So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul: when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your expectation shall not be cut off.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul.—Rather, Know (or understand) that wisdom is such (equally sweet and good) for thy soul.
A reward.—Literally, a future. (Comp. Proverbs 23:18.)When thou hast found it; whereby he implies that there is indeed some difficulty and trouble in the pursuit of wisdom, but that it is abundantly compensated with the sweetness and advantage of it when a man arrives at it.
Then there shall be a reward, Heb. and or also there is a reward. It is not only as good as honey, sweet for the present, but it is infinitely better, bringing a sure and everlasting reward with it. Ezekiel 3:3;
when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward; for though there may be some difficulty and trouble to attain it, in the use of means, by reading, bearing, prayer, and meditation, yet, being enjoyed, it carries its own reward with it; a man is abundantly recompensed for all his pains in the pursuit of it, by the pleasure and profit it yields him now and hereafter; for it is the beginning of life eternal, and will issue in it, John 17:3; see Proverbs 2:3;
and thy expectation shall not be cut off; or "hope" (o); as the hope of the hypocrite will, Job 8:14, the hope of eternal life, as founded on Christ and his righteousness, where such that know Wisdom place their hope; and this hope will not make them ashamed; they will not be disappointed, their expectation shall not perish, they will have what they are waiting and hoping for, and what is promised unto them; see Gill on Proverbs 23:18. The Targum is,
"which if thou findest, the last shall come better than the first, and thy hope shall not be consumed.''So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. so shall the knowledge of wisdom be] Rather, so know wisdom to be. With like avidity as you eat honey (Proverbs 24:13), know, get to know, pursue the knowledge of, wisdom. Comp. Psalm 19:10 (Hebrews 11).
reward] See Proverbs 23:18 note.Verse 14. - So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul; better, know, apprehend wisdom to be such for thy soul - to be as pleasant and nourishing and profitable to thy soul, as honey is to thy taste and thy body. The moralist would have his disciple feel the same relish for wisdom that he has for sweet food, recognize it not simply as useful, but as delightful and enjoyable. When thou hast found it. To find wisdom is to get possession of it and use it (comp. Proverbs 3:13, and note there). Then there shall be a reward. The apodosis begins here. We have had the same assurance in Proverbs 23:18 (where see note). The word is literally future. One who has obtained wisdom has a glorious hope before him; habebis in novissimis spem, Vulgate; but his hope is better than that - it goes with him, not in his last hour only, but all his life long. Septuagint, "Then shalt thou perceive wisdom in thy soul; for if thou find it, fair shall be thine end, and hope shall not fail thee."
He that meditateth to do evil,
We call such an one an intriguer.
A verbal explanation and definition like Proverbs 21:24 (cf. p. 29), formed like Proverbs 16:21 from נבון. Instead of בּעל־מזמּות [lord of mischief] in Proverbs 12:2, the expression is 'אישׁ מ (cf. at Proverbs 22:24). Regarding מזמות in its usual sense, vid., Proverbs 5:2. Such definitions have of course no lexicographical, but only a moral aim. That which is here given is designed to warn one against gaining for himself this ambiguous title of a refined (cunning, versutus) man; one is so named whose schemes and endeavours are directed to the doing of evil. One may also inversely find the turning-point of the warning in 8b: "he who projects deceitful plans against the welfare of others, finds his punishment in this, that he falls under public condemnation as a worthless intriguer" (Elster). But מזמות is a ῥῆμα μέσον, vid., Proverbs 5:2; the title is thus equivocal, and the turning-point lies in the bringing out of his kernel: מחשּׁב להרע equals meditating to do evil.
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