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1 The Prouerbes of Solomon the sonne of Dauid, King of Israel,

2 To knowe wisedome and instruction, to perceiue the words of vnderstanding,

3 To receiue the instruction of wisdome, iustice, and iudgement & equitie,

4 To giue subtiltie to the simple, to the yong man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man wil heare, and wil increase learning: and a man of vnderstanding shall attaine vnto wise counsels:

6 To vnderstand a prouerbe, and the interpretation; the wordes of the wise, and their darke sayings.

7 The feare of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fooles despise wisedome and instruction.

8 My sonne, heare the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

9 For they shall be an ornament of grace vnto thy head, and chaines about thy necke.

10 My sonne, if sinners entise thee, consent thou not.

11 If they say, Come with vs, let vs lay wait for blood, let vs lurke priuily for the innocent without cause:

12 Let vs swallow them vp aliue, as the graue, and whole, as those that goe downe into the pit:

13 Wee shall finde all precious substance, wee shall fill our houses with spoile:

14 Cast in thy lot among vs, let vs all haue one purse:

15 My sonne, walke not thou in the way with them; refraine thy foot from their path:

16 For their feete runne to euil, and make haste to shed blood.

17 Surely in vaine the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

18 And they lay wait for their owne blood, they lurke priuily for their owne liues.

19 So are the waies of euery one that is greedie of gaine: which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

20 Wisedome crieth without, she vttereth her voice in the streets:

21 Shee crieth in the chiefe place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she vttereth her words, saying,

22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye loue simplicitie? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fooles hate knowledge?

23 Turne you at my reproofe: behold, I will powre out my spirit vnto you, I will make knowen my wordes vnto you.

24 Because I haue called, and yee refused, I haue stretched out my hand, and no man regarded:

25 But ye haue set at nought all my counsell, & would none of my reproofe:

26 I also will laugh at your calamitie, I wil mocke when your feare commeth.

27 When your feare commeth as desolation, and your destruction commeth as a whirlewinde; when distresse and anguish commeth vpon you:

28 Then shall they call vpon mee, but I will not answere; they shall seeke me early, but they shall not finde me:

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the feare of the Lord.

30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproofe.

31 Therefore shall they eate of the fruite of their owne way, and be filled with their owne deuices.

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fooles shall destroy them.

33 But who so hearkneth vnto mee, shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from feare of euill.

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Commentary for Proverbs 1

The subject of this book may be thus stated by an enlargement on the opening verses. 1. The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel. 2. Which treat of the knowledge of wisdom, of piety towards God, of instruction and moral discipline, of the understanding wise and prudent counsels. 3. Which treat of the attainment of instruction in wisdom, which wisdom is to be shown in the conduct of life, and consists in righteousness with regard to our fellow-creatures. 4. Which treat of the giving to the simple sagacity to discover what is right, by supplying them with just principles, and correct views of virtue and vice; and to the young man knowledge, so that he need not err through ignorance; and discretion, so that by pondering well these precepts, he may not err through obstinacy. Take the proverbs of other nations, and we shall find great numbers founded upon selfishness, cunning, pride, injustice, national contempt, and animosities. The principles of the Proverbs of Solomon are piety, charity, justice, benevolence, and true prudence. Their universal purity proves that they are the word of God.The use of the Proverbs. (1-6) Exhortations to fear God and obey parents. (7-9) To avoid the enticings of sinners. (10-19) The address of Wisdom to sinners. (20-33)1-6 The lessons here given are plain, and likely to benefit those who feel their own ignorance, and their need to be taught. If young people take heed to their ways, according to Solomon's Proverbs, they will gain knowledge and discretion. Solomon speaks of the most important points of truth, and a greater than Solomon is here. Christ speaks by his word and by his Spirit. Christ is the Word and the Wisdom of God, and he is made to us wisdom.

7-9 Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and wilful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Let Divine truths and commands be to us most honourable; let us value them, and then they shall be so to us.

10-19 Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! "Consent thou not." Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?

20-33 Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken to the temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is not to hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1. Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of good and evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, and flatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud, jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers at religion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3. Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, and have a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept is plain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use of reproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. The promises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one. It may well be asked, how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when the uncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christ are considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow at defiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to hear their prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yet despisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey the Lord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidence in God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Proverbs 1

  • MockingBird
    To fear God is to have a reverential Trust in Him : to stand in Awe of His Greatness ! to know that in disobedience to Him will cost Greater than what you want : I want to know my Lord God : A fool says that there is no God : fools despise knowledge of God for it is foolishness to them. I also want to be instructed of my Lord from His word.
  • Davie Jere
    Fear in this case can also be reffered to respect. whom you respect you fear and whom you fear you respect. Amen
  • Brandy crowley
    my commnet is that I think that the bible tells us the truth about god wants us to do and also tells us to pray for forgiveness.
  • Marie hoadley
    Proverbs is a great book and worth its wisdom in gold better then gold, we should live by this book.
  • Norm
    Shelly, The 1611 King James translation, which took 7 years to translate is the tried Word of God. It may be profitable for you to diligently study Proverbs 1 again and Ecclesiasticus Chapter 30 in the Apocrypha. I pray God you receive His Spirit to the fullest and may He bless you richly in His instruction, His Word! Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Ecclesiastes 8:4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • Shelly
    I think some of Proverbs was mistranslated. The part where it said spare not the rod and spoil the child. It should said say spare not the rod or method of correction or the child will be of no good. Some people misunderstand that. If you are a christian you will teach your child in the right manner. Some kids respond differently than others. That is why we have to be careful about the method.

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