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How We Develop an Ear to Hear the Call of Wisdom (This Passage Parallel’s Solomon’s Prayer for a Hearing Heart) - Chapter one tells us that wisdom calls both to the simple and to the wise, to guide them daily in the path of blessing and protection. But thank God that chapter one does not leave us struggling to understand how we are to discern the voice of wisdom. In chapter two we are told how to develop a hearing ear so that we can hear wisdom’s voice and gain discernment by studying the Word of God (Proverbs 2:1-5); for wisdom proceeds from God (Proverbs 2:6), and it is God’s way of protecting His children (Proverbs 2:7-9). When we learn how to obtain it, we find ourselves protected from the calamities that befall the wicked (Proverbs 2:10-20), from the voice of the evil man (Proverbs 2:12-15) and the strange woman (Proverbs 2:16-19) so that we can dwell in the land and not be cut off (Proverbs 2:21-22).
We may ask, “How does reading God’s Word help us to be more aware of the Holy Spirit speaking to us?” In answer to such a question, it has been my experience that when the Word of God is dwelling richly in my heart and mind, the Holy Spirit easily reminds me of a particular verse or passage of Scripture in a way that applies to a situation I am facing. Thus, the logos word we have memorized is turned into a living, rhema word as the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking unto us.
If we find a parallel to this passage in the life of Solomon, we find it in his prayer for wisdom. We remember Solomon’s prayer to God, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” (1 Kings 3:9) This is the theme of Proverbs chapter 2. Solomon wants to lead us through the same journey that he had to take in order to hear from God. I believe that God answered Solomon’s prayer, not by speaking to him audibly on a regular basis, or by imparting unto him a spiritual heart to hear from God, but rather, by revealing to him that secret to developing a hearing heart through spending time meditating in God’s Word. It was up to Solomon to work this divine truth out in his life. The anointing is imparted. But in order to be led by the Spirit of God we must develop our spirit man.
We find another parallel to Proverbs 2:1-5 in the epistle of Hebrews where the author say, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14) In other words, we must exercise our senses so that we can hear the voice of God and distinguish between the good and the bad decisions in our life.
As a believer, we must learn how to obtain wisdom. Wisdom calls, but we must learn how to answer that call. We answer the call of wisdom by applying ourselves to the study of the Holy Bible (Proverbs 2:1), by meditating on His Word (Proverbs 2:2), by praying for understand (Proverbs 2:3) and by making this search more important than the pursuits of this world (Proverbs 2:4). Only then will we find wisdom (Proverbs 2:5), which proceeds from no other source but God (Proverbs 2:6).
Now God chooses this method of giving a man wisdom so that the wicked will not be able to find it, and in rejecting it, they increase their own judgment from Almighty God (Luke 8:10). This is because God's ways are merciful, even to the wicked. He wants to reduce their judgment if possible.
Luke 8:10, “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”
This method of finding the hidden treasures of wisdom will deliver us from the wicked man (Proverbs 2:10-15) and from the immoral woman (Proverbs 2:16-20).
In the following chapters, wisdom tells us how the Word of God transforms our hearts, minds and bodies so that the voice of wisdom shines brighter and brighter as the noonday sun. Thus, chapter two reveals that we can learn to discern the voice of wisdom so that we can avoid being deceived by the voices of this world, and thus avoid falling into calamities as the world experiences.
Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Proverbs 2:1 Word Study on “receive” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “receive” ( לָקַח ) (H3947) means, “to take, receive.” Strong says it is a primitive root meaning, “to take (in the widest variety of applications),” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 965 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “take 747, receive 61, take away 51, fetch 31, bring 25, get 6, take out 6, carry away 5, married 4, buy 3, misc 26.” This Hebrew word is used 19 times in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 2:1 Word Study on “words” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “words” ( אִמֵּר ) (H561) means, “a word, discourse” when used poetically, and it means, “a command, mandate.” Strong says it means, “something said,” and it comes from the primitive root ( אָמַר ) (H559), meaning, “to say.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 49 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “words 43, speeches 2, sayings 2, appointed 1, answer 1.” This Hebrew word is used 22 times in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 2:1 Word Study on “hide” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “hide” ( צָפַן ) (H6845) means, “to hide, to conceal.” Strong says this primitive root means, “to hide, to hoard, to reserve,” and figuratively, “to deny, to protect.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 33 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “hide 16, lay up 7, esteemed 1, lurk 1, hidden ones 1, privily 1, secret places 1, secret 1, misc 4.”
