Proverbs 2:1
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
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(c) Third Discourse:An Exhortation to follow after Wisdom (Proverbs 2).

(1) Hidei.e., store up. (Comp. Proverbs 2:4.)

Proverbs 2:1-5. My son, &c. — These words are spoken by Solomon, either, 1st, In the name of wisdom, as before: or rather, 2d, In his own name. If thou wilt hide my commandments with thee — Wilt lay them up in thy mind and heart with care, as men do their choicest treasures; So that thou incline, &c. — Give thyself to the study of wisdom with affection and diligence. Yea, if thou, criest after knowledge — Namely, unto God, the only giver of it. Hebrew, אם לבינה תקרא, if thou callest to knowledge, that is, invitest it to come to thee; earnestly desirest its guidance; If thou seekest her as silver — With the same unwearied diligence and earnest desire, and patient expectation under all delays, disappointments, and difficulties, which the men of the world use in pursuit of riches, or in digging in mines of silver; Then shalt thou understand — More perfectly and profitably; the fear of the Lord — Which is the beginning of this wisdom, Proverbs 1:7.

2:1-9 Those who earnestly seek heavenly wisdom, will never complain that they have lost their labour; and the freeness of the gift does not do away the necessity of our diligence, Joh 6:27. Let them seek, and they shall find it; let them ask, and it shall be given them. Observe who are thus favoured. They are the righteous, on whom the image of God is renewed, which consists in righteousness. If we depend upon God, and seek to him for wisdom, he will enable us to keep the paths of judgment.Now in the divine order comes the promise Proverbs 2:5. The conditions of its fulfillment are stated in Proverbs 2:1-4 in four sets of parallel clauses, each with some shade of distinct meaning. Thus, not "receiving" only, but "hiding" or treasuring up - not the "ear" only, but the "heart" - not the mere "cry," but the eager "lifting up the voice." CHAPTER 2

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).Solomon exhorteth his son to get Wisdom, Proverbs 2:1-4; telleth him the benefit he shall receive thereby, Proverbs 2:5-10, and the evils which he should avoid, Proverbs 2:11,12. The wicked man’s ways are described, Proverbs 2:13-20. A habitation promised the righteous, Proverbs 2:21. The end of the wicked miserable, Proverbs 2:22.

These words are spoken by Solomon, either,

1. In the name of wisdom, as before; or rather,

2. In his own name. Hide my commandments with thee; lay them up in thy mind and heart with care, as men do their choicest treasures.

My son,.... These are either the continuation of the words of Solomon to his son Rehoboam; or to anyone that came to him for instruction, or was within the reach of being taught by him; whom he addresses in this tender and affectionate manner, in order to gain his attention to what he was about to say: or else they are the words of Wisdom, or Christ, continued, thus bespeaking: his children and people; and giving them some very wholesome counsel and advice, backed with the most powerful and prevailing arguments;

if thou wilt receive my words; or doctrines: the doctrines of the Gospel, relating to the person, office, and grace of Christ, and salvation by him; such as the words of peace, pardon, righteousness, and life; which are to be received, not as the word of man, but as the word of God; and with all readiness of mind and willingness, as they were by the Bereans; and most gladly, as by the three thousand pricked to the heart under Peter's sermon; and as they are and will be by every sensible sinner;

and hide my commandments with thee; in the heart; so as to have a high esteem of them, and a hearty affection and value for them; retain them in memory, and frequently think of them and meditate upon them, and constantly observe them; see Psalm 119:11.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and {a} hide my commandments with thee;

(a) That is, keep them in your heart.

1. hide] or, lay up, R.V.; as a treasure stored carefully.

Verses 1-22. - 3. Third admonitory discourse, pointing out the benefits which arise from a sincere, earnest, and persevering search after Wisdom. This discourse divides itself into three parts.

(1) Vers. 1-9: a statement of the conditions which, if fulfilled, result in the highest knowledge of Jehovah - the fear of Jehovah and the knowledge of God, who is the Source of wisdom and the Protection and Ensurer of safety to the righteous.

(2) Vers. 10-19: the negatively beneficial results of Wisdom, in delivery from the paths of evil, from destructive lusts and passions, from the temptations of wicked men and wicked women.

