Proverbs 8:5
O you simple, understand wisdom: and, you fools, be you of an understanding heart.
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(5) O ye simple.—See above on Proverbs 1:4 for an explanation of “simple,” as also of “wisdom” (‘ormah) there translated “subtilty.”

Ye fools.—(khesîlîm), see above on Proverbs 1:22.

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.Men ... sons of man - The two words are used, which, like viri and homines, describe the higher and the lower, the stronger and the weaker. Compare the Psalm 49:2 note. 5. wisdom—literally, "subtilty" in a good sense, or, "prudence."

fools—as Pr 1:22.

Ye simple; who want knowledge and experience, and are easily deceived.

Ye fools; wilful and obstinate sinners. O ye simple, understand wisdom,.... The Gospel, the wisdom of God in a mystery, particularly the doctrine of salvation by Christ; it is the highest wisdom to know Christ and him crucified: and they are "the simple" who are weak and easy to be imposed upon, who are here called unto; and generally speaking such are they to whom the mysteries of grace are made known, while they are hid from the wise and prudent;

and ye fools, be of an understanding heart; or "cause the heart to understand"; or "get an understanding heart" (t); make use of all means to get spiritual wisdom and understanding; all men, let them be what they will in other respects, are fools as to a spiritual and experimental knowledge of divine things; and that man can only be said to have truly an understanding heart that knows his own folly, the plague of his heart, his need of Christ, the worth of him; and has an understanding given him to know him and his interest in him.

(t) "facite cor intelligere", Baynus, Mercerus; "facite ut cor vestrum intelligat", so some in Vatablus; "acquirite animum sapientem", Gejerus.

O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
5. wisdom] R.V. subtilty. See Proverbs 1:4, note.

Proverbs 8:6-9. The plainness of her speech.Verse 5. - O ye simple, understand wisdom. "The simple," those not yet perverted, but easily influenced for good or evil. See on Proverbs 1:4, where also is explained the word ormah, used here for "wisdom;" equivalent to calliditas in a good sense, or πανουργία, as sometimes employed in the Septuagint; so here: νοήσατε ἄκακοι πανουργίαν, "subtlety." Ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. For "fools" (khesilim), the intellectually heavy and dull, see on Proverbs 1:22. The heart is considered the seat of the mind or understanding (comp. Proverbs 15:32; Proverbs 17:16, etc.). Septuagint, "Ye that are untaught, take in heart (ἔνθεσθε καρδίαν)." The call thus addressed to various classes of parsons is like the section in 1 John 2, "I write unto you. little children," etc. The admonition, having its motive in that which goes before, is now founded on the emphatic finale:

26 For many are the slain whom she hath caused to fall,

     And many are her slain.

27 A multiplicity of ways to help is her house,

     Going down to the chambers of death.

The translation "for many slain has she laid low" (Syr., Targ., Jerome, Luther) is also syntactically possible; for רבּים can be placed before its substantive after the manner of the demonstratives and numerals (e.g., Nehemiah 9:28, cf. אחד, Sol 4:9), and the accentuation which requires two servants (the usual two Munachs) to the Athnach appears indeed thus to construe it. It is otherwise if רבים here meant magni (thus e.g., Ralbag, and recently Bertheau), and not multi; but רבים and עצמים stand elsewhere in connection with each other in the signification many and numerous, Psalm 35:18; Joel 2:2; Micah 4:3. "Her slain" are those slain by her; the part. pass. is connected with the genitive of the actor, e.g., Proverbs 9:18; cf. (Arab.) ḳatyl âlmḥabbt, of one whom love kills (Fl.). With Proverbs 7:27 cf. Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 9:18. In 27a, בּיתהּ is not equivalent to בביתה after Proverbs 8:2, also not elliptical and equivalent to דרכי ביתה; the former is unnecessary, the latter is in no case established by Psalm 45:7; Ezra 10:13, nor by Deuteronomy 8:15; 2 Kings 23:17 (see, on the other hand, Philippi's Status Constructus, pp. 87-93). Rightly Hitzig has: her house forms a multiplicity of ways to hell, in so far as adultery leads by a diversity of ways to hell. Similarly the subject and the predicate vary in number, Proverbs 16:25; Psalm 110:3; Job 26:13; Daniel 9:23, and frequently. If one is once in her house, he may go in this or in that way, but surely his path is to destruction: it consists of many steps to hell, such as lead down (דרך, fem. Isaiah 37:34, masc. Isaiah 30:21) to the extreme depths of death (cf. Job 9:9, "chambers of the south" equals its remotest regions veiling themselves in the invisible); for חדר (Arab. khiddr) is the part of the tent or the house removed farthest back, and the most private (Fl.). These חדרי־מות, cf. עמקי שׁאול, Proverbs 9:18, approach to the conception of גּיהנּם, which is afterwards distinguished from שאול.

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