|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1,2 Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! 3-6. Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom. 7-9. A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. 10. Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart. 11,12. If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it? 13,14. We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation. 15,16. The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.
Verse 14. - So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul; better, know, apprehend wisdom to be such for thy soul - to be as pleasant and nourishing and profitable to thy soul, as honey is to thy taste and thy body. The moralist would have his disciple feel the same relish for wisdom that he has for sweet food, recognize it not simply as useful, but as delightful and enjoyable. When thou hast found it. To find wisdom is to get possession of it and use it (comp. Proverbs 3:13, and note there). Then there shall be a reward. The apodosis begins here. We have had the same assurance in Proverbs 23:18 (where see note). The word is literally future. One who has obtained wisdom has a glorious hope before him; habebis in novissimis spem, Vulgate; but his hope is better than that - it goes with him, not in his last hour only, but all his life long. Septuagint, "Then shalt thou perceive wisdom in thy soul; for if thou find it, fair shall be thine end, and hope shall not fail thee."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul,.... Or let it be taken in as greedily and with as good an appetite; as pleasant, useful, delightful, and profitable; even the knowledge of Christ, the Wisdom of God, which is preferable to all things else, and more desirable than the most pleasant and profitable things in the world; and of the Gospel of Christ, the wisdom of God in a mystery, than which nothing is more sweet and comfortable to a truly gracious soul; it is like Ezekiel's roll, which was in his mouth as honey for sweetness, Ezekiel 3:3;
when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward; for though there may be some difficulty and trouble to attain it, in the use of means, by reading, bearing, prayer, and meditation, yet, being enjoyed, it carries its own reward with it; a man is abundantly recompensed for all his pains in the pursuit of it, by the pleasure and profit it yields him now and hereafter; for it is the beginning of life eternal, and will issue in it, John 17:3; see Proverbs 2:3;
and thy expectation shall not be cut off; or "hope" (o); as the hope of the hypocrite will, Job 8:14, the hope of eternal life, as founded on Christ and his righteousness, where such that know Wisdom place their hope; and this hope will not make them ashamed; they will not be disappointed, their expectation shall not perish, they will have what they are waiting and hoping for, and what is promised unto them; see Gill on Proverbs 23:18. The Targum is,
"which if thou findest, the last shall come better than the first, and thy hope shall not be consumed.''
(o) "spes tua", Mercerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. reward—literally, "after part," the proper result (compare Pr 23:18; Ps 37:37, 38).
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