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e Job 27.9.
Wisdom threateneth her contemners; but PROVERBS. promiseth godliness to her children,
Before as a whirlwind; when distress and and searchest for her as for hid treaCHRIST about 1000. anguish cometh upon you.
about 1000. 28 • Then shall they call upon me, 5 Then shalt thou understand the but I will not answer; they shall fear of the Lord, and find the knowseek me early, but they shall not find ledge of God. me:
6. For the Lord giveth wisdom : Jam. 1.5.
1 Kings 3.9. 29 For that they hated knowledge, out of his mouth cometh knowledge and did not choose the fear of the and understanding. LORD:
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for 30 They would none of my coun- the righteous : he is a buckler to them sel: they despised all my reproof. that walk uprightly:
31 Therefore shall they eat of the 8 He keepeth the paths of judgfruit of their own way, and be filled ment, and preserveth the way of his with their own devices.
simple shall slay them, and the pros- righteousness, and judgment, and
10 When wisdom entereth into
sant unto thy soul;
11 Discretion shall preserve thee, CHAP. II.
understanding shall keep thee: i Wisdom promiseth godliness to her children,
12 To deliver thee from the way 10 and safety from evil company, 20 and of the evil man, from the man that direction in good ways.
speaketh froward things;
13 Who leave the paths of upright-
14 Who rejoice to do evil, and
15 Whose ways are crooked, and
woman, even from the stranger which Chap. 5. 3. 4 * If thou seekest her as silver, flattereth with her words;
MYson, if thou wilt receive my
a Matt. 13.
signify an occasion of great noise and tumult, when mother, aptly describing that vehement desire of grace men are thrown into an alarm of approaching danger, and wisdom here, which is a special ingredient in piety. and not knowing what it is, are unable to prepare for Dr. Hammond. avoiding it. Dr. Hammond.
4. If thou seekest her as silver,] If thou seekest her 28. Then shall they call upon me, &c.] This awful with as much earnestness as covetous men search for menace of God's judgment upon impenitent and hard- money. Perhaps it is a proverbial expression, taken ened sinners is incorporated by the Church into the from those who dig in mines. Bp. Patrick. solemn and impressive exhortation contained in her 8. He keepeth the paths of judgment,] He preserves Commination Service.
pious men in their integrity, encouraging them not to 31. – be filled with their own devices.] Be glutted swerve from the rules of justice, or to cease to exercise with that which they have chosen, receive the just re- mercy and kindness, being their Keeper and Defender wards of their own ways and works. Dr. Hammond. in all their proceedings. Bp. Patrick.
32. - the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.] 12. -- from the man that speaketh froward things ;] Foolish sinners are hardened in their wicked courses Not to suffer thee to be perverted by the mouth of him, by the sense of their continuing prosperity, and are who would subtilly insinuate his 'evil principles into therefore hurried on to their own destruction. Bp. thee. Bp. Patrick. Hall.
13. -- to walk in the ways of darkness ;] In the me
lancholy gloomy crooked path that leads to eternal Chap. II. ver. 146. Solomon in this passage teaches misery. Dr. Hammond. us, that God is the only fountain of all true wisdom ; 16. — the strange woman,] The proper meaning of the and that the only way by which we can draw wisdom Hebrew word is, one who is estranged or alienated out of this fountain is, by studying and practising the in her affections from her husband or her God. Dr. sacred law of God. Reading.
Durell. 3. — if thou criest after knowledge,] If thou expressest The practice here alluded to was chiefly and more such a desire of it, as men do of that for which they have openly carried on by women who came from neighbourthe most ardent affection. Bp. Patrick.
ing and heathen countries ; and these being of another The Chaldee version expresses “ criest” by a word religion, if they were of any religion, would probably which signifies the impatient crying of a child to its seduce those who frequented them into the additional
17 Which forsaketh the guide of M Yes thine heart keep my con- about 1000
a Deut. 8. 1.
and direction in good ways.
CHAP. II, III.
