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1 Heare, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know vnderstanding.

2 For I giue you good doctrine: forsake you not my law.

3 For I was my fathers sonne, tender and onely beloued in the sight of my mother.

4 He taught me also, and said vnto me, Let thine heart reteine my wordes: keepe my commandements, and liue.

5 Get wisedome, get vnderstanding: forget it not, neither decline from the wordes of my mouth.

6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserue thee: loue her, and she shall keepe thee.

7 Wisedome is the principall thing, therefore get wisedome: and with all thy getting, get vnderstanding.

8 Exalt her, and shee shall promote thee: shee shall bring thee to honour, when thou doest imbrace her.

9 She shall giue to thine head an ornament of grace, a crowne of glory shall she deliuer to thee.

10 Heare, O my sonne, and receiue my sayings: and the yeeres of thy life shalbe many.

11 I haue taught thee in the way of wisedome: I haue lead thee in right pathes.

12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitned, and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

13 Take fast hold of instruction, let her not goe; keepe her, for she is thy life.

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and goe not in the way of euill men.

15 Auoid it, passe not by it, turne from it, and passe away.

16 For they sleepe not except they haue done mischiefe: and their sleepe is taken away vnlesse they cause some to fall.

17 For they eate the bread of wickednesse, and drinke the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the iust is as the shining light that shineth more and more vnto the perfect day.

19 The way of the wicked is as darknes: they know not at what they stumble.

20 My sonne, attend to my words, incline thine eare vnto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes: keepe them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life vnto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keepe thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and peruerse lips put farre from thee.

25 Let thine eyes looke right on, and let thine eye lids looke straight before thee.

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy wayes be established.

27 Turne not to the right hande nor to the left: remoue thy foot frō euil.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Proverbs 4

Exhortation to the study of wisdom. (1-13) Cautions against bad company, Exhortation to faith and holiness. (14-27)1-13 We must look upon our teachers as our fathers: though instruction carry in it reproof and correction, bid it welcome. Solomon's parents loved him, therefore taught him. Wise and godly men, in every age of the world, and rank in society, agree that true wisdom consists in obedience, and is united to happiness. Get wisdom, take pains for it. Get the rule over thy corruptions; take more pains to get this than the wealth of this world. An interest in Christ's salvation is necessary. This wisdom is the one thing needful. A soul without true wisdom and grace is a dead soul. How poor, contemptible, and wretched are those, who, with all their wealth and power, die without getting understanding, without Christ, without hope, and without God! Let us give heed to the sayings of Him who has the words of eternal life. Thus our path will be plain before us: by taking, and keeping fast hold of instruction, we shall avoid being straitened or stumbling.

14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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