Proverbs 9:6
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) 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).

9:1-12 Christ has prepared ordinances to which his people are admitted, and by which nourishment is given here to those that believe in him, as well as mansions in heaven hereafter. The ministers of the gospel go forth to invite the guests. The call is general, and shuts out none that do not shut out themselves. Our Saviour came, not to call the righteous, but sinners; not the wise in their own eyes, who say they see. We must keep from the company and foolish pleasures of the ungodly, or we never can enjoy the pleasures of a holy life. It is vain to seek the company of wicked men in the hope of doing them good; we are far more likely to be corrupted by them. It is not enough to forsake the foolish, we must join those that walk in wisdom. There is no true wisdom but in the way of religion, no true life but in the end of that way. Here is the happiness of those that embrace it. A man cannot be profitable to God; it is for our own good. Observe the shame and ruin of those who slight it. God is not the Author of sin: and Satan can only tempt, he cannot force. Thou shalt bear the loss of that which thou scornest: it will add to thy condemnation.A parallel to the higher teaching of the Gospels (compare John 6:27; Matthew 26:26). 4-6. (Compare Pr 1:4; 6:32). Wisdom not only supplies right but forbids wrong principles. 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. Forsake the foolish,.... Foolish men and their company; not men of weak abilities in things natural and civil, or who are reckoned foolish by the world; for so the saints are, whose company is not to be neglected and forsaken; but such who are wickedly foolish, who are ignorant of divine things, and make a mock at sin and at religion; such company is very unsuitable for Wisdom's guests; such as turn in to her house ought to forsake these; it is quite out of character for Wisdom's followers to be the companions of fools; it is very unprofitable to keep company with such vain men, yea, very pernicious and hurtful, and of very bad consequence; it corrupts good manners, and causes grief, and breaks peace, sooner or later; it is quite unbecoming them to converse with them; they are called out from among them by Christ, and should obey: and, besides, they have better company to attend unto: and they should also forsake "foolish" (m) things; the Septuagint version renders it, "foolishness"; and the Arabic version, "imprudence"; the Targum and Syriac version, "want of understanding", or "judgment"; foolish lusts, which are hurtful, and war against the soul, and which should be denied and abstained from; and all foolish ways, their own or others', which are dangerous and lead to ruin; and all foolish doctrines, such as are contrary to the Scriptures, to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles; that tend to degrade any of the Persons of the Trinity, to obscure or lessen the grace of God in man's salvation, or to exalt the creature; all such are to be forsaken, shunned, and avoided, and by no means countenanced and encouraged;

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." חטאי may, it is true, mean "my sinning one equals he who sins against me (חטא לי)," as קמי is frequently equivalent to קמים עלי; but the contrast of מצאי places it beyond a doubt that חטא stands here in its oldest signification: to miss something after which one runs (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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