Proverbs 3

The Rewards of Wisdom

1 My son, 1do not forget my teaching, But let your heart 2keep my commandments;
2 For 3length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.
3 Do not let 4kindness and truth leave you; 5Bind them around your neck, 6Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will 7find favor and 8good repute In the sight of God and man.
5 9Trust in the LORD with all your heart And 10do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways 11acknowledge Him, And He will 12make your paths straight.
7 13Do not be wise in your own eyes; 14Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be 15healing to your body And 16refreshment to your bones.
9 17Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the 18first of all your produce;
10 So your 19barns will be filled with plenty And your 20vats will overflow with new wine.
11 21My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof,
12 For 22whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even 23as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
13 24How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding.
14 For her 25profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is 26more precious than jewels; And nothing * you desire compares with her.
16 27Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are 28riches and honor.
17 Her 29ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are 30peace.
18 She is a 31tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.
19 The LORD 32by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He 33established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the 34deeps were broken up And the 35skies drip with dew.
21 My son, 36let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 So they will be 37life to your soul And 38adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will 39walk in your way securely And your foot will not 40stumble.
24 When you 41lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 42Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the 43onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will 44keep your foot from being caught.
27 45Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it.
28 46Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you.
29 47Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you.
30 48Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.
31 49Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways.
32 For the 50devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is 51intimate with the upright.
33 The 52curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He 53blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Though 54He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet 55He gives grace to the afflicted.
35 56The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

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Proverbs 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

Exhortations to obedience and faith. (1-6) To piety, and to improve afflictions. (7-12) To gain wisdom. (13-20) Guidance of Wisdom. (21-26) The wicked and the upright. (27-35)

Verses 1-6 In the way of believing obedience to God's commandments health and peace may commonly be enjoyed; and though our days may not be long upon earth, we shall live for ever in heaven. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; God's mercy in promising, and his truth in performing: live up to them, keep up thine interest in them, and take the comfort of them. We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts, believing he is able and wise to do what is best. Those who know themselves, find their own understandings a broken reed, which, if they lean upon, will fail. Do not design any thing but what is lawful, and beg God to direct thee in every case, though it may seem quite plain. In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last.

Verses 7-12 There is not a greater enemy to the fear of the Lord in the heart, than self-conceit of our own wisdom. The prudence and sobriety which religion teaches, tend not only to the health of the soul, but to the health of the body. Worldly wealth is but poor substance, yet, such as it is, we must honour God with it; and those that do good with what they have, shall have more to do more good with. Should the Lord visit us with trials and sickness, let us not forget that the exhortation speaks to us as to children, for our good. We must not faint under an affliction, be it ever so heavy and long, not be driven to despair, or use wrong means for relief. The father corrects the son whom he loves, because he loves him, and desires that he may be wise and good. Afflictions are so far from doing God's children any hurt, that, by the grace of God, they promote their holiness.

Verses 13-20 No precious jewels or earthly treasures are worthy to be compared with true wisdom, whether the concerns of time or eternity be considered. We must make wisdom our business; we must venture all in it, and be willing to part with all for it. This Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation, sought and obtained by faith and prayer. Were it not for unbelief, remaining sinfulness, and carelessness, we should find all our ways pleasantness, and our paths peace, for his are so; but we too often step aside from them, to our own hurt and grief. Christ is that Wisdom, by whom the worlds were made, and still are in being; happy are those to whom he is made of God wisdom. He has wherewithal to make good all his promises.

Verses 21-26 Let us not suffer Christ's words to depart from us, but keep sound wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in his ways. The natural life, and all that belongs to it, shall be under the protection of God's providence; the spiritual life, and all its interests, under the protection of his grace, so that we shall be kept from falling into sin or trouble.

Verses 27-35 Our business is to observe the precepts of Christ, and to copy his example; to do justice, to love mercy, and to beware of covetousness; to be ready for every good work, avoiding needless strife, and bearing evils, if possible, rather than seeking redress by law. It will be found there is little got by striving. Let us not envy prosperous oppressors; far be it from the disciples of Christ to choose any of their ways. These truths may be despised by the covetous and luxurious, but everlasting contempt will be the portion of such scorners, while Divine favour is shown to the humble believer.