An exhortation to obedience. Y sonlawa
but about 1000. her youth, and forgetteth the covenant let of her God.
mandments : 18 For her house inclineth unto 2 For length of days, and + long & 30. 16. death, and her paths unto the dead. life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Ostiges
19 None that go unto her return 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake again, neither take they hold of the thee: b bind them about thy neck; b Exod. 13.9. paths of life.
upon the table of thine Deut. 6. 8. 20 That thou mayest walk in the heart: way of good men, and keep the paths 4 . So shalt thou find favour and c Ps. 111. 10. of the righteous.
Il good understanding in the sight of Or, good 21 For the upright shall dwell in God and man. the land, and the perfect shall remain 5 I Trust in the LORD with all in it.
thine heart; and lean not unto thine 22 e But the wicked shall be cut own understanding. off from the earth, and the transgres 6 . In all thy ways acknowledge d 1 Chron.
sors shall be || rooted out of it. him, and he shall direct thy paths. plucked up.
79 Be not wise in thine own e Rom. 12. 16. CHAP. III.
eyes: fear the Lord, and depart Heb. 1 An exhortation to obedience, 5 to faith, 7
from evil. to mortification, 9 to devotion, 11 to pa
8 It shall be + health to thy navel, watering, or
9 'Honour the LORD with thy
all thine increase :
d Ps. 37. 29.
e Job 18. 17. d Ps. 104, 35.
medicine. + Heb.
mois ning. f Exod. 23. 19. & 34. 26. Deut. 26. 2,
and heinous crime of idolatry, as Solomon afterwards such a person will
, by God's special blessing, and by the knew by his own woful experience. Dr. Jortin. very temper of Christian virtues, have a security of much
17. Which forsaketh the guide of her youth,] The greater real worldly happiness, than those who use unadulteress which forsakes her husband, to whom she lawful arts to obtain the riches and honours of the world. was joined in her youth, and whom she took for her Dr. Hammond, guide and governour when love was in its greatest 3. bind them about thy neck ;] Alluding to the cuswarmth, and has wickedly broken the laws of God, and tom of wearing on their foreheads and wrists the previolated the solemn vow of fidelity which she formerly cepts of the Lord, written on slips of parchment. Dr. made. Bp. Patrick.
Isham. 18.- her house inclineth unto death, &c.] Various 5. — lean not unto thine own understanding.] Rely not plagues and miseries of this world attend upon this sin, on thy wisdom, contrivances, or artifices, to compass which promises pleasure at a distance, but in reality thy designs in this world, but keep thyself to the ways ensnares men into an abyss of endless evils. Dr. Ham- and means which God affords thee, and approves: and mond.
this, beyond all worldly policy, will secure to thee a 22. But the wicked &c.] The proper portion of the happy and easy passage through the dangers of this wicked is, to be cut off and extirpated, either by the life. Dr. Hammond. hand of human justice, or by the curse of God, which 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes :] That is, Do not invisibly pursues them till they be rooted out. Dr. follow the dictates of worldly prudence in opposition to Hammond.
the commands of God. The happiness of good and bad men in this world has -fear the Lord, and depart from evil.] We find this signal and important difference: that of the right- these expressions frequently put together in Scripture, eous is chiefly internal; less visible, perhaps, but more as having nearly the same import, differing only as perfect : the other is only external; more dazzling and cause and effect; the proper fear of the Lord producing conspicuous, but never lasting nor sincere. When the a departure from evil. Abp. Tillotson. good man dies, he passes to a state of most consum 8. It shall be health to thy navel, &c.] This is the means mate felicity : when the wicked man departs, all his of preserving a good habit both of body and soul, and prosperity dies with him; he exchanges a mere empty of remaining, under all circumstances, cheerful, happy, shew of happiness for real and eternal misery. So that and without dejection. These peculiar expressions seem his end, whenever it comes, is indeed “a cutting off to be merely a metaphorical representation of that firmfrom the earth,” earth being the only ground in which ness, and vigorous health, and cheerfulness of mind, his happiness can grow; his end is indeed a “rooting which virtue imparts. Bp. Patrick. out.” *Wogan.
