Proverbs 2:10
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
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(10) When wisdom . . .—Rather to be taken as an explanation of the preceding, For wisdom will enter, &c

Proverbs 2:10-15. When wisdom entereth into thy heart — When thou dost truly love it, and hide its precepts in thy heart; Discretion shall preserve thee — From wicked courses, and the mischiefs which attend upon them; from the way of the evil man — From following his counsel or example; the man that speaketh froward things — With a design to corrupt thy mind, and entice thee to evil principles or practices. Who leave the paths of righteousness — The way of God’s precepts; to walk in the ways of darkness — Of sin, which is often called darkness, because it proceeds from ignorance and error, hates the light of knowledge and truth, and leads to the eternal darkness of misery and despair. Who rejoice to do evil — Seeking and embracing occasions of sin, with diligence and greediness, and pleasing themselves both in the practice and remembrance of it: and delight in the frowardness of the wicked — Not only in their own sins, but in the sins of other wicked men, which shows a great malignity of mind and love to sin, Romans 1:32 : whose ways are crooked — Hebrew, who in, or with respect to, their ways, are perverse; acting contrary to the straight rules of piety and virtue.

2:10-22 If we are truly wise, we shall be careful to avoid all evil company and evil practices. When wisdom has dominion over us, then it not only fills the head, but enters into the heart, and will preserve, both against corruptions within and temptations without. The ways of sin are ways of darkness, uncomfortable and unsafe: what fools are those who leave the plain, pleasant, lightsome paths of uprightness, to walk in such ways! They take pleasure in sin; both in committing it, and in seeing others commit it. Every wise man will shun such company. True wisdom will also preserve from those who lead to fleshly lusts, which defile the body, that living temple, and war against the soul. These are evils which excite the sorrow of every serious mind, and cause every reflecting parent to look upon his children with anxiety, lest they should be entangled in such fatal snares. Let the sufferings of others be our warnings. Our Lord Jesus deters from sinful pleasures, by the everlasting torments which follow them. It is very rare that any who are caught in this snare of the devil, recover themselves; so much is the heart hardened, and the mind blinded, by the deceitfulness of this sin. Many think that this caution, besides the literal sense, is to be understood as a caution against idolatry, and subjecting the soul to the body, by seeking any forbidden object. The righteous must leave the earth as well as the wicked; but the earth is a very different thing to them. To the wicked it is all the heaven they ever shall have; to the righteous it is the place of preparation for heaven. And is it all one to us, whether we share with the wicked in the miseries of their latter end, or share those everlasting joys that shall crown believers?Another picture of the results of living in the fear of the Lord. Not that to which it leads a man, but that from which it saves him, is brought into view. Notice also that it is one thing for wisdom to find entrance into the soul, another to be welcomed as a "pleasant" guest. 10, 11. Idea of Pr 2:9, amplified; on terms, compare Pr 2:2 and Pr 2:4. When wisdom entereth into thine heart; when thou dost truly love it, and passionately desire it, and hide its precepts in thy heart, according to Psalm 119:11.

When wisdom entereth into thine heart,.... Either Christ, the Wisdom of God; who enters there at conversion, and sets up a throne in the heart, and dwells there by faith: or else the Gospel, the wisdom of God in a mystery; which enters not into the head only, as in hypocrites and formal professors; nor into the natural affections, as in the stony ground hearers; but into the heart, opened by the Spirit of God to receive it, so as to have a spiritual understanding of it; which is done when the Gospel comes not in word only, but in the demonstration and power of the Spirit; when a man truly understands it, approves of it, loves it, believes it; and it has a place in his heart, and richly dwells there;

and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; which the Gospel thus entering gives; even the knowledge of God in Christ, as the God of all grace, as gracious and merciful, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the knowledge of Christ, as the only Redeemer and Saviour; and the knowledge of Gospel truths, which lead and relate unto him: all which is pleasant to a gracious soul, and affords unspeakable delight to the mind; and is sweeter, as every truth of the Gospel is, than the honey or the honeycomb; see Proverbs 16:24.

