Proverbs 3

1 My son, don’t forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:
2 for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to you.
3 Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD with your substance, with the first fruits of all your increase:
10 so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son, don’t despise the LORD’s discipline, neither be weary of his reproof:
12 for whom the LORD loves, he reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gets understanding.
14 For her good profit is better than getting silver, and her return is better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies. None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness. All her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. Happy is everyone who retains her.
19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth. By understanding, he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes. Keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 so they will be life to your soul, and grace for your neck.
23 Then you shall walk in your way securely. Your foot won’t stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid. Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet.
25 Don’t be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes:
26 for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being taken.
27 Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it to you,” when you have it by you.
29 Don’t devise evil against your neighbor, since he dwells securely by you.
30 Don’t strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.
31 Don’t envy the man of violence. Choose none of his ways.
32 For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD, but his friendship is with the upright.
33 The LORD’s curse is in the house of the wicked, but he blesses the habitation of the righteous.
34 Surely he mocks the mockers, but he gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise will inherit glory, but shame will be the promotion of fools.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–6

In the way of believing obedience to God’s commandments health and peace may commonly be enjoyed; and though our days may not be long upon earth, we shall live for ever in heaven. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; God’s mercy in promising, and his truth in performing: live up to them, keep up thine interest in them, and take the comfort of them. We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts, believing he is able and wise to do what is best. Those who know themselves, find their own understandings a broken reed, which, if they lean upon, will fail. Do not design any thing but what is lawful, and beg God to direct thee in every case, though it may seem quite plain. In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last.

Verses 7–12

There is not a greater enemy to the fear of the Lord in the heart, than self-conceit of our own wisdom. The prudence and sobriety which religion teaches, tend not only to the health of the soul, but to the health of the body. Worldly wealth is but poor substance, yet, such as it is, we must honour God with it; and those that do good with what they have, shall have more to do more good with. Should the Lord visit us with trials and sickness, let us not forget that the exhortation speaks to us as to children, for our good. We must not faint under an affliction, be it ever so heavy and long, not be driven to despair, or use wrong means for relief. The father corrects the son whom he loves, because he loves him, and desires that he may be wise and good. Afflictions are so far from doing God’s children any hurt, that, by the grace of God, they promote their holiness.

Verses 13–20

No precious jewels or earthly treasures are worthy to be compared with true wisdom, whether the concerns of time or eternity be considered. We must make wisdom our business; we must venture all in it, and be willing to part with all for it. This Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation, sought and obtained by faith and prayer. Were it not for unbelief, remaining sinfulness, and carelessness, we should find all our ways pleasantness, and our paths peace, for his are so; but we too often step aside from them, to our own hurt and grief. Christ is that Wisdom, by whom the worlds were made, and still are in being; happy are those to whom he is made of God wisdom. He has wherewithal to make good all his promises.

Verses 21–26

Let us not suffer Christ’s words to depart from us, but keep sound wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in his ways. The natural life, and all that belongs to it, shall be under the protection of God’s providence; the spiritual life, and all its interests, under the protection of his grace, so that we shall be kept from falling into sin or trouble.

Verses 27–35

Our business is to observe the precepts of Christ, and to copy his example; to do justice, to love mercy, and to beware of covetousness; to be ready for every good work, avoiding needless strife, and bearing evils, if possible, rather than seeking redress by law. It will be found there is little got by striving. Let us not envy prosperous oppressors; far be it from the disciples of Christ to choose any of their ways. These truths may be despised by the covetous and luxurious, but everlasting contempt will be the portion of such scorners, while Divine favour is shown to the humble believer.

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