Proverbs 3:17
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
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(17) Peace.—The highest reward of the New Testament for the life of thankful dependence upon God (Philippians 4:6-7).

3:13-20 No precious jewels or earthly treasures are worthy to be compared with true wisdom, whether the concerns of time or eternity be considered. We must make wisdom our business; we must venture all in it, and be willing to part with all for it. This Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation, sought and obtained by faith and prayer. Were it not for unbelief, remaining sinfulness, and carelessness, we should find all our ways pleasantness, and our paths peace, for his are so; but we too often step aside from them, to our own hurt and grief. Christ is that Wisdom, by whom the worlds were made, and still are in being; happy are those to whom he is made of God wisdom. He has wherewithal to make good all his promises."Ways" and "paths" describe the two kinds of roads, the "highway" and the "byway." In both these he who was guided by Wisdom would walk securely. 17. Her ways—such as she directs us to take. Are ways of pleasantness; are exceedingly delightful, to wit, to those who know them and walk in them; whose judgment is certainly to be preferred before the contrary opinion of ungodly men, who are grossly ignorant of them, and professed enemies to them.

Are peace; procure a blessed tranquillity in a man’s mind and conscience, prosperity in his undertakings, and eternal rest with God in glory. Her ways are ways of pleasantness,.... The "ways" and methods which Christ took to bring about the salvation of his people; some in eternity, as engaging as a surety for them, entering into a covenant with his father on their account, taking the care and charge of their persons, grace, and glory; others in time, as the assumption of their nature, obedience to the law, suffering and dying in their room and stead, rising again, ascending to heaven, and interceding for them; calling them by his grace, clothing them with his righteousness, and keeping them by his power unto salvation, and at last introducing them into his kingdom and glory. These are "pleasant", to view the love of Christ in them, the success that attended them, the glory of God brought about hereby, and the salvation of his people; which is exceedingly pleasant, being agreeable to all the perfections of God; suitable to the case of sinners, full and complete in itself, free to them, and of an everlasting duration; it is this which makes Christ so pleasant to souls, and the Gospel also: or else the ways which Christ has prescribed and directed his followers to walk in are here meant; as himself, who is the principal way, and the only way to the Father, and to heaven and happiness; also the ways of faith, holiness, and truth, the ways of Christ's commandments, and all the ordinances of the Gospel and institutions of religion; which are "pleasant", when the presence of God and Christ is enjoyed in them; when the heart is enlarged with the love of God and Christ; when assisted therein by the Spirit of God, having good food and refreshment in them, and good company with them; and which, though attended with much tribulation, end in eternal pleasure;

and all her paths are peace; the "paths" which Christ has trod in to procure the peace of his people; he appeared in the council of peace, and assisted in it; he entered into a covenant of peace with his Father; he assumed the nature of his people, in order to be their peacemaker; he took the chastisement of their peace upon him; he obtained it by the blood of his cross; he sends his ministers to publish it, and his Spirit into the hearts of men to reconcile them to this way of peace and salvation by him; and the result of all this is, that an honourable "peace" is made for sinners, and peace of conscience is enjoyed, which passeth all understanding, flowing from the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; and the whole issues in eternal peace in the world to come. Likewise all those "paths" which Christ instructs his people to walk in; as the paths of faith and obedience, these lead to the enjoyment of "peace" here and hereafter; there is much peace had in a way of believing, and great peace have they which love the law of God, and the commandments of Christ, and obey them; they may meet with much uneasiness at times in their own spirits, by reason of sin, temptation, and desertion; they may bring the malice of the world upon them, and have much trouble from it, and too, too often, disagree among themselves; and yet, after all, they have that peace which others have not while they live; and, when they die, they depart in peace, and enter into eternal peace. Now all this is true, not of unregenerate persons, who desire not the knowledge of Christ, and to whom there is no peace, but of true believers in him.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Verse 17. - Ways of pleasantness (dar'key noam); Vulgate, viae pulchrae; LXX., ὁδοὶ καλαὶ. Wisdom's ways are those in which substantial delight may be found. They are beautiful and lovely to look upon, and afford happiness. All her paths are peace (v'kal-n'thivo-theyah shalom); literally, as in the Authorized Version. "Peace," shalom, is not genitive as "pleasantness." The character of peace is stamped upon her paths, so that in speaking of Wisdom's paths we speak of peace. She brings tranquillity and serenity and blessedness. Her paths are free from strife and alarm, and they lead to peace. (On the distinction between "ways" and "paths" - the more open and the more private walks - see Proverbs 2:15.) The contrast here follows. As God should not be forgotten in days of prosperity, so one should not suffer himself to be estranged from Him by days of adversity.

