Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Forsake the foolish.—Rather, the simple; be no longer counted among the weak, who can be “carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), but “stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1Corinthians 16:13).John 6:27; Matthew 26:26). The foolish, i.e. the wicked, and their courses and society: you must either forsake them or me, for we are irreconcilable enemies.
In the way of understanding; which leads to it, and is prescribed by it.
and live; which may be considered either as an exhortation, as the foregoing; live on the provisions of Wisdom's house, on her bread and her wine; live on Christ himself by faith; live not as the foolish do, but as the wise; live not to yourselves, nor to the lusts of men, but to the will and glory of God; live not in sin, but unto righteousness; live not to the flesh, nor after it, but to and after the spirit: or as a promise by way of encouragement, and as enforcing the preceding exhortation, "and ye shall live" (n); honourably, and not scandalously, as they do that keep company with the foolish; comfortably and delightfully, as they do that turn into Wisdom's house, and are her guests; such live in communion with Christ, and with his people; they live a spiritual life now, and shall live an eternal one hereafter;
and go in the way of understanding; as such do that quit the conversation of foolish men, and become the guests of Wisdom; such are in, and go in the way of understanding, who frequently attend the throne of grace, and ask wisdom of the Father of lights; the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of divine things, which they that ask have; Solomon got all his wisdom and understanding this way: such are in the way of it, and go in the way of it, who constantly and carefully read the Scriptures, which are able to make a man wise unto salvation; who go up to the house of the Lord as often as they have opportunity, that they may be taught by trim; who sit under the ministry of Gospel preachers, that feed men with knowledge and understanding; who submit to Gospel ordinances, and keep the commandments of Christ; for such are said to have a good understanding; they show that they have, and by these means get and increase it; see Psalm 111:10; and who also converse with knowing and experienced Christians; for "he that walketh with wise men shall be wise", Proverbs 13:20.
(m) "imperitiam", Tigurine version; "stultitias", Vatablus; "fatuitates", Piscator, Schultens; "stoliditates", Gejerus, Gussetius, p. 703. (n) "et vivetis", Pagninus, Vatablus, Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis.Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. Forsake the foolish] Rather, forsake, ye simple (sc. your simplicity): come to a decision; your present neutral position (see note on Proverbs 1:4, “the simple”) is untenable. Your choice lies between Wisdom and “the scorner,” Proverbs 9:7. Therefore break altogether with the scorner and the wicked man, and become the guests of Wisdom. See next note. Comp. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; 2 Corinthians 7:1.
“The old versions” (e.g. LXX. ἀπολείπετε ἀφροσύνην) and most modern commentators regard the noun as abstract, equivalent to the sing. פְחִי in Proverbs 1:22, or the abstract derivative פְחַיוּח in Proverbs 9:13 below, and therefore translate, ‘Forsake simplicity, let your simplicity go’.” Lange ad loc., who however rejects this view.Verse 6. - Forsake the foolish, and live; Vulgate, relinquite infantiam; Septuagint, ἀπολείπετε ἀφροσύνην, "leave folly." These versions take the plural פְתָאִים (petaim) as equivalent to an abstract noun, which gives a good sense; but the plural is not so used in our book, so we must admit the rendering of the Authorized Version, "Quit the class, give up being of the category of fools," or else we must take the word as vocative, "Leave off, ye simple ones" (Revised Version), i.e. quit your simplicity, your folly. And live (see on Proverbs 4:4). It is not a mere prosperous life on earth that is here promised, but something far higher and better (John 6:51, "If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever"). The LXX. saw something of this when they paraphrased the clause, "Leave ye folly, that ye may reign forever." Go in the way of understanding. Leaving folly, stay not, but make real progress in the direction of wisdom. Septuagint, "Seek ye prudence, and direct understanding by knowledge." Proverbs 19:2), seeks (Job 5:24), at which one shoots (Hiph. Judges 20:16), etc., id non attingere quod petitur, Arab. âkhṭa, to miss, opposite to âṣab, to hit (Fl.). Just because it is the idea of missing, which, ethically applied, passes over into that of sin and guilt (of fault, mistake, false step, "Fehls, Fehlers, Fehltritts"), חטא can stand not only with the accusative of the subject in regard to which one errs, Leviticus 5:16, but also with the accusative of the subject which one forfeits, i.e., misses and loses, Proverbs 20:2, cf. Habakkuk 2:10; so that not only מאס נפשׁו, Proverbs 15:32 (animam suam nihili facit), but also חוטא נפשׁו, Proverbs 20:2 (animam suam pessumdat), is synonymous with חמס נפשׁו (animae suae h. e. sibi ipsi injuriam facit). Whoever misses Wisdom by taking some other way than that which leads to her, acts suicidally: all they who wilfully hate (Piel) wisdom love death, for wisdom is the tree of life, Proverbs 3:18; wisdom and life are one, 35a, as the Incarnate Wisdom saith, John 8:51, "If a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death." In the Logos, Wisdom has her self-existence; in Him she has her personification, her justification, and her truth.
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