Proverbs 6:22
When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you wake, it shall talk with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6:20-35 The word of God has something to say to us upon all occasions. Let not faithful reproofs ever make us uneasy. When we consider how much this sin abounds, how heinous adultery is in its own nature, of what evil consequence it is, and how certainly it destroys the spiritual life in the soul, we shall not wonder that the cautions against it are so often repeated. Let us notice the subjects of this chapter. Let us remember Him who willingly became our Surety, when we were strangers and enemies. And shall Christians, who have such prospects, motives, and examples, be slothful and careless? Shall we neglect what is pleasing to God, and what he will graciously reward? May we closely watch every sense by which poison can enter our minds or affections.The thought of Proverbs 3:3 is carried step further. No outward charm, but the law of obedience, shall give safety to the traveler, when he sleeps or when he wakes. 22. it—(compare Pr 6:23); denotes the instruction of parents (Pr 6:20), to which all the qualities of a safe guide and guard and ready teacher are ascribed. It prevents the ingress of evil by supplying good thoughts, even in dreams (Pr 3:21-23; Ps 19:9; 2Pe 1:19). It, the law of God, which thy parents have taught thee, and pressed upon thee,

shall lead thee; direct thee how to order all thy steps and actions.

It shall talk with thee; it shall give thee counsel and comfort. When thou goest, it shall lead thee,.... The law of God taught by parents; this directs man in the path of duty and business of life; teaches him what way to shun, and which to walk in; it leads out of the paths of sin, and into the way in which he should go, which is most conducive to his good, and to the glory of God; it will lead him safely, so that he shall not stumble, Proverbs 3:3;

when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; from terrifying dreams, evil spirits, dangers by fire or thieves; one that observes it conscientiously may lie down and sleep, secure of the guardianship of divine Providence, and not fear any evil; or "shall watch over thee" (h) in the night season;

and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee; familiarly; and instruct what to do, and how to behave the day following; or "it shall go out with thee" (i), into the fields for a morning's walk, and assist in meditation. Jarchi interprets this of sleeping by death, and of awaking at the resurrection of the dead.

(h) "excubabit apud te", Cocceius; "excubias aget super te", Michaelis, Schultens. (i) "illa ipsa spatiabitur tecum", Schultens.

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. it] The change from the plural, “bind them,” “tie them,” of Proverbs 6:21, and the return to “it,” “the commandment,” “the law,” in Proverbs 6:23 (comp. Proverbs 6:20) indicate not only the substantial identity of the teaching of the father and the mother, but the source of that identity in the one law of God, of which they are both the authorised exponents (Deuteronomy 6:7).Verse 22. - The going, sleeping, and awaking occur in the same order in the Pentateuch, from which the ideas of this and the preceding verse are evidently derived (see Deuteronomy 6:7 and Deuteronomy 11:19). Though only specifying three conditions, they refer to the whole conduct of life, and hence the verse promises direction, guardianship, and converse of wisdom, which will undoubtedly attend life where the precepts of parents are lovingly treasured and obediently observed. The Authorized Version conveys the impression that it is "the keeping" of the parents' precepts, etc., which is to bear such results; but it is better to understand "it" as signifying the whole teaching or doctrine of wisdom, as Delitzsch. Wisdom becomes personified in the representation, and identified with her teaching. It shall lead thee. The Hebrew verb nakhah, "to lead," in the sense of "to direct," like the Latin dirigere (Delitzsch), and as it is used in Exodus and Numbers, passim. In the Psalms (Psalm 5:9; Psalm 27:11; Psalm 31:4, etc.) it is employed of God as governing men. Hence, in the affairs of life, Wisdom will so guide and control us that we shall act uprightly. There is the further notion imported into the word of preservation from evil (cf. Proverbs 3:23, "Thou shalt walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble"). When thou sleepest; or, when thou liest down, as in Proverbs 3:25, where the same verb occurs. It shall keep thee; i.e. watch over, keep safe, or preserve; as in the Vulgate, custodire, and the LXX. φυλαττεῖν. We have had the same verb, shamar, before in Proverbs 2:11. Wisdom will be as it were a guardian angel in our hours of repose. When thou awakest; Hebrew, hakitsotha, the hiph. perfect of kutz. This word only occurs here. The hiph. form, hekitz, is intransitive, "to be aroused" (cf. the LXX., ἐγειρομένῳ). It shall talk with thee; rather, she. Bertheau renders, "She will make thee thoughtful;" and Dathe, "Let them be thy meditation;" but the accusative suffix designates the person who is the object of the action of the verb, as in Psalm 5:5; Psalm 42:4; Zechariah 7:5 (Zockler) and as Delitzseh remarks, the personification requires something more than a mere meditation with one's self on the precepts of Wisdom. Wisdom herself shall hold converse with thee (cf. the LXX., συλλαλῇ σοι), she shall suggest thoughts how thou art to behave thyself. The meaning of the verb, "to meditate," "to think deeply," however, need not be lost sight of. What now follows is not a separate section (Hitzig), but the corroborative continuation of that which precedes. The last word (מדנים, strife) before the threatening of punishment, 14b, is also here the last. The thought that no vice is a greater abomination to God than the (in fact satanical) striving to set men at variance who love one another, clothes itself in the form of the numerical proverb which we have already considered, pp. 12, 13. From that place we transfer the translation of this example of a Midda: -