Proverbs 2:1 Word Study on “commandments” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “commandment” ( מִצְוָה ) (H4687) means, “a command, a precept.” Strong says it means, “a command.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used in the Old Testament 181 times, being translated in the KJV as, “commandments 177, precept 4, commanded 2, law 1, ordinances 1.”
Proverbs 2:1 Comments In the phrase “My son,” we feel the patience and love of God each time He addresses us in this manner.
Regarding the words “receive....hide,” the word “receive” means to hear God's Word, to take hold of it and not let it go. That is, we must open our hearts and learn God's Word as our instruction. The word “hide” means that we are to memorize God's Word in our hearts. In other words, it is an act of our will to “receive” or reject the words we hear. Upon receiving them, we make the choice to “hide” them down in our heart (Psalms 119:11).
Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Regarding the words “my words….my commandments,” they contrast the several ways in which these young men were taught and the ways in which the Lord speaks to us. These men in the king’s court were taught largely by oral tradition, as well as learning the Mosaic Law. In the same sense, the Lord may speak to us by an utterance, translated in this verse as “words,” or He may speak to us by His written “commandments” out of the Scriptures. He may speak to us in “sayings” with a still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, or through something that someone says, both of which we would call a “rhema” word. Or, the Lord may speak to us by His written Word, the Holy Bible, which we would call a “logos” word. Either way, we must open our hearts and take hold of His Word to us.
Proverbs 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Proverbs 2:2 “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom” Word Study on “incline” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “incline” ( קָשַׁב ) (H7181) means, “to attend.” Strong says it means, “to prick up (the ears), to hearken.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 46 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “hearken 27, attend 10, heed 3, hear 2, incline 1, marked 1, regarded 1, mark well 1.”
Comments - The word “ear” in Proverbs 2:2 is figurative of the heart; for it is by our ears that wisdom first enters our mind so that our heart can embrace it. We find this same figurative use of the word “eyes” in Ephesians 1:18 in the phrase “the eyes of our understanding.”
Ephesians 1:18, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”
Proverbs 2:2 “and apply thine heart to understanding” - Word Study on “apply” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “apply” ( נָטָה ) (H5186) means, “to stretch out, to extend.” Strong says this primitive root means, “to stretch or spread out, to bend away.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 215 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “stretch out 60, incline 28, turn 16, stretch forth 15, turn aside 13, bow 8, decline 8, pitched 8, bow down 5, turn away 5, spread 5, stretched out still 4, pervert 4, stretch 4, extend 3, wrest 3, outstretched 3, carried aside 2, misc 20.”
Proverbs 2:2 Comments - Proverbs 2:2 tells us the results of verse one as we learn to listen to God’s words. When we begin to place His Word into our hearts, we gain wisdom and understanding about the circumstances in our lives. This verse implies the need to spend time studying and meditating upon God's Word in order to gain insight into its meaning. Note:
Psalms 49:3, “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”
At first God’s Word can be very challenging to understand as a new believer, but as we apply ourselves to understand, the Holy Spirit begins to open the eyes of our understanding and to give us divine revelation and spiritual truths to live by.
Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Proverbs 2:3 Comments - We are to pray for understanding as we study God's Word. The Ethiopian eunuch prayed a similar prayer to Philip the evangelist, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31) Note similar verses:
Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
More specifically, we are to ask God how this word applies to our life, or how it reveals God’s divine plan for our lives. The Word of God guided Jesus Christ through His life and the Holy Spirit used the Word to reveal His destiny of Calvary and Resurrection. We, too, are to look to God’s Word for direction in life.
Proverbs 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Proverbs 2:4 Comments - If the pursuit of wisdom is not first in a person's life, then the cares of this busy life will take up most of a person's time, choking out the Word of God in a person's life. As one pursues wisdom and digs out a nugget of divine truth, then it becomes valuable. We begin to have a desire to seek after more of these truths. They become hidden treasure to be desired. As we focus our pursuits upon wisdom, our minds are not attending to the cares of this world any more.
As new believers we have an instinctive love for the Word of God. But often the cares of this world chokes out that love so that we become interested again in the pursuits of this life. But we can take these four steps again and renew our love for the Word of God. For example, I worked for about nine years in the busy Dallas lifestyle and my quiet-time was choked out. Under conviction, I found myself too committed to things and too desirous of particular pursuits to slow down. The Lord even gave me a dream where I saw myself sticking my hand into a water fountain full of coins and gathering them up with passion. In this dream, I then looked up and saw a pastor peacefully studying the Scriptures. I awoke and clearly understood what the Lord was saying to me, that I was too busy chasing the things of this world that were of little value and ignoring the pursuit of the valuable Word of God. When I moved to the mission field in 1997 I made a personal commitment to limit my lifestyle to work, family time and church attendance. All other time I had became devoted to the discipline of studying God’s Word again. I found my old love for His Word coming back into my heart. How did I restore this love for God’s Word; by applying these principles into my life again?
