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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Proverbs 3

Verses 1-4


(Proverbs 3),

Solomon uses the "my son" preface 3 times in this chapter as he continues to show the benefits of wisdom.

Vs. 1 warns against the fleshly tendency to disregard wise instructions (Hebrews 2:1) and urges faithful obedience to his teaching. All fathers are commanded to so teach their children, Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Deuteronomy 31:13; Proverbs 22:16; Ephesians 6:4.

Vs. 2 declares a 3-fold promise to those who heed these instructions:

1) Length of days, prolonged life, Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2.

2) Long life, rather years of life (margin) such as described Psalms 1:1-3.

3) Peace such as the wicked will never know, Psalms 119:165; Isaiah 48:22; Job 21:30; Philippians 4:7;1 Timothy 4:8.

Vs. 3 warns against forsaking mercy (loving kindness) and truth and emphasizes that those virtues are to be so inscribed upon the heart as to be reflected in the actions, Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Vs. 4 declares that such will result in favor with both God and man, Romans 14:18.

Verses 5-6

Trust and Acknowledge Lord

Vs. 5-6 focus on the central requirement for receiving the benefits of wisdom: unquestioning trust in the LORD rather than leaning

or depending upon self, and acknowledging need and desire for His guidance in all circumstances, Genesis 24:7; 2 Kings 18:5-7; Jeremiah 9:23; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2. For those who trust and seek, divine guidance is assured, Vs. 6; Psalms 32:8; Isaiah 42:16. Apart from the LORD, there is no true direction.

Verses 7-12

Vs. 7-12 explain some things involved in yielding to the LORD’s direction in all one’s ways.

Vs. 7 admonishes to not think you are wise, Romans 12:16; but reverence the LORD, Proverbs 16:6; and refuse every form of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

Vs. 8- Compliance contributes to physical health.

Vs. 9 commands that the LORD be honored with the cheerful giving of the "first" of all increase in material substance, Exodus 22:29-30; Exodus 23:19; Exodus 35:5.

Vs. 10-Material prosperity is promised to the obedient, Deuteronomy 28:8; 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Vs. 11-12 counsel do not reject or resent the chastening of the LORD, but understand that it is administered in love, even as a father corrects a son in whom he delights. Deuteronomy 8:5; Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 3:19. Chastisement has a beneficial purpose, Psalms 94:12; Psalms 119:67; Psalms 119:71; Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 5:6. Correction is a part of the instruction mentioned in Proverbs 1:2-3.

Verses 13-18

Blessings Evaluated

Vs. 13-18 declare a series of blessings for the person who finds wisdom:

1) happiness, Vs. 13;

2) spiritual riches more valuable than silver, gold or precious jewels, Vs. 14, 1’5;

3) long life, honor and riches, Vs. 16; Genesis 39:3; 2 Chronicles 26:5; Psalms 1:3;

4) a life pleasant and peaceful, Vs. 17, also Vs. 2;

5) Vs. 18 concludes by declaring that wisdom is a tree of life to those who lay hold upon her; that is, the source of all things necessary for a long, useful and happy life, here and hereafter, Proverbs 4:18; Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 14:32; Proverbs 15:4; Proverbs 16:22; Psalms 36:9.

Verses 19-20

Importance of Wisdom

(Proverbs 3:19-20)

Vs. 19-20 present a lesson to ponder. If the LORD used wisdom to create and operate the heavens and the earth, how urgent is it for us to have wisdom to fulfill our mission?

Vs. 21 begins with the 7th "My son:" and urges that wisdom and discretion govern despite all pressures or inclinations to act otherwise. Such will bring long life and will be a spiritual ornament, pleasing to God, Vs. 22 also Proverbs 1:9; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 4:22.

Vs. 23-26 describe further blessings for those who retain wisdom.

1) They shall walk safely and not stumble, Vs. 23; Psalms 37:24; Psalms 91:11-12.

2) They shall sleep peacefully with assurance of God’s watch care, Vs. 24; Leviticus 26:6; Psalms 4:8.

3) They shall be unafraid in time of danger, Vs. 25, 26; Psalms 91:5-6.

Verses 27-31

Don’ts for the Wise

Vs. 27-31 command five DON’TS for the wise:

1) Do not withhold needed good when it is in thy power to give it, Luke 10:30-32; Galatians 6:16.

2) Do not delay until tomorrow when able to provide needed good today, Luke 10:33-35;

3) Do not plan evil against thy neighbor, Genesis 37:18-23.

4) Do not strive with another without cause. Avoid unnecessary arguing, Vs. 30; 1 Samuel 18:8-9; Romans 12:18.

5) Do not envy the oppressor, Vs. 31; Psalms 37:1; Hebrews 11:24-26.

Verses 32-35

Reasons for the Don’ts

Vs. 32-35 explain the reasons for the don’ts:

1) Because God hates wickedness and gives His secrets to the righteous.

2) Because God will reward as people deserve; shame and curse for the wicked, Vs. 33, 35; blessings and glory for the just; Vs. 33, 35. Psalms 37:22; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Leviticus 26:14.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.