Take fast hold of instruction
Not the law, as Jarchi and Gersom interpret it; but the instruction of wisdom, the doctrine of Christ or the Gospel; see ( Proverbs 8:1-10 ) ; which is an instruction into the mind and will of God, concerning the salvation of men; into the grace of God, showing that salvation, in all its branches, is of pure grace; into the person and offices of Christ, and into the business of salvation through him; into the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by him. This should be "taken fast hold of"; in order to which, men should take heed unto it, attentively hear it; they should come with a cordial affection to it, and an eager desire after it, or they will never lay fast hold on it; for taking fast hold, as it supposes a careful attention to the Gospel, so a reception of it in the love of it, and an eagerness to be possessed of it: such may be said to take fast hold on it, who receive it into their hearts, and not into their heads only; head knowledge of the Gospel instruction is not hold fast enough, it must be heart knowledge of it; it is taken fast hold on when it is mixed with faith when heard; when it is digested and incorporated as it were into men, and becomes the ingrafted word; when men are led experimentally and practically into it, and are not hearers only, but doers of it; and, being thus taken fast hold of, let [her] not go;
the instruction of wisdom, or the Gospel of Christ; do not drop it, nor depart from it, nor waver about it; nor be languid in a profession of it, nor indifferent to it: "be not remiss" F24, as the word signifies; or let not thine hand be remiss, or let not thine hand go; having, as it were with both hands, took fast hold of the Gospel, hold it fast, neither drop it through negligence and carelessness, nor suffer it to be taken from thee by fraud or force; keep her, for she [is] thy life;
which may be understood either of the Gospel, Wisdom's instruction, which should be kept as a rich treasure, and not parted with at any rate; since it is the means of quickening dead sinners; of showing sensible ones the way of life by Christ; of producing faith in them, by which they live upon him; and of maintaining and supporting the spiritual life in them, and of reviving and comforting them under the most drooping and afflictive circumstances; a man would as soon part with his life surely as part with this! Or else, seeing the feminine gender is here used, which does not agree with the word translated "instruction", but with "wisdom", mentioned ( Proverbs 4:11 ) ; so Aben Ezra; therefore Christ may be here meant, who is to be kept as the pearl of great price, being more precious than rubies and all desirable things, and especially since he is the "life" of his people: he is the author and maintainer of their spiritual life; he is their life itself, it is hid with him; and because he lives, they live also: all the comforts and supplies of life are from him, and he is their eternal life; it is given through him and by him, and ties greatly in the enjoyment of him.
F24 (Prt la) "ne remittas", Tigurine version, Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis.