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Tappan Prest. Assoc.
The Book of PROVERBS.
WE have here another book, and another author, namely, Solomon,
the wisest of men, who had uncommon abilities, and large experiIt contains excellent maxims for the conduct of life. The word proverb signifies a ruling speech, or observation, that ought to have great weight with mankind; a short sententious speech, of great excellency and importance and such among the ancients being chiefly similes and comparisons, in which one thing looked to another for the better illustration of it, it became in common use to signify any wise, important maxim. The first nine chapters are more connected than the rest, and contain a commendation of and exhortation to true wisdom; which is the fear of God. The remaining chapters contain directions how to govern ourselves in all circumstances and relations in life. Other parts of scripture are like a rich mine, where the precious ore runs along in one continued vein; but this book is like a heap of pearls, which, though they are loose and unstrung, are not therefore the less valuable,
HE proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to make men know when good advice is given, and how to give it to others; or to teach them to avoid errors, and 3 to correct those they have fallen into; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; that is, to make them good in every circumstance, condition, and relation in life; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion; they are designed to teach caution and sagacity to the unexperienced; but they are not intended for them alone, there 5 is that in them which may improve the wisest. A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understand6 ing shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings; to understand the meaning of parables, figures, and other ways of instruction.
The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. This verse is a key to the whole book. By wisdom, he does not mean common sagacity, carpal policy, or great learning, but true religion; and by fools hera,.