Thorns and snares are in the way of the fraudulent: he that does keep his soul shall be far from them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thorns.—Comp. note on Proverbs 15:19.Proverbs 22:5. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward — The wicked, by their evil practices, expose themselves to many dangers, and occasions both of sin and mischief: he that keeps his soul — That takes heed to himself, and to his actions, and to the saving of his soul; shall be far from them — Will avoid the society of such froward persons; or rather, by that circumspection shall preserve himself from those thorns and snares to which the froward are exposed.Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward; the wicked by their evil courses expose themselves to many dangers and occasions both of sin and mischief.
He that doth keep his soul, that taketh heed to himself, and to his actions, and to the saving of his life and soul,
shall be far from them; either,
1. Will avoid the society of such froward persons. Or,
2. Shall by that circumspection preserve himself from those thorns, &c., with which the pronoun them agrees in number.
he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them; he that is concerned for the good of his soul, is careful for the welfare of that, and takes heed to his ways where and how he walks, will be far both from the way of the froward, and from the thorns and snares which are in his way.Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 5 - Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward. The words are in the Hebrew without the conjunction (see note, ver. 4), though the versions generally add it. Thus the Septuagint, τρίβολοι καὶ παγίδες; Vulgate, arma et gladiii but the Venetian, ἄκανθαι παγίδες. It is a question whether the thorns are what the perverse prepare for others, or what they themselves suffer. In Proverbs 15:19 the hedge of thorns represented the difficulties in the sluggard's path; but here, viewed in connection with the following hemistich, the thorns and snares refer to the hindrances proceeding from the froward, which injuriously affect others; "thorns" being a figure of the pains and troubles, "snares" of the unexpected dangers and impediments which evil men cause as they go on their crooked way. The word for "thorns" is צנִּים, which occurs in Job 5:5. The plant is supposed to be the Rhamnus paliurus, but it has not been accurately identified. He that doth keep his soul shall be far from them (comp. Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 16:17). The man who has regard to his life and morals will go far, will keep wholly aloof, from those perils and traps into which the perverse try to entice them. Proverbs 22:2, Proverbs 22:7, Proverbs 22:16, present themselves as such, and this the more surely as Proverbs 22:16 is without contradiction the terminus. Thus we take first together 21:30-22:2.
30 No wisdom and no understanding,
And no counsel is there against Jahve.
The expression might also be 'לפני ה; but the predominating sense would then be, that no wisdom appears to God as such, that He values none as such. With לנגד the proverb is more objective: there is no wisdom which, compared with His, can be regarded as such (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:19), none which can boast itself against Him, or can at all avail against Him (לנגד, as Daniel 10:12; Nehemiah 3:37); whence it follows (as Job 28:28) that the wisdom of man consists in the fear of God the Alone-wise, or, which is the same thing, the All-wise. Immanuel interprets חכמה of theology, תּבוּנה of worldly science, עצה of politics; but חכמה is used of the knowledge of truth, i.e., of that which truly is and continues; תבונה of criticism, and עצה of system and method; vid., at Proverbs 1:2; Proverbs 8:14, from which latter passage the lxx has substituted here גבורה instead of תבונה. Instead of 'לנגד ה it translates πρὸς τὸν ἀσεβῆ, i.e., for that which is 'נגד ה against Jahve.
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