Cross References 56

  • 1. Psalms 119:61; Proverbs 4:5
  • 2. Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 30:16
  • 3. Psalms 91:16; Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27
  • 4. 2 Samuel 15:20; Proverbs 14:22
  • 5. Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18; Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 6:21
  • 6. Proverbs 7:3; Jeremiah 17:1; 2 Corinthians 3:3
  • 7. 1 Samuel 2:26; Proverbs 8:35; Luke 2:52
  • 8. Psalms 111:10
  • 9. Psalms 37:3, 5; Proverbs 22:19
  • 10. Proverbs 23:4; Jeremiah 9:23
  • 11. 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 16:3; Philippians 4:6; James 1:5
  • 12. Isaiah 45:13; Jeremiah 10:23
  • 13. Romans 12:16
  • 14. Job 1:1; Job 28:28; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 16:6
  • 15. Proverbs 4:22
  • 16. Job 21:24
  • 17. Isaiah 43:23
  • 18. Exodus 23:19; Deuteronomy 26:2; Malachi 3:10
  • 19. Deuteronomy 28:8
  • 20. Joel 2:24
  • 21. Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5, 6
  • 22. Revelation 3:19
  • 23. Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 13:24
  • 24. Proverbs 8:32, 34
  • 25. Job 28:15-19; Proverbs 8:10, 19; Proverbs 16:16
  • 26. Job 28:18; Proverbs 8:11
  • 27. Proverbs 3:2
  • 28. Proverbs 8:18; Proverbs 22:4
  • 29. Matthew 11:29
  • 30. Psalms 119:165; Proverbs 16:7
  • 31. Genesis 2:9; Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 13:12; Proverbs 15:4; Revelation 2:7
  • 32. Psalms 104:24; Proverbs 8:27
  • 33. Proverbs 8:27, 28
  • 34. Genesis 7:11
  • 35. Deuteronomy 33:28; Job 36:28
  • 36. Proverbs 4:21
  • 37. Deuteronomy 32:47; Proverbs 4:22; Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 16:22; Proverbs 21:21
  • 38. Proverbs 1:9
  • 39. Proverbs 4:12; Proverbs 10:9
  • 40. Psalms 91:12; Isaiah 5:27; Isaiah 63:13
  • 41. Job 11:19; Psalms 3:5; Proverbs 1:33; Proverbs 6:22
  • 42. Psalms 91:5; 1 Peter 3:14
  • 43. Job 5:21
  • 44. 1 Samuel 2:9
  • 45. Romans 13:7; Galatians 6:10
  • 46. Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:15
  • 47. Proverbs 6:14; Proverbs 14:22
  • 48. Proverbs 26:17; Romans 12:18
  • 49. Psalms 37:1; Proverbs 24:1
  • 50. Proverbs 11:20
  • 51. Job 29:4; Psalms 25:14
  • 52. Leviticus 26:14, 16; Deuteronomy 11:28; Zechariah 5:3, 4; Malachi 2:2
  • 53. Job 8:6; Psalms 1:3
  • 54. James 4:6
  • 55. 1 Peter 5:5
  • 56. Daniel 12:3

Footnotes 12

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 3

In this chapter, Wisdom, or Christ, delivers out some fresh lessons and instructions to his children; as not to forget his doctrine, but heartily attend to his precepts and ordinances, seeing these are the means of lengthening out their days, and of enjoying peace, Pr 3:1,2; as well as had the promise of the mercy and truth of God, and the continuance of them, annexed to them; and therefore are exhorted to keep close to them, and show the greatest value and affection for them, which was the way to find favour with, and to be taken notice of by, God and man, Pr 3:3,4; and then he proceeds to exhort them to a hearty trust in the Lord, without dependence on themselves; and to seek direction from him in every step they took, which they might expect to have, Pr 3:5,6; to humility and the fear of God, and fleeing from evil, which they would find would much contribute to their health, Pr 3:7,8; to liberality in supporting the worship of God, and the interest of religion, which would turn to account and profit to them, Pr 3:9,10; to patience in bearing the chastisement of the Lord, as coming from a loving father, Pr 3:11,12; then follows a commendation of wisdom, and the happiness of the man possessed of it is declared, Pr 3:13; from the profit, preciousness, pleasure, and usefulness of it, Pr 3:14-18; and from its concern in the works of creation and providence, Pr 3:19,20; and from that comfort, honour, safety, and security, which come by the doctrines and instructions of Wisdom, and a steady regard to them, Pr 3:21-26; and the chapter is concluded with exhortations to beneficence, charity, concord, and peace with neighbours, Pr 3:27-30; and to shun the ways of wicked men, urged from the different state and condition of wicked men and fools, and of the just, the lowly, and wise, Pr 3:31-35.

Proverbs 3 Commentaries