Proverbs 8:20
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the middle of the paths of judgment:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) I lead in the way of righteousness.—Comp. Psalm 37:23; also a prayer for such guidance, Psalm 119:33; Psalm 143:8; and a promise of it Isaiah 30:21

Proverbs 8:20-21. I lead in the way of righteousness — In the way of truth, justice, and mercy, of holiness and happiness; the way in which God would have men to walk, and which will certainly bring them to the desired end. In the midst of the paths of judgment, keeping at an equal distance from both extremes, and from the very borders of them. That I may cause, &c., to inherit substance — Substantial, true, and satisfying happiness; which is here opposed to all worldly enjoyments, which are but mere shadows, and dreams of felicity, Proverbs 23:5. 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.Gold - The "choice, fine gold" of margin reference. The "fine gold" in the second clause is a different word, and perhaps represents gold extracted from the ore. 20, 21. The courses in which wisdom leads conduct to a true present prosperity (Pr 23:5). Keeping at an equal distance from both extremes, and from the very borders of them; which is called a

putting away iniquity far from us, Job 22:23. I lead in the way of righteousness,.... As a king his subjects, a shepherd his flock; as a guide to persons that are ignorant and out of the way; as parents their children, teaching them to go; or as a master his scholars: and the way Wisdom, or Christ, leads his people in, is "the way of righteousness"; the doctrine of righteousness, or the way and manner of a sinner's justification in the sight of God; all men are out of the way of it, and are ignorant of the right way; Christ leads them into it: he leads them off of their own righteousness by showing that it does not deserve the name of one; that it is unacceptable to God, unprofitable to him, and insufficient to justify them before him; and he leads them to his own righteousness, which he has wrought out; and shows them that this is answerable to the demands of law and justice, is acceptable to God, and imputed by him without works; and this he does in his word and by his Spirit: and in this way of righteousness he leads them into his Father's presence with acceptance; to himself, in which he beholds them with pleasure; and to eternal glory, which gives them a title to it: he also leads into the practice of righteousness; he teaches them, and they learn of him works of righteousness; he goes before them by way of example, and he gives them his Spirit and grace to enable them to perform them; and which may more especially be intended in the next clause;

in the midst of the paths of judgment: of truth and holiness; in his commandments and ordinances; in all which they are led not against their wills but with them; and not only walk but run with the greatest cheerfulness in those ways and paths of his.

I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of {i} judgment:

(i) For there can be no true justice or judgment, which is not rejected by this wisdom.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 20. - I lead in the way (better, I walk in the way) of righteousness. I act always according to the rules of justice. In the midst of the paths of judgment. I swerve not to one side or the other (Proverbs 4:27). So the psalmist prays, "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end;" "Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk" (Psalm 119:33; Psalm 143:8). And the promise is given to the faithful in Isaiah 30:21, "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." Virtue, as Aristotle has taught us, is the mean between two extremes. After Wisdom has said what she hates, and thus what she is not, she now says what she is, has, and promises:

14 "Mine is counsel and promotion;

     I am understanding, mine is strength.

15 By me kings reign,

     And rulers govern justly.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles -

     All judges of the earth."

Whoever gives anything must himself possess it; in this sense Wisdom claims for herself counsel, promotion (in the sense of offering and containing that which is essentially and truly good; vid., concerning תּוּשׁיּה, Proverbs 2:7), and energy (vid., Ecclesiastes 7:19). But she does not merely possess בּינה; this is much rather her peculiar nature, and is one with her. That Proverbs 8:14 is formed after Job 12:13, Job 12:16 (Hitzig) is possible, without there following thence any argument against its genuineness. And if Proverbs 8:15., and Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 10:1, stand in intentional reciprocal relation, then the priority is on the side of the author of the Proverbs. The connection gives to the laconic expression its intended comprehensiveness. It is not meant that Wisdom has the highest places in the state to give, but that she makes men capable of holding and discharging the duties of these.

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