Proverbs 2:3
Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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." 3. Yea, if—literally, "When if," that is, in such a case.

knowledge—or, "discrimination."

understanding—as in Pr 2:2.

If thou criest, to wit, unto God, the only giver of it, Proverbs 2:5, Heb. if thou callest; invitest it to come unto thee; earnestly desirest its conduct. Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,.... Of God, Christ, and the Gospel; not only bow the ear and bend the mind to these things, but importunately and fervently pray for them; not only attend the ministry of the word by men, but cry to God to give the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of divine and spiritual things; which supposes some sense of a want of it, an hearty desire for it, having some apprehension of the worth and value of it; and that it is to be had, as there is indeed great reason to hope for and expect it, James 1:5;

and liftest up thy voice for understanding; for Christ, who is understanding as well as wisdom, Proverbs 8:14; or rather for an understanding of the Gospel and the mysteries of it, which men do not naturally understand; and for which there must be an understanding given, or the eyes of the understanding must be enlightened; or Christ, by his spirit and grace, must open the understanding, that it may understand these things; which is granted to those who lift up their voice in prayer for it.

Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and {c} liftest up thy voice for understanding;

(c) Meaning that we must seek the knowledge of God with care and diligence.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. knowledge] Rather, discernment, R.V. See Proverbs 1:2, note.Verse 3. - Yea, if thou criest after knowledge. The endeavour after Wisdom is not only to be sincere, it is also to be earnest, as appears from the "yea, if," and the verbs "crying" and "lifting up the voice," both of which frequently occur in Scripture as indicating earnestness. This earnestness is the counterpart of that which Wisdom herself displays (see Proverbs 1:20, 21). Knowledge; i.e. insight. In the original there is practically little difference between "knowledge" and "understanding" (בִּינָה and תְּבוּנָה). They carry on the idea expressed in "understanding" in the preceding verse, and thus throw the emphasis on the verbs. The LXX. and Vulgate, however, take "knowledge" as equivalent to σοφία, sapientia, "wisdom." The reading of the Targum, "If thou tallest understanding thy mother," arises from reading אִם for אֵם, but is not to be preferred to the Masoretic text, as it destroys the parallelism. Then - this sublime preacher in the streets continues - distress shall teach them to pray:

28 Then shall they call on me, and I will not answer;

     They shall early seek after me, and not find me;

29 Because that they hated knowledge,

     And did not choose the fear of Jahve.

30 They have not yielded to my counsel,

     Despised all my reproof:

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their way,

     And satiate themselves with their own counsels.

In the full emphatic forms, יקראנני, they shall call on me, ישׁחרנני, they shall seek me, and ימצאנני, they shall find me, the suffix ני may be joined to the old plur. ending ûn (Gesenius, Olshausen, Bttcher); but open forms like יברכנהוּ, He will bless him,יכבּדנני, He will honour me (from יכבּדנּי), and the like, rather favour the conclusion that נ is epenthetic (Ew. 250, b).

(Note: In the Codd. יקראנני is written; in this case the Metheg indicates the tone syllable: vid., Torath Emeth, p. 7 note, p. 21 note; and Accentssystem, ii. 1, note. In ישׁחרנני the Rebia is to be placed over the ר. In the Silluk-word ימצאנני it appears undoubtedly that the form is to be spoken as Milel, i.e., with tone on the penult.)

The address here takes the form of a declaration: Stultos nunc indignos censet ulteriori alloquio (Mich.). It is that laughter and scorn, Proverbs 1:26, which here sounds forth from the address of the Judge regarding the incorrigible. שׁחר is denom. of שׁחר, to go out and to seek with the morning twilight, as also בּקּר, Psalm 27:5, perhaps to appear early, and usually (Arab.) bakar (I, II, IV), to rise early, to be zealous (Lane: "He hastened to do or accomplish, or attain the thing needed"). Zckler, with Hitzig, erroneously regards Proverbs 1:29, Proverbs 1:30 as the antecedent to Proverbs 1:31. With ויאכלוּ, "and they shall eat," the futt. announcing judgment are continued from Proverbs 1:28; cf. Deuteronomy 28:46-48. The conclusion after תּהת כּי, "therefore because," or as usually expressed (except here and Deuteronomy 4:37, cf. Genesis 4:25), תּהת אשׁר (ἀνθ ̓ ὧν), is otherwise characterized, Deuteronomy 22:29; 2 Chronicles 21:12; and besides, תהת אשׁר stands after (e.g., 1 Samuel 26:21; 2 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 29:19) oftener than before the principal clause. בּחר combines in itself the meanings of eligere and diligere (Fl.). The construction of אבה ל (to be inclining towards) follows that of the analogous שׁמע ל (to hear). Each one eats of the fruit of his way - good fruit of good ways (Isaiah 3:10), and evil fruit of evil ways. "The מן, 31b, introduces the object from which, as a whole, that which one eats, and with which he is satisfied, is taken as a part, or the object from which, as from a fountain, satisfaction flows forth" (Fl.). In correct texts, ויאכלוּ has the accent Dech, and at the same time Munach as its servant. Regarding the laws of punctuation, according to which וּממּעצתיהם (with Munach on the tone-syllable, Tarcha on the antepenult, and Metheg before the Chateph-Pathach) is to be written, see Baer's Torath Emeth, p. 11, Accentssystem, iv. 4. Norzi accents the word incorrectly with Rebia Mugrash. With the exception of Proverbs 22:22, the pluralet

(Note: A plur. denoting unity in the circumstances, and a similarity in the relations of time and space.)

מועצות has always the meaning of ungodly counsels.

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