them, thou alone shalt bear the punishment of thy folly. From the foregoing examination of this passage, it is obvious, that it may be referred to the eternal Son of God; at the same time, candour demands the acknowledgment, that no personal characters have been discovered which necessarily designate him as the subject. There is nothing incongruous, nothing unsuitable to him; yet there is nothing that absolutely determines its application to him, as is the case with the eighth chapter. In my own opinion, the true exposition is given in the note to the first verse; nevertheless, as it will admit an interpretation in reference to wisdom or religion, it must be regarded as an equivocal passage, and cannot, therefore, be adduced in proof of the Divinity of our blessed Lord.
They who cannot discover in this delineation any intimation of a celestial being, consider it as a beautiful and poetical picture of wisdom or religion, which is represented as a queen sitting in a royal palace, magnificently furnished, and inviting mankind to repair to the splendid banquet prepared for her votaries. She presents a rich intellectual feast, and invites the erring children of mortality to partake of it, promising life and happiness to those who accept the offer, but threatening pain and misery to those who refuse the invitation.
- bear the punishment]—son, elliptically for p or, NON nwn, which signify to be punished, to bear punishment, Lev. v. 1, 17, xix. 17, xxiv. 15; Numb. xviii. 22, 32; Ps. Ixxxviii. 15; Ezek. xiv. 10. With great pleasure I refer to Magee on the Atonement, vol. i. p. 436; see also Waltheri Ellipsæ Heb. p. 81, ed. Schulz.
13. A foolish woman]—Some commentators take this passage for folly personified, as being opposed to the preceding representation of wisdom; and, like wisdom, she hath her house where she sits, and invites the passer by to partake of
her banquet; (Schultens, Le Clerc, Dathe, Poli Synop. ;) but Solomon expressly denominates the subject of his discourse “a foolish woman,” an expression not very compatible with a personification of folly; and all the actions attributed to her agree with the character of a wanton. It is, therefore, to be understood as a picture of a harlot, like those in ch. ii. 16, v. 3, 20, vi. 24, vii. 5; and no wonder that the royal author, after contemplating the excellencies of wisdom, and the infinite perfections of the Being represented by that term, should turn to the consideration of that which is the greatest obstacle to wisdom, and which is most likely to delude unsuspecting youth, namely, the allurements of licentious beauty.
- She is simple)-nino, feminine plural, i. e. the harlot is simplicity itself, and the plural is used to denote that she is so in a superlative degree. See ch. i. 4, note. no aliquid, quidquam, as ch. xxv. 8.—(Noldius, 2.) Yt"; see ch. v. 6, and note.
14. On a lofty seat]—See some curious observations upon high raised seats in Harmer, vol. ii. p. 500, et seq.
– in the high places of the city]—That is, her house was there, in the most elevated and most frequented part of the city.
16. Whoso is simple]—These words Solomon had before ascribed to wisdom, (verse 4,) but are very properly put into the mouth of “ the foolish woman;" for as wisdom invites the simple to come unto her, and receive the excellent viands she provides; so the harlot invites the simple to her entertainment, which, however sweet for the present, contains a deadly poison. It is ironical, namely, Come, ye who are called simple by these wise people, come, and solace yourselves with delights.-Ch. vii. 18.