When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
10. When wisdom entereth … knowledge is pleasant] Rather: For wisdom shall enter … knowledge shall be pleasant, R.V. The address flows on continuously and describes how wisdom as a shield preserves from the evil man (Proverbs 2:12-15), and from the evil woman (Proverbs 2:16-19).

Verses 10-19. - Statement of the advantages which result from the possession of Wisdom, and specially as a safeguard against evil men (vers. 12-15) and evil women (vers 16-19). Verse 10. - When wisdom entereth into thine heart. There is practically little difference as to the sense, whether we render the Hebrew כִּיby the conditional "if" or by the temporal "when" as in the Authorized Version. The conditional force is adopted by the LXX. ἐάν and the Vulgate si. In the previous section of this address, the teacher has shown that the search after Wisdom will result in possession.; now he points out, when Wisdom is secured, certain advantageous consequences follow. The transition is easy and natural. The form of construction is very similar to that adopted previously. There is first the hypothesis, if we give this force to כִּי, though much shorter; and secondly the climax, also shorter and branching off into the statement of two special cases. Entereth; or, shall enter (חָבוא thavo) in the sense of permanent residence in the heart. Wisdom is not only to come in, but to rest there (cf. Proverbs 14:33). The expression is illustrated by John 14:23. The imagery of the verse is taken from the reception and entertainment of a guest. As we receive a welcome guest, and find pleasure in his company, so is Wisdom to be dear to the heart and soul. Into thine heart (בְּלִבֶּך, b'libecha). The heart (לֵב) "concentrates in it. self the personal life of man in all its relations, the conscious and the unconscious, the voluntary and the involuntary, the physical and the spiritual impulses, the emotions and states" (Cremer, 'Bib. Theol. Lex.,' sub voce καρδία). It is that in which the נֶפֶשׁ (nephesh),"soul," manifests itself. It is the centre of the life of will and desire, of the emotions, and of the moral life. Rudloff ('Lehre von Menscher,' p. 59, sqq., apud Zockler) remarks that everywhere in the Scriptures the heart appears to belong more to the life of desire and feeling than to the intellectual activity of the soul. But at the same time, it is to be noted that intelligent conception is attributed to the heart (לֵב); Proverbs 14:10; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 16:9. The expression seems to be put here for the moral side of man's nature; and in the Hellenistic sense, καρδία, the proper equivalent of לֵב "heart," involves all that stands for νοῦς λόγος συνείδησις, and θυμός; i.e. it includes, besides other things, the intellectual faculty. The word "soul" (נֶפֶשׁ, nephesh) is here found in combination with "heart." The other passages where they are mentioned together are Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 13:2; Jeremiah 4:19; Proverbs 24:12. The soul is primarily the vital principle, but according to the usus loquendi of Holy Scripture, it frequently denotes the entire inward nature of man; it is that part which is the object of the work of redemption. The homo of the soul is the heart, as appears from Proverbs 14:10, "The heart knoweth his own bitterness [or, 'the bitterness of his soul,' Hebrew]." While the "heart" (לֵב) is rendered by καρδία and ψυχή, the only Greek equivalent to "soul" (וֶפֶשׁ) is ψυχή. The two expressions, "heart," and "soul," in the passage before us may be taken as designating both the moral and spiritual sides of man's nature. Wisdom is to be acceptable and pleasant to man in these respects. It may be remarked that an intellectual colouring is given to the word "heart" by the LXX., who render it by διανοία, as also in Deuteronomy 6:5 and other passages, evidently from the idea that prominence is given to the reflective faculty. Classically, διανοία ισ equivalent to "thought," "faculty of thought," "intellect." Knowledge (Hebrew, דָעָת); literally, to know, as in Proverbs 8:10 and Proverbs 14:6; here used synonymously with "wisdom." Knowledge, not merely as cognition, but perception; i.e. not merely knowing a thing with respect to its existence and being, but as to its excellence and truth. Equivalent to the LXX. αἰσσησις, "perception," and the Vulgate scientia. Is pleasant (Hebrew, יִנְעָם, yin'am); literally, shall be pleasant; i.e. sweet, lovely, beautiful. The same word is used impersonally in Jacob's blessing of Issachar (Genesis 49:15, "And he saw the land that it was pleasant"), and also in Proverbs 24:25, "To those that punish [i.e. the judges] there shall be delight." And this usage has led Dunn to take knowledge as an accusative of reference, and to translate, "There is pleasure to thy soul in respect of knowledge;" but the Authorized Version may be accepted as correct. "Knowledge" is masculine, as in Proverbs 8:10 and Proverbs 14:6, and agrees with the masculine verb "is pleasant." Knowledge will be pleasant from the enjoyment and rest which it yields. The Arabic presents the idea of this enjoyment under a different aspect: "And prudence shall be in thy soul the most beautiful glory." Proverbs 2:10With the אז repeated, the promises encouraging to the endeavour after wisdom take a new departure:

