|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:20-35 The word of God has something to say to us upon all occasions. Let not faithful reproofs ever make us uneasy. When we consider how much this sin abounds, how heinous adultery is in its own nature, of what evil consequence it is, and how certainly it destroys the spiritual life in the soul, we shall not wonder that the cautions against it are so often repeated. Let us notice the subjects of this chapter. Let us remember Him who willingly became our Surety, when we were strangers and enemies. And shall Christians, who have such prospects, motives, and examples, be slothful and careless? Shall we neglect what is pleasing to God, and what he will graciously reward? May we closely watch every sense by which poison can enter our minds or affections.
Verse 22. - The going, sleeping, and awaking occur in the same order in the Pentateuch, from which the ideas of this and the preceding verse are evidently derived (see Deuteronomy 6:7 and Deuteronomy 11:19). Though only specifying three conditions, they refer to the whole conduct of life, and hence the verse promises direction, guardianship, and converse of wisdom, which will undoubtedly attend life where the precepts of parents are lovingly treasured and obediently observed. The Authorized Version conveys the impression that it is "the keeping" of the parents' precepts, etc., which is to bear such results; but it is better to understand "it" as signifying the whole teaching or doctrine of wisdom, as Delitzsch. Wisdom becomes personified in the representation, and identified with her teaching. It shall lead thee. The Hebrew verb nakhah, "to lead," in the sense of "to direct," like the Latin dirigere (Delitzsch), and as it is used in Exodus and Numbers, passim. In the Psalms (Psalm 5:9; Psalm 27:11; Psalm 31:4, etc.) it is employed of God as governing men. Hence, in the affairs of life, Wisdom will so guide and control us that we shall act uprightly. There is the further notion imported into the word of preservation from evil (cf. Proverbs 3:23, "Thou shalt walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble"). When thou sleepest; or, when thou liest down, as in Proverbs 3:25, where the same verb occurs. It shall keep thee; i.e. watch over, keep safe, or preserve; as in the Vulgate, custodire, and the LXX. φυλαττεῖν. We have had the same verb, shamar, before in Proverbs 2:11. Wisdom will be as it were a guardian angel in our hours of repose. When thou awakest; Hebrew, hakitsotha, the hiph. perfect of kutz. This word only occurs here. The hiph. form, hekitz, is intransitive, "to be aroused" (cf. the LXX., ἐγειρομένῳ). It shall talk with thee; rather, she. Bertheau renders, "She will make thee thoughtful;" and Dathe, "Let them be thy meditation;" but the accusative suffix designates the person who is the object of the action of the verb, as in Psalm 5:5; Psalm 42:4; Zechariah 7:5 (Zockler) and as Delitzseh remarks, the personification requires something more than a mere meditation with one's self on the precepts of Wisdom. Wisdom herself shall hold converse with thee (cf. the LXX., συλλαλῇ σοι), she shall suggest thoughts how thou art to behave thyself. The meaning of the verb, "to meditate," "to think deeply," however, need not be lost sight of.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When thou goest, it shall lead thee,.... The law of God taught by parents; this directs man in the path of duty and business of life; teaches him what way to shun, and which to walk in; it leads out of the paths of sin, and into the way in which he should go, which is most conducive to his good, and to the glory of God; it will lead him safely, so that he shall not stumble, Proverbs 3:3;
when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; from terrifying dreams, evil spirits, dangers by fire or thieves; one that observes it conscientiously may lie down and sleep, secure of the guardianship of divine Providence, and not fear any evil; or "shall watch over thee" (h) in the night season;
and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee; familiarly; and instruct what to do, and how to behave the day following; or "it shall go out with thee" (i), into the fields for a morning's walk, and assist in meditation. Jarchi interprets this of sleeping by death, and of awaking at the resurrection of the dead.
(h) "excubabit apud te", Cocceius; "excubias aget super te", Michaelis, Schultens. (i) "illa ipsa spatiabitur tecum", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. it—(compare Pr 6:23); denotes the instruction of parents (Pr 6:20), to which all the qualities of a safe guide and guard and ready teacher are ascribed. It prevents the ingress of evil by supplying good thoughts, even in dreams (Pr 3:21-23; Ps 19:9; 2Pe 1:19).
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