When we get a “rhema” word from God, breathed into our spirit, it becomes very precious to us. It becomes a valuable source of strength to take us through seasons in life. Only a person who has received such divine words understands their value.
Proverbs 2:4 Illustration - As soon as I graduated from college, I took off to Key West in search of Mel Fisher, a well-known treasure hunter. I had called him about a job, and he had told me to come and help him. While I was with him during the summer of 1975, Mel Fisher had already spent a number of years in search of the sunken treasure ship called the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon treasure ship that sank off the coast of Florida in 1622. I helped him build a homemade metal detector that was pulled behind a boat. He told me the tragic story of how he lost his son and daughter-in-law one night in a stormy sea when their boat turned over. In 1985 he did find this treasure ship valued at US$ 450 million, but not without a great cost. 
 Mel Fisher, Mel Fisher’s Treasures [on-line]; accessed 14 January 2010; available from http://www.melfisher.com; Internet.
Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Proverbs 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:5 “ Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD” - Comments - The fear of God comes by knowing God’s Word. Hence, Deuteronomy 17:4-20.
Deuteronomy 17:19, “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.”
Proverbs 2:5 “and find the knowledge of God” Comments - As we ask God and seek for understanding in God’s ways, He will reward us with knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:5 Comments - If we have meet the conditions of Proverbs 2:1-4, then we will begin to understand the fear of God. This is a procedure that we must go through in order to learn how to gain wisdom. Another way to read this verse is to say, “Then we will begin to see life around us from a divine perspective.” We will look at people and events the way God looks at them, they way He judges and the way He works in the affairs of mankind. If we will follow these steps, we will better know the voice of wisdom so that it will deliver us from danger (Proverbs 2:6-11), from the evil man (Proverbs 2:12-15) and from the strange woman (Proverbs 2:16-19).
How to Find Wisdom - As a believer, we must learn how to obtain wisdom. Wisdom calls to us from within (Proverbs 1:20-33), but we must learn how to find wisdom. We will not search for wisdom without a sincere desire to pursuit it. Therefore, chapter 2 tells us some simple steps that we are to follow in order to create that desire within our hearts to follow wisdom’s call. Another way to describe this chapter is to say that it teaches us how to begin to train our spirits to hear the voice of wisdom, which is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
This desire to know the voice of the Lord was Solomon’s prayer as a young king.
1 Kings 3:9, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”
Therefore, we find in this passage, as well as chapter 4, the process by which a person can develop his spirit in order to better hear the voice of God. For this was Solomon’s passion as a young king.
In chapter 2, we learn that wisdom is found by humbling our hearts to receive God's Word (Proverbs 2:1), by meditating on His Word (Proverbs 2:2), by praying for understand (Proverbs 2:3) and by making this search more important than the cares of this world (Proverbs 2:4). As we spend time in God’s Word with an open heart (Proverbs 2:1), it strengthens our spiritual desire for the things of God. As we continue in his Word (Proverbs 2:2), the desire for wisdom grows (Proverbs 2:3) until it becomes the passion of our lives (Proverbs 2:4). It is only when we follow this guideline that we will find wisdom for our lives (Proverbs 2:5), which only proceeds from God (Proverbs 2:6). Wisdom will then protect us along life’s journey (Proverbs 2:7-9).
The 3-Fold Make-up of Man - Let us discuss the make-up of the human being in order to better understand this passage of Scripture. We are created with five “sense gates”; seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. Primarily, we will grow as a Christian using two of these sense gates, which are hearing and seeing. Information for our Christian life enters our minds primarily through our seeing or hearing. Our minds analyze and study this information using a god-given process called reason. (Reason is the voice of the mind, as our conscience is the voice of our spirit, and feelings are the voice of our physical body.) We then must make the choice to embrace this information and receive it into our hearts, or to reject it. Our conscience will tell us whether this information is good or bad. But our God-given will to choose, which dwells within our mind, will make the final decision. This is because within the soulish realm, which is our mental realm, dwells the will, the intellect and the emotions. Our mind may ignore our conscience and make a decision based upon emotions or reason, and not out of inner conviction. Once we accept these thoughts, they are embraced within our heart. Then our bodies are moved by our heart, our passion, to pursue these thoughts and visions. We begin to make decisions based upon the information that we have embraced into our hearts, whether it is correct information or not. Proverbs 2:1-5 will take us through a procedure of feeding our mind upon God’s Word until our heart embraces it and the things of God become our passion.
