Proverbs 3:22
So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
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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. 22-24. assign reasons in their value for happiness and ornament, guidance and support in dangers, both when waking and sleeping. Unto thy soul; either,

1. To thee or thy person. They shall prolong and perpetuate thy life, and make it life indeed, to wit, pleasant and happy; whereas a miserable life is reputed a kind of death, and is oft so called. Or, to thy soul, properly so called. They shall quicken, and delight, and save thy soul.

Grace to thy neck; like a beautiful chain or ornament about thy neck, as above, Proverbs 3:3 1:9.

So shall they be life unto thy soul,.... Give it a better life than it naturally has, though immortal; Christ is both the spiritual and eternal life of the souls of those that look unto him by faith; and his Gospel, and the doctrines of it, are the means of reviving drooping saints, and of quickening them to the discharge of their duty; wherefore both he and they should be kept in continual view, and held fast;

and grace to thy neck; an ornament to that and to the whole man; how ornamental is Christ and his righteousness to a believer! how lovely is the person that is steady in his principles, and regular in his practices! who stands fast in the truths of the Gospel, and whose conversation is as becomes it! see Proverbs 1:9.

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
Verse 22. - So shall they he life to thy soul, and grace to thy neck. So shall they be (n'yikva); and they shall be. The "soul" and "neck" stand for the whole man in his twofold nature, internal and external. Life is in its highest and widest sense given to the soul (see Proverbs 2:16, 18; Proverbs 4:22; Proverbs 8:35), and favour is conferred on the man, i.e. he becomes acceptable to his neighbours, if he has wisdom. The latter expression is very similar to Proverbs 1:9, where the same promise is expressed, "grace" (hon) being equivalent to "ornament of grace" (liv'yath hon). Others understand "grace to thy neck" (hon l'garg grotheyka), as gratia guttturis, in the sense of "grace of the lips," as in Psalm 45:3 and Proverbs 22:11, that is, as the grace of speaking, power of eloquent and effective utterance (Gejerus, Bayne, Lapide). It is better to take it as referring to the adornment of the personal character, and so by metonymy of the favour and kindness which it procures. Proverbs 3:22From this eminence, in which the work of creation presents wisdom, exhortations are now deduced, since the writer always expresses himself only with an ethical intention regarding the nature of wisdom:

21 My son, may they not depart from thine eyes -

     Preserve thoughtfulness and consideration,

22 And they will be life to thy soul

     And grace to thy neck.

If we make the synonyms of wisdom which are in 21b the subject per prolepsin to אל־ילזוּ (Hitzig and Zckler), then Proverbs 3:19-20 and Proverbs 3:21-22 clash. The subjects are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, which belong to God, and shall from His become the possession of those who make them their aim. Regarding לוּז, obliquari, deflectere, see under Proverbs 2:15, cf. Proverbs 4:21; regarding תּשׁיּה (here defective after the Masora, as rightly in Vened. 1515, 1521, and Nissel, 1662), see at Proverbs 2:7; ילזוּ for תּלזנה, see at Proverbs 3:2. The lxx (cf. Hebrews 2:1) translate without distinctness of reference: υἱὲ μὴ παραῤῥυῂς (παραρυῇς), let it now flow past, i.e., let it not be unobserved, hold it always before thee; the Targ. with the Syr. render לא נזּל, ne vilescat, as if the words were אל־יזוּלוּ. In 22a the synallage generis is continued: ויהיוּ for ותהיינה. Regarding גּרגּרת, see at Proverbs 1:9. By wisdom the soul gains life, divinely true and blessed, and the external appearance of the man grace, which makes him pleasing and gains for him affection.

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