11 The school of Jahve, my son, despise thou not,

     Nor loathe thou His correction;

12 For Jahve correcteth him whom He loveth,

     And that as a father his son whom he loveth

Vid., the original passage Job 5:17. There is not for the Book of Job a more suitable motto than this tetrastich, which expresses its fundamental thought, that there is a being chastened and tried by suffering which has as its motive the love of God, and which does not exclude sonship.

(Note: Here Procop. rightly distinguishes between παιδεία and τιμωρία.)

One may say that Proverbs 3:11 expresses the problem of the Book of Job, and Proverbs 3:12 its solution. מוּסר, παιδεία, we have translated "school," for יסּר, παιδεύειν, means in reality to take one into school. Ahndung [punishment] or Rge [reproof] is the German word which most corresponds to the Hebr. תּוכחה or תּוכחת. קוּץ ב (whence here the prohibitive תּקץ with אל) means to experience loathing (disgust) at anything, or aversion (vexation) toward anything. The lxx (cited Hebrews 12:5.), μηδὲ ἐκλύου, nor be faint-hearted, which joins in to the general thought, that we should not be frightened away from God, or let ourselves be estranged from Him by the attitude of anger in which He appears in His determination to inflict suffering. In 12a the accentuation leaves it undefined whether יהוה as subject belongs to the relative or to the principal clause; the traditional succession of accents, certified also by Ben Bileam, is כי את אשׁר יאהב יהוה, for this passage belongs to the few in which more than three servants (viz., Mahpach, Mercha, and three Munachs) go before the Athnach.

(Note: Vid., Torath Emeth, p. 19; Accentuationssystem, vi. 6; the differences between Ben-Asher and Ben-Naphtali in the Appendixes to Biblia Rabbinica; Dachselt's Biblia Accentuata, and Pinner's Prospectus, p. 91 (Odessa, 1845).)

The further peculiarity is here to be observed, that את, although without the Makkeph, retains its Segol, besides here only in Psalm 47:5; Psalm 60:2. 12b is to be interpreted thus (cf. Proverbs 9:5): "and (that) as a father the son, whom he loves." The ו is explanatory, as 1 Samuel 28:3 (Gesenius, 155, 1a), and ירצה (which one may supplement by אתו or בּו) is a defining clause having the force of a clause with אשׁר. The translation et ut pater qui filio bene cupit, is syntactically (cf. Isaiah 40:11) and accentually (vid., 13b) not less admissible, but translating "and as a father he holds his son dear," or with Hitzig (after Jeremiah 31:10, a passage not quite syntactically the same), "and holds him dear, as a father his son" (which Zckler without syntactical authority prefers on account of the 2nd modus, cf. e.g., Psalm 51:18), does not seem a right parallel clause, since the giving of correction is the chief point, and the love only the accompanying consideration (Proverbs 13:24). According to our interpretation, יוכיח is to be carried forward in the mind from 12a. The lxx find the parallel word in יכאב, for they translate μαστιγοῖ δὲ πάντα υἱὸν, ὃν παραδέχεται, and thus have read יכאב or ויכאב.

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