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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Proverbs 4



Verse 1

children = sons.

instruction = correction, or admonition.

know understanding = learn discernment.

Verse 3

son. The Hebrew accent (Dechi) emphasizes this word to show (1) his own early training (Proverbs 4:3); (2) those whom he would instruct (verses: Proverbs 4:1, Proverbs 4:2); (3) his instruction (verses: Proverbs 4:5-9.)

only beloved = unique.

in the sight of my mother. A special various reading, called Sevir (App-34), reads "of my mother"s sons". So in some codices, with several early printed editions.

Verse 4

Keep = Take heed to.

live: i.e. live again, in resurrection life. See note on Leviticus 18:5. Earthly life could he enjoyed without keeping commandments.

Verse 5

Get wisdom:, Proverbs 4:6 tells how to do it.

it = her.

words = sayings. Hebrew. imrah. See App-73.

Verse 6

her: i.e. wisdom.

preserve = guard.

keep = protect, as one protects the apple of one"s eye. See note on Proverbs 4:23.

Verse 7

Wisdom . . . wisdom. Hebrew in four words, "Beginning wisdom get wisdom" = as the principal thing, get wisdom.

Verse 8

when = because. Hebrew. ki.

Verse 9

A crown = A diadem.

glory = beauty: i.e. a beautiful diadem.

deliver = deliver fully and freely. Hebrew. magan (a rare word). Occurs only in Genesis 14:20, here, and Hosea 11:8.

Verse 10

my son. See note on Proverbs 1:8.

sayings. Hebrew. imrah. See App-73.

the years of thy life shall be many = [my sayings] shall grow greater [through] the years of thy life. The verb denotes increase of size, not merely numbers. See notes on Proverbs 3:2, Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 10:27. The verb here is masculine, but "years of life" is feminine. The verb therefore refers to "sayings".

Verse 11

taught = directed.

Verse 12

When thou goest: or, as thou walkest; i.e. however hedged in our path seems, it opens out as we go forward.

when thou runnest = if thou runnest. To walk is obligatory; to run is optional.

Verse 13

Take fast hold. The Hiphils of this clause are emphatic.

let her not go = do not let her go.

she = she herself. Emphatic.

Verse 14

Enter not. Note the Figure of speech Synonymia (App-6) in the verbs of verses: Proverbs 4:14, Proverbs 4:15. Illustrations: Lot (Genesis 13:10-13); Solomon (2 Kings 23:13. Compare with 1 Kings 11:5); Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 18:1; 2 Chronicles 21:6. Compare with 2 Chronicles 19:2; 2 Chronicles 22:2, 2 Chronicles 22:3, 2 Chronicles 22:10, and Proverbs 6:27, Proverbs 6:28).

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha. App-44.

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

Verse 15

Avoid = let that go; referring to Proverbs 4:14. Note the Figure of speech Synonymia. App-6.

away = on.

Verse 16

For. Hebrew. im l"o = because; i.e. the reason why they sleep not is because they mean mischief, and because they intend an occasion of stumbling.

Verse 17

bread. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part) for food in general.

of = obtained. Genitive of Origin. App-17(2).

wickedness = lawlessness. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

of violence = obtained by violence. Genitive of Origin. App-17(2).

Verse 18

But. Marking the contrast between the growth of wickedness (verses: Proverbs 4:16, Proverbs 4:17), and the growth of wisdom leading in right paths (verses: Proverbs 4:11, Proverbs 4:12).

the shining light = the dawning of day: advancing and brightening till noon.

perfect = stable part, when the sun seems stationary on the meridian. Illustrations: Jacob (Genesis 49:10, Genesis 49:18. Hebrews 11:21); Nathanael (John 1:46-51); Eunuch (Acts 8:27-39).

Verse 19

way of the wicked. Illustrations: Korah (Numbers 16:16-19); Ahab (1 Kings 16:31); Babylon (Isaiah 47:11); Jews (Jeremiah 5:19, Jeremiah 5:25; Jeremiah 44:15-23. Ezekiel 18:29. Acts 28:25, Acts 28:26).

as. Some codices, with one early printed edition, read "in".

Verse 20

words. Hebrew. dabar. App-73.

Verse 21

depart = get away from.

Verse 22

health = healing.

Verse 23

Keep . . . with all diligence. Above all that must be guarded. The preposition M (hebrew character) marks the place or person that keeps: the meaning being, guard the heart as the great citadel, for out of it are the source and outgoings of life. Same word as in verses: Proverbs 6:13. Not the same word as in verses: Proverbs 4:21.

froward. See notes on Proverbs 2:12 and Proverbs 6:12, the only other examples of frowardness of mouth.

(23-27) Note the Alternation in these verses.
Positive. Heart.
Negative. Mouth.
Positive. Eyes.
27. Negative. Feet.

Verse 26

Ponder the path, &c. Illustrations: Abraham (Genesis 24:1-9. See note on Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 3:6); Eleazar (Genesis 24:5); Joshua (Proverbs 24:15); Ruth (Proverbs 1:16-18); David (Psalms 39:1); Hezekiah (Psalms 119:50); The good wife (Proverbs 31:27); Daniel (Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:3, Proverbs 6:4); contrast Asa (2 Chronicles 16:1-9). 2 Chronicles 5:1-23 (B p. 865). THE FOREIGN WOMAN.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 4:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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