For example, a child can be taken into the demonic religions of Islam or Hinduism or other cults. If this child is subjected to these teachings, by the time he is a young man, he will literally give his life for his beliefs. We can take that very same child and place him in a church and Christian school. By the time he is a young man he will be willing to give his life for the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord spoke to me in 1997 and said, “Son, there are two phases of the Christian life. There is conversion and there is discipleship. If a person will go through both phases, he will give his life for the cause of Christ. If he goes through both phases in a cult or foreign religion, he will also give his life for such a cause, as ridiculous as it may appear.”
We find a New Testament parallel to this passage in Romans 12:1-2 where Paul the apostle tells us to renew our minds by the Word of God in order that we may know God’s will for our lives.
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
By the renewing of our minds, we begin to understand God’s good, acceptable and perfect will in our lives. In other words, we will begin to understand that we have choices, and some choices are more pleasing to God than other choices, although either of them are within Scriptural boundaries of keeping us out of sin. We can learn to make the best decisions for our lives.
The Need to Pursue Wisdom Proverbs 2:1-9 also reveals to us not only the process of renewing our mind with the Word of God, but it reveals that we must pursue wisdom in order to find it, because it does not come free without this pursuit. God chooses this method of providing wisdom to His children so that only those who genuine desire it will find it and those who are indifferent will not have it. The diligent will find wisdom and value it. This search will cause the believer to treasure wisdom for its true value, rather than taking it for granted and thus, increasing his eternal judgment also when he misuses it. This is how Jesus gave His wisdom to His disciples. Note:
Luke 8:10, “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”
God also chooses this method of giving man wisdom so that the wicked will not easily receive wisdom and fully reject it, thus increasing his own judgment from God. For God's ways are merciful, even to the wicked. Thus, wisdom can only be found by diligently searching for it.
God is easily able to impart a great amount of wisdom into any of us in a moment, both to saints and to sinners. God sometimes gives us a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge in order to minister to someone. God supernaturally dropped a tremendous amount of wisdom into the heart of Solomon. However, God does not choose to work this way on a day-to-day basis. God wants us to learn to pursue fellowship with Him daily in order to receive our needed wisdom, or “daily bread.” However, if this wisdom were easily available to us without seeking God for it, then we would not hold it as valuable. He will make us accountable for living by it and judge us by it on the Day of Judgment. Thus, He also allows even the sinner to walk in his darkness out of mercy for him. For in doing so, the sinner will face a less harsh judgment in eternity than someone who knows the truth and rejects it. This is the reason that Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes. They were healed and blessed by His ministry, but they left these gatherings without a deeper insight into the ways of God because of the hardness of their hearts. They only wanted a blessing, but did not want to follow Him, as did His disciples.
God chooses to speak in dark sayings so that the saints of God will have to search for wisdom before finding it. In so doing, the wisdom that is someone pays a price to obtain becomes precious to the one who finds. When we dig it out and pay a price to pursue God in His infinite wisdom, and when He drops His wisdom into our hearts in this manner, we are able to value it as a great treasure. Note:
Proverbs 12:27, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”
In the natural, the most precious metals and gems are found in the depths of the earth. In the same way is divine wisdom found.
Since God will also judge the saints for what truths they know, God, in His infinite wisdom, only entrusts His precious truths to those to whom He has counted faithful. God does not cast His pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).
Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
For example, Paul the apostle spent fourteen years serving the Lord before God entrusted him with the ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. Note:
1 Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
Therefore, we must follow the order found in this passage of diligently seeking wisdom in order to find it, which God so much wants to give us. This method of finding the hidden treasures of wisdom will teach us to know the voice of wisdom so that we will be delivered from the call of the wicked man (Proverbs 2:10-15) and from the immoral woman (Proverbs 2:16-20). There are many voices in this world, and unless we learn how to hear the voice of wisdom, we will be found listening to the enticing voices of this world.
The words “path and way” are used ten times in this chapter alone. This chapter tells us that there are two paths to follow. We are told that God’s Words will be our guide on the good path that provides wisdom, divine protection and long life. But the words of the evil man and the strange woman will lead on down a different dark path of a short life and certain destruction. We are told that both of these evil characters call their victims down a crooked path that leads to death.
We find a New Testament parallel to this passage in Matthew 7:13-14 where we are told that there are two paths to take in this life. One path leads to eternal life and the other leads to eternal destruction.
Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The Conditions that Must Be Met to Find Wisdom Proverbs 2:1-9 contains three “ifs” and one promise. It is a conditional sentence with a promise to those who meet these three conditions. Proverbs 2:1-5 are a conditional sentence. Proverbs 2:1-4 are the proteases. Proverbs 2:5 is the apodosis. Proverbs 2:6-8 tell us the reason why Proverbs 2:5 is true. Proverbs 2:9 tells us what will come to pass when the Lord accomplishes Proverbs 2:6-8 in our lives.
This process in not always easy to begin in a person’s lifestyle. This is because when people begin their pursuit of God, they are often bound by the cares of this world. In the natural it appears that they cannot get free in order to come to God’s Word and begin to apply it to their lives, but this is a deception of Satan. Benny Hinn was once given a vision. In this vision he was bound by cords and sitting in a corner of a room. In the other corner of the room he saw Jesus with His hand outstretched saying, “Come.” Benny Hinn realized that he wanted to come to Jesus, but the cords had him bound. Jesus said again, “Come.” Benny Hinn said, “But I can’t.” Jesus said a third time, “Come to Me.” Then Benny Hinn begin to reach out his hand towards Jesus. The further he stretched out his body to touch Jesus, the weaker the cords became. As he continued to strain his body to reach out towards Jesus, the cords became loose and fell from him and he was set free.  This is often the way we feel as a new Christian. We want to live in the ways of God, but our minds tell us we are bound. However, if we will study God’s Word, meditate upon it, cry out for wisdom and put His Word first in our lives, we find ourselves being set free from the bondages of this corrupt world, and free from the ways of the evil man and strange woman.
 Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California, 6 January 2003), television program.
God the Father’s Foreknowledge: Calling Us to Our Journey (Preparation for the Journey) Most scholars consider Proverbs 1-9 to be a discourse, or a tribute, to wisdom. This section serves as an introduction to Solomon’s collection of wise, pithy sayings that follows. This introductory material is a preparation for being able to understand the rest of the book. Its underlying emphasis is the divine calling that God gives to every human being. Therefore, we find the statement of wisdom “crying out,” “uttering her voice” and “calling” used repeatedly throughout this section of Proverbs.
In these first nine introductory chapters, wisdom is personified as a person speaking in the feminine gender. Just as an artist sketches an outline of a painting, then splashes colors upon the canvas, until a beautiful painting emerges, so in these chapters of Proverbs does wisdom begin to reveal itself verse by verse (as an artist reveals a picture color by color) until chapter 8, when wisdom is seen as an intimate part of God and His creation. Wisdom is personified as a person speaking because man would be incapable of understanding his experiences in life without divine wisdom being given to him. This impartation is done in the person of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom is personified as a woman because the Hebrew word translated as “wisdom” is in the feminine gender.
These chapters contrast the table of blessings (Proverbs 9:1-6) with the trap of death (Proverbs 1:17-19, Proverbs 9:18). The wise man chooses wisdom's table of blessings. In contrast, the fool chooses the trap of death, supposing that it is a table of blessing. Studying this introduction is a necessary preparation for finding one’s way through the rest of the book of Proverbs. Thus, a drama immediately unfolds in the introduction, revealing to us how wisdom sets a man free, but the trap of death ensnares its victims in the strongholds of sin. These strongholds do not turn its captives loose until it completes its assignment of death. In contrast, wisdom leads a man into his rightful place of glory and honor above God’s creation (Proverbs 3:35, Proverbs 31:30), and into submission to his Creator.
This section of Proverbs is actually a call to follow the path of wisdom, in which wisdom presents his arguments for choosing the path of wisdom over the path of the fool. God calls mankind to righteousness in this present Church age through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that has been sent upon the earth, who convicts the world of sin righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11); but prior to this age God called mankind to righteousness through wisdom, which testified from Creation (Romans 1:19-23), and from society. We see in these chapters that wisdom is a path that is to be diligently followed. Wisdom is a decision that is made on a daily basis, and these daily decisions will determine our destiny, both in this life and in the life to come. This book of wisdom contrasts the wise man with the fool throughout the book. As we will see in Proverbs, every decision that we make is either a wise decision, or a foolish one. Every decision affects our eternal destiny. This section begins with a call to follow wisdom (Proverbs 1:7-9), and ends by explaining how every human being decides between destinies, heaven or hell (Proverbs 9:1-18).
