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3. Further Benefits of Wisdom

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. 19The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.

33The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

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Pr 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 Ps 119:1 and Ps 119:4).

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

2. length … life—often promised as blessings (Ps 21:4; 91:16).

peace—includes prosperity (Ps 125:5).

add—abound to thee.

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

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

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

6. ways—(Ps 1:1).

acknowledge—by seeking His wise aid (Pr 16:3; Ps 37:5; Jer 9:23, 24).

direct—literally, "make plain" (compare Heb 12:13).

7. (Compare Pr 27:2; Ro 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 Pr 11:25; Ex 23:19; De 18:4; Isa 32:8; 2Co 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; Heb 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 Pr 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 Mt 6:33; 1Ti 4:8).

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

18. Wisdom allegorized as

a tree of life—(Ge 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 Pr 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 (Pr 1:27), any unlooked-for evil (Ps 46:3; 91:12; 1Pe 3:14).

desolation—(Pr 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 Na 3:9, for the same construction, Hebrew).

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

32-35. Reasons for the warning.

froward—(Pr 2:15).

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

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

34. The retribution of sinners, as in Ps 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.