|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:10-22 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?
Verse 11. - Discretion shall preserve thee. Discretion (מְזַמָּת m'zimoth), as in Proverbs 1:4, is the outward manifestation of wisdom; it tests what is uncertain, and avoids danger (Hitzig). The word carries with it the idea of reflection or consideration (see Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 5:2; Proverbs 8:12) The LXX. reads, βουλὴ καλή, "good counsel;" and the Vulgate, concilium. Shall preserve thee. The idea of protection and guarding, which is predicated of Jehovah in ver. 8, is here transferred to discretion and understanding, which to some extent are put forward as personifications. Understanding (תְבוּנָה, t'vunah), as in Proverbs 2:11; the power of distinguishing and separating, and, in the case of conflicting interests, to decide on the best. Shall keep; i.e. keep safe, or in the sense of watching over or guarding. The two verbs "to preserve" (שָׁמַר shamar) and "to keep" (נָצַר, natsar), LXX. τήρειν, occur together again in Proverbs 4:6.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Discretion shall preserve thee,.... Which wisdom or the Gospel gives, or the Lord by the means of it; for the Gospel makes a man wise and discreet in the business of salvation, and in his conduct and deportment; and the discretion it gives him will put him upon his guard, and direct him to watch against every error, and every false way. And so the words may be rendered, "discretion will watch over thee"; to keep thee from everything pernicious in doctrine and practice. The Septuagint version renders it, "good counsel"; which wisdom gives, and the Gospel is full of; and which, if attended to, is a means of the preservation of the saints;
understanding shall keep thee; which is only the same thing expressed in other words. The Septuagint version renders it, "an holy thought"; and the Arabic version, "a just thought shall preserve thee in thy last times". What these are a means of keeping and preserving from is explained in the following verses.
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