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1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

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

13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

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

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

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

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

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

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

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.

Discussion for Proverbs 4

  • Steve morrow
    PROVERBS 4:19 the way of the wicked is as darkness they know not at what they stumble JOB 38:2 WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENETH COUNSEL BY WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE 1 JOHN 2:9 he that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother is in darkness even until now --2:10-- HE THAT LOVETH HIS BROTHER ABIDETH IN THE LIGHT AND THERE IS NONE OCCCASION OF STUMBLING IN HIM
  • Bill
    How wonderful is this chapter? How concise it is leaving nothing to doubt about the believer's response to evil and entering into or near to evil. Thank you Lord for these words.
  • Paul Mitchell
    Wisdom and understanding and applying it to your heart is the key.
  • BSP
    Verse 18~As we continue on our journey with Jehovah God, he continues to illuminate our path by providing us with clearer understanding of him and his Word.
  • BSP
    Verses 16,17~These verses describe the wicked and violent people we see in the world today. It is like they are sustained or fed by violence.
  • Irene Rogan
    Praying for you Love Joan
  • A disciple
    "Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23 Whenever the Lord confronts those who love Him, or those who opposed Him, He never speaks in terms of "if" or "how possibly" they should keep God's commandments, but rebukes them for their empty outward show and misrepresenting religion, and for making their own thoughts more important traditions than doing what God commands and tells plainly how it is the inner man of the heart that God sees and knows, out of which all our doings are either accepted or rejected of Him. Always, and in every case, it is a matter of the heart either being good and honest and working out a course in life according to the fear of God or, a hardened and selfish unclean heart that only seeks the praise of men and lives entirely by outward appearance. Out of the abundance of the heart the manner of life, and the true nature of the man. How many times does the Spirit say to us, My son, Let thine heart keep my commandments, and LIVE! Our spirit directs our eyes and ears, and presides over every matter of our hearts. By these are our actions performed and the intentions of our heart weighed, showing what kind we are to God.
  • Solomon
    Hosea 4.6
    My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. And I confess that most of the time I've been struggling to understand this verse. Which Knowledge the prophet is talking about? So, when reading the scriptures we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us to understand what God wants to say with that portion of Scripture, to avoid self interpretation and heresy. Very often we will need to compar

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Bible Trivia

'The issues of life' come from what?
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Heart
  • Soul