When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 3:24-26. When thou liest down thou shalt not be afraid — Of fire, or thieves, or any of the terrors of the darkness, knowing that when thou and all thy friends are asleep, yet He that keepeth Israel, and every true-born Israelite, neither slumbers nor sleeps, and that to him thou hast committed thyself, and taken shelter under the shadow of his wings. Yea, thou shalt lie down — And shalt not need to sit up to keep guard; and, being laid down, thou shalt sleep, and not have thine eyes held waking by care or fear; and thy sleep shall be sweet — Refreshing to thee, not being disturbed by any alarms from without, or apprehensions from within. The way to have a good night is to sleep with a good conscience; and the sleep, as of the labouring man, so of the wise and godly man, is sweet. Be not afraid — That is, thou shalt not be afraid. For that it is a promise seems most probable from the context; only, for greater emphasis, it is delivered in the form of a precept; as if he had said, I require thee not to be afraid; it is both thy duty and privilege; of sudden fear — For sudden and unexpected evils are most frightful and grievous; and fear is here put for the evils feared. Neither of the desolation of the wicked — Which befalls them, when the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and thou mayest be ready to fear, lest thou shouldst be involved in the common calamity; but fear not, for God will then hide thee in his chambers, Isaiah 26:20-21. For the Lord shall be thy confidence — A sufficient and sure ground of confidence; and shall keep thy foot from being taken — In the snares either of sin or of mischief.
yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet; free of all uneasy thoughts and cares, sound and refreshing, pleasant and comfortable, like that of the labouring man, Ecclesiastes 5:12; see Psalm 4:8. This epithet of "sweet" is often given to "sleep" in poetic writings (f).When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 24. - When thou liest down thou shalt not be afraid. This is beautifully illustrated by what David says in Psalm 4:8, "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." No fear is to be apprehended where Jehovah is Protector (see Psalm 3:5, 6; Psalm 46:1-3; Psalm 91:1-5; Psalm 121:5-8). When, (im) is rendered "if" by the Vulgate, LXX., Targum Jonathan. Thou liest down; tish'kav, "thou shalt lie down," kal future, like shakavta, kal perfect, in the corresponding hemistich, is from shakav, "to lie down," specially to lay one's self down to sleep, as in Genesis 19:4; Psalm 3:6. Vulgate, si dormieris; cf. Proverbs 6:22, "when thou sleepest" בְּשָׁכְבְּך, b'shok'b'ka). The LXX. rendering, "if thou sittest" (κάθη), arises from reading תֵּשֵׁב (teshev) for תִּשְׁכַב (tish'kav) Yea, thou shalt lie down; b'shok'b'ta, as before, with] prefixed, equivalent to the future, as in the Authorized Version; LXX., καθεύδῃς. Shall be sweet; arvah, from arav, "to be sweet," or "pleasant," perhaps "well mixed," as arev, equivalent to "to mix." Thy sleep shall be full of pleasing impressions, not restless, as in Deuteronomy 28:66 and Job 7:4, but sweet, because of the sense of safety, and from confidence in God, as well as from a good conscience (cf. Job 11:18, "Thou shalt take thy rest in safety," from which the idea is probably taken). Proverbs 1:15);
(Note: The root is not תב, to grope, but נת; whence Arab. natt, to bubble up, natâ, to raise oneself, to swell up, etc.)
נתיבותיה has Munach, and instead of the Metheg, Tarcha, vid., under Proverbs 1:31. The figure of the tree of life the fruit of which brings immortality, is, as Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 15:4 (cf. Proverbs 13:12), Revelation 2:7, taken from the history of paradise in the Book of Genesis. The old ecclesiastical saying, Lignum vitae crux Christi, accommodates itself in a certain measure, through Matthew 11:19; Luke 11:49, with this passage of the Book of Proverbs. החזיק ב means to fasten upon anything, more fully expressed in Genesis 21:18, to bind the hand firm with anything, to seize it firmly. They who give themselves to Wisdom, come to experience that she is a tree of life whose fruit contains and communicates strength of life, and whoever always keeps fast hold of Wisdom is blessed, i.e., to be pronounced happy (Psalm 41:3, vid., under Psalm 137:8). The predicate מאשּׁר, blessed, refers to each one of the תּמכיה, those who hold her, cf. Proverbs 27:16; Numbers 24:9. It is the so-called distributive singular of the predicate, which is freely used particularly in those cases where the plur. of the subject is a participle (vid., under Proverbs 3:35).
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