In the path of wisdom, there are many dangers. It is for this reason these nine chapters give us many warnings against the evil man and the adulteress, even before the real journey begins. The path of wisdom is narrow and easily missed. All of us have fallen off this path at one time or another in our lives. This book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon, considered the wisest person that has ever lived. Yet, even he fell off this path of wisdom because he allowed pride to blind his vision and dull his hearing. This gives us an indication of how narrow is this path to follow.
Pride is an attitude of the heart. It is the very reason that Solomon fell into idolatry. It is the root cause of every man's failure. It comes clothed in many forms, such as false humility and it clothes itself in man-made titles of honour, such as “honorable, his lordship, his excellence, his grace, cardinal, pope, etc.” For example, the Pope in Rome carries the title of “His Holiness”. These nine chapters open and close with Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10, which reveal the secret of avoiding failure, which is caused by pride. We are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10). This fear keeps us from falling off the path of wisdom.
This introductory material in Proverbs 1-9 makes up almost one third of the book. Why is this introduction to Proverbs so lengthy relative to the overall length of the book? It is because the preparation for our journey in life is also lengthy. Solomon was taught for many years before he took the throne as king of Israel. Good training takes time and a good education does not come quickly. The degree that a person receives a secular education usually determines the height of his career. In comparison, the degree that a person becomes rooted and grounded in the Word of God will determine the height of that person's ministry. You must take the time to receive this introductory training in the first nine chapters of Proverbs before you are ready for the journey. The better we are able to understand the introduction of the book of Proverbs, the better we will be able to understand the rest of its teachings.
For hundreds of years in western civilization, a theological education was a part of a well-rounded education. All students learned the classical languages of Hebrew, Greek and Latin in order to study theological literature. The children of Israel were also to give each child a theological education. Solomon received such an education. Therefore, we can see this introduction to Proverbs as the theological training that everyone should go through in preparation for the journey in life.
One further note is worth mentioning about chapters 1-9. Upon reading, we must ask the question as to why this lengthy introduction in Proverbs spends so much time describing and warning the readers about the harlot. Perhaps because this is the one area that trapped and deceived Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived. This is the area that Solomon knows many of the young men he is training for leadership positions in the kingdom will be tempted. In addition, in a figurative sense, such spiritual adultery represents a believer who chooses to love the things of this world above his love for God.
Outline Here is a proposed outline:
1. The Call of Wisdom to Young & Tender Proverbs 1:7-33
2. Answering Wisdom’s Call (A Hearing Heart) Proverbs 2:1-22
3. The Blessings of Wisdom Proverbs 3:1-35
4. Three Paths of Wisdom Proverbs 4:1-27
5. Three Paths of Destruction Proverbs 5:1 to Proverbs 6:11
6. Characteristics of the Evil People Proverbs 6:12 to Proverbs 7:27
7. Characteristics of Wisdom Proverbs 8:1-36
Wisdom Protects Our Path - We see in Proverbs 2:6-9 the divine protection of God. After years of serving the Lord and following His plan for my life, I have noticed that I do not have to frequent the altar calls for my deliverance during every church service. My life is peaceful and things are well with my soul because of God’s daily deliverance in my life. The Lord has delivered me from the counsels of the wicked one, so that I do not have to be in bondage and cry out for deliverance.
Illustration We can apply the principles of Proverbs 2:1-5 to a specific need. For example, if we have a financial need, we can read God’s Word on passages regarding finances (Proverbs 2:1), mediate on these verses (Proverbs 2:2), ask God to help us understand His divine principles in the area of finances (Proverbs 2:3), and then apply these principles to our lives as a priority (Proverbs 2:4). God promises us success using this method (Proverbs 2:5). We can come to the Lord with family needs, health needs, and any other area of our lives. This is how I have learned to conduct my life. I have learned that God’s Word applies to every area of man’s life, and that it has an answer if we will seek Him.
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6 Comments - Of all the wisdom literature that King Solomon was exposed to, whether from Egypt or from the East, none compared to the wisdom that he found from the Lord.
Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:
James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Proverbs 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
Proverbs 2:7 Word Study on “sound wisdom” Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( תּוּשִׁיָּה ) (H8454) means, “a lifting up, that which is erect, aid, counsel, wisdom.” Strong says it means, “support, ability, help, undertaking, understanding.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 12 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “Wisdom 7, enterprise 1, thing as it Isaiah 1:0, that which Isaiah 1:0, substance 1, working 1.”
