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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 4

xhortation to the study of wisdom. (1-13) Cautions against bad company, Exhortation to faith and holiness. (14-27)

Verses 1-13: We must look upon our teachers as our fathers: though instruction carry in it reproof and correction, bid it welcome. Solomon's parents loved him, therefore taught him. Wise and godly men, in every age of the world, and rank in society, agree that true wisdom consists in obedience, and is united to happiness. Get wisdom, take pains for it. Get the rule over thy corruptions; take more pains to get this than the wealth of this world. An interest in Christ's salvation is necessary. This wisdom is the one thing needful. A soul without true wisdom and grace is a dead soul. How poor, contemptible, and wretched are those, who, with all their wealth and power, die without getting understanding, without Christ, without hope, and without God! Let us give heed to the sayings of Him who has the words of eternal life. Thus our path will be plain before us: by taking, and keeping fast hold of instruction, we shall avoid being straitened or stumbling.

Verses 14-27: The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.

David Burnette's Life Application

Learning Wisdom

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue with the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 4. In our text today we see how Wisdom can be Learned through application after application. Learning from wise teachers and mentors as they teach the Word of God. In making application we see that we need to seek wisdom and wise teachers from the authorities the Lord places in our lives. How about you? Do you notice those who teach us the wisdom of the Bible? Let us learn from our text today to remember that wisdom is from the Lord and He uses the authorities He places in our lives to help us learn Wisdom. 


Proverbs 4

Proverbs 4

 1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

 3For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

 4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

 5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

 6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

 7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

 8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

 9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

 10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

 11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

 12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

 13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

 14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

 15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

 16For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

 17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

 18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 19The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

 20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

 21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

 22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

 23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

 24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

 25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

 26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.