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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Proverbs 3



Verse 1

Proverbs 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.

law [and] commandments — all divine instructions (see on Psalm 119:1 and see on Psalm 119:4).

let thine heart keep — or sincerely observe (Proverbs 4:13; Proverbs 5:2).

Verse 2
life — often promised as blessings (Psalm 21:4; Psalm 91:16).

peace — includes prosperity (Psalm 125:5).

add — abound to thee.

Verse 3

mercy and truth — God‘s faithfulness to His promises is often expressed by these terms (Psalm 25:10; Psalm 57:3). As attributes of men, they express integrity in a wide sense (Proverbs 16:6; Proverbs 20:28).

bind … write … heart — outwardly adorn and inwardly govern motives.

Verse 4

favour — grace, amiability (Proverbs 22:11; Psalm 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.

Verse 5
heart — This is the center and marrow of true wisdom (Proverbs 22:19; Proverbs 28:25). The positive duty has its corresponding negation in the admonition against self-confidence.

Verse 6

ways — (Psalm 1:1).

acknowledge — by seeking His wise aid (Proverbs 16:3; Psalm 37:5; Jeremiah 9:23, Jeremiah 9:24).

direct — literally, “make plain” (compare Hebrews 12:13).

Verse 7

(Compare Proverbs 27:2; Romans 12:16).

fear … evil — reverentially regarding His law.

Verse 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.

Verse 9-10

(Compare Proverbs 11:25; Exodus 23:19; Deuteronomy 18:4; Isaiah 32:8; 2 Corinthians 9:13).

Verse 10

presses — or wine fats (Joel 2:24; Joel 3:13).

Verse 11-12

The true intent of afflictions considered; they do not contradict the assertion of the blessed state of the pious (Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5, Hebrews 12:6).

Verse 12

he delighteth — or receiveth as denoting reconciliation regarding the offense which produced chastisement.

Verse 13

findeth — literally, “reaches,” or “obtains by seeking.”

getteth — literally, “draws out,” as metals by digging.

Verse 14-15

The figure of Proverbs 3:13 carried out.

it — that is, wisdom.

merchandise of silver — acquisition by trading.

fine gold — dug gold, solid as a nugget.

Verse 15

rubies — gems, or pearls.

Verse 16-17

Wisdom personified as bringing the best blessings (compare Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8).

Verse 17

Her ways — such as she directs us to take.

Verse 18

Wisdom allegorized as

a tree of life — (Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22) whose fruit preserves life, gives all that makes living a blessing.

Verse 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.

Verse 21

sound wisdom — (compare Proverbs 2:7).

let … eyes — that is, these words of instruction.

Verses 22-24

assign reasons in their value for happiness and ornament, guidance and support in dangers, both when waking and sleeping.

Verse 25

Be not — or, “You shall not be.”

sudden fear — what causes it (Proverbs 1:27), any unlooked-for evil (Psalm 46:3; Psalm 91:12; 1 Peter 3:14).

desolation — (Proverbs 1:27).

Verse 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 Nahum 3:9, for the same construction, Hebrew).

Verse 27-28

Promptly fulfil all obligations both of justice and charity (compare James 2:15, James 2:16).

Verse 29-30

Do not abuse confidence and avoid litigation.

Verse 31

oppressor — or man of mischief. The destiny of successful evildoers warns against desiring their lot (Psalm 37:1, Psalm 37:2, Psalm 37:35, Psalm 37:36).

Verses 32-35

Reasons for the warning.

froward — (Proverbs 2:15).

secret … righteous — in their communion (Amos 3:7).

Verse 33

curse … wicked — It abides with them, and will be manifested.

Verse 34

The retribution of sinners, as in Psalm 18:26.

Verse 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.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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