In the East, it is usual, for the most part, to apply
medicines externally, and especially to the stomach. Chap. III. ver. 2. For length of days, &c.] I can give The expression “health to thy navel" seems to bear thee ali assurance from God, Solomon says, that, besides allusion to this custom. Harmer. the endless advantage of another world, thou shalt thus 9. Honour the Lord with thy substance,] Honour the obtain the blessings of this life, the prolonging of thy Lord in his ministers, by paying them their dues, and days here in peace and prosperity: not that the pious bringing oblations to his house at the three solemn faithful servant of God will be exempt from afflictions feasts, (Exod. xxiii. 14, 15,) together with the firstfruits in this world; but that, in the general course of things, of all that thy estate produces, (Exod. xxii. 29, 30,) in
h Job 5. 17. Hebr. 12. 5.
+ IIeb. the man that
& 16. 16.
The happy gain of wisdom.
PROVERBS. An exhortation to charitableness, &c. 10 8 So shall thy barns be filled 22 So shall they be life unto thy c Hikerst CHRIST about 1000. with plenty, and thy presses shall soul, and grace to thy neck. burst out with new wine.
23 k Then shalt thou walk in thy k Ps. 37. 24. g Deut. 28. 8.
11 "My son, despise not the way safely, and thy foot shall not & 91. 11. Rev: 3.10. chastening of the Lord; neither be stumble. weary of his correction :
24 When thou liest down, thou
wisdom, and the man that getteth neither of the desolation of the wicked, draweth out understanding.
when it cometh. 14 i For the merchandise of it is 26 For the Lord shall be thy coni Job 28. 15, better than the merchandise of silver, fidence, and shall keep thy foot from
and the gain thereof than fine gold. being taken. ch. 8. 11, 19.
15 She is more precious than ru 27 q Withhold not good from +them + Heb. the bies: and all the things thou canst to whom it is due, when it is in the thereof. desire are not to be compared unto power of thine hand to do it. her.
28 Say not unto thy neighbour, 16 Length of days is in her right Go, and come again, and to morrow hand; and in her left hand riches and I will give; when thou hast it by honour.
18 She is a tree of life to them that curely by thee.
out cause, if he have done thee no
founded the earth; by understanding 31 q 'Envy thou not + the oppres- 188.8.131.52. || Or, hath he || established the heavens. sor, and choose none of his
20 By his knowledge the depths 32 For the froward is abomination are broken
up, and the clouds drop to the Lord: mbut his secret is with m Ps. 25. 14. down the dew.
the righteous. 21 [ My son, let not them depart 33 In The curse of the Lord is in n Mal. 2. 2. from thine eyes : keep sound wisdom the house of the wicked: but he blessand discretion :
eth the habitation of the just.
man of violence.
token of thy gratitude to Him for his blessings. “ So seek. Dr. Bentley. When Solomon observes that the shall thy barns be filled, &c.” So will God pour his ways of wisdom, that is, of piety, are ways of pleasantblessings upon thee more abundantly, and convince ness, he means, that this is not only the excellence, but thee, by sending a seasonable and plentiful harvest and the peculiar excellence of religion; and consequently vintage, that this is the method, not to diminish, but to that the ways of folly and vice, all things considered, increase the possessions which He hath given thee, Deut. are not ways of pleasantness. Thus the sense of this xxvii. 4, 5; 2 Chron. xxxi. 10. Bp. Patrick.
text is, that the good will infallibly enjoy a satisfaction 11. My son, despise not the chastening] Neither dis- and delight, of which the wicked will as certainly be regard the chastening of the Lord, nor be impatient deprived. Dr. Jortin. See note on ver. 2. under it.
18. She is a tree of life] This seems an allusion to the 15.- than rubies :] The meaning of the Hebrew word tree of life which God planted at first in paradise, and is not well ascertained; there are reasons for thinking which was to give to man life, health, and immortality. that pearls are meant by it, as they were esteemed at a Such is wisdom to those who possess it; it preserves to very high rate, not only by the Jews, but by the Ro- them a long and happy life in this world, and a blessed mans, and even by the Medes, Persians, and Indians. immortality in the next. Calmet. Bochart.
