Proverbs 1:22 MEANING

Proverbs 1:22
(22) How long . . .--Three classes of persons are here addressed: (1) simple ones, open to good influences, but also to evil (Proverbs 1:4); (2) scorners (l?tsim), men who despised what was holy, priding themselves on their cleverness in so doing (Proverbs 14:6), who avoided the wise, and held themselves above their advice (Proverbs 15:12), proud, arrogant men (Proverbs 21:24). The name first appears at the time of Solomon, when the prosperity of the nation was favourable to the growth of religious indifference and scepticism. Isaiah had to deal with them in his day, too (Isaiah 28:14). (3) Fools (khesilim), dull, stupid persons, stolidly confident in their own wisdom.

Verse 22. - How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? etc. From this verse to the end of the chapter the sacred writer puts before us the words of Wisdom herself. The discourse begins in the same way as in Psalm 4:2 (Zockler), and the classification of the persons addressed - the simple, the scorners, and the sinners - closely resembles that of Psalm 1:1. In the order there is a progression from the least to the most culpable. The simple (פְתָיִם, p'thayim), as in ver. 4, those who are indifferent through thoughtlessness and inconsiderateness, and are thereby open to evil. The scorners (לֵצֵים, letsim); or, mockers, the same as the (לָצון, latson) "scornful men" of Proverbs 29:8, derived from the root לּוּצ (luts), "to deride, mock," probably by imitating the voice in derision. The mockers are those who hold all things in derision, both human and Divine, who contemn God's admonitions, and treat with ridicule both threatenings and promises alike. Fools; כְסִילִים (ch'silim), a different word from the evilim of ver. 7, but signifying much the same, i.e. the obdurate, the hardened, stolidi, those who walk after the sight of their eyes and the imagination of their hearts - a class not ignorant of knowledge, but hating it because of the restraint it puts them under. The word occurs in Proverbs 17:10, in the sense of the incorrigible; in Proverbs 26:3, 4 as a term of the greatest contempt. The enallage, or interchange of tenses in the original - the verbs "love" and "hate" being future, and "delight" being perfect - is not reproducible in English. The perfect is used interchangeably with the future where the action or state is represented as first coming to pass or in progress, and, as Zockler remarks, may be inchoative, and so be rendered "become fond of," instead of "be fond of." But it appears to represent not so much a state or action first coming to pass as in progress (see Geseuius, 'Gram.,' § 126, 3). Bottcher (§ 948, 2) translates it by concupiverint, i.e. "How long shall ye have delighted in scorning?" The futures express "love" and "hate" as habitual sentiments (Delitzsch). It is to be noted that the language of Wisdom, in vers. 22 and 23, is expressive of the most tender and earnest solicitude.

1:20-33 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.How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?.... Simple foolish things, agreeably to their character, being weak simple men, men of weak capacities and shallow understandings; and such were the first persons that were called by Christ through the ministry of the word, even effectually; they were babes and sucklings in comparison of others, by whom they were despised as illiterate and ignorant of the law; see Matthew 11:25; though it may respect the Jews in general, who were externally called by Christ, and were a simple and foolish people, addicted to silly customs and usages, to the traditions of the elders, and loved the folly and darkness of them, and to continue in them, rather than the light of the Gospel, John 3:19;

and the scorners delight in their scorning; at Christ, because of the meanness of his parentage and education; at his disciples and followers, at his doctrines and miracles, sufferings and death;

and fools hate knowledge? the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ; the knowledge of the Gospel, and the truths of it; they hated the light of it, and did not care to come to it, but rather loved the darkness of the law, and even of error and infidelity; they hated Christ, the teacher of true and useful knowledge; they hated his person, though without a cause; they hated him in his offices, as a Prophet to instruct them, as a Priest to be the propitiation for them, and as a King to rule over them; such "fools" were they, and who are therefore expostulated with by Wisdom or Christ; which expostulations show their continuance in these things, and the danger they were in by them, the pity and compassion of Christ as man and a minister of the word, and the fervour and importunity of his ministrations.

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