|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-11 The will of God is made known by the works of creation, and by the consciences of men, but more clearly by Moses and the prophets. The chief difficulty is to get men to attend to instruction. Yet attention to the words of Christ, will guide the most ignorant into saving knowledge of the truth. Where there is an understanding heart, and willingness to receive the truth in love, wisdom is valued above silver and gold.
Verse 10. - Receive my instruction, and not silver; i.e. acquire wisdom rather than silver, if ever the choice is yours. And knowledge rather than choice gold (comp. ver. 19; Proverbs 3:140. (For "knowledge," daath, see on Proverbs 2:10.) The comparison is implied rather than expressed in the first clause, while it is made clear in the second. Thus Hosea 6:6, "I desired mercy, and not sacrifice," the second matter mentioned being, not necessarily of no importance, but always in such cases of inferior importance to the other. We may quote Horace's complaint of the worldliness of his countrymen, a marked contrast to the inspired counsel of Proverbs ('Epist.,' 1:1, 52) -
"Villus argentum est auro, virtutibus aurum.
O cives, cives! quaerenda pecunia primum est,
Virtus post nummos."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Receive my instruction, and not silver,.... Not but that silver may be desired, sought after and received, consistent with the instructions of wisdom; though an anxious, immoderate, sinful pursuit after it, hinders the reception of them; and when they are in competition, the one is to be preferred to the other: the doctrines of the Gospel are of more worth, and more to be desired, than thousands of gold and silver; and therefore the meaning is, that the instruction of wisdom should be received rather than silver; it should have the preference; so Gersom interprets it, and with which agrees the following clause:
and knowledge rather than choice gold; that is, the knowledge of Christ, and the knowledge of God in Christ; the knowledge of the Gospel, and the truths of it; a spiritual and experimental knowledge of these things is of more value than the finest gold, than the gold of Ophir; see Psalm 19:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. not silver—preferable to it, so last clause implies comparison.
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