29. Devise not evil- seeing he dwelleth securely] Let 16. Length of days is in her right hand ;] Wisdom is not the quietness of any man's temper, much less the here represented figuratively as a queen, holding in one confidence he has in thy honesty and goodness, tempt hand length of days, and in the other, riches and thee to contrive any mischief against him; for the more honours.
securely he relies on thy virtue, and the less mistrust 17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness,] Thus it is he has of any harm from thee, the greater wickedness most true that religion gives us the greatest delights will it be to entertain even the thought of doing him an and advantages in this life, even if there were no life injury. Bp. Patrick. hereafter; and hence is most apparent the extreme folly 32. - the froward] He that perversely departs from of Atheists, who, besides running a most desperate all the rules of truth and justice. Bp. Patrick. hazard after death, deprive themselves here of that very his secret is with the righteous.] Rather, “ His pleasure and tranquillity, for which they so anxiously counsel is with the righteous," as the Hebrew words
Before CHRIST about 1000.
| Or, she
o Jam. 4. 6. 1 Pet. 5. 5. + Heb. e.rallell the fuols.
crown of glory.
15. Ps. 1. 1.
a 1 Chron. 29. 1.
bi Chron. 28. 9.
21. - keep them in the midst of thine heart.) Preserve
them studiously, and lay them up as a most precious Solomon sheweth what instruction CHAP. III, IV.
he had of his parents. 34 •Surely he scorneth the scorn- ornament of grace: || a
crown of about 1000, ers: but he givethgrace unto the lowly. glory shall she deliver to thee.
35 The wise shall inherit glory: 10 Hear, O my son, and receive but shame + shall be the promotion of my sayings; and the years of thy shall compass fools.
life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way
of wisdom; I have led thee in right
12 When thou goest, thy steps
13 Take fast hold of instruction ; HEAR, ye children, the instruc- let here not go : keep her; for she is
thy life. know understanding.
14 I Enter not into the path of a Chap. 1, 10,
3 For I was my father's son, 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn
16 For they sleep not, except they
17 For they eat the bread of
18 But the path of the just is as
19 The way of the wicked is as
20 My son, attend to my words;
eyes; keep them in the midst of thine 9 She shall give to thine head can heart. admit, and as the Greek translators give the sense. Dr. 12. When thou goest, &c.] If thy actions and designs Hammond. “ His secret counsel is with the righteous.” have no other rule than this which I give thee, thou Schultens.
shalt be at ease and free from those straits and difficul35. - shall inherit glory :] The glory here mentioned ties with which others meet : if thy business should as the inheritance of the wise is threefold; the approba- require haste, this will be the safest, as well as the tion of their own minds, of their fellow-creatures, and most inoffensive way to accomplish thy ends. Bp. Paof the Supreme Being, the great Searcher of hearts. trick. Dr. J. Balguy.
17. - they eat the bread of wickedness,] They live by shame shall be the promotion of fools.] “The robbery and spoil; having no other meat and drink but branding of infamy ennobles or distinguishes fools.” that which is the fruit of their rapine and violence, and Schultens.
not of their honest labours. Bp. Patrick.
18. – the shining light, that shineth more and more Chap. IV. ver. 1. Hear, ye children, &c.] So great &c.] The whole course of righteous men, the beginning, are the sluggishness and forgetfulness of mankind in progress, and consummation, is all imitable and exemtheir principal concernments, that we need not wonder plary, fit to attract all others to it, whether in respect to the wise man repeats nearly the same things, and its inward lustre and excellency, or the present satisquickens our attention to them in the beginning of faction and peace which attends it. In all these respects this chapter. The very first step to wisdom is to have it cannot better be represented than by the light of the a mind to be wise. Bp. Patrick.
sun, when it is come above the horizon, continually in3.- and only beloved] According to some readings of creasing till it come to perfect noon, the day continually the Hebrew Bible, the expression is, “only beloved arraying and adorning itself
, and putting on new lustre, among the sons of my mother.” Dr. Hammond. till the whole face of nature is fully illuminated,
8. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee :] Whatever gree of shade or darkness any where remaining. Dr. value or love thou expressest for this sort of wisdom, Hammond. shall be abundantly repaid to thee by her. Dr. Hammond.
L Vol. II.
c Chap. 1. 9.
