Proverbs 1:29
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
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Proverbs 1:29-32. For that they hated knowledge — Hated the light of divine truth, because it discovered to them the evil of their ways, John 3:20; or, hated the practical knowledge of God, and of their duty to him, and did not choose — That is, heartily approve of and love, the fear of the Lord — But chose to walk in the way of their own heart, and in the sight of their own eyes. They would none of my counsel — Refused to be guided by my counsels and precepts. Therefore shall they eat, &c. — Their wages shall be according to their work, and they shall reap as they sowed, Galatians 6:7-8. They shall receive punishment answerable to their sins; and be filled with their own devices — Shall be surfeited, as Dr. Waterland renders the word, with the fruits and effects of their wicked devices. The sin, which was sweet in their mouths, shall be bitterness in their bellies, and that destruction which they plotted against others shall fall upon themselves. For the turning away — From God, and his counsels and ways; (opposed to hearkening unto God, Proverbs 1:33;) of the simple — Of the weak and foolish, who are easily deceived and persuaded, shall slay them — The evil example of such shall mislead them, and prove their ruin. But the Hebrew משׁובת פתים, rather means, the quiet, repose, or ease, (as it is rendered in the margin,) that is, the apparent happiness of the simple; of the men who have neglected my instruction, and have been so void of reason as to deliver themselves up to follow the example and advice of the wicked; shall slay them — Shall be fatal to them; a sense which accords with, and is further explained by, the next clause. And the prosperity of fools shall destroy them — It shall be the occasion of their ruin, by making them presumptuous and secure, worldly and proud, and forgetful of God and of their own eternal happiness, whereby they will provoke God’s wrath, and bring upon themselves swift and certain destruction. Thus he answers the common objection against the fear of God, taken from the present impunity and prosperity of ungodly men.1:20-33 Solomon, having showed how dangerous it is to hearken to the temptations of Satan, here declares how dangerous it is not to hearken to the calls of God. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms. Three sorts of persons are here called by Him: 1. Simple ones. Sinners are fond of their simple notions of good and evil, their simple prejudices against the ways of God, and flatter themselves in their wickedness. 2. Scorners. Proud, jovial people, that make a jest of every thing. Scoffers at religion, that run down every thing sacred and serious. 3. Fools. Those are the worst of fools that hate to be taught, and have a rooted dislike to serious godliness. The precept is plain; Turn you at my reproof. We do not make a right use of reproofs, if we do not turn from evil to that which is good. The promises are very encouraging. Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one. It may well be asked, how long men mean to proceed in such a perilous path, when the uncertainty of life and the consequences of dying without Christ are considered? Now sinners live at ease, and set sorrow at defiance; but their calamity will come. Now God is ready to hear their prayers; but then they shall cry in vain. Are we yet despisers of wisdom? Let us hearken diligently, and obey the Lord Jesus, that we may enjoy peace of conscience and confidence in God; be free from evil, in life, in death, and for ever.This is no arbitrary sentence. The fault was all along their own. The fruit of their own ways is death. 29, 30. The sinner's infatuated rejection brings his ruin. Hated knowledge, to wit, the practical knowledge of God, and of their duty to him, as it is explained in the following clause.

Did not choose; not heartily approve of it and love it, but only made some show of it. For that they hated knowledge,.... Spiritual and evangelical; the knowledge of the Scriptures, of the promises and prophecies of them respecting the Messiah, though they were called upon and exhorted to "search" them; the knowledge of the Messiah, his person, offices, and grace; the knowledge of his Gospel, and the doctrines of it; see Proverbs 1:22;

and did not choose the fear of the Lord; which is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7; instead of choosing, they cast off the fear of the Lord; and by their rejection of the Messiah, and their usage of him, it plainly appeared that the fear of God was not before their eyes nor upon their hearts; nor did they choose or care for the pure, spiritual, and evangelical worship of God, introduced in the Gospel dispensation; the ordinances of Christ they did not choose to submit to; and would neither go into he kingdom of God or Gospel church state themselves, nor suffer those that were entering to go in, Matthew 23:13; but rather chose their superstition and will worship, according to the tradition of the elders, by which they made the word and worship of God of none effect.

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Verses 29 and 30 belong to ver. 28, and are not the antecedent clauses to ver. 31, as Zochler remarks. They recapitulate the charges already made against the sinners in vers. 22 and 25, and now set them forth as the ground or reason why Wisdom, on her part, turns a deaf ear to their entreatries. Wisdom will disregard the n because they have previously disregatded her. The connection is denoted in the LXX. by γὰρ, for the Hebrew takbath ki, equivalent to "because," and in the Authorized Version by the punctuation. Did not choose the fear of the Lord. The verb "to choose" (בָּחַר, bakhar) combines in itself the meanings of eligere and diligere (Fleischer), and therefore signifies here not only choice of, but also the fuller sense of love for, the fear of the Lord. They despised; i.e. rejected the reproof with scorn or derision, sneered or turned up their noses at it (μυκτηρίζειν, LXX.), disparaged it (detrahere, Vulgate), or, more strongly, as Gejerus says, execrated it. Their rejection of reproof is stigmatized in stronger terms than in ver. 25. To the call to thoughtfulness which lies in the complaint "How long?" there follows the entreaty:

Turn ye at my reproof!

Behold! I would pour out my Spirit upon you,

I would make you to know my words.

23a is not a clause expressive of a wish, which with the particle expressive of a wish, which is wanting, would be תּשׁוּבוּ־נא, or according to Proverbs 23:1 and Proverbs 27:23 would be שׁוב תּשׁוּבוּ. The הנּה, introducing the principal clause, stamps 23a as the conditional clause; the relation of the expressions is as Isaiah 26:10; Job 20:24. תּשׁוּבוּ

(Note: In the Hagiographa everywhere written plene, with exception of Job 17:10.)

is not equivalent to si convertamini, which would require תּפנוּ, but to si revertamini; but לתוכהתּי

(Note: The Metheg belongs to the ת, under which it should be placed (and not to the ל), as the commencing sound of the second syllable before the tone-syllable; cf. Proverbs 1:25.)

does not therefore mean at my reproof, i.e., in consequence of it (Hitzig, after Numbers 16:34), but it is a constructio praegnans: turning and placing yourselves under my reproof. With תוכחת there is supposed an ἔλεγχος (lxx, Symm.): bringing proof, conviction, punishment. If they, leaving their hitherto accustomed way, permit themselves to be warned against their wickedness, then would Wisdom cause her words to flow forth to them, i.e., would without reserve disclose and communicate to them her spirit, cause them to know (namely by experience) her words. הבּיע (from נבע, R. נב; vid., Genesis, p. 635) is a common figurative word, expressive of the free pouring forth of thoughts and words, for the mouth is conceived of as a fountain (cf. Proverbs 18:4 with Matthew 12:34), and the ῥῆσις (vid., lxx) as ῥεῦσις; only here it has the Spirit as object, but parallel with דּברי, thus the Spirit as the active power of the words, which, if the Spirit expresses Himself in them, are πνεῦμα καὶ ζωή, John 6:63. The addresses of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs touch closely upon the discourses of the Lord in the Logos-Gospel. Wisdom appears here as the fountain of the words of salvation for men; and these words of salvation are related to her, just as the λόγοι to the divine λόγος expressing Himself therein.

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