Proverbs 3:21
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 1:9.3:21-26 Let us not suffer Christ's words to depart from us, but keep sound wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in his ways. The natural life, and all that belongs to it, shall be under the protection of God's providence; the spiritual life, and all its interests, under the protection of his grace, so that we shall be kept from falling into sin or trouble.Let not them depart - i. e., The wisdom and discretion of the following clause. Keep thine eye on them, as one who watches over priceless treasures. 21. sound wisdom—(compare Pr 2:7).

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. My son, let not them depart from thine eyes,.... Meaning not the things done by Wisdom; though it is good to contemplate his works of creation and providence, which serve to set forth the glory of Christ, and lead into adoring and admiring views of him, and to thankfulness to him; but wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, whereby these things are done, which are but so many names of Christ: we should always set him before us, keep him always in view, be ever looking to him by faith, and never suffer him to depart from our eyes; we should always have in sight his divine Person for our acceptance with God, the greatness and glory of it to encourage our faith and hope in him; we should keep in view his righteousness for our justification, and which we should ever make mention of at the throne of grace, and hold it forth in the hand of faith against all charges and accusations of law and justice, Satan, or our own hearts; we should be continually looking to his blood for peace and pardon, healing and cleansing; and our eyes should be at all times on his fulness, for fresh supplies of grace, for spiritual food, or the daily bread of our souls, and for spiritual strength and comfort; we should always consider him as the Saviour, and be exercising faith on him as such, for there is no other; and should always look upon him as the Mediator between God and man, and make use of him; and he should be ever before us as our example, both in the exercise of grace and performance of duty, to copy after; and we should always keep sight of him while running our Christian race, as the forerunner for us entered, and as the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. And not only Wisdom, or Christ, but all the things that are said of him in the context, we should never lose sight of; the exceeding great gain got by him, the superlative preciousness of him, the fulness of blessings in both his hands, the pleasantness and peaceableness of his ways, the usefulness of him as a tree of life to those that lay hold upon him and retain him, and the works of nature and providence done by him, 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.

(d) Sept. "consilium", Arabic version.

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Sixth Address. Chap. 3. 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." As regards פּנינים, for which the Kethb has פּניּים, the following things are in favour of the fundamental meaning "corals," viz.: (1.) The name itself, which corresponds with the Arab. fann; this word, proceeding from the root-idea of shooting forth, particularly after the manner of plants, means the branch and all that raises or multiplies itself branch-like or twig-like (Fleischer). (2.) The redness attributed to the פנינים, 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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