Proverbs 8:10
Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
8:1-11 The will of God is made known by the works of creation, and by the consciences of men, but more clearly by Moses and the prophets. The chief difficulty is to get men to attend to instruction. Yet attention to the words of Christ, will guide the most ignorant into saving knowledge of the truth. Where there is an understanding heart, and willingness to receive the truth in love, wisdom is valued above silver and gold.Words of the ideal Wisdom, which find their highest fulfillment in that of the Incarnate Word. Compare Luke 4:22; Matthew 11:19. 10. not silver—preferable to it, so last clause implies comparison. And not silver, i.e. rather than silver, as such negative expressions are understood, Genesis 45:8 Exodus 16:8 Jeremiah 7:22 16:14,15, and in many other places. Though withal he seems to intimate the inconsistency of these two studies and designs, and the great hinderance which the love of riches gives to the study of wisdom.

Receive my instruction, and not silver,.... Not but that silver may be desired, sought after and received, consistent with the instructions of wisdom; though an anxious, immoderate, sinful pursuit after it, hinders the reception of them; and when they are in competition, the one is to be preferred to the other: the doctrines of the Gospel are of more worth, and more to be desired, than thousands of gold and silver; and therefore the meaning is, that the instruction of wisdom should be received rather than silver; it should have the preference; so Gersom interprets it, and with which agrees the following clause:

and knowledge rather than choice gold; that is, the knowledge of Christ, and the knowledge of God in Christ; the knowledge of the Gospel, and the truths of it; a spiritual and experimental knowledge of these things is of more value than the finest gold, than the gold of Ophir; see Psalm 19:10.

Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 10. - Receive my instruction, and not silver; i.e. acquire wisdom rather than silver, if ever the choice is yours. And knowledge rather than choice gold (comp. ver. 19; Proverbs 3:140. (For "knowledge," daath, see on Proverbs 2:10.) The comparison is implied rather than expressed in the first clause, while it is made clear in the second. Thus Hosea 6:6, "I desired mercy, and not sacrifice," the second matter mentioned being, not necessarily of no importance, but always in such cases of inferior importance to the other. We may quote Horace's complaint of the worldliness of his countrymen, a marked contrast to the inspired counsel of Proverbs ('Epist.,' 1:1, 52) -

"Villus argentum est auro, virtutibus aurum.
O cives, cives! quaerenda pecunia primum est,
Virtus post nummos."
Proverbs 8:10Her self-commendation is continued in the resumed address:

10 "Receive my instruction, and not silver,

     And knowledge rather than choice gold!

11 For wisdom is better than corals,

     And all precious jewels do not equal her.

12 I, Wisdom, inhabit prudence,

     And the knowledge of right counsels is attainable by me."

Instead of ולא־כּסף influenced by קחוּ, is ואל־כסף with תּקחוּ to be supplied; besides, with most Codd. and older editions, we are to accentuate קחוּ מוּסרי with the erasure of the Makkeph. "Such negations and prohibitions," Fleischer remarks, "are to be understood comparatively: instead of acquiring silver, rather acquire wisdom. Similar is the old Arabic 'l-nâr w-l'-'l-'âr, the fire, and not the disgrace! Also among the modern Arabic proverbs collected by Burckhardt, many have this form, e.g., No. 34, alḥajamat balafas wala alḥajat alanas, Better to let oneself be cut with the axe then to beg for the favour of another" 10b is to be translated, with Jerome, Kimchi, and others: and knowledge is more precious than fine gold (נבחר, neut.: auro pretiosius); and in view of Proverbs 16:16, this construction appears to be intended. But Fleischer has quite correctly affirmed that this assertatory clause is unsuitably placed as a parallel clause over against the preceding imperative clause, and, what is yet more important, that then Proverbs 8:11 would repeat idem per idem in a tautological manner. We therefore, after the Aramaic and Greek translators, take כסף נבחר together here as well as at Proverbs 8:19, inasmuch as we carry forward the קחו: et scientiam prae auro lectissimo, which is also according to the accentuation. Equally pregnant is the מן in מחרוּץ of the passage Proverbs 3:14-15, which is here varied.

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