Proverbs 2:7 Comments - Sound wisdom, or counsel, is reserved for God’s children, for those who walk upright. It is not for everyone. The wicked have no access to God’s leadership, counsel and protection. Jesus refers to this divine principle when He taught by parables to the multitudes. When the disciples asked Jesus why He taught in parables that were difficult to understand, said, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matthew 13:11)
Proverbs 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
Proverbs 2:8 Comments The upright will walk without the endless problems that face the wicked every day. King David knew God as his shield and buckler. He wrote, “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Psalms 34:7) Job is the story of a man whom God guarded and protected so that he prospered.
Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Proverbs 2:9 Comments As we follow the principles laid forth in Proverbs 2:1-4, of reading God’s Word, meditating, praying, and putting His Word first in our lives, we will begin to find wisdom everywhere, hidden from the sight of the wicked and simple, golden nuggets that guide us each day along the journey. We will find those seven golden nuggets of wisdom listed in the opening passage of Proverbs 1:2-6. In the phrase “every good path,” we could also read, “every good decision”; for every decision that we make leads us down a path. Another way to say this is that then we will begin to see life around us from a divine perspective.
Wisdom Always Provides a Path of Escape for Us Proverbs 2:10-22 tells us that wisdom will deliver us from the paths of the evil man and the strange woman. Proverbs 2:10-11 gives us the method of escaping from the devices of the wicked. The lifestyle of allowing wisdom to enter through our minds, our eyes and ears, and into our hearts allows us to avoid the snares that trap other people. For the words of the wicked man (Proverbs 2:12-15) and strange woman (16-19) are the methods of trapping the fool. These words are carefully placed before their victims in order to gain entrance into their hearts. Once these words have been received into the heart of a man, they ensnare him. But for the man of wisdom, he only receives words of wisdom into his heart. Wisdom will soon tell us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Thus, he protects his eyes and ears, which are the entrance into his heart.
Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
One way that wisdom protects us is that it allows us to foresee problems ahead and avoid them. However, the simple continues on that course and is punished (Proverbs 22:3).
Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
For those who do not need wisdom’s call will give their labour and wealth to others and mourn at last when their bodies are consumed and they will say, “How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!” (Proverbs 5:12-13)
Outline Here is a proposed outline:
1. The path of escape Proverbs 2:10-11
2. Escape from the wicked man Proverbs 2:12-15
3. Escape from the adulteress Proverbs 2:16-20
4. End results of wise man & fool Proverbs 2:21-22
Proverbs 2:10-11 God’s Method of Divine Protection The previous verses (Proverbs 2:7-9) promise God's divine hand of protection to those who faithfully serve Him. His method of protecting us is stated in the next verses (Proverbs 2:10-11), which says that divine wisdom enters our lives and protects us. In other words, God gives wisdom to avoid problems to those who seek Him. Therefore, if a child of God walks away from the wisdom given to him, he will encounter problems. He may ask God why such things happened to him, thinking God should be sovereignly protecting him. God’s system is to give His children wisdom, so that they become responsible for making sound decision.
Proverbs 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
Proverbs 2:10 “When wisdom entereth into thine heart” Comments - In order for wisdom to enter the heart of a man, the heart must become receptive. Jesus illustrates this truth by telling the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20). If the seed of God's Word does not find good soil, the Word cannot take root and grow. The seeds of God's Wisdom will die. We must open our hearts and humbly receive the Word of God, even when the Word is correcting and chastising us, even when our flesh is not comfortable.
Scripture References - Note similar Scriptures:
James 1:21, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Proverbs 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Proverbs 2:12-15 Escape from the Wicked Man Proverbs 2:12-15 gives us warnings against following the call of the wicked man. These verses give away his secret of enticement, which are his words. He takes his victims by the words of his mouth, in the same way that the strange woman does (Proverbs 2:16-19). However, wisdom will deliver us from the wicked man.
Proverbs 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
Proverbs 2:12 “To deliver thee from the way of the evil man” - Word Study on “froward” - Gesenius says the Hebrew word “froward” ( תַּהְפֻּכָה ) (H8419) means, “deceit, fraud, perverse.” Strong says it means, “perversity, fraud,” and it comes from the root verb ( הָפַךְ ) (H2015), which means, “to turn, change, overturn, return pervert.” Webster says the word “perverse” means, “ Turned aside; hence, specifically, turned away from the right; willfully erring; wicked; perverted .”
Proverbs 2:12 “from the man that speaketh froward things” Comments - Wisdom will teach us to discern the words of the fool that are used to entice us off of the good path. Discretion and understanding will also keep us from men who would otherwise speak horribly about us. We can avoid much slander and evil talk about us using God’s wisdom.
