Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pr 2:1-22. Men are invited to seek wisdom because it teaches those principles by which they may obtain God's guidance and avoid the society and influence of the wicked, whose pernicious courses are described.
1-5. Diligence in hearing and praying for instruction must be used to secure the great principle of godliness, the fear of God.
hide … with thee—lay up in store (compare Pr 7:1).
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
2. Listen attentively and reflect seriously (Pr 1:24; Ps 130:2).
understanding—right perception of truth.
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
3. Yea, if—literally, "When if," that is, in such a case.
understanding—as in Pr 2:2.
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
4. There must be earnest prayer and effort.
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
5. understand—or, "perceive intelligently."
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
6. For—God is ready (Jas 1:5; 4:8).
out of his mouth—by revelation from Him.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
7. sound wisdom—literally, "substance," opposed to what is fictitious. According to the context, this may be assistance, as here corresponding with
buckler—or safety, or wisdom, which procures it (compare Pr 3:21; 8:14; 18:1; Job 6:13; 12:13).
layeth up—provides, ever ready.
He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
8. keepeth … way—God defends the right way, and those in it.
saints—objects of favor (compare Ps 4:3, &c.). He guides and guards them.
Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
9. Then—emphatic, in such a case.
righteousness … path—all parts of duty to God and man.
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
10, 11. Idea of Pr 2:9, amplified; on terms, compare Pr 2:2 and Pr 2:4.
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
12-15. To deliver—as from great danger (Pr 6:5).
way … man—(Ps 1:1).
froward things—perversity (Pr 6:14; 23:23), what is opposed to truth.
Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
13. paths of uprightness—or, "plainness."
Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
14. and that with pleasure, in ignorance of good and pursuit of evil.
frowardness—Not only their own perversity, but that of others is their delight. They love most the worst things.
Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
15. crooked—tortuous, unprincipled.
froward—literally, (they) are going back, not only aside from right, but opposite to it.
To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
16-19. Deliverance from another danger.
the strange woman—This term is often used for harlot, or loose woman (Jud 11:1, 2), married (Pr 7:5, 19) or not (1Ki 11:1), so called, because such were, perhaps at first, foreigners, though "strange" may also denote whatever is opposed to right or proper, as "strange fire" (Nu 3:4); "strange incense" (Ex 30:9).
her words—(Ps 5:9).
Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
17. guide … youth—lawful husband (Jer 3:4).
covenant … God—of marriage made in God's name.
For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
18. inclineth—sinks down (compare Nu 13:31).
the dead—or shades of the departed (Ps 88:10).
None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
19. that is, such as remain impenitent (compare Ec 7:26).
paths of life—(Ps 16:11), opposed to paths unto the dead.
That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
20. That … way of good—that is, Such is the object of these warnings.
For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
21, 22. (Compare Ps 37:3, 9, 22, 27).
But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
22. transgressors—or impious rebels (compare Jer 9:2).
rooted out—utterly destroyed, as trees plucked up by the roots.