My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 3:21-22. My son, let them not depart, &c. — Let me prevail with thee to keep these good instructions before the eyes of thy mind continually. Constantly and seriously meditate upon them, and thereby thou wilt attain and retain sound wisdom and discretion. So shall they be life unto thy soul — To thee, or thy person. They shall prolong thy life, and make it life indeed, namely, wise, holy, and happy: whereas a foolish, sinful, and miserable life is reputed a kind of death, and is often so called. Thus Moses says to Israel, He (namely, God) is thy life, and the length of thy days, Deuteronomy 30:20. Or Solomon here means, They shall be life to thy soul, properly so called. They shall quicken, delight, and save thy soul. And grace to thy neck — They shall be like a beautiful chain or ornament about thy neck, as above, Proverbs 3:3, and Proverbs 1:9.
let … eyes—that is, these words of instruction.Them, to wit,
wisdom and discretion; of which he hath hitherto discoursed, and which are expressed in the end of this verse, and may be referred hither by a figure called trajection; and the words may be put into this order, let not sound wisdom and discretion depart from thine eyes, but keep them diligently. The like trajections are found in other texts of Scripture.
From thine eyes, i.e. from the eyes of thy mind. Constantly and seriously meditate upon them, and upon those excellent precepts and rules which proceed from them. Proverbs 3:14. Moreover, this may include all the truths and doctrines of Wisdom, or Christ; for, if the law and its precepts were to be upon the hands and as frontlets between the eyes of the Israelites, and so be ever in sight, then much more the doctrines of the Gospel, Deuteronomy 6:8. It is observable that the Septuagint here makes use of the same word the apostle does in Hebrews 2:1; speaking of Gospel truths; See Gill on Hebrews 2:1; these are meant in the next clause; and some by a transposition place them thus, "let not sound wisdom and discretion depart from thine eyes, keep" them; for by
sound wisdom is meant sound doctrine, the wholesome words of Christ, the solid and substantial truths of the Gospel. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "keep the law"; but the Syriac version, much better, "keep my doctrine", the doctrine of the Gospel; which also is meant by
discretion, or "counsel" (d), as some render the word, and as the Gospel is called, Acts 20:27; this should be kept; the doctrines of it should be held fast and not let go, or be departed from; and the ordinances of it should be observed and kept, as they were delivered, from a principle of love, and a view to the glory of Christ; the advantages arising from them follow.My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Proverbs 3:21-35
21. let not them] The reference may be to the “sound wisdom and discretion” of the following clause; but it is better perhaps to understand by “them” the precepts already given. The reading of the LXX., μὴ παραρυῇς, is interesting in connection with παραρυῶμεν, Hebrews 2:1, where see notes in this Series and in Dean Vaughan’s Commentary.Verse 21. - My son, let not them depart from thine eyes. After the description of the power of Wisdom exhibited in creating and sustaining the earth, the exhortation to keep Wisdom steadily before the eyes, and the promises of Divine protection, appropriately follow. Since Wisdom is so powerful, then, the teacher argues, she is worthy of being retained and guarded, and able to protect. Let them not depart (al-yaluzu); i.e. "let them not escape or slip aside from your mind (cf. Vulgate, ne effluant haec ab oculis ruts). They are to be as frontiers between your eyes, as a ring upon your finger. Yaluzu, from luz, "to bend aside," defiectere, a via declinare, which see in Proverbs 2:15, ought probably to be written yellezu, on the analogy of the corresponding passage in Proverbs 4:21. The LXX. renders absolutely μὴ παραῥῤύης, "do not thou pass by," from παραῥῤύω, "to flow by," "to pass by, recede" (cf. Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to these things, lest at any time we should let them slip (μὴ ποτε παραῥῤυῶμεν)," quoted probably from the LXX. of this passage). The Targum Jonathan reads ne vilescat, "let it," i.e. wisdom, "not become worthless." Them, included in the verb yaluzu of which it is subject in the original, is to be referred either to "sound wisdom and discretion" of ver. 21b - so Gejerus, Cartwright, Geier, Umbreit, Hitzig, Zockter, Plumptre (a similar trajection occurs in Deuteronomy 32:5, and is used, as here, to give vividness to the description): or to "wisdom, understanding, knowledge," of the preceding verses - so Delitzsch and Holden. The first view in every way seems preferable, and it is no objection to it that "sound wisdom" (tushiyyah) and "discretion" (m'yimmah) are feminine, while the verb "depart" (yaluzu) is masculine (see Gesenius, *Gram.,' § 147). The Syriac reads, "Let it not become worthless (ne vile fit) in thine eyes to keep my doctrine and my counsels." Keep sound wisdom and discretion. Keep; n'zor, kal imperative of natsar, "to watch, guard." For "sound wisdom" (tushiyyah), see Proverbs 2:7. Here used for "wisdom" (kokhmah), as "discretion" (m'zimmah) for "understanding" (t'vunah), to contrast the absolute wisdom and insight of God with the corresponding attributes in man (see Zockler, in loc.). They belong to God, but are conferred on those who seek after Wisdom, and are then to be guarded as priceless treasures. The Vulgate reads, custodi legem et consilium; and the LXX., τήρησον δὲ ἐμὴν βουλὴν καὶ ἔννοιαν, "guard my counsel and thought." Lamentations 4:7, in contradistinction to the pure whiteness attributed to snow and milk (vid., at Job 28:18). The meaning of the word may, however, have become generalized in practice (lxx in loc. λίθων πολετελῶν, Graec. Venet. λιθιδίων); the meaning "pearls," given to it in the Job-Targum by Rashi, and particularly by Bochart, lay so much the nearer as one may have wrought also corals and precious stones, such as the carbuncle, sardius, and sapphire, into the form of pearls. יקרה, in consequence of the retrogression of the tone, has Munach on the penult., and that as an exception, as has been remarked by the Masora, since in substantives and proper names terminating in ה the נסוג אחור, i.e., the receding of the tone, does not elsewhere appear, e.g., יפה היא, Genesis 12:14, בּרה היא, Sol 6:9, צרה היא, Jeremiah 30:7. חפץ is first abstr., a being inclined to something, lust, will, pleasure in anything, then also concr., anything in which one has pleasure, what is beautiful, precious; cf. Arab. nfı̂s, _hyy, hence hjârt nfı̂st, precious stones" (Fleischer). שׁוה with ב means to be an equivalent (purchase-price, exchange) for anything; the most natural construction in Arab. as well as in Hebr. is that with ל, to be the equivalent of a thing (vid., at Job 33:27); the ב is the Beth pretii, as if one said in Arab.: biabi anta thou art in the estimate of my father, I give it for thee. One distinctly perceives in Proverbs 3:14, Proverbs 3:15, the echo of Job 28. This tetrastich occurs again with a slight variation at Proverbs 8:10-11. The Talmud and the Midrash accent it so, that in the former the expression is וכל־חפצים, and in the latter וכל־חפציך, and they explain the latter of precious stones and pearls (אבנים טובות ומרגליות).
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