(3) Vers. 20-22: the epilogue, or conclusion, combining encouragement on the one hand, and warning on the other. Verse 1. - The teacher here reverts to the original form of his address, as appears from the employment of the term, my son. It seems clear that it is no longer Wisdom personified who is the speaker, from the fact that the words, "wisdom and understanding" in ver. 2 are used without the possessive pronoun "my," which would have been undoubtedly inserted if this address had been a continuation of the discourse in the preceding chapter. Some of the ideas of that address, however, are restated, as the crying and lifting up the voice after Wisdom, and the conclusion, wherein the respective destinies of the pious and wicked are portrayed. The particle "if" (אֵם) is conditional, and serves to introduce the series of clauses (vers. 1-4) which lay down the conditions upon which the promises depend, and which form the protasis to the double apodosis in vers. 5 and 9. De Wette, Meyer, and Delitzsch regard it as voluntative, as expressing a wish on the part of the teacher, and translate, "Oh that thou wouldst!" and אִם, "if," is used in this way in Psalm 139:19; but the LXX. (ἐάν) and Vulgate (si) make it conditional. It is repeated in an emphatic form in ver. 3. Receive. The verbs "receive" and "hide" show that the endeavour after Wisdom is to be candid and sincere. "To receive" (לָקַה) seems to be here used, like the LXX. δεχέσθαι in the sense of "to receive graciously," "to admit the words of Wisdom." It is noticeable that there is a gradation in emphasis in the various terms here used by the teacher. Just as "commandments" is stronger than "words," so "hide" is stronger than "receive." The emphasizing is carried on in the following verses in the same way, and at length culminates in ver. 4, which sums up the ardent spirit in which the search after Wisdom is to be prosecuted in presenting it to us in its strongest form. Hide. The original (צַפַן, tsaphan) is here used in a different sense to that in which it occurs in Proverbs 1:11 and 18. It here refers, as in Proverbs 7:1; Proverbs 10:14; and Proverbs 13:22, to the storing or laying up, as of treasure, in some secret repository, and means "to lay up." The Divine commands of the teacher are to be hidden in safe custody in the memory, in the understanding, in the conscience, and in the heart (cf. Proverbs 4:21; Proverbs 7:1). The psalmist expresses the same idea in Psalm 119:11, "Thy words have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." Proverbs 2:1The first אם, with that which it introduces, Proverbs 2:1, Proverbs 2:2, is to be interpreted as an exclamation, "O that!" (O si), and then as an optative, as Psalm 81:9; Psalm 139:19. אז ...כּי, Proverbs 2:3-5, with the inserted connecting clauses, would then be confirmatory, "for then." But since this poet loves to unfold one and the same thought in ever new forms, one has perhaps to begin the conditional premisses with Proverbs 2:1, and to regard כּי אם as a new commencement. Hitzig takes this כי אם in the sense of imo: "much more if thou goest to meet her, e.g., by curious inquiry, not merely permittest her quietly to come to thee." אם would then preserve its conditional meaning; and כּי as in Job 31:18; Psalm 130:4, since it implies an intentional negative, would receive the meaning of imo. But the sentences ranged together with אם are too closely related in meaning to admit such a negative between them. כּי will thus be confirmatory, not mediately, but immediately; it is the "for equals yes" of confirmation of the preceding conditions, and takes them up again (Ewald, 356, b, cf. 330 b) after the form of the conditional clause was given up. The צפן, which in Proverbs 1:11, Proverbs 1:18, is the synonym of צפה, speculari, presents itself here, 1b, 7a, as the synonym of טמן, whence מטמנים, synon. of צפוּנים, recondita; the group of sounds, צף, צם, טם (cf. also דף, in Arab. dafan, whence dafynat, treasure), express shades of the root representation of pressing together. The inf. of the conclusion להקשׁיב, to incline (Gr. Venet. ὡς ἀκροῷτο), is followed by the accus. of the object אזנך, thine ear, for הקשׁיב properly means to stiffen (not to purge, as Schultens, nor to sharpen, as Gesenius thinks); cf. under Psalm 10:17. With חכמה are interchanged בּינה, which properly means that which is distinguished or separated, and תּבוּנה, which means the distinguishing, separating, appellations of the capacity of distinguishing in definite cases and in general; but it does not represent this as a faculty of the soul, but as a divine power which communicates itself as the gift of God (charisma).
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