Proverbs 24:5
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
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(5) A man of knowledge increaseth strength.—For the spiritual sense, comp. 2Peter 3:18.

24:1,2 Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! 3-6. Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom. 7-9. A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. 10. Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart. 11,12. If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it? 13,14. We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation. 15,16. The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.Is strong - literally, as in the margin; i. e., rooted and established in strength. 5, 6. The general statement (Ec 9:16, 18) is specially illustrated (compare Pr 21:22; Ps 144:1). Is strong; is courageous and resolute, and able by wisdom to do greater things than others can accomplish by their own strength.

A wise man is strong,.... He can do that sometimes by his wisdom, and which requires strength and courage too, which another cannot do by his strength; see Proverbs 21:22. This may be understood of one that is spiritually wise, wise unto salvation, wise for another world, is made to know true wisdom in the hidden part. The Stoic philosophers say much of their wise man; that he is happy, and rich, and mighty, and even a king; all which may be said more truly of a good man; he is strong, not absolutely, but comparatively, in comparison of what he himself was; and wicked men are without strength, and do not seek for any elsewhere; nor do they, nor can they do, that which is spiritually good, and are ignorant of their weakness: but so is not a wise man; he has some spiritual strength; he seeks to Christ for more, and, through Christ strengthening him, does all things; and is sensible of his own weakness, and finds that when he is weak he is strong: one eminently wise is strong, in comparison of less knowing and more feeble saints; some are children in knowledge, weak in faith and in conduct, more easily drawn into sin and temptation than others; and, in comparison of these, some are strong, who are to bear with and support the weak, and restore them. A wise man is strong, not in and of himself; he cannot think a good thought, nor do a good action, nor preserve himself from sin and Satan; but he is strong in Christ, and in the power of his might, and in his grace; and, through spiritual strength communicated to him, his heart is strengthened, and the work of grace in his heart; he is strengthened to exercise grace more strongly, to perform the duties of religion, to bear the cross of Christ, to withstand temptations, and to oppose his own corruptions. It may be rendered, "a wise man is in strength" (c); he is in Christ the strong hold, whither, as a prisoner of hope, he has fled and turned into; he is in the strong tower, into which he has run and is safe; he is surrounded with the might and power of God on all sides, by which he is kept;

yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength; a spiritual man, a man endued with spiritual knowledge, with the knowledge of Christ, and salvation by him; as he has a degree of spiritual strength, he increases therein; he grows stronger and stronger, he goes from strength to strength; the more he knows of Christ, the more strongly he trusts in him and loves him, and the more able he is to resist Satan's temptations; and is a better match for false teachers who deceive the hearts of the simple: spiritual strength is increased by means of the word of God, by the promises of the Gospel, and by the ordinances of it.

(c) "in fortitudine", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "in robore", Michaelis.

A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
5. strong] Lit. in strength, A.V. and R.V. marg. Comp.

The voice of Jehovah is in might;

The voice of Jehovah is in majesty. Psalm 29:4.

“The expression is more forcible than if adjectives denoting these qualities (‘mighty,’ ‘majestic’) had been used. Comp. ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ, Luke 4:32; ἐν ἰσχύϊ (rec.), Revelation 18:2.”—Bp Perowne.

increaseth strength] Lit., as in margin A.V. and R.V., strengtheneth might.

Verses 5, 6. - Wisdom is beneficial in peace and war. Verse 5. - A wise man is strong. בעוז, "in strength," full of strength, because, however feeble in body, he is wise in counsel, firm in purpose, brave in conduct, thoroughly to be depended upon, and supported by his perfect trust in God (comp. Proverbs 21:22). The Septuagint, with which agree the Syriac and Chaldee, reading differently, renders, "A wise man is better than a strong man" - a sentiment which Lesetre compares to Cicoro's "cedant arma togae." A man of knowledge increaseth strength; literally, strengtheneth power; shows greater, superior power, as Amos 2:14. The Septuagint, from some corruption of the text, renders, "And a man having prudence (is better) than a large estate (γεωργίου μεγάλου);" i.e. wisdom will bring a man more worldly advantages than the possession of extensive farms. The gnome is proved by what follows. Proverbs 24:5The praise of wisdom is continued: it brings blessings in the time of peace, and gives the victory in war.

5 A wise man is full of strength;

   And a man of understanding showeth great power.

6 For with wise counsel shalt thou carry on successful war;

   And safety is where counsellors are not wanting.

The ב of בּעוז (thus with Pathach in old impressions, Cod. 1294, Cod. Jaman., and elsewhere with the Masoretic note לית ומלא) introduces, as that of בכּח, Psalm 24:4, the property in which a person or thing appears; the article (cf. העזבים, Proverbs 2:13, Gesen, 35, 2A) is that of gender. The parallel מאמץ כח, a Greek translates by ὑπὲρ κραταιὸν ἰσχύΐ equals מאמּיץ כּח (Job 9:4; Isaiah 40:26). But after 5a it lies nearer that the poet means to express the power which lies in wisdom itself (Ecclesiastes 7:19), and its superiority to physical force (Proverbs 21:22); the lxx, Syr., and Targ. also, it is true, translate 5a as if מעז (prae potente) were the words used. אמּץ כּח means to strengthen the strength, and that is (Nahum 2:2) equivalent to, to collect the strength (to take courage), here and at Amos 2:14, to show strong (superior) strength. The reason is gathered from Proverbs 20:18 and Proverbs 11:14. The לך here added, Hitzig is determined to read תּעשׂה: for with prudent counsel the war shall be carried out by thee. The construction of the passive with ל of the subject is correct in Heb. (vid., at Proverbs 14:20) as well as in Aram.,

(Note: Vid., Nldeke's Neusyrische Gram. p. 219, Anm., and p. 416.)

and עשׂה frequently means, in a pregnant sense: to complete, to carry out, to bring to an end; but the phrase עשׂה מלחמה means always to carry on war, and nothing further. לך is the dat. commod., as in נלחם ל, to wage war (to contend) for any one, e.g., Exodus 14:14. Instead of ברב, the lxx reads בלב; regarding γεωργίου μεγάλου for מאמץ כח, without doubt a corrupt reading, vid., Lagarde.

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