Proverbs 4:20
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
4:14-27 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.The teacher speaks again in his own person. 20-22. (Compare Pr 4:10, 13; Pr 3:8, &c.). No text from Poole on this verse.

My son, attend to my words,.... Which go before and which follow after, his doctrines, instructions, cautions, and exhortations;

incline thine ear unto my sayings; stoop and bow the ear; listen attentively to what is said, as being of the greatest moment and importance.

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 20. - The teacher here resumes his admonitions after thus citing the example of his father's teaching, and showing how it resembled the tenor of his own precepts, which, upon such a consideration, were most worthy of attention. Proverbs 4:20The paternal admonition now takes a new departure:

20 My son, attend unto my words,

     Incline thine ear to my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;

     Keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life to all who get possession of them,

     And health to their whole body.

Regarding the Hiph. הלּין (for הלין), Proverbs 4:21, formed after the Chaldee manner like הלּין, הנּיח, הסּיג, vid., Gesenius, 72, 9; - Ewald, 114, c, gives to it the meaning of "to mock," for he interchanges it with הלין, instead of the meaning to take away, efficere ut recedat (cf. under Proverbs 2:15). This supposed causative meaning it has also here: may they equals may one (vid., under Proverbs 2:22) not remove them from thine eyes; the object is (Proverbs 4:20) the words of the paternal admonition. Hitzig, indeed, observes that "the accusative is not supplied;" but with greater right it is to be remarked that ילּיזוּ (fut. Hiph. of לוּז) and ילוּזוּ (fut. Kal of id.) are not one and the same, and the less so as הלּיז occurs, but the masoretical and grammatical authorities (e.g., Kimchi) demand ילּיזוּ. The plur. למצאיהם is continued, 22b, in the sing., for that which is said refers to each one of the many (Proverbs 3:18, Proverbs 3:28, Proverbs 3:35). מצא is fundamentally an active conception, like our "finden," to find; it means to attain, to produce, to procure, etc. מרפּא means, according as the מ is understood of the "that equals ut" of the action or of the "what" of its performance, either health or the means of health; here, like רפאוּת, Proverbs 3:8, not with the underlying conception of sickness, but of the fluctuations connected with the bodily life of man, which make needful not only a continual strengthening of it, but also its being again and again restored. Nothing preserves soul and body in a healthier state than when we always keep before our eyes and carry in our hearts the good doctrines; they give to us true guidance on the way of life: "Godliness has the promise of this life, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8.

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