After the title the writer defines the design and nature of the
instructions of the book. He paternally invites attention to those
instructions and warns his readers against the enticements of the
wicked. In a beautiful personification, wisdom is then introduced in a
most solemn and impressive manner, publicly inviting men to receive its
teachings, warning those who reject, and encouraging those who accept,
the proffered instructions.
2. To know . . . instruction--literally, "for knowing," that is, such
is the design of these writings.
wisdom--or the use of the best means for the best ends, is generally
employed in this book for true piety.
instruction--discipline, by which men are trained.
to perceive--literally, "for perceiving," the design (as above)
understanding--that is, words which enable one to discern good and
3. To receive . . . of wisdom--For receiving that discipline which
discretion imparts. The Hebrew for "wisdom" differs from that of
and denotes rather discreet counsel. Compare the opposite traits of the
justice . . . equity--all the attributes of one upright in all his
relations to God and man.
4. simple--one easily led to good or evil; so the parallel.
young man--one inexperienced.
(Pr 3:21; 5:21).
discretion--literally, "device," both qualities, either good or bad,
according to their use. Here good, as they imply wariness by which to
escape evil and find good.
5, 6. Such writings the wise, who pursue right ends by right means,
learning--not the act, but matter of it.
wise counsels--or the art and principles of governing.
6. To understand--so as to . . . such will be the result.
words of the wise--(Compare
7. The fear of the Lord--the principle of true piety (compare
Pr 2:5; 14:26, 27;
Ps 34:11; 111:10;
beginning--first part, foundation.
fools--the stupid and indifferent to God's character and government;
hence the wicked.
8. My son--This paternal form denotes a tender regard for the reader.
Filial sentiments rank next to piety towards God, and ensure most
distinguished rewards (compare
Eph 6:2, 3).
9. On the figures of
So 1:10; 4:9.
10-19. A solemn warning against temptation.
entice--literally, "open the way."
consent . . . not--Sin is in consenting or yielding to temptation, not
in being tempted.
11-14. Murder and robbery are given as specific illustrations.
lay wait . . . lurk privily--express an effort and hope for successful
swallow . . . grave--utterly destroy the victim and traces of the crime
Abundant rewards of villainy are promised as the fruits of this easy
and safe course.
15, 16. The society of the wicked (way or path) is dangerous. Avoid
the beginnings of sin
Ps 1:1; 119:101).
17-19. Men warned ought to escape danger as birds instinctively avoid
visibly spread nets. But stupid sinners rush to their own ruin
and, greedy of gain, succeed in the very schemes which destroy them
not only failing to catch others, but procuring their own
20-33. Some interpreters regard this address as the language of the
Son of God under the name of Wisdom (compare
Others think that wisdom, as the divine attribute specially employed in
acts of counsel and admonition, is here personified, and represents
God. In either case the address is a most solemn and divine admonition,
whose matter and spirit are eminently evangelical and impressive (see
Wisdom--literally, "Wisdoms," the plural used either because of the
unusual sense, or as indicative of the great excellency of wisdom
streets--or most public places, not secretly.
21. The publicity further indicated by terms designating places of
most common resort.
22. simple ones--(Compare
--who despise, as well as reject, truth.
fools--Though a different word is used from that of
yet it is of the same meaning.
23. reproof--implying conviction deserving it (compare
pour out--abundantly impart.
my spirit--whether of wisdom personified, or of Christ, a divine agent.
24. stretched . . . hand--Earnestness, especially in beseeching, is
denoted by the figure (compare
Ps 68:31; 88:9).
25. set at naught--rejected as of no value.
would none of--literally, "were not willing or inclined to it."
26, 27. In their extreme distress He will not only refuse help, but
aggravate it by derision.
27. fear--the object of it.
desolation--literally, "a tumultuous noise," denoting their utter
compared to a whirlwind, as to fatal rapidity.
(Ps 4:1; 44:11).
anguish--a state of inextricable oppression, the deepest despair.
28. Now no prayers or most diligent seeking will avail
29, 30. The sinner's infatuated rejection brings his ruin.
31. fruit . . . way--result of conduct
Ga 6:7, 8).
be filled--even to repletion
32. turning away--that is, from the call of
prosperity--quiet, implying indifference.
33. dwell safely--literally, "in confidence"
be quiet--or at ease, in real prosperity.
from fear--without fear.