Note verses that illustrate this proverb:
1 Peter 3:16, “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
Titus 2:8, “Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
Proverbs 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
Proverbs 2:14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
Proverbs 2:14 Comments - We see in Proverbs 2:14 that the evil man rejoices in his wickedness. In other words, a person can use the four steps discussed in Proverbs 2:1-4 of renewing the mind and transforming the heart towards wicked things rather than the ways of God. Instead of falling in love with the Word of God, a person can fall in love with sin. Such a person is in bondage and does not realize this bondage.
Proverbs 2:15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
Proverbs 2:16-20 Escape from the Strange Woman Proverbs 2:16-20 warns us about the strange woman. These verses give away her secret of enticement, which are her words. She takes her victims by the words of her mouth, in the same way that the wicked man does (Proverbs 2:12-15). Wisdom will deliver us from the strange woman.
Within the historical setting of King Solomon’s court, who else would the young ladies in society desire more than these young, educated, handsome men who are being trained in the king’s courts and who are destined for a career as a leader in that nation.
Proverbs 2:16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
Proverbs 2:17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
Proverbs 2:17 Word Study on “guide” Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( אַלּוּף ) (H441) means, “familiar, intimate, tame, an ox, the leader of a family or tribe.” Strong says it literally means, “familiar, friend, gentile,” but it carries several shades of meanings, such as “hence, a bullock, chieftain.” Strong says this word comes from the primitive root ( אָלַף ) (H502) that means, “to associate with; hence, to learn, to teach.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 69 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “duke 57, guide 4, friends 2, governors 2, captains 1, governor 1, ox 2.”
(1) It is used to describe a close friend.
Psalms 55:13, “But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide , and mine acquaintance.”
(2) It is also used to describe someone or something gentle, such as a bullock (as being tame).
Psalms 144:14, “That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.”
(3) It also carries the meaning of a chieftain, captain, duke, (chief) friend, governor, or guide.
Zechariah 12:5, “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.”
Comments - The NIV interprets this strange woman to be an adulteress, who has forsaken her husband and forsaken her marriage vows. It reads, “who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.”
Proverbs 2:18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
Proverbs 2:19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
Proverbs 2:19 Comments - The path of the strange woman (Proverbs 2:16-19) appears to be more dangerous than the path of the evil man (Proverbs 2:12-15). The Scriptures tell us, “Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh,” (1 Corinthians 6:16). Thus, the path of the strange woman involves more emotional and psychological bondages than the path of the evil man. Proverbs 7:26 tells us, “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” This is a very cruel path. A person may recover himself from this snare, but it will tear his heart out to do so.
Proverbs 2:20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
Proverbs 2:21-22 The End Results of the Wise Man and the Fool Proverbs 2:21-22 gives us the end results of the decisions made by the one who pursues wisdom and the one who becomes ensnared by the wicked man and the strange woman. The wise man will become established and take possession of the land while the sinner will be taken away from off of the earth.
Proverbs 2:21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
Proverbs 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
Proverbs 2:22 Word Study on “cut off” - Gesenius says the Hebrew word “cut off” ( כָּרַת ) (H3772) means, “to cut, to cut off.” Strong says it means, “to cut (off, down, asunder), to destroy, to consume.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 288 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “ cut off 145, make 85, cut down 23, cut 9, fail 6, destroy 4, want 3, covenanted 2, Hebrews 2:0, misc 9.”
Proverbs 2:22 Word Study on “shall be rooted out” - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( נָסַח ) (H5255) means, “to pluck out.” Strong says it means, “to tear away.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 4 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as , “pluck 2, rooted 1, destroy 1.”
Proverbs 2:22 Comments - There are two ways to remove trees from a field. Some varieties of trees can simply be cut off without the stump being able to grow back into a new tree. Thus, the tree dies at the time of its cutting. But other varieties of trees must be uprooted in order to do away with it. For, if these trees are merely cut off, the stump will sprout a new tree.
In a similar way, God simply cuts off some people, and that is remedy enough. Illustration:
Exodus 12:19, “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.”
For others, God must uproot the wicked and his posterity as a necessary remedy. This is a more severe punishment from God. We see this example in the Scriptures when God removes some wicked kings, because these kings and their family were so rooted in their nation that a removal of the king alone was not enough to remove evil. God did so to Jeroboam, Baasha and Ahab. Note:
1 Kings 14:10, “Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.”
1 Kings 16:11, “And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.”
1 Kings 21:21, “Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,”
God even cuts off cities, as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah. He cuts off nations, as He did with the Amalekites and the nations that Joshua overcame in the conquest of Canaan. God even judged the entire earth and destroyed it with a flood during the time of Noah as a necessary remedy for evil.
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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 2". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/
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