|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-9 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.
Verse 7. - Wisdom which is the foundation of security and safety, and hence is sound wisdom, is that which God treasures up for the righteous. The teacher passes to another phase of the Divine character. God is not only the Source of wisdom; he is also the Ensurer of safety, the Source of salvation to those who act uprightly. It will be noted that the use of the word is confined to the Proverbs and Job, with the exception of the two passages in Isaiah and Micah. Buckler. Besides storing up the treasures of sound wisdom, which the righteous may use and so obtain security in their uprightness, God is himself a Buckler, or Shield (מָגֵן, magen), to those who walk in innocence. This aspect of God's directly protecting power is met with in other parts of Scripture. In Genesis 15:1 he encourages Abram with the assurance, "I am thy Shield." In Psalm 33:20; Psalm 84:11; Psalm 89:18; Psalm 144:2, Jehovah is called a Shield to his saints. He renders them security against the assaults of their enemies, and especially against the fiery darts of the wicked one. Again, in Proverbs 30:5, it is said, "God is a Shield (magen) up to them that walk uprightly." It is incorrect to take מָגֵן (magen) either as an accusative after the verb or in apposition with "sound wisdom." To them that walk uprightly; literally, to the walkers in innocence (לְחֹלֵכֵי תֹם, l'khol'key thom). תֹם (thom) is "integrity of mind," "moral faultlessness," "innocence." "To walk uprightly" is to maintain a course of life regulated by right principles, and directed to right ends. He "walks uprightly who lives with the fear of God as his principle, the Word of God as his rule, and the glory of God as his end" (Wardlaw). The completeness of the moral and religious character is involved in the expression which is found also in Proverbs 10:9 and Psalm 84:11. The Vulgate translates the latter clause of the verse, proteget gradientes simpliciter, "he will protect those who walk in simplicity;" cf. 2 Corinthians 1:12 in illustration of the phrase. He layeth up; i.e. he treasures up (LXX., θησαυρίζειν), or preserves and protects (custodire, Vulgate), as a person does "treasure or jewel, that it may not be stolen" (Zockler). The majority of commentators read the Keri (יִצפֹן, "he will treasure up," future of צָפַן) in preference to the Khetib (צָפַן, perfect of same verb, with prefix וְ, "and he treasured up"), and this is the; reading adopted in the Authorized Version. The Keri implies that God does treasure up sound wisdom, while the Khetib, as Delitzsch observes, has the force of the aorist, and so represents the treasuring up as an accomplished fact. The same verb occurs in Proverbs 2:1, where it is translated in the Authorized Version by "hide," and also in Proverbs 7:1 and Proverbs 10:14 by "lay up." The laying up, or treasuring, points to the preciousness of that which is treasured, "sound wisdom." Sound wisdom. A great variety of opinions exists as to the true meaning of the word in the original, תְוּשִׁיָה (tvushiyyah), of which "sound wisdom" is an interpretation. Zockler explains it as "wisdom, reflection;" Delitzsch, as "advancement and promotion;" Dathe, as "solid fortune;" Gesenius, as "aid." The proper meaning of the word seems to he "substance," from the root יָשָׁה, "to be, to exist, to be firm." Professor Lee remarks on the word, "From the places in which it occurs, either wealth, thought, or some such sense it manifestly requires. It occurs in Job 6:13, in parallelism with 'help;' in Proverbs 2:7, with a 'shield;' in Job 1:6, with 'wisdom;' in Job 12:16, with 'strength;' in Proverbs 3:21, with 'discretion;' in Proverbs 8:14, with 'counsel' and 'understanding;' in Isaiah 28:29, with 'counsel;' and so in Job 26:3. In Job 30:22 and Micah 6:9, 'entirely' or the like seems to suit the context; see also Proverbs 18:1, and generally 'excess,' or 'abundance,' taken either in a good or bad sense, and varied by other considerations, seems to prevail in every case in which this word is used" (see Professor Lee, on Job 5:12). The parallelism of the passage before us seems to require that it should be understood in the sense of security; and transferring the idea to wisdom as the means of security. This idea is reproduced in the LXX. σωτήρια, the Vulgate salus, and the Targum incolumitas.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous,.... In order to give it to them that seek for it; which is another encouragement to search after it. By "sound wisdom" may be meant, not the law, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; so called, because it endures for ever, when all beings are defective and come to nothing; but the Gospel, which is sound doctrine, pure and not corrupt; true and real wisdom, in opposition to that which has only the show of wisdom, and is science falsely so called; and this was hid in God, in Christ, and laid up as a treasure in the sacred Scriptures: or else the true grace of God, in distinction from that which is counterfeit; and is that goodness of his, which he has laid up in his heart, and in the covenant of his grace; and the fulness of grace which he has laid up in Christ for them Psalm 31:19; or eternal glory and happiness. The word here used signifies "essence", "substance" (o); that which really is, and is solid and substantial; and such are the glories of the other world the crown of righteousness, the hope laid up in heaven, and the inheritance reserved there, Colossians 1:5. These are real things, though invisible, and are rich and valuable; and have substance and solidity in them, in opposition to earthly riches, which are a vain show, and are things that are not, and at best temporal and perishing; but these are an enduring substance, Proverbs 8:21. The Septuagint render it by "salvation", and the Targum by a word which signifies "glory" and "honour"; all which may well be understood of eternal life which is laid up and reserved "for the righteous": not for such who are only so in show and imagination, but for those who are really and truly so; not for those who are legally, but evangelically righteous; or not for such that seek righteousness by the law, but by faith in Christ; for such who are made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and by faith receive it, and lay hold on it as their righteousness; and in consequence of this live soberly and righteously: for these only eternal life is prepared; they only have a right unto it, and a meetness for it, and shall enjoy it;
he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly; who are sincere in their deportment before God and men; who walk according to the rule of the divine word; who walk by faith on Christ, and walk on in him as they have received him; and go on living by faith on his righteousness, which is walking in his uprightness, till they come to be with him for ever in heaven. To these the Lord is a "buckler" or shield; he covers them with the "shield of faith", his own Son, his blood righteousness, and sacrifice; which faith lays hold on and uses as a shield against Satan's fiery darts; and gives them "the shield of salvation" which secures them from sin and wrath and every enemy; and encompasses them about with his "favour", as a "shield", which is immutable and invariable; and keeps them by his power through faith unto salvation, Ephesians 6:16; with this compare Genesis 15:1, Psalm 3:3. Some (p) read these words by way of apposition, and understand them of sound wisdom; that that is a buckler or shield to the persons here described; see Ecclesiastes 7:12.
(o) "essentiam", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Gejerus; "quicquid revera est", Junius & Tremellius; "solidam firmamque substantiam", Baynus; "solidum, vel solidam rem", Schultens. (p) So Mercerus, Piscator, Schultens. Gussetius chooses to take the word for a verb, and renders it, "he delivers it"; that is, sound wisdom to them that walk uprightly; Ebr. Comment. p. 454.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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 Pr 3:21; 8:14; 18:1; Job 6:13; 12:13).
layeth up—provides, ever ready.
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