Wesley's Notes on the Bible
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
3:1 My law - The law of God, which might be called his law, as the gospel is called Paul's gospel, 2Tim 2:8, because delivered by him.
For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
3:3 Mercy - Mercy denotes all benignity, charity, and readiness to do good to others: truth or faithfulness respects all those duties which we owe to God or man, which we have special obligation from the rules of justice. Bind them - Like a chain, wherewith persons adorn their necks. Table - In thy mind and heart, in which all God's commands are to be received and engraven.
So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
3:4 Understanding - Whereby to know thy duty, and to discern between good and evil. Of God - Grace or favour with God, and that understanding which is good in God's sight.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
3:5 Trust - Wholly rely upon God's promises and providences. Lean not - Under this one kind of carnal confidence, he understands all other confidence in bodily strength, wealth, or friends.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
3:8 Navel - To thy body, which is signified by one part of it. Marrow - Which is the nourishment and strength of the bones.
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
3:9 Substance - Lay out thy estate not to please thyself, but to glorify God. First - fruits - Or, with the chief or best; which answers to the first - fruits under the law.
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
3:10 So - This is not the way to diminish thy estate, but rather to increase it.
My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
3:11 Despise not - Either by making light of it, or not being duly affected with it; or by accounting it an unnecessary thing: but rather esteem it a privilege and favour from God. Weary - Neither think it tedious or hard, but endure it with patience and chearfulness.
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
3:13 Findeth - Which supposes his diligent searching for it.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
3:17 Peace - Procure a blessed tranquility in a man's mind and conscience.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
3:18 A tree - A pledge of everlasting life. He alludes to the tree of life, and intimates, that this is the only restorer of that life which we have lost by sin.
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
3:19 Wisdom - Either by Christ, or by that Divine perfection of wisdom, which is the fountain of wisdom in man.
By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
3:20 The depths - That great abyss contained in the bowels of the earth, breaks forth into fountains and rivers.
My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
3:21 Eyes - The eyes of thy mind. Constantly and seriously meditate upon them.
So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
3:22 Grace - Like a beautiful chain or ornament.
Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
3:25 Be not - Thou shalt not be afraid. Sudden - For sudden and unexpected evils are most frightful. And fear is here put for the evils feared. Desolation - Which cometh upon the wicked.
For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
3:26 Shall be - A sure ground of confidence to thee. Taken - In the snares either of sin or mischief.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
3:27 With - hold not - Do not deny it, but readily and chearfuly impart it. Good - Any thing which is good, either counsel, comfort, reproof, or the good things of the present life. Due - That is, to all men, by that great and sovereign law of love.
Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
3:28 Say not - The former verse forbad the denial, and this forbids the delay of this duty.
Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
3:29 Securely - Relying upon thine integrity.
Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
3:31 Envy not - For his impunity and success.
For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
3:32 Abomination - Therefore sooner or later he must be miserable. The righteous - They are God's friends, to whom he imparts the favours and comforts to which other men are strangers.
The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
3:33 The house - Not only upon his own person, but also upon his posterity.
Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
3:35 Shame - Instead of that glory which they seek.