Solomon exhorteth to sanctification. PROVERBS. The mischiefs of whoredom and riot. Before 22 For they are life unto those that cretion, and that thy lips may keep
CHRIST about 1000. find them, and + health to all their knowledge. flesh.
3 a For the lips of a strange a Chap. 2. 16. + Heb.
23 | Keep thy heart + with all woman drop as an honeycomb, and & 6. 24. all keeping. diligence; for out of it are the issues her + mouth is smoother than oil:
palate. of life.
4 But her end is bitter as worm24 Put away from thee + a froward wood, sharp as a twoedged sword. frowardness of mouth, and mouth, and perverse lips put far from 5 Her feet go down to death ; b Chap. 7. 27.
thee. of lips.
her steps take hold on hell.
that thou canst not know them.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor words of my mouth.
and come not nigh the door of her
house : CHAP. V.
9 Lest thou give thine honour
3 He shewetk the mischief of whoredom and cruel :
ways shall be
treasure, in the closest affections of thy heart. Bp. | desires, which he had before noticed, chap. ii. 16, 17, as Patrick.
great obstructions to religious wisdom; and he describes 23. Keep thy heart with all diligence ;] The heart is their miserable effects by several apt resemblances, ver. here used to denote the seat of the affections, passions, 4, 5, which shew how by these vices men lose their and desires; and by the precept “ to keep our hearts," honour, their time, their health, and estates, and at last is meant, that we should diligently preserve our good lie down in sorrow, and end their days in an unprofitable dispositions, and correct our bad ones; for which two repentance. Bp. Patrick, things principally are necessary, a frequent examination drop as an honeycomb,] Are full of sweet enticeof our own heart, and a constant endeavour to wean our ments. Bp. Hall. affections from this world, and to fix them on another. 5. Her feet go down to death ;] She leads those that Dr. Waterland.
follow her steps to certain and inevitable destruction, - for out of it are the issues of life.] The genuine not only here, but in another world. Bp. Patrick. and natural sense of this is, that all the actions of a her steps take hold on hell.] Rather, “her steps man's life issue and proceed from the heart; which is lead on to the tomb." By the English term “hell,” is the fountain, not only of our natural life, but of our commonly understood the place of torment: whereas moral too; so that, as a man's heart is, so will his life here is meant the grave, the place where the body is be: if his heart be kept clear and pure, his life cannot consumed. Dr. Hodgson. be wicked and vicious; and if his heart be wicked and 6. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life,] The vicious, his life cannot be kept clean and pure from Hebrew words admit of being translated in the third sin; as our Saviour Himself teaches, Matt. vii. 164 person, “She ponders not the path of life;" and this 20. Bp. Beveridge.
seems a preferable construction. Dr. Durell. “Her 24. Put away from thee a froward mouth,] Never paths are always moveable,” “wandering,” “ dangerspeak any thing thyself contrary to truth, honesty, and ous,” “ unstable,” according to different versions. Dr. religion, nor listen to, or associate with, those that do Hammond. She gives herself up to pleasure without so. Bp. Patrick.
reflection : her ways are inconstant, she has no fixed 25. Let thine eyes look right on, &c.] Let neither attachments, has neither knowledge, wisdom, or disthine eyes, nor thy other senses, be drawn aside to the cernment, and follows no rule but her passion. Calmet. right hand or to the left, but let them be directed aright, 9. Lest thou give thine honour unto others, &c.] Lest according to the law of thy God. Bp. Hall.
thou put thy reputation in the power of others, and even 27. Turn not to the right hand &c.] Let no tempta- thy life; that is, of those who may divulge or revenge tion either of hope or fear, passion or interest, be able thy adultery, Chap. vi. 34. to seduce or divert thee from the straight and even path 11. And thou mourn] “ Mourn” is too feeble a word of virtue, but exactly and carefully preserve thyself from to convey the meaning of the original. It signifies more every thing that is evil. Dr. Hammond,
properly, “and thou roar” with pain. Dr. Hodgson.
12. — How have I hated &c.] How stupidly foolish Chap. V. ver. 3. For the lips of a strange woman] The have I been, in not considering all this sooner; how wise man here gives a new caution against those impure senselessly bent on my own ruin! I am amazed to think