16 There are six things which Jahve hateth,

     And seven are an abhorrence to His soul:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

     And hands that shed innocent blood;

18 An heart that deviseth the thoughts of evil,

     Feet that hastily run to wickedness,

19 One that uttereth lies as a false witness,

     And he who soweth strife between brethren.

The sense is not, that the six things are hateful to God, and the seventh an abomination to Him besides (Lwenstein); the Midda-form in Amos 1:3-2:6, and in the proverb in Job 5:19, shows that the seven are to be numbered separately, and the seventh is the non plus ultra of all that is hated by God. We are not to translate: sex haecce odit, for המּה, הנּה, (הם, הן) points backwards and hitherwards, but not, as אלּה, forwards to that immediately following; in that case the words would be שׁשׁ אלה, or more correctly האלה שׁשׁ. But also Hitzig's explanation, "These six things (viz., Proverbs 6:12-15) Jahve hateth," is impossible; for (which is also against that haecce) the substantive pronoun המה nuonorp , הנה (ההמה, ההנה) is never, like the Chald. המּון (המּו), employed as an accus. in the sense of אתהם, אתהן, it is always (except where it is the virtual gen. connected with a preposition) only the nom., whether of the subject or of the predicate; and where it is the nom. of the predicate, as Deuteronomy 20:15; Isaiah 51:19, substantival clauses precede in which הנה (המה) represents the substantive verb, or, more correctly, in which the logical copula resulting from the connection of the clause itself remains unexpressed. Accordingly, 'שׂנא ה is a relative clause, and is therefore so accentuated here, as at Proverbs 30:15 and elsewhere: sex (sunt) ea quae Deus odit, et septem (sunt) abominatio animae ejus. Regarding the statement that the soul of God hates anything, vid., at Isaiah 1:14. תועבות, an error in the writing occasioned by the numeral (vid., Proverbs 26:25), is properly corrected by the Kerı̂; the poet had certainly the singular in view, as Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 11:1, when he wrote תועבת. The first three characteristics are related to each other as mental, verbal, actual, denoted by the members of the body by means of which these characteristics come to light. The virtues are taken all together as a body (organism), and meekness is its head. Therefore there stands above all, as the sin of sins, the mentis elatae tumor, which expresses itself in elatum (grande) supercilium: עינים רמות, the feature of the רם, haughty (cf. Psalm 18:28 with 2 Samuel 22:28), is the opposite of the feature of the שׁח עינים, Job 22:29; עין is in the O.T. almost always (vid., Sol 4:9) fem., and adjectives of course form no dual. The second of these characteristics is the lying tongue, and the third the murderous hands. דּם־נקי is innocent blood as distinguished from דּם הנּקי, the blood of the innocent, Deuteronomy 19:13.

(Note: The writing דּם follows the Masoretic rule, vid., Kimchi, Michlol 205b, and Heidenheim under Deuteronomy 19:10, where in printed editions of the text (also in Norzi's) the irregular form דּם נקי is found. Besides, the Metheg is to be given to דּם־, so that one may not read it dom, as e.g., שׁשׁ־מאות, Genesis 7:11, that one may not read it שׁשׁ־.)

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