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29 When he gave to the sea his

decree, that the waters should not pass

his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were

with the sons of men.

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.


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[and invites her guests.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (H)

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(H) Divine wisdom personified.—There are two ways in which Wisdom may be considered as a quality conferred on man, and as an attribute inherent in the divine Being. The wisdom personified in this chapter includes both. It must be the former which says, "I Wisdom dwell with Prudence, and find out the knowledge of witty (or, according to some, of all) Inventions. By me kings reign," &c. But when the description is carried higher, and this Wis don is represented as the companion of the Eternal, even before the creation of the world, we are constrained to consider it as an attribute of the divine Being.

There is another view, however, in which Christian divines, of all ages, have explained this passage as referring to the Son of God himself, and as affording proof of his divinity; under this consideration, the chapter may be viewed in a light similar to the donble sense of prophecy in David and in Isaiah; and there seems no more difficulty in considering the same

description as application to a divine attri bute and a divine person, than in explaining the same text as an historical fact in reference to David, and a divine prediction as relating to David's Son and Lord. We would caution Christians against resting their faith in Christ on such disputable evidetice, when they have far more clear and certain proofs in other parts of Scripture. It is highly probable, however, that the apostle John alluded to this passage in the introduction to his gospel, where he speaks of his divine Master under the character of the Logos: which may be rendered either the Wisdom, the Reason, or the Word of of God. (See lutrod. to St. John's gospel.)

If we were deeply imbued with the spirit of primitive Christianity, we should be pleased in every where finding, both in nature and revelation, some image of our Saviour's glory, though at the same time we must confess with the inimitable Watts,


Ver. 30. As one brought up with him. Bp. Lowth, As his offspring." But this is a very difficult verse. Parkhurst thinks the Hebrew (Amon) shou'd be rendered adverbially, "Then was I by him eenstantly." Taking it for a nonn, Dr. Hodgson Ter ders it," companion;" Boothroyd, "workman;" Holden, by the strange word" fabricator." It can not be denied that Amon is used for a skilful (perhaps trusty) artificer, or artist, Sol Song, vin. 2. but Gesenius objects to the application of this to wisdom, as wanting a female termination. He inclines, therefere, to render Amon, (as being of the common gender)" a foster child," which is the idea of our trans-" lators; "one brou ht up with him," faithful and steady to his interests; which is not very different

"Nor earth, nor seas, nor sun, nor stars,
Nor heaven, his full resemblance bears;
His beauties we can never trace
Till we behold him face to face."

from Lowth's version, and in a case of so much dif ficulty, it may be wise to hesitate.

Mr. Holden, referring the latter verses, 22 to 30, to the Son of God, derives thence an argument for "eternal generation," as some of the fathers did; but as we are arguing upon a mystical allegory, we do not wish to rest thercon a doctrine of such magnitude.

CHAP. IX. Ver. 2. Killed her beasts-Heb. Her killing."

Ver. 3. Sent forth her maidens-Hallequist mentions a number of women in Egypt, with black veils, going about to invite people to a banquet, and making à strange and clamorous noise. Harmer,ili. 193.

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hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.



13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. (I)


THE proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

3 The LORD will not suffer the soul


(1) Wisdom makes a feast and invites her guests.-Preserving the allegory, we should consider the house which Wisdom builded as a temple, and the pillars to be the several branches of science by which it is supported. The beasts killed intimate a great sacrifice, and the invitation given a feast upon that sacrifice; all which circumstances may direct us to the Christian church, as about to be erected, of which Jesus himself (the Wisdom of God) is the foundation, and his first ministers its pillars. The sacrifice alluded to, can be no other than the great atonement offered upon Calvary, and the sacrificial feast, that "feast of fat things" foretold by the prophets, and exhibited in the gospel, the ministers and missionaries of which answer to the servants sent forth to invite the

guests. Such are the outlines of this admirable allegory, which may be filled up by referring to the parable of the marriage feast. (Matt. xxii. 2—4.)

Another character is here introduced as a contrast to the preceding, which answers to the adulteress described in chap. vii., though some think it no other than a personification of Folly in the character of a harlot, who is ignorant and clamorous, sitting on an elevated seat at the door of her house, and no less earnestly inviting the passers-by to partake of her secret and forbidden pleasures. But her sacrifices? Ah! "her guests" are themselves sacrificed-they are" in the depths of hell!"

Here then are two opposite characters soliciting our attention with great carnestness, namely, Wisdom and Folly, God and the world. O let us choose Wisdom and life, that we may live for ever!


Ver. 5. Drink of the wine.-See Isa, Iv. 1, &c. Ver. 7. He that reproveth a scorner, (that is, n hardened profligate) getteth himself shame, &c.-He will be laughed at, and reproached.

Ver. 8. Reprove not a scorner.-Upon the same principle our Lord directs us, " Cast not your pearls before swine," &c. Matt. vii. 6.

