So shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Unto thy soul; either,
1. To thee or thy person. They shall prolong and perpetuate thy life, and make it life indeed, to wit, pleasant and happy; whereas a miserable life is reputed a kind of death, and is oft so called. Or, to thy soul, properly so called. They shall quicken, and delight, and save thy soul.
Grace to thy neck; like a beautiful chain or ornament about thy neck, as above, Proverbs 3:3 1:9.
and grace to thy neck; an ornament to that and to the whole man; how ornamental is Christ and his righteousness to a believer! how lovely is the person that is steady in his principles, and regular in his practices! who stands fast in the truths of the Gospel, and whose conversation is as becomes it! see Proverbs 1:9.So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 22. - So shall they he life to thy soul, and grace to thy neck. So shall they be (n'yikva); and they shall be. The "soul" and "neck" stand for the whole man in his twofold nature, internal and external. Life is in its highest and widest sense given to the soul (see Proverbs 2:16, 18; Proverbs 4:22; Proverbs 8:35), and favour is conferred on the man, i.e. he becomes acceptable to his neighbours, if he has wisdom. The latter expression is very similar to Proverbs 1:9, where the same promise is expressed, "grace" (hon) being equivalent to "ornament of grace" (liv'yath hon). Others understand "grace to thy neck" (hon l'garg grotheyka), as gratia guttturis, in the sense of "grace of the lips," as in Psalm 45:3 and Proverbs 22:11, that is, as the grace of speaking, power of eloquent and effective utterance (Gejerus, Bayne, Lapide). It is better to take it as referring to the adornment of the personal character, and so by metonymy of the favour and kindness which it procures.
16 Length of days is in her right hand;
In her left, riches and honour.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
And all her paths are peace.
18 A tree of life is she to those that lay hold upon her,
And he who always holdeth her fast is blessed.
As in the right hand of Jahve, according to Psalm 16:11, are pleasures for evermore, so Wisdom holds in her right hand "length of days," viz., of the days of life, thus life, the blessing of blessings; in her left, riches and honour (Proverbs 8:18), the two good things which, it is true, do not condition life, but, received from Wisdom, and thus wisely, elevate the happiness of life-in the right hand is the chief good, in the left the προσθήκη, Matthew 6:33. Didymus: Per sapientiae dextram divinarum rerum cognitio, ex qua immortalitatis vita oritur, significatur; per sinistram autem rerum humanarum notitia, ex qua gloria opumque abundantia nascitur. The lxx, as between 15a and 15b, so also here after Proverbs 3:16, interpolate two lines: "From her mouth proceedeth righteousness; justice and mercy she bears upon her tongue," - perhaps translated from the Hebr., but certainly added by a reader.
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