|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 8. - He keepeth the paths of judgment. This verse is explanatory of the latter hemistich of ver. 7, and points out more fully in what way God is a Protector of his saints. Some connect the Hebrew infinitive לִנְצור (lin'tsor), "to watch or keep," with "them that walk uprightly," and translate, "them that walk uprightly by keeping the paths of judgment;" but this is to transfer the idea of protection from God to such persons. The verb signifies specially "to defend, to preserve from danger," as in Proverbs 22:12, "The eyes of the Lind preserve knowledge; i.e. defend or protect it from danger." It is God who "keepeth the paths of judgment," as he alone has the power to do so. He watches over all that walk therein, guides, superin. tends, and protects them. The paths of judgment; or rather, justice, ךארְהות מִשְׁפָט (at'khoth mishpat). The abstract is here used for the concrete, and the phrase means "the paths of the just," i.e. the paths in which the just walk, or "those who walk justly" (Mercerus). This expression corresponds with "the way of his saints," just as "keep" and "preserve" are synonymous verbs, both meaning "to guard, keep safe, or protect." He preserveth the way of his saints. God does this
(1) by his preventing grace, as in Psalm 66:9, "He suffereth not our feet to slip." Cf. Hannah's song, "He will keep the feet of his saints" (1 Samuel 2:9);
(2) by angelic agency, as in Psalm 91:11, "He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways." The saints are ever under the watchful care and mighty protection of Jehovah. His saints (חֲסִידָו khasidav); i.e. the pious towards God, the godly, those in whose hearts the principles of sanctity have been implanted, and who cherish earnest inward love to God, and "walk righteously" and "speak uprightly" (Isaiah 33:15). It is remarkable that the word saints only occurs once (in this passage) in the Proverbs. During the period of the Maccabaean Wars, a party or sect, which aimed at ceremonial purity, claimed for themselves the title of Chasidim or Asidaeans (Ἀσιδαῖοι), as expressive of their piety or devotion. They are those whom Moses called "men of holiness," Exodus 22:31 (ואֲנְשֵׁיאּקֹדֶשׁ, v'an'shev-kodesh); cf. Psalm 89:5; Psalm 149:1; Psalm 89:8; Deuteronomy 33:3; Daniel 7:18, 22, 22, 25. Under the Christian dispensation, the saints are those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 John 5:1), and who are holy in all manner of conversation (1 Peter 1:25; 1 Macc. 2:42 1 Macc. 7:13; 2 Macc. 14:6); see Bishop Lightfoot, 'Colossians and Philemon,' diss. 2, p. 355.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He keepeth the paths of judgment,.... That is, the Lord keeps them; he does that which is just and right himself, in the course of his providence, and in the methods of his grace; and as he guides the feet of his people in the ways of righteousness and holiness, he keeps them there from turning out of them. The words may be rendered, "to keep the paths of judgment" (q); and so expresses the end, fruit, and effect of the Lord's being a buckler to them, as he is said to be in Proverbs 2:7, he is their shield and protection, so as either to keep them in the right ways in which they should go; or that they might studiously observe them, and keep walking therein, without stumbling in them, or declining from them;
and preserveth the way of his saints; to whom he has been kind and bountiful; or who have been merciful, liberal, and generous to others; who having partook of the grace of God themselves, are useful to men: the Targum calls them "righteous ones". These the Lord preserves by his power and grace, in the way in which he has led them, and which is his own way, safe to his kingdom and glory: for none of his saints, his holy and righteous ones, shall ever perish; the way in which he directs them, and in which he keeps them, leads to everlasting life; see 1 Samuel 2:9.
(q) "ad custodiendum", Pagninus, Montanus; "ad servandum", Baynus, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. keepeth … way—God defends the right way, and those in it.
saints—objects of favor (compare Ps 4:3, &c.). He guides and guards them.
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