Proverbs 1:23 MEANING

Proverbs 1:23
(23) I will pour out my spirit unto you.--Comp. the prophecy of Joel 2:28, promised by our Lord (John 7:38-39), and fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:17).

I will make known my words unto you.--For a similar promise that God's will shall be revealed to those who fear and follow Him, comp. Psalm 25:14 : "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;" and Christ's promise: "If any man will do God's will, he shall know of the doctrine," &c. (John 7:17).

Verse 23. - Turn you at my reproof. A call is here made to repentance. The meaning seems to be "return to my reproof," i.e. place yourselves under my reproof (as Gejerus, Delitzsch), the לְ Being represented by ad, as in the Vulgate: convertimini ad correptionem meam. It is susceptible, however, of a different reading, i.e. "in consequence of, or because of (propter), my reproof," the prefix לְ being found in Numbers 16:34, "They fled at the cry," i.e. because of the cry. Reproof (תֶוכַחַת thochakhath); i.e. rebuke, or correction, by words. The LXX. ἔλεγχος conveys the argumentative conviction which will be present in the reproof. The word occurs again in vers. 23, 25, and 30 of this chapter, and also in Proverbs 3:11; Proverbs 5:12; Proverbs 6:23; Proverbs 27:5; Proverbs 29:15. Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. The promise consequent upon, and the encouragement to, repentance. The promise is conditioned - if those addressed will heed the reproof of Wisdom, then she will pour forth her Spirit upon them, and cause them to know her words The verb hibbia (הִבִּיעַ), "to stream forth, or gush out," is here used figuratively. The outflow of the Spirit of Wisdom will be like the abundant and continuous gushing forth of water from the spring or fountain. The verb unites in it the figures of abundant fulness and refreshing invigoration (Umbreit, Elster); comp. Proverbs 15:2, 28; Psalm 59:7; Psalm 119:171; Ecclesiastes 10:1. We have here striking anticipation of the prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28). The Spirit is that of Wisdom "and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and godly strength, the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness" (see Confirmation Office). The explanation of Beda, that it signifies her anger, is clearly inadmissible. I will make known my words unto you; i.e. as the LXX., "I will teach you my word" (διδάξω), or as the Vulgate "show" (ostendam), "expound, or make clear." My words (d'vari); i.e. precepts, or doctrine, or secrets. An intimate relation subsists between the "Spirit" of Wisdom and her "words," with which it is parallel. The former is the illuminating, invigorating principle which infuses life and power into the "words" of Wisdom, which she has already given, and which are already in our possession. Wisdom stands in the same relation to her words as the Divine Logos does to his utterances, into which he infuses himself. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63. See Delitzsch, Wardlaw, in loc.).

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.Turn ye at my reproof,.... Or rather "to my reproof", for the words are not an exhortation to the conversion of the heart, or to him repentance; but to an attendance to the external ministry of the word preached, which reproves of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and does not design the turning of the heart to it, which is God's work, but the turning of the face and ears to hear it; and so the Targum,

"turn your face to my reproof,''

and not your backs, as they did, showing a dislike of it; or, as Aben Ezra,

"turn ye to hear my reproof;''

turn your ears and listen to it, and do not pull away the shoulder, or stop your ears that you may not hear it;

behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you; not "upon you", but "unto you": for the Holy Spirit of God is not here designed, and the effusion of his gifts, ordinary and extraordinary, or of his special grace; but the mind of Wisdom, or Christ, as the word is used in Proverbs 29:11. Some interpret it, "here, my will" (d); the external revelation of his will made in the ministry of the word, by whom "grace and truth", the doctrines of grace and truth, "came" in their full extent, John 1:17; for as the doctrines of "grace were poured into his lips", Psalm 45:2, so they were poured out by them again, out of his heart, as out of a fountain or well, as the word (e) here used signifies; which denotes the large and abundant revelation of the Gospel by Christ, and is mentioned as an encouragement to men to attend unto it; which sense is confirmed by what follows;

I will make known my words unto you; the doctrines of the Gospel, words of grace and wisdom, and such as never man spake as Christ did, his enemies being witnesses; the words of peace and reconciliation, of life and righteousness, and of eternal salvation, which were made known in a ministerial way by Christ and his apostles; but the Jews were such fools as to hate and despise the knowledge of these things; wherefore it follows:

(d) So some in Ben Melech. (e) "fluere, vel scaturire faciam", Baynus; "scatebrae instar effundam", Cocceius, Michaelis; "scaturiam", Gussetius; "ebulliam", Schultens; so Ben Melech.

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