Proverbs 8:2
She stands in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
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(2) She standeth in the top of high places.—i.e., in the higher parts of the city, where her voice will best be heard.

By the way . . .—She goes everywhere where she may find the greatest concourse of people, “God not being willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). So the apostles made large centres of population such as Antioch, Ephesus, or Corinth, the headquarters of their missionary enterprise.

Proverbs 8:2-6. She standeth in the top of high places — Where she may be best seen and heard; not in corners, and in the dark, as the harlot did; by the way in the places of the paths — Where many paths meet, where there is a great concourse, and where travellers may need direction. She crieth at the gates — The places of judgment, and of the confluence of the people; at the entry of the city — To invite passengers at their first coming, and to conduct them to her house; at the coming in of the doors — Namely, of her house, as the harlot stood at her door to invite lovers. Unto you, O men, I call — To all men without exception, even to the meanest and most unworthy. O ye simple — Who want knowledge and experience, and are easily deceived; and ye fools — Wilful sinners. Hear, for I will speak excellent things — Hebrew, נגידים, princely things; things worthy of princes to learn and practise. Or such as excel common things, as much as princes do ordinary persons.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.The full enumeration of localities points to the publicity and openness of Wisdom's teaching (see Proverbs 1:20 note), as contrasted with the stealth and secrecy and darkness which shroud the harlot's enticements Proverbs 7:9. CHAPTER 8

Pr 8:1-36. Contrasted with sensual allurements are the advantages of divine wisdom, which publicly invites men, offers the best principles of life, and the most valuable benefits resulting from receiving her counsels. Her relation to the divine plans and acts is introduced, as in Pr 3:19, 20, though more fully, to commend her desirableness for men, and the whole is closed by an assurance that those finding her find God's favor, and those neglecting ruin themselves. Many regard the passage as a description of the Son of God by the title, Wisdom, which the older Jews used (and by which He is called in Lu 11:49), as Joh 1:1, &c., describes Him by that of Logos, the Word. But the passage may be taken as a personification of wisdom: for, (1) Though described as with God, wisdom is not asserted to be God. (2) The use of personal attributes is equally consistent with a personification, as with the description of a real person. (3) The personal pronouns used accord with the gender (feminine) of wisdom constantly, and are never changed to that of the person meant, as sometimes occurs in a corresponding use of spirit, which is neuter in Greek, but to which masculine pronouns are often applied (Joh 16:14), when the acts of the Holy Spirit are described. (4) Such a personification is agreeable to the style of this book (compare Pr 1:20; 3:16, 17; 4:8; 6:20-22; 9:1-4), whereas no prophetical or other allusions to the Saviour or the new dispensation are found among the quotations of this book in the New Testament, and unless this be such, none exist. (5) Nothing is lost as to the importance of this passage, which still remains a most ornate and also solemn and impressive teaching of inspiration on the value of wisdom.

1-4. The publicity and universality of the call contrast with the secrecy and intrigues of the wicked (Pr 7:8, &c.).

In the top of high places, where she may be best seen and heard; not in corners and in the dark, as the harlot did. In the places of the paths; where many paths meet, where there is a great concourse, and where travellers may need direction. She standeth in the top of high places,.... To be both seen and heard, for which reason Christ went up into a mountain and preached, Matthew 5:1;

by the way; the roadside, to instruct and direct passengers as they go along, to show them the right way, and caution them against taking wrong ways; so did Christ, Matthew 16:6;

in the places of the paths; or, "between the paths" (s); where more ways than one met together, and so difficult to know which was the right path to take; here Christ stands in the ministry of the word to direct, and says, "this is the way, walk ye in it", Isaiah 30:21; and as there are many ways which are proposed to men to walk in, some of open profaneness and impiety, and others that have a show of religion and devotion, but both lead men wrong; the ministers of Christ show, and he by them, the way of salvation, and how to avoid such as lead to destruction, Acts 16:17.

(s) "in mediis semitis", V. L. "inter semitas", Tigurine version, Baynus; so some in Vatablus; "in mediis compitis", Schultens; to the Targum, Sept. and Arabic versions.

She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
2. in the places of the paths] Lit. in the house or home of the paths, i.e. where many roads or streets run up into one common meeting-place, and so give vantage-ground for her call.

The R.V. arranges the verse in the order of the Heb.:

In the top of high places by the way,

Where the paths meet, she standeth.Verse 2. - She standeth in the top of high places, by the way. She takes her stand, not in thievish corners of the streets, like the harlot, but in the most open and elevated parts of the city, where she may be best seen and heard by all who pass by (see Proverbs 1:21, and note there). In the places of the paths; i.e. where many paths converge, and where people meet from different quarters. The confusion into which the text has fallen is continued in this verse. For the figure of the deadly arrow connects itself neither with that of the ox which goes to the slaughter-house, nor with that of the madman who is put in chains: the former is not killed by being shot; and with the latter, the object is to render him harmless, not to put him to death. The lxx therefore converts אויל into איל, a stag, and connects the shooting with an arrow with this: ἢ ὡς ἔλαφος τοξεύματι πεπληγὼς εἰς τὸ ἧπαρ. But we need no encroachment on the text itself, only a correct placing of its members. The three thoughts, Proverbs 7:23, reach a right conclusion and issue, if with כּמהר צפּור אל־פּח (here Mercha-mahpach) a new departure is begun with a comparison: he follows her with eager desires, like as a bird hastens to the snare (vid., regarding פח, a snare, and מוקשׁ, a noose, under Isaiah 8:15). What then follows is a continuation of 22a. The subject is again the youth, whose way is compared to that of an ox going to the slaughter, of a culprit in chains, and of a fool; and he knows not (non novit, as Proverbs 4:19; Proverbs 9:18, and according to the sense, non curat, Proverbs 3:6; Proverbs 5:6) that it is done at the risk of his life (בנפשׁו as 1 Kings 2:23; Numbers 17:3), that his life is the price with which this kind of love is bought (הוּא, neut., as not merely Ecclesiastes 2:1 and the like, but also e.g., Leviticus 10:3; Esther 9:1) - that does not concern him till (עד equals עד אשׁר or עד כי) the arrow breaks or pierces through (פּלּח as Job 16:13) his liver, i.e., till he receives the death-wound, from which, if not immediately, yet at length he certainly dies. Elsewhere the part of the body struck with a deadly wound is called the reins or loins (Job, etc.), or the gall-bladder (Job 20:25); here the liver, which is called כּבד, Arab. kebid, perhaps as the organ in which sorrowful and painful affections make themselves felt (cf. Aeschylus, Agam. 801: δῆγμα λύπης ἐφ ̓ ἧπαρ προσικνεῖται), especially the latter, because the passion of sensual love, according to the idea of the ancients, reflected itself in the liver. He who is love-sick has jecur ulcerosum (Horace, Od. i. 25. 15); he is diseased in his liver (Psychol. p. 268). But the arrow is not here the arrow of love which makes love-sick, but the arrow of death, which slays him who is ensnared in sinful love. The befooled youth continues the disreputable relation into which he has entered till it terminates in adultery and in lingering disease upon his body, remorse in his soul, and dishonour to his name, speedily ending in inevitable ruin both spiritually and temporally.
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