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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 3

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 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 JF & B for Ps 119:1 and JF & B for Ps 119:4).
      let thine heart keep--or sincerely observe ( Pro 4:13 5:2 ).

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

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

      4. favour--grace, amiability ( Pro 22:11 Psa 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 ( Pro 22:19 28:25 ). The positive duty has its corresponding negation in the admonition against self-confidence.

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

      7. (Compare Pro 27:2 Rom 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 Pro 11:25 Exd 23:19 Deu 18:4 Isa 32:8 2Cr 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 Hbr 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 Pro 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 Mat 6:33 1Ti 4:8 ).

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

      18. Wisdom allegorized as
      a tree of life-- ( Gen 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 Pro 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 ( Pro 1:27 ), any unlooked-for evil ( Psa 46:3 91:12 1Pe 3:14 ).
      desolation-- ( Pro 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 Nah 3:9, for the same construction, Hebrew).

      27, 28. Promptly fulfil all obligations both of justice and charity (compare Jam 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 ( Psa 37:1, 2, 35, 36 ).

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

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

      34. The retribution of sinners, as in Psa 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.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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