Proverbs 22:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge,

New Living Translation
I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.

English Standard Version
Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,

New American Standard Bible
Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,

King James Bible
Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Haven't I written for you thirty sayings about counsel and knowledge,

International Standard Version
Have I not written for you 30 sayings containing counsel and knowledge,

NET Bible
Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And look, I have written these things to you three times

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Didn't I write to you previously with advice and knowledge

Jubilee Bible 2000
Have I not written unto thee three times in counsels and knowledge,

King James 2000 Bible
Have not I written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

American King James Version
Have not I written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

American Standard Version
Have not I written unto thee excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold I have described it to thee three manner of ways, in thoughts and knowledge :

Darby Bible Translation
Have not I written to thee excellent things, in counsels and knowledge,

English Revised Version
Have not I written unto thee excellent things of counsels and knowledge;

Webster's Bible Translation
Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

World English Bible
Haven't I written to you thirty excellent things of counsel and knowledge,

Young's Literal Translation
Have I not written to thee three times With counsels and knowledge?
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge? There is a difficulty about the word tendered "excellent things." The Khetib has שׁלשׁום, "the day before yesterday, formerly;" but the word occurs nowhere alone, and, as Nowack says, can hardly have been the original reading. However, Ewald, Bertheau, and others, adopting it, suppose that the author refers to some earlier work. Cheyne cites Bickell's rendering, "Now, years before now, have I written unto thee long before with counsels and knowledge," and considers the words to mean either that the compiler took a long time over his work, or that this was not the first occasion of his writing. One does not see why stress should be here laid on former instruction, unless, perhaps, as Plumptre suggests, in contrast to "this day" of the previous verse. The LXX. renders the word τρισσῶς thus, "And do thou record them for thyself triply for counsel and knowledge upon the table of thine heart." St. Jerome has, Ecce descripsi eam tibi tripliciter, in cogitationibus et scientiis. Other versions have also given a numerical explanation to the term. In it is seen an allusion to the three supposed works of Solomon - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles - which is absurd; others refer it to the threefold division of the Testament - Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa; others, to three classes of youths for whom the admonitious were intended; others, again, think it equivalent to "oftentimes," or "in many forms." But the reading is as doubtful as the explanations of it are unsatisfactory. The genuine word is doubtless preserved in the Keri, which gives שָׁלִשִׁים (shalishim), properly a military term, applied to chariot fighters and men of rank in the army. The LXX. translates the word by τριστὰτης e.g. Exodus 14:7; Exodus 15:4), which is equivalent to "chieftain." Hence the Hebrew term, understood in the neuter gender, is transferred to the chief among proverbs - "choice proverbs," as Delitzsch calls them. The Venetian, by a happy turn, gives τρισμέγιστα. Thus we come back to the rendering of the Authorized Version as meet correct and intelligible.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Have not I written to thee excellent things,.... In the Scriptures. Some render it, "three things" (c); and think that Solomon refers to the three divisions of the Scriptures among the Jews, the law, the prophets, and holy writings; so Jarchi; but some of those writings then were not: or to the three books wrote by him; the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Others render it, "in a threefold way" (d), as the Targum and several versions; that is, in various ways, in different forms and styles, in order the better to inform and instruct. But it is best, with Kimchi, Gersom, and Ben Melech, to render it, "excellent things", as we do; such are the truths of the Gospel; they are more excellent than those that are only known by the light of nature, or by the law of Moses: such as suspect the love and grace of God; the person and offices of Christ; peace, pardon, righteousness, atonement, life and salvation, by him. And these are said to lie

in counsels and knowledge; in disclosing the counsels of God, according to which they are; in giving the best of counsels to men; to perishing sinners, to look to Christ for salvation; to naked ones, to buy of him white raiment, or the robe of his righteousness; to guilty and filthy ones, to apply to his blood for pardon and cleansing; to hungry and thirsty ones, to come unto him for food, the bread of life, and water of life; and to weary ones, to him for rest; and all to do their duty both to God and men: and they also respect knowledge; the knowledge of divine and heavenly things; the knowledge of God in Christ, and of his perfections, as displayed in his salvation; the knowledge of Christ, what he is in himself, what he has done for his people, and is unto them; and especially the knowledge of salvation by him; all which the Gospel is a means of.

(c) "terna", Montanus, Vatablus, so Jarchi. (d) Sept. "tripticiter", V. L. and Arabic version; "tribus vicibus", Baynus, Targum and Syriac version; "triplici filo et nexa", Schultens; "triplicata", Cocceius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. excellent things—or probably of former times.

counsels and knowledge—both advice and instruction.

Proverbs 22:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Good Name More Desirable than Riches
19So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you. 20Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, 21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth That you may correctly answer him who sent you?…
Cross References
Proverbs 8:6
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

Ecclesiastes 12:10
The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
Treasury of Scripture

Have not I written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

Proverbs 8:6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my …

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace …

Hosea 8:12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted …

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures…

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well …

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