Promises to those who seek wisdom. (1-9) The advantages of wisdom. (10-22)
Verses 1-9 Those who earnestly seek heavenly wisdom, will never complain that they have lost their labour; and the freeness of the gift does not do away the necessity of our diligence, Joh. 6:27 . Let them seek, and they shall find it; let them ask, and it shall be given them. Observe who are thus favoured. They are the righteous, on whom the image of God is renewed, which consists in righteousness. If we depend upon God, and seek to him for wisdom, he will enable us to keep the paths of judgment.
Verses 10-22 If we are truly wise, we shall be careful to avoid all evil company and evil practices. When wisdom has dominion over us, then it not only fills the head, but enters into the heart, and will preserve, both against corruptions within and temptations without. The ways of sin are ways of darkness, uncomfortable and unsafe: what fools are those who leave the plain, pleasant, lightsome paths of uprightness, to walk in such ways! They take pleasure in sin; both in committing it, and in seeing others commit it. Every wise man will shun such company. True wisdom will also preserve from those who lead to fleshly lusts, which defile the body, that living temple, and war against the soul. These are evils which excite the sorrow of every serious mind, and cause every reflecting parent to look upon his children with anxiety, lest they should be entangled in such fatal snares. Let the sufferings of others be our warnings. Our Lord Jesus deters from sinful pleasures, by the everlasting torments which follow them. It is very rare that any who are caught in this snare of the devil, recover themselves; so much is the heart hardened, and the mind blinded, by the deceitfulness of this sin. Many think that this caution, besides the literal sense, is to be understood as a caution against idolatry, and subjecting the soul to the body, by seeking any forbidden object. The righteous must leave the earth as well as the wicked; but the earth is a very different thing to them. To the wicked it is all the heaven they ever shall have; to the righteous it is the place of preparation for heaven. And is it all one to us, whether we share with the wicked in the miseries of their latter end, or share those everlasting joys that shall crown believers?
Proverbs 2:1-22 . Men are invited to seek wisdom because it teaches those principles by which they may obtain God's guidance and avoid the society and influence of the wicked, whose pernicious courses are described.
1-5. Diligence in hearing and praying for instruction must be used to secure the great principle of godliness, the fear of God.
hide . . . with thee--lay up in store (compare Proverbs 7:1 ).
2. Listen attentively and reflect seriously ( Proverbs 1:24 , Psalms 130:2 ).
understanding--right perception of truth.
3. Yea, if--literally, "When if," that is, in such a case.
understanding--as in Proverbs 2:2 .
4. There must be earnest prayer and effort.
5. understand--or, "perceive intelligently."
6. For--God is ready ( 1:5 , 4:8 ).
out of his mouth--by revelation from Him.
7. sound wisdom--literally, "substance," opposed to what is fictitious. According to the context, this may be assistance, as here corresponding with
buckler--or safety, or wisdom, which procures it (compare Proverbs 3:21 , 8:14 , 18:1 , Job 6:13 , 12:13 ).
layeth up--provides, ever ready.
8. keepeth . . . way--God defends the right way, and those in it.
saints--objects of favor (compare Psalms 4:3 , &c.). He guides and guards them.
9. Then--emphatic, in such a case.
righteousness . . . path--all parts of duty to God and man.
10, 11. Idea of Proverbs 2:9 , amplified; on terms, compare Proverbs 2:2 and Proverbs 2:4 .
12-15. To deliver--as from great danger ( Proverbs 6:5 ).
way . . . man--( Psalms 1:1 ).
froward things--perversity ( Proverbs 6:14 , 23:23 ), what is opposed to truth.
13. paths of uprightness--or, "plainness."
14. and that with pleasure, in ignorance of good and pursuit of evil.
frowardness--Not only their own perversity, but that of others is their delight. They love most the worst things.
15. crooked--tortuous, unprincipled.
froward--literally, (they) are going back, not only aside from right, but opposite to it.
16-19. Deliverance from another danger.
the strange woman--This term is often used for harlot, or loose woman ( Judges 11:1 Judges 11:2 ), married ( Proverbs 7:5 Proverbs 7:19 ) or not ( 1 Kings 11:1 ), so called, because such were, perhaps at first, foreigners, though "strange" may also denote whatever is opposed to right or proper, as "strange fire" ( Numbers 3:4 ); "strange incense" ( Exodus 30:9 ).
her words--( Psalms 5:9 ).
17. guide . . . youth--lawful husband ( Jeremiah 3:4 ).
covenant . . . God--of marriage made in God's name.
18. inclineth--sinks down (compare Numbers 13:31 ).
the dead--or shades of the departed ( Psalms 88:10 ).
19. that is, such as remain impenitent (compare Ecclesiastes 7:26 ).
paths of life--( Psalms 16:11 ), opposed to paths unto the dead.
20. That . . . way of good--that is, Such is the object of these warnings.
21, 22. (Compare Psalms 37:3 Psalms 37:9 Psalms 37:22 Psalms 37:27 ).
22. transgressors--or impious rebels (compare Jeremiah 9:2 ).
rooted out--utterly destroyed, as trees plucked up by the roots.