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.
3. mercy and truth--God's faithfulness to His promises is often expressed by these terms ( Psalms 25:10 , 57:3 ). As attributes of men, they express integrity in a wide sense ( Proverbs 16:6 , 20:28 ).
bind . . . write . . . heart--outwardly adorn and inwardly govern motives.
4. favour--grace, amiability ( Proverbs 22:11 , Psalms 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.
8. It--This conduct.
to thy navel--for all the organs of nourishment.
bones--frame of body. True piety promotes bodily health.
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 Proverbs 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.
17. Her ways--such as she directs us to take.
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 Proverbs 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.
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).
29, 30. Do not abuse confidence and avoid litigation.
33. curse . . . wicked--It abides with them, and will be manifested.
34. The retribution of sinners, as in Psalms 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.