A Brief Commentary
VERSES ONE – NINE
The words of the Proverbs are the words of Wisdom personified. They are the words of
inspiration – the words which originate with God. If you will listen to these words, if you will
treasure its commands and lock them within the safety of your heart and mind – if you will
listen to Wisdom and with all your heart pursue understanding – if you cry after knowledge like
a baby cries after its mother, and plead for understanding – if you seek after wisdom as other
men mine for silver, and search for it as other men mount an expedition for hidden treasure –
the end of this crescendo is an understanding of the fear of the LORD, and the knowledge of
The fear and respect for Jehovah, the God of the covenant, is the greatest prize in the world. To
come to understand the will and the mind of god is the greatest treasure that a man can ever
The wisdom which comes from Jehovah – that pearl of great price – proceeds only from the
LORD. If we will only listen.
The wisdom of Jehovah guides us in righteousness – direct us in holiness and godliness.
The LORD provides the strength, the faith, the courage to do that which is right so that the head
may be held high. There is a strait and narrow path, a highway of holiness, where truth and
justice are to be found which God’s judgment preserves His saints to walk in.
If you will do these things – receive, hide, incline, apply, cry, shout, seek, search – then you will
understand what righteousness and judgment and equality truly are. You will know what path
you should travel. You will know what to do. You will know the difference between right and
wrong. You will know everything you need to know to be pleasing to God.
See also John 8:31,32; 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
VERSES TEN – TWENTY
Wisdom, the illusive knowledge and application which originates with God, has its temporal
benefits. These benefits are dependant upon the heart and soul of the person. Wisdom must
be accepted into the heart and mind; it must be pursued and desired by the soul. Then
wisdom and discretion and understanding will keep you: delivering from evil companions (1
Corinthians 15:33)., the one whose speech leads to the departure from righteousness and
unto the ways of darkness. These people enjoy and brag about doing the wrong thing. Sin is
their joy. They look for and seek evil.
The epitome of these evil ones is “the strange woman … which flattereth with her words.” “For
the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her
end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps
take hold on hell. Let thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou
canst not know them” (Proverbs 5:3-6; see also Proverbs 7:6-27 and 9:13-18).
The strange woman is a recurring theme. Is it because of the problems Solomon had with
women? Or is it the temptation of sin is best described as the seduction of a strange woman –
one who forgets the guidance and moral teaching received in youth, and the relationship she
sustained with God?
Her house leads to death and her ways lead to death. She swallows up those who enter so
that they do not return to walk in the paths of righteousness. “Stay away from places which will
destroy your soul,” that is what wisdom says.
“…walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of righteousness.” Wisdom seeks the
companionship of the righteous. It seeks those who are good and honest and godly and
righteous. Paul told the Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things
are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any
praise, think on these things “(4:8). These are the characteristics we are to seek in our
In Old Testament times there was a real reward and punishment to be found in the following of
God’s word. In our lives the reward and punishment may be temporal, but it definitely will be
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of
God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly
desiring to be clothed upon with out house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we
shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for
that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now
he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest
of the Spirit. There we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body,
we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and
willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor,
that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in him body, according to
that he hath done whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we
persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your
consciences” (1 Corinthians 5:1-11).