Proverbs 8:17 MEANING

Proverbs 8:17
(17) I love them that love me.--Comp. John 14:21 : he that loveth me. . . . I will love him.

Verse 17. - I love them that love me. So Christ says (John 14:21), "He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him" Love attracts love. "Magues amoris est amor." They who love virtue and wisdom are regarded with favour by God. whoso inspiration they have obeyed, obtaining grace for grace. So Ben Sira says, "Them that love her the Lord doth love "(Ecclus. 4:14); so Wisd. 7:28, "God loveth none but him that dwelleth with Wisdom." The Septuagint changes the verbs in this clause, though they are parts of the same word in the Hebrew: Ἐγὼ τοὺς ἐμὲ φιλοῦντας ἀγαπῶ. This reminds one of the passage in the last chapter of St. John (John 21:15-17). where a similar interchange is made. Those that seek me early shall find me (see the contrast in Proverbs 1:28). "Early" may mean from tender years; but more probably it is equivalent to "earnestly," "strenuously," as people deeply interested in any pursuit rise betimes to set about the necessary work (comp. Isaiah 26:9; Hosea 5:15). The Septuagint, "They who seek (ζητοῦντες) me shall find." So the Lord says (Matthew 7:7), "Seek (ζητεῖτε), and ye shall find;" Ecclus. 4:12, "He that loveth her loveth life; and they that seek to her early (οἱ ὀρθρίζοντες πρὸς αὐτὴν) shall be filled with joy" (comp. Luke 21:38).

8:12-21 Wisdom, here is Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it is Christ in the word, and Christ in the heart; not only Christ revealed to us, but Christ revealed in us. All prudence and skill are from the Lord. Through the redemption of Christ's precious blood, the riches of his grace abound in all wisdom and prudence. Man found out many inventions for ruin; God found one for our recovery. He hates pride and arrogance, evil ways and froward conversation; these render men unwilling to hear his humbling, awakening, holy instructions. True religion gives men the best counsel in all difficult cases, and helps to make their way plain. His wisdom makes all truly happy who receive it in the love of Christ Jesus. Seek him early, seek him earnestly, seek him before any thing else. Christ never said, Seek in vain. Those who love Christ, are such as have seen his loveliness, and have had his love shed abroad in their hearts; therefore they are happy. They shall be happy in this world, or in that which is beyond compare better. Wealth gotten by vanity will soon be diminished, but that which is well got, will wear well; and that which is well spent upon works of piety and charity, will be lasting. If they have not riches and honour in this world, they shall have that which is infinitely better. They shall be happy in the grace of God. Christ, by his Spirit, guides believers into all truth, and so leads them in the way of righteousness; and they walk after the Spirit. Also, they shall be happy in the glory of God hereafter. In Wisdom's promises, believers have goods laid up, not for days and years, but for eternity; her fruit therefore is better than gold.I love them that love me,.... Those that love Christ are such who are born again, and have a spiritual and experimental knowledge of him; that believe in him, have seen his loveliness, have had his love shed abroad in their hearts, and a view of his fulness and suitableness; some comfortable apprehensions of their relation to him, and interest in him, and are indulged with communion with him: the love with which such souls love Christ springs from their very hearts, is cordial and sincere; it gives him the preference to all objects, to all creatures, angels or men, and to all creature enjoyments; it is drawn out to all of Christ, and to all that belong to him, or are his; and though it may be lost, become remiss and abate in its fervency, it cannot be lost; and is what is very acceptable to Christ, and highly esteemed of by him: it shows itself by a high veneration for the truths and doctrines of his Gospel; by a strict regard to his commands and ordinances; by a hearty affection for his people; by parting with and bearing all for his sake; a carefulness of offending him, and losing his company; by an earnest desire after his presence, and delight in it, and by a concern at his absence; by a diligent inquiry after him in the use of means until he is found, and by the joy expressed at finding of him: now such Christ loves; not that he begins to love his people when they begin to love him, for he loved them from everlasting; as appears by his espousing their persons, undertaking their cause, and taking the care and charge of their persons, grace, and glory, so early; and by his assumption of their nature in time, and by his suffering and dying for them; all which were before they had any love to him: but this points out and describes the persons, who may be assured of the love of Christ to them, since their love to him springs from his to them; besides, it designs some fresh manifestations of his love, and the continuance of it; as well as suggests that he has future blessings to bestow on such, as fresh marks of his affection, and instances of his love to them; such as granting them his gracious presence, giving them more grace; causing all things, even afflictions, to work together for their good; preserving and keeping them from falling, and at last giving them eternal glory and happiness; see John 14:21;

and those that seek me early shall find me: and they are such who see their need of Christ, and know the worth of him; and those seek to him in the use of means, the word and ordinances, and as assisted by his Spirit and grace, for pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation, which are only to be had in him: and they may be said to "seek him early", or "morning him" (f), who seek him in the morning of youth, or in the first place, above all things else, and that with the greatest eagerness and earnestness, diligence and importunity; and such always are successful; they "find" Christ, and life, righteousness, and salvation in him, and every blessing, and therefore are happy; see Gill on Proverbs 3:13.

(f) "quaerentes diluculo me", Montanus; "qui me mane quaerunt", Tigurine version, Michaelis.

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