After the title the writer defines the design and nature of the
instructions of the book. He paternally invites attention to those
instructions and warns his readers against the enticements of the
wicked. In a beautiful personification, wisdom is then introduced in a
most solemn and impressive manner, publicly inviting men to receive its
teachings, warning those who reject, and encouraging those who accept,
the proffered instructions.
1-4. (See Introduction, Part I).
2. To know …
instruction—literally, "for knowing," that is, such is the
design of these writings.
wisdom—or the use of the best means
for the best ends, is generally employed in this book for true
instruction—discipline, by which men
to perceive—literally, "for
perceiving," the design (as above)
understanding—that is, words which
enable one to discern good and evil.
3. To receive … of wisdom—For
receiving that discipline which discretion imparts. The
Hebrew for "wisdom" differs from that of Pr 1:2, and denotes rather discreet counsel.
Compare the opposite traits of the fool (Pr 16:22).
justice … equity—all the
attributes of one upright in all his relations to God and man.
4. simple—one easily led to good or
evil; so the parallel.
young man—one inexperienced.
subtilty—or prudence (Pr 3:21; 5:21).
discretion—literally, "device," both
qualities, either good or bad, according to their use. Here good, as
they imply wariness by which to escape evil and find good.
5, 6. Such writings the wise, who pursue right
ends by right means, will value.
learning—not the act, but matter of
wise counsels—or the art and
principles of governing.
6. To understand—so as to … such
will be the result.
words of the wise—(Compare Pr 1:2).
dark sayings—(Compare Ps 49:4; Joh
16:25; and see Introduction, Part I).
7. The fear of the Lord—the principle of
true piety (compare Pr 2:5;
14:26, 27; Job 28:28; Ps 34:11; 111:10; Ac 9:31).
beginning—first part, foundation.
fools—the stupid and indifferent to
God's character and government; hence the wicked.
8. My son—This paternal form denotes a
tender regard for the reader. Filial sentiments rank next to piety
towards God, and ensure most distinguished rewards (compare Pr 6:20;
Eph 6:2, 3).
9. On the figures of Pr 1:9, compare Ge 41:42; So 1:10; 4:9.
10-19. A solemn warning against
entice—literally, "open the way."
consent … not—Sin is in
consenting or yielding to temptation, not in being tempted.
11-14. Murder and robbery are given as
lay wait … lurk privily—express
an effort and hope for successful concealment.
swallow … grave—utterly destroy
the victim and traces of the crime (Nu 16:33; Ps 55:15). Abundant rewards of villainy are
promised as the fruits of this easy and safe course.
15, 16. The society of the wicked (way or
path) is dangerous. Avoid the beginnings of sin (Pr 4:14;
Ps 1:1; 119:101).
17-19. Men warned ought to escape danger as
birds instinctively avoid visibly spread nets. But stupid sinners rush
to their own ruin (Ps 9:16),
and, greedy of gain, succeed in the very schemes which destroy them
6:10), not only failing to
catch others, but procuring their own destruction.
20-33. Some interpreters regard this address
as the language of the Son of God under the name of Wisdom (compare
11:49). Others think that
wisdom, as the divine attribute specially employed in acts of counsel
and admonition, is here personified, and represents God. In either case
the address is a most solemn and divine admonition, whose matter and
spirit are eminently evangelical and impressive (see on Pr 8:1).
Wisdom—literally, "Wisdoms," the
plural used either because of the unusual sense, or as indicative of
the great excellency of wisdom (compare Pr 9:1).
streets—or most public places, not
21. The publicity further indicated by terms
designating places of most common resort.
22. simple ones—(Compare Pr 1:4).
scorners—(Ps 1:1)—who despise, as well as reject,
fools—Though a different word is used
from that of Pr 1:7, yet it
is of the same meaning.
23. reproof—implying conviction
deserving it (compare Joh 16:8,
pour out—abundantly impart.
my spirit—whether of wisdom
personified, or of Christ, a divine agent.
24. stretched … hand—Earnestness,
especially in beseeching, is denoted by the figure (compare Job 11:13; Ps 68:31; 88:9).
25. set at naught—rejected as of no
would none of—literally, "were not
willing or inclined to it."
26, 27. In their extreme distress He will not
only refuse help, but aggravate it by derision.
27. fear—the object of it.
desolation—literally, "a tumultuous
noise," denoting their utter confusion.
destruction—or calamity (Pr 1:26) compared to a whirlwind, as to fatal
distress—(Ps 4:1; 44:11).
anguish—a state of inextricable
oppression, the deepest despair.
28. Now no prayers or most diligent seeking
will avail (Pr 8:17).
29, 30. The sinner's infatuated rejection
brings his ruin.
31. fruit … way—result of conduct
(Isa 3:10; Eze 11:21; Ro 6:21; Ga 6:7, 8).
be filled—even to repletion (Ps 123:4).
32. turning away—that is, from the call
simple—as in Pr 1:22.
33. dwell safely—literally, "in
confidence" (De 12:10).
be quiet—or at ease, in real
from fear—without fear.