|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:17-21. To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him, is the foundation of all practical religion. The way to know the certainty of the word of truth, is to make conscience of our duty. 22,23. He that robs and oppresses the poor, does so at his peril. And if men will not appear for them, God will. 24,25. Our corrupt hearts have so much tinder in them, that it is dangerous to have to do with those that throw about the sparks of their passion.
Verse 17-ch. 24:22. - Part IV. FIRST APPENDIX TO THE FIRST GREAT COLLECTION, containing "words of the wise." Verses 17-21. - The introduction to this first appendix, containing an exhortation to attend to the words of the wise, an outline of the instruction herein imparted, with a reference to teaching already given. Verse 17. - Incline thine ear (comp. Proverbs 4:20; Proverbs 5:1). The words of the wise; verba sapientium, Vulgate. "Wise" is in the plural number, showing that this is not a portion of the collection called, 'The Proverbs of Solomon' (Proverbs 10:1), but a distinct work. (For the term, see note on Proverbs 1:6.) My knowledge. The knowledge which I impart by bringing to notice these sayings of wise men. Septuagint, "Incline (παράβαλλε) thine ear to the words of wise men, and hear my word, and apply thine heart, that thou mayest know that they are good."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise,.... Here begins a new part or division of this book. According to some, the "third"; the "first" ending with Proverbs 9:18, the "second" at Proverbs 22:16, and a "third", beginning here, and ending with Proverbs 24:34. It is certain that what follows from hence to the end of that is written in another style, by way of exhortation, caution; and instruction, and is directed to particular persons: as here an exhortation is made to Solomon's son, or to those that attended his instruction; or rather to the children of Wisdom, that is, Christ; to listen attentively to "the words of the wise"; of Solomon, and other wise men before him, or contemporary with him; or rather of Wisdom and her maidens, Christ, and the wise men sent by him; who are made wise to salvation, and furnished for every good work by him, from whom the words of the wise come; and who speak the wisdom of God in a mystery; and whose doctrines are to be heard and received, not as the word of men, but as the word of God;
and apply thine heart unto my knowledge; the knowledge of divine and spiritual things Christ instructs in, and the knowledge of himself; which is preferable to all other knowledge, and to thousands of gold and silver; and in comparison of which all things are but loss and dung; and therefore should be applied unto with intenseness of mind, and cordially received.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Here begins another division of the book, marked by those encouragements to the pursuit of wisdom, which are found in the earlier chapters. It will be observed that at Pr 22:22-24:12, the proverbs are generally expressed in two verses instead of one (see Introduction).
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