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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 2:11

 

 

Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Discretion shall preserve thee - מזמה mezimmah . See on Proverbs 1:4; (note). Here the word is taken in a good sense, a good device. The man invents purposes of good; and all his schemes, plans, and devices, have for their object God's glory and the good of man: he deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things he shall stand. Coverdale translates, "Then shall Counsel preserve thee." A very good translation, much better than the present.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-2.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 2:11

Discretion shall preserve thee.

Humility

This is the first sought and last won of the Christian graces. Such are the difficulties in the acquisition of humility that it is but seldom really found. It is a common want of the present day. See the ordinary courtesy of modern society. See the special snare in intellectual careers. In both of these provinces of life especial discouragement has been given during the recent period to the growth in us of true humility.

I. Abjectness is not humility. Depression, abasement, humiliation, by no means exhaust all the commutation of this well-known Christian term. Abjectness and humility may have some features in common. But humility presupposes a soaring spirit. The calm dignity of Christian holiness must rest behind. This lovely grace assists and furthers genuine aspirations. Our Lord made three contributions to the science of ethics, and each of them bore the impress of the Cross--humility, faith, love. These, at least, He lifted into places of high importance. Our Lord places humility in the very front of His teaching. See sermons on the mount and on the plain. There is nothing vain or false in humility. “Humility is the hall-mark of wisdom.”

II. The beginnings of humility must be made in careful self-repression. We are so much bound up with ourselves that we cannot come to a just and fair estimate of our own affairs without rejecting a vast amount of the suggestions and insinuations that we make to ourselves. Self-abnegation may, in becoming habitual, cast off all consciousness. Repentance must begin with humiliation. There can be no contrition without humility. The difficulty is to get this feeling the permanent posture of the soul. Here we must depend upon the action of conscience. The following are some of the provinces in which we have to exercise self-repression.

1. Good-fortune, successes, advancement, commendation, praise, bring a too satisfied sense of our own exaltation.

2. Success is said to try humility, misfortune to produce it. “We can hardly learn humility and tenderness enough except by suffering.”

3. Think of the wrath, quarrels, and resentments which arise from nervous anxiety about ourselves and our position. Bishop Wilson says, “He that is truly humble never thinks himself wronged.”

4. Humility often seems persistently to fly away from the intellectual life.

III. Humility requires us to fix our attentions upon people and things outside of ourselves. This includes a steady posture of reverence. The reverent life confers grace and refinement upon our characters. It constitutes the inextinguishable charm of religion. In the practice of the reverent life we have the conscious cultivation of humility. We move out of self-contemplation and self-pleasing into the higher region of sacrifice, and into the dignity of giving, in offering homage to the Almighty God, and in according attention to other people.

IV. Humility is regulated by our deportment towards truth. True humility is marked by a simplicity of mind from which self is banished. Disorderly introspection is morbid and unwholesome. But humility is difficult to attain. It is scarcely possible until the character is thoroughly settled to avoid an amount of self-consciousness which is inconsistent with real humility. There is indeed much intellectual as well as moral weakness that stands in the way of acquiring humility. Besides the want of the power of concentration, there is generally a lack of imagination. See illustration in our Lord’s life of humility with aspiration in it.

1. The lofty aspirations and the soaring aims of our Lord were never laid aside by Him, but they were kept in the background.

2. With what consistency did He repress Himself, and how thoroughly His teaching coincided with His example!

3. He showed reverence towards all. His respect for men is most touching.

4. What self-sacrifice and neglect of self are visible throughout His career! No labour is ever too much for Him. He was always ready at the call of duty. Does the way of humility still seem hard? There, on that hill outside Jerusalem, at the foot of that Cross which is set up towards heaven, drawing all men unto it, we may come to learn what we can learn nowhere else--how to lower our pride, and to foster humility in our souls. (Edward Miller, M.A.)

The negative beneficial influence of religion

There is an important distinction between the understanding of the meaning of Divine discoveries and the perception of their excellence and truth. Knowledge in Scripture, with which salvation is connected, includes the latter. The knowledge of anything means the knowledge of its real and distinctive properties. The apostle speaks of “spiritual discernment.” “Discretion” and, “understanding” in this connection mean self-jealousy arising from self-knowledge. The knowledge of ourselves includes the knowledge, theoretical and experimental, of the unlimited deceitfulness of our own hearts. And this, connected with a right knowledge of the sources of temptation as they exist in such abundance and variety around us, will inspire and maintain discretion. He will “watch unto prayer,” and not merely trust to his own discretion. Diffidence of self and confidence in God constitute the discretion of the spiritual man. The two sources of temptation for youth are wicked men and wicked women. The “evil man” speaketh froward things, i.e., words of perverse rebellion, of a spirit stubborn, refractory, scornful, self-willed. These work seductively on youthful minds of a particular temperament; especially on those who have a craze for independence. The “evil man’s” ways are crooked ways, changing from purpose at wayward inclination. The “strange woman” represents all seducers to immorality and sensual indulgences, and such have a special influence on youth. (R. Wardlaw,D. D.)

The youth assisted in forming his religious sentiments

I. Let your mind be impressed with this sentiment, that there is such a thing as religion; and that it is of serious importance.

II. Always remember that religion is agreeable to the nature of God. As it is a service which you owe to Him, your ideas of it must correspond with His moral character.

III. To judge what religion is, you must always consider that it is a rational thing.

IV. Religion must be a work suited to the nature and condition of man.

V. You must always remember that religion is a benevolent and useful thing; and that, wherever it takes place, it makes men better than they were before.

VI. Judge of things doubtful by things which are plain. VII. If a matter proposed to you, in a way of instruction or advice, appears doubtful, suspend your resolution, until you have made further inquiry. (J. Lathrop, D. D.)


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 2:11". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Discretion shall preserve thee,.... Which wisdom or the Gospel gives, or the Lord by the means of it; for the Gospel makes a man wise and discreet in the business of salvation, and in his conduct and deportment; and the discretion it gives him will put him upon his guard, and direct him to watch against every error, and every false way. And so the words may be rendered, "discretion will watch over thee"; to keep thee from everything pernicious in doctrine and practice. The Septuagint version renders it, "good counsel"; which wisdom gives, and the Gospel is full of; and which, if attended to, is a means of the preservation of the saints;

understanding shall keep thee; which is only the same thing expressed in other words. The Septuagint version renders it, "an holy thought"; and the Arabic version, "a just thought shall preserve thee in thy last times". What these are a means of keeping and preserving from is explained in the following verses.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

f Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

(f) The word of God will guide you, and teach you how to govern yourself.

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

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-2.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Ver. 11. Discretion.] Heb., Thoughtfulness, or good advisement. Cogito quasi coagito. (a) Notat sereitatem, such as is that of the wife "to please her husband," [1 Corinthians 7:34] casting this way and that way how to give best content: or that of the good housewife to "build her house," [Proverbs 14:1] studying in every business how to set everything in order, as the carpenter studies how to set every part of the frame in joint.


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-2.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

From wicked courses, and the mischiefs which attend upon them; as is particularly expressed in the following verses.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-2.html. 1685.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
4:6; 6:22-24; Psalms 25:21; 119:9-11; Ecclesiastes 9:15-18; 10:10; Ephesians 5:15

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-2.html.

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