Ver. 10. Of the holy-Heb." Holy ones;" i. e. the blessed Trinity. So Mr. Holden, and Dr. J. P. Smith, Messiah, i. 349. Compare Dan. iv. 14.

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of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

: 4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

: 5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

6 Blessings are upon the head of the just but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

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7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. 8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city the destruction of the

poor is their poverty.

16 The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.


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18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool..

19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. 22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness. (K)


(K) Miscellaneous proverbs.-Here begins the second part of this book, being

a collection of aphorisms more exactly answering to that title. Those in this chapter relate chiefly to the difference between wis


Ver. 3. The Lord will not, &c.-See Ps xxxvii. He casteth away the substance of the wicked. Marg. The wicked for their wickedness. Ver. 8, 10. A prating fool (Heb. " a fool of lips.") shall fall-Marg. "be beaten," but the text is pre. ferred.

Ver. 10. He that winketh- See chap, vi. 13.

Ver. 21. For want of wisdom-Heb. “ of heart” Ver. 26. As vinegar to the teeth.-As acids to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so troublesome and disagreeable is a loitering messenger.

Ver. 27. Prolongeth-Heb. "addeth."

Ver. 30. Not inkabit (or “ inherit”) the earth.— See Ps. xxxvii. 29, 34,

Maxims of justice]




FALSE balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame but with the lowly is wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

{and equity.

12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure.

16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

EXPOSITION-Chap. X. Continued. dom and folly, virtue and vice; and point out the preference of the former, both in itself and in its consequences. As these Proverbs are mostly detached from each her, it will be impossible for us to notice em individually. We can only offer a brief remark on some of the most striking, and remove difficulties in our Notes.

Long life and prosperity were the sanc tions of the Old Testament dispensation;

yet the hopes of believers were not confined to the present life, for "the righteous hath an everlasting foundation," (verse 25.) to which it is very difficult to attach any meaning without admitting the hope of everlasting life." The days of the wicked, in the present life, are often shortened by their vices, and of "another and better world" they have no prospect. (Comp. chap. xi. 7.)


CHAP. XI. Ver. 1. A false balance-Heb. "Balances of deceit.”——A just weight-Heb. “A perfect stone;" stones were undoubtedly used original y as weights.

Ver. 4. Righteousness delivereth.-See chap. x. 2. Ver. 5. Skall direct (fleb." rectify") his way. Ver. 7. When u wicked man, &c.-This assertion strongly implies that "the righteous hath hope in his death," as in chap. xiv. 32.

Ver. 12. Void of wisdom --- Heb. "Destitute of heart."

Ver. 13. A tale bearer revealeth, &c.— Heb. “He that walketh, being a tale-bearer;" or rather, as Dr. Hodgson renders it, "A tale-bearer, walking about, revealeth secrets."

Ver. 15. Shall smart for it-Heb. "Shall be safe broken," or alieted.Suretyship-Heb." Thuse that strike hands." See chap. vi. i, e.

Ver. 16. A gracious woman—that is, a benevolent, kind hearted woman. Compare next verse.

Ver. 21. Though hand join in hand - that though wicked mea combine their power and interest.

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23 The desire of the righteous is only good but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it ther tendeth to poverty.

25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be a watered also himself.

26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

29 He that troubleth his own house e shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. (L)




WHOSO loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth

reproof is brutish.

2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not but the house of the righteous shall stand.

8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.


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charity, and represents the vast difference there is between virtue and vice, both in order to men's private safety, and to the public security. After which follow many wise and pithy observations, with such remarks on sundry virtues and vices, as are calculated to invite to the one, and deter from the other. Among the most striking is, (ver. 22.) "A fair woman who has departed from discretion (or virtue) is compared to a ring of gold in 'a swine's snout.' That is, beauty sunk into licentiousness is perverted from its just end, as a golden ring routing in the filth of a pigstye.


Ver. 25. The liberal soul (Heb. “the soul of blessing") shall be made fat-that is, enriched with blessings.

Ver. 29. He that troubleth his own house (probably by bis penuriousness) shall inherit the windthat is, he shall get nothing by it. See ver. 24.

Ver. 30. The fruit of the righteous. This we apprehend to be an elliptical expression, "the fruit of the righteous is like the fruit of the tree of life." See chap. iii. 18. He that winneth-catcheth, or taketh; an alinsion to hunters.

Ver.31. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; much more-This does not imply that the Almighty is more just to one class


than another; but as the just shall be rewarded or chastened according to his conduet, so assuredly the wicked shall not go unpunished! So the LXX, "if the righteous scarcely be saved," that is, not without chastisement for his sins, "where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" And this appears to be quoted by an apostle, I Pet. iv. 18.

CHAP. XII. Ver. 4. A virtuous wife is a crown.— This alludes to the ancient custom of wearing chaplets, and nuptial crowns. See Sol. Song, iii. 11.

Ver. 9. He that is despised and hath a servantHeb. "Is servant to himself," or "his own servant."

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