Proverbs 8:18
Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
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(18) Riches and honour are with me.—“If this passage is taken in a material sense, Psalm 112:3 and the promises in the Pentateuch of wealth as the reward of obedience might be compared with it. But doubtless the “true riches” (Luke 16:11) are here alluded to, the consciousness of possessing God’s honour and favour, called in Ephesians 3:8 the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

8:12-21 Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honour in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.Durable riches - i. e., Treasure piled up for many years; ancient wealth. 18. durable riches … righteousness—Such are the "riches," enduring sources of happiness in moral possessions (compare Pr 3:16). Which he mentions here, either,

1. As the best and surest way to get and to keep riches; for estates unjustly gotten quickly vanish, as is manifest both from Scripture and from common observation. Or,

2. To signify that this wisdom gives both worldly and spiritual or heavenly blessings together to its followers, whereas God gives riches alone to ungodly men, and they are to expect no other portion.

Riches and honour are with me,.... By "riches" are meant not the riches of Christ's person, the perfections of his nature, his works, and his vast empire over all creatures, and the revenues arising from thence, which though durable, yet not communicable; not temporal riches, which, though with him, and at his dispose, yet these, at least a large share of them, and in common, is not given to his people, nor are they durable; but the riches of grace, redeeming, justifying, pardoning, and sanctifying grace, are intended, and the riches of glory in another world: and so "honour" designs not that which he has as a divine Person, or as Mediator, which is incommunicable; much less temporal honour, for though this is with him and from him, as appears Proverbs 8:15; yet it is not usually given to his followers, who are not the great and noble, but generally reckoned the offscouring of all things; nor is such honour durable; but the honour he gives his people lies in their being espoused to him, in being the sons of God through him, in being made by him kings and priests unto God, and in reigning with him here and for ever;

yea, durable riches and righteousness; which last some understand as another adjunct and epithet of riches, and represent them in opposition to mammon of unrighteousness, or to riches either ill-gotten or ill-managed; and expresses another property of Christ's riches of grace and glory, as being what are come by in a way of righteousness into his hands, and are distributed faithfully by him; though rather it respects a distinct thing which is with Christ, and in his hands to give, even his justifying righteousness, consisting of his active and passive obedience, which he has wrought out, is in him, and given by him to his people; and is what is called the righteousness of God and of faith; which secures from condemnation and entitles to eternal life; and is an everlasting one, as durable as his riches are, which are his fulness that ever continues with him: pardon is "simul" and "semel" (g), and for ever; sanctifying grace, as faith, hope, and love, always abide; and about the riches of glory there can be no doubt of the permanency of them; and the same may be said of honour both here and hereafter.

(g) "At once" and "once for all".

Riches and honour are with me; {h} durable riches and righteousness.

(h) Signifying that he chiefly means the spiritual treasures and heavenly riches.

18. durable] Or, ancient, R.V. marg. The word, of which the root meaning is to grow old, in the sense of continuance, may look backward to what has already grown old and is ancient, or forward to what is abiding, and therefore will grow old. The rendering durable has the advantage of combining both these references.

Dean Plumptre adopts the latter view: “The special idea conveyed is that of a treasure piled up for many years, ancient wealth. Comp. the Greek maxim, ἀρχαιοπλούτων δεσποτῶν πολλὴ χάρις, Aesch. Agam. 1043.”

and righteousness] A double contrast is implied: (1) Wisdom bestows temporal wealth and prosperity, which because it is procured by righteousness (comp. Proverbs 8:20-21) is durable, unlike “the wealth of the sinner” (“the unrighteous mammon,” Luke 16:9), which passes to another (Proverbs 11:22). And (2) instead of “that which is not,” “the riches which certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flieth towards heaven” (Proverbs 23:5), Wisdom bestows “the true riches” (Luke 16:11), the wealth which is “our own” (ib. Proverbs 8:12), inseparable from us and a partaker of our immortality.

Verse 18. - Riches and honour are with me (see Proverbs 3:16). Wisdom has these things in her possession to bestow on whom she will, as God gave them to Solomon in reward of his petition for wisdom (1 Kings 3:13). Durable riches and righteousness. Things often regarded as incompatible. Durable, עָתֵק (athek), occurs only here (but see Isaiah 23:18), and means "old," "venerable," "long accumulated;" hence firm and lasting. Righteousness is the last reward that Wisdom bestows, without which, indeed, all material blessings would be nothing worth. Wealth obtained in a right way, and rightly used, is durable and stable. This was especially true under a temporal dispensation. We Christians, however, look not for reward in uncertain riches, but in God's favour here and happiness in another world. The Septuagint, "Possession of many things, and righteousness." What is denoted by "righteousness" is further explained in the following verses, 19-21. Proverbs 8:18In this verse part of Proverbs 3:16 is repeated, after which אתּי is meant of possession (mecum and penes me). Regarding הון, vid., Proverbs 1:13; instead of the adjective יקר there, we have here עתק. The verb עתק brev signifies promoveri, to move forwards, whence are derived the meanings old (cf. aetas provecta, advanced age), venerable for age, and noble, free (cf. עתּיק, Isaiah 28:9, and Arab. 'atyḳ, manumissus), unbound, the bold. Used of clothing, עריק (Isaiah 23:18) expresses the idea of venerable for age. עתק used of possessions and goods, like the Arab. 'âtak, denotes such goods as increase during long possession as an inheritance from father to son, and remain firm, and are not for the first time gained, but only need to be inherited, opes perennes et firmae (Schultens, Gesenius' Thesaur., Fleischer), although it may be also explained (which is, however, less probable with the form עתק) of the idea of the venerable from opes superbae (Jerome), splendid opulence. צדקה is here also a good which is distributed, but properly the distributing goodness itself, as the Arab. ṣadaḳat, influenced by the later use of the Hebrew צדקה (δικαιοσύνη equals ἐλεημοσύνη), denotes all that which God of His goodness causes to flow to men, or which men bestow upon men (Fl.). Righteousness is partly a recompensative goodness, which rewards, according to the law of requital, like with like; partly communicative, which, according to the law of love without merit, and even in opposition to it, bestows all that is good, and above all, itself; but giving itself to man, it assimilates him to itself (vid., Psalm 24:7), so that he becomes צדיק, and is regarded as such before God and men, Proverbs 8:19.

The fruit and product of wisdom (the former a figure taken from the trees, Proverbs 3:18; the latter from the sowing of seed, Proverbs 3:9) is the gain and profit which it yields. With חרוּץ, Proverbs 8:10; Proverbs 3:14, פּז is here named as the place of fine gold, briefly for זהב מוּפז, solid gold, gold separated from the place of ore which contains it, or generally separated gold, from פּזז, violently to separate metals from base mixtures; Targ. דּהבא אובריזין, gold which has stood the fire-test, obrussa, of the crucible, Greek ὄβρυζον, Pers. ebrı̂z, Arab. ibrı̂z. In the last clause of this verse, as also in 10b, נבחר is to be interpreted as pred. to תבוּאתי, but the balance of the meaning demands as a side-piece to the מחרוץ ומפז (19a) something more than the mere כּסף. In 20f. the reciprocal love is placed as the answer of love under the point of view of the requiting righteousness. But recompensative and communicative righteousness are here combined, where therefore the subject is the requital of worthy pure love and loving conduct, like with like. Such love requires reciprocal love, not merely cordial love, but that which expresses itself outwardly.

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