Proverbs 22:5
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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(5) 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.22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.Better, (compare the margin) The reward of humility (is) the fear of the Lord, "riches, and honor, and life. 5. he that … them—Those who properly watch over their own souls are thus preserved from the dangers which attend the way of perverse men (Pr 16:17). 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. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward,.... Who walks contrary to the will and law of God; such a man meets with troubles, which are as thorns, grieving and distressing to him; and is taken in snares, and brought into difficulties, out of which he is not easily extricated; the thorns of affliction, and the snares of Satan: by the one his way is hedged up, and in the other his feet are taken;

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.
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. If we further seek for the boundaries, the proverbs regarding the rich and the poor, 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.

Proverbs 21:30

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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