For whoever finds me finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Whoso findeth me findeth life.—Comp. 1John 5:12; John 8:51; and above, Proverbs 3:18, where Wisdom is described as a “tree of life.”John 1:4. The eternal life is to know God and Christ John 17:3. Proverbs 3:13. Such that find Christ find "life" or "lives" (z), life spiritual and eternal; till they are found of Christ, and find him in effectual calling, they are dead; but, when called by his grace and converted, they live a life of justification and sanctification; they live a life of faith on Christ, of holiness from him, and communion with him: and such that find life in this sense find spiritual food in and from Christ, to support this life; and spiritual clothing, a justifying righteousness, called the justification of life, and which is the comfort of it; and rest in him, which makes life pleasant and delightful. Such an one finds that which of all things is most valuable, the life of his immortal soul; and which he can find nowhere else; and which, being found, can never be lost, for he finds eternal life in him; and has both a right unto it, and a meetness for it; yea, has the beginning, pledge, and earnest of it, 1 John 5:11;
and shall obtain favour of the Lord; by which is meant, not favour among men, though that is had from the Lord, it is he that gives it; nor temporal blessings, for in this sense favour is not to men of spiritual skill and wisdom; rather spiritual blessings, an access to God, acceptance with him; the presence of God, and communion with him; peace of conscience, and every needful supply of grace: but it seems most principally to design the love, grace, and good will of God, the spring and fountain of all blessings: and "obtaining" it does not intend getting an interest in it, for that is free and sovereign; nor is there anything in men, or done by them, which can procure it; but an enjoyment of it. The word (a) used signifies a drawing it out, as water out of a well; and denotes that it is before it is drawn out or manifested; that it is in the heart of God, and lies hid there, from whence it flows as from a well or fountain; and is enjoyed in the exercise of the grace of faith; when the Lord remembers his people, and encompasses them about with it; or draws it out in great lengths, or grants continued and comfortable manifestations of it; see Psalm 36:10.For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)35. obtain] “Heb. draw forth,” R.V. marg. See Proverbs 3:13, note.Verse 35. - For whoso findeth me findeth life. Here is the reason why the man is blessed who attends to the instruction of Wisdom. A similar promise is made at Proverbs 3:16, 18, 22. The truth here enunciated is also spoken or the Word of God, the everlasting Son of the Father. John 1:4, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men;" John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life;" John 17:3, "This is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ" (comp. John 8:51; 1 John 5:12; Ecclus. 4:12). Shall obtain favour of the Lord; Vulgate, hauriet salutem, which happily renders the Hebrew verb (Proverbs 12:2). The grace of God bringeth salvation (Titus 2:11). Septuagint, "For my outgoings (ἔξοδοι) are the outgoings of life, and the will is prepared by the Lord (καὶ ἐτοιμάζεται θέλησις παρὰ Κυρίου)." This latter clause was used by the Fathers, especially in the Pelagian controversy, to prove the necessity of prevenient grace (see St. Augustine, 'Enchiridion,' 2:32; 'De Gratia,' 6:16, 17). Proverbs 8:28, Proverbs 8:29, these two features of the figure of the creation of the world return (the beginning of the firmament, and the embankment of the under waters); hence we see that the discourse here makes a fresh start with a new theme:
28 "When He made firm the ether above,
When He restrained the fountains of the waters;
29 When He set to the sea its bounds,
That the waters should not pass their limits
When He settled the pillars of the earth;
30 Then was I with Him as director of the work,
And was delighted day by day,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His earth,
And having my delight in the children of men."
We have, with Symmachus, translated שׁחקים (from שׁחק, Arab. shaḳ, to grind, to make thin) by αἰθέρα, for so the fine transparent strata of air above the hanging clouds are called - a poetic name of the firmament רקיע. The making firm עמּץ is not to be understood locally, but internally of the spreading out of the firmament over the earth settled for continuance (an expression such as Psalm 78:23). In 28b the Masora notices the plur. עינות instead of עינות with לית as unicum (cf. Michlol 191a); the transition of the sound is as in גּלית from galajta. The inf. עזוז appears on the first look to require a transitive signification, as the lxx and the Targ., the Graec. Venet. and Luther (da er festiget die Brnnen der tieffen equals when He makes firm the fountains of the deep) have rendered it. Elster accordingly believes that this signification must be maintained, because בּ here introduces creative activity, and in itself is probably the transitive use of עזז, as the Arab. 'azz shows: when He set His עז against the מים עזּים (Isaiah 43:16). But the absence of the subject is in favour of the opinion that here, as everywhere else, it is intransitive; only we may not, with Hitzig, translate: when the fountains of the flood raged wildly; but, since 28b, if not a creative efficiency, must yet express a creative work, either as Ewald, with reference to מעוז, fortress: when they became firm, or better as Fleischer, with reference to מים עזים: when they broke forth with power, with strong fulness. Whether the suff. of חקּו, 29a, refers back to the sea or to Jahve, is decided after the parallel פּיו. If this word is equivalent to its coast (cf. Psalm 104:9), then both suffixes refer to the sea; but the coast of the sea, or of a river, is called שׂפה, not פּה, which only means ostium (mouth), not ora. Also Isaiah 19:7 will require to be translated: by the mouth of the Nile, and that פי, Psalm 133:2, may denote the under edge, arises from this, that a coat has a mouth above as well as below, i.e., is open. Thus both suff. are to be referred to God, and פיו d is to be determined after Job 23:12. The clause beginning with ומים corresponds in periodizing discourse to a clause with ut, Ewald, 338. בּחוּקו is the same form, only written plene, as Proverbs 8:27, בּחקו equals בּחקּו equals בּחקקו.
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