Proverbs 4:15
Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
4:14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.She is thy life - Another parallel between personified Wisdom in this book and the Incarnate Wisdom in John 1:4.14. (Compare Ps 1:1). Avoid all temptations to the beginning of evil. Avoid it, pass not by it; keep at a great distance from it. Compare Job 22:23 Proverbs 5:8.

Turn from it; shun all occasions of sin. Avoid it,.... As dangerous and pernicious, as abominable and detestable; or, "flee from it", as the Vulgate Latin version: Jarchi and Gersom interpret it, "make it void"; cause it to cease, destroy it, do all you can to hinder the wicked from accomplishing their designs;

pass not by it; do not come near it; keep at a distance from it, that you may not be drawn into it; abstain from all appearance of evil, and everything that may lead to it;

turn from it, and pass away; the Targum adds, "from them", from wicked men. This heap of words is used to show the danger of bad company; to dissuade from the least approach to it; and to express the vehement desire of the wise man to preserve his son, and all well inclined persons, from it.

Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 15. - Avoid it; p'raehu, the kal imperative of para, properly, "to let go," hence "to reject, or abhor." (On the verb, see Proverbs 1:25, where it is rendered, "set at naught.") The same verb also occurs in Proverbs 8:33; Proverbs 13:18; Proverbs 15:32. It; i.e. the way. The suffix of the verb in the original is feminine, "avoid her;" derek, "the way," being common. Turn from it (s'teh mealayv). The original is a pregnant expression equivalent to "turn aside from it, so that you do not come to stand upon it." The word mealayv, equivalent to the Latin desuper ea, has much the same force as the French de dessus and the Italian di sopra (Delitzsch). The verb satah is, as in the Authorized Version, "to turn, or go aside." Pass away; avor, kal imperative of avar, "to pass over," equivalent to Latin transire, here means "to pass on, or along," "to go beyond," like the German Ger weiter gehn. The counsel of the father is not only "turn aside from," but "put the greatest possible distance between you and it." The injunction, so absolutely stated, to have nothing to do with sin, is required, if not indeed prompted, by the knowledge of the fact that youth, confident in its own power of resistance, frequently indulges in the fatal mistake of imagining that it can dally with sin with impunity. The only course compatible with safety is to entirely avoid it. The meaning of the ἁπ. γεγρ. סלסל is determined by רומם in the parallel clause; סלל signifies to raise, exalt, as a way or dam by heaping up; the Pilpel, here tropical: to value or estimate highly. Bttcher interprets well: hold it high in price, raise it (as a purchaser) always higher, make offer for it upon offer. The lxx (approved by Bertheau), περιχαράκωσον αὐτήν, circumvallate it, i.e., surround it with a wall (סללה) - a strange and here unsuitable figure. Hold it high, says the author, and so it will reward

(Note: Lwenstein has rightly ותרוממך, vid., my preface to Baer's Genesis, p. vii.)

thee with a high place, and (with chiastic transposition of the performance and the consequence) she will honour

(Note: We read תכבּדך, not תכבּרך (Hahn) or תכבּדך (Lwenstein); the tone lies on the penult., and the tone-syllable has the point Tsere, as in ויגּדך, Deuteronomy 32:7; vid., Michlol 66b.)

thee if (ἐάν) thou lovingly embracest her. חבּק is used of embracing in the pressure of tender love, as in Sol 2:6; Sol 8:3; the Piel is related to the Kal as amplexari to amplecti. Wisdom exalts her admirers, honours her lovers, and makes a man's appearance pleasant, causing him to be reverenced when he approaches. Regarding לוית־חן, vid., Proverbs 1:9. מגּן, to deliver up (Genesis 14:20), to give up (Hosea 11:8), is connected in the free poetic manner with two accusatives, instead of with an accus. and dat. lxx has ὑπερασπίσῃ, but one does not defend himself (as with a shield) by a wreath or crown.

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