Proverbs 1:13
We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
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1:10-19 Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! Consent thou not. Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?The second form of temptation (see Proverbs 1:10 note) appeals to the main attraction of the robber-life, its wild communism, the sense of equal hazards and equal hopes. 11-14. Murder and robbery are given as specific illustrations.

lay wait … lurk privily—express an effort and hope for successful concealment.

swallow … grave—utterly destroy the victim and traces of the crime (Nu 16:33; Ps 55:15). Abundant rewards of villainy are promised as the fruits of this easy and safe course.

As our danger is little, so our profit will be great. We shall find all precious substance,.... Among one or another we meet with; gold and silver and precious stones, everything that is valuable; not considering that hereby they were in danger of losing the more precious substance, their immortal souls; and the most precious substance of all, the enjoyment of God, and happiness with him to all eternity, which is the "more enduring substance": the things of this world, properly speaking, are not substance, though wicked men so judge them; they are things that are not; nor are they "precious", in comparison of spiritual and heavenly things; but they are what carnal men set a high price and value upon, and risk the loss of their name, lives, and souls for;

we shall fill our houses with spoil; Aben Ezra interprets this of garments; but it may not only design the garments taken from the persons robbed and killed; but also their money, commodities, and goods they were travelling with, which in time would be so large as to fill everyone of their houses; covetousness lies at the bottom of all this wickedness; the love of money is the root of all evil.

We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
Verse 13. - We shall find all precious substance. This verse carries on the proposal of the sinners one step further, and puts forward a third enticement, viz. that of' the profit of crime, or the prospect of immediate riches, before youth to join in crime. A short cut to wealth, and to the acquirement of that which costs others long years of steady application and carefulness, is a strong inducement (Wardlaw). We shall find; נִמְצָא (nim'tza), from מָצָא (matza), properly "to reach to," and "to find," in the sense of "to come upon;" cf. Latin invenio. Substance (הון, hon); i.e. substance in the sense of riches. The radical meaning of הוּן (hun), from which it is derived, is the same as in the Arabic word, "to be light, easy, to be in easy circumstances, and so to be rich" (Gesenius). In its abstract sense, hon, "substance," means ease, comfort, and concretely riches which bring about that result (see also Fleischer, as quoted by Delitzsch); cf. the LXX. κτῆσις, i.e. collectively, possessions, property. The Piscatoris Version, for "precious substance," reads divitias, "riches." Precious; יָקָר (yakar), properly " heavy," is found with הון (hon), "substance," in Proverbs 12:27 and Proverbs 24:4. The collocation of the ideas of lightness and heavineess in these two words is striking, but we need not necessarily suppose that any oxymoron is intended, as Schnltens. Such combinations occur in other languages, and reside more in the radical meanings of the words than in the mind or intention of the writer or speaker. We shall fill our houses with spoil; i.e. they promise not only finding, but full possession (Gejerus, Muffet). Spoil; שָׁלָל (shalal), from שָׁלַל (shalal), same as the Arabic verb "to draw," and hence "to strip off' (Gesenius); and equivalent to the Greek σκῦλα (LXX.), the arms stripped off a slain enemy, spoils, and the Latin spolia (Vulgate). Shalal is used generally, as here, for "prey," "booty" (Genesis 49:27; Exodus 15:9). Our gains, say the robbers, will not only be valuable, but numerous and plentiful. The title of the book is followed by its motto, symbol, device:

The fear of Jahve is the beginning of knowledge;

Wisdom and discipline is despised by fools.

The first hemistich expresses the highest principle of the Israelitish Chokma, as it is found also in Proverbs 9:10 (cf. Proverbs 15:33), Job 28:28, and in Psalm 111:10 (whence the lxx has interpolated here two lines). ראשׁית combines in itself, as ἀρχή, the ideas of initium (accordingly J. H. Michaelis: initium cognitionis, a quo quisquis recte philosophari cupit auspicium facere debet) and principium, i.e., the basis, thus the root (cf. Micah 1:13 with Job 19:28).

(Note: In Sirach 1:14, 16, the Syr. has both times רישׁ חכמתא; but in the second instance, where the Greek translation has πλησμονὴ σοφίας, שׂבע חכמה (after Psalm 16:11) may have existed in the original text.)

Wisdom comes from God, and whoever fears Him receives it (cf. James 1:5.). יראת יהוה is reverential subordination to the All-directing, and since designedly יהוה is used, and not אלהים (ה), to the One God, the Creator and Governor of the world, who gave His law unto Israel, and also beyond Israel left not His holy will unattested; the reverse side of the fear of Jahve as the Most Holy One is שׂנאת רע, Proverbs 8:13 (post-biblical יראת חטא). The inverted placing of the words 7b imports that the wisdom and discipline which one obtains in the way of the fear of God is only despised by the אוילים, i.e., the hard, thick, stupid; see regarding the root-word אול, coalescere, cohaerere, incrassari, der Prophet Jesaia, p. 424, and at Psalm 73:4. Schultens rightly compares παχεῖς, crassi pro stupidis.

(Note: Malbim's explanation is singular: the sceptics, from אוּלי, perhaps! This also is Heidenheim's view.)

בּזוּ has the tone on the penult., and thus comes from בּוּז; the 3rd pr. of בּזה would be בּזוּ or בּזיוּ. The perf. (cf. Proverbs 1:29) is to be interpreted after the Lat. oderunt (Ges. 126).

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