9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and justice,

   And uprightness; every way of good.

10 For wisdom will enter into thine heart,

   And knowledge will do good to thy soul;

11 Discretion will keep watch over thee,

   Understanding will keep thee.

Regarding the ethical triad מישׁרים [righteousness, rightness], משׁפּט [judgment], and צדק [rectitude], vid., Proverbs 1:3. Seb. Schmid is wrong in his rendering, et omnis via qua bonum aditur erit tibi plana, which in comparison with Isaiah 26:7 would be feebly expressed. J. H. Michaelis rightly interprets all these four conceptions as object-accusatives; the fourth is the summarizing asyndeton (cf. Psalm 8:7) breaking off the enumeration: omnem denique orbitam boni; Jerome, bonam: in this case, however, טוב would be genitive (vid., Proverbs 17:2). מעגּל is the way in which the chariot rolls along; in עגל there are united the root-conceptions of that which is found (גל) and rolling (גל). Whether כּי, Proverbs 2:10, is the argumentative "because" (according to the versions and most interpreters) or "for" ("denn," J. H. Michaelis, Ewald, and others), is a question. That with כּי equals "for" the subject would precede the verb, as at Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 2:21, and Proverbs 1:32 (Hitzig), determines nothing, as Proverbs 2:18 shows. On the one hand, the opinion that כּי equals "because" is opposed by the analogy of the כּי, Proverbs 2:6, following אז, Proverbs 2:5; the inequality between Proverbs 2:5-8 and Proverbs 2:9. if the new commencement, Proverbs 2:9, at once gives place to another, Proverbs 2:10; the relationship of the subject ideas in Proverbs 2:10, Proverbs 2:11, which makes Proverbs 2:11 unsuitable to be a conclusion from Proverbs 2:10. On the contrary, the promise not only of intellectual, but at the same time also of practical, insight into the right and the good, according to their whole compass and in their manifoldness, can be established or explained quite well as we thus read Proverbs 2:10, Proverbs 2:11 : For wisdom will enter (namely, to make it a dwelling-place, Proverbs 14:33; cf. John 14:23) into thine heart, and knowledge will do good to thy soul (namely, by the enjoyment which arises from the possession of knowledge, and the rest which its certainty yields). דּעת, γνῶσις, is elsewhere fem. (Psalm 139:6), but here, as at Proverbs 8:10; Proverbs 14:6, in the sense of τὸ γνῶναι, is masc. In Proverbs 2:11 the contents of the אז תבין (Proverbs 2:9) are further explained. שׁמר על, of watching (for Job 16:16 is to be interpreted differently), is used only by our poet (here and at Proverbs 6:22). Discretion, i.e., the capacity of well-considered action, will hold watch over thee, take thee under protection; understanding, i.e., the capacity in the case of opposing rules to make the right choice, and in the matter of extremes to choose the right medium, will be bestowed upon thee. In תּנצרכּה, as in Psalm 61:8; Psalm 140:2, Psalm 140:5; Deuteronomy 33:9, etc., the first stem letter is not assimilated, in order that the word may have a fuller sound; the writing כּה for ך is meant to affect the eye.

(Note: For the right succession of the accents here, see Torath Emeth, p. 49, 5; Accentuationssystem, xviii. 3.)

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