|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:10-19 Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! Consent thou not. Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?
Verse 15. - My son, walk not thou in the way with them. The admonitory strain of ver. 10 is again resumed, and in vers. 16-19 the teacher states the reasons which should dissuade youth from listening to the temptations of sinners. My son. The recurrence of these words for the third time in this address marks the affectionate interest, the loving solicitude, in which the admonition is addressed. Walk not thou. Immediate and entire abandonment is counselled. The warning is practically a repetition of ver. 10, and is given again in Proverbs 4:14, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men." Way; דֶרֶך (derek) means, figuratively, the way of living and acting (Gesenius). "Mores et consuetudines" (Bayne); cf. Proverbs 12:15, "the fool's way;" 22:25; and Psalm 1:1. The meaning is "associate not with them, have no dealings whatever with them." Refrain thy foot from their path; i.e. keep back thy foot, or make not one step in compliance, resist the very first solicitations to evil. Compare the legal maxim, Initiis obsta. Refrain; מְגַע (m'na) is from מָנַע (mana), "to keep back, restrain;' LXX., ἔκκινον (cf. Psalm 119:101, "I have refrained my feet from every evil way;" Jeremiah 14:10, "Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet"). Restraining the foot carries with it indirectly the natural inclination or propensity of the heart, even of the good, towards evil (Cartwright). Foot (רֶגֶל regel) is, of course, used metaphorically, and means less the member of the body than the idea suggested by it; hence the use of the singular (Gejerus, Delitzsch). Bayne remarks that the Hebrews understood this passage as meaning "neither in public nor private life have any dealings with sinners." Path (נָתִיב, nathiv) is a beaten path, a pathway, a byway; from the unused root נָתַב (nathav), "to tread, trample;" and hence, while "way" may mean the great public high road, "path" may stand for the bypath, less frequented or public. The same distinction probably occurs in Psalm 25:4, "Show me thy ways, O Lord; and teach me thy paths."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My son, walk not thou in the way with them,.... In the same way as they do, which is the broad way that leads unto destruction; set not one foot in it; make no trial of it, whether it will be pleasant and profitable walking in it; the experiment will be dangerous;
refrain thy foot from their path; their manner and course of life; do not follow it, nor join them in it; when there is an inclination or a temptation to it, withstand it; stop in time, do not proceed, but draw back, and go on in the way thou hast been trained up in, and remember the instructions of thy parents.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15, 16. The society of the wicked (way or path) is dangerous. Avoid the beginnings of sin (Pr 4:14; Ps 1:1; 119:101).
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