The Proverbs

Chapter 3

Various exhortations, 1-12. The gain of wisdom, 13-26. Exhortation to doing good, etc. 27-32. The different state of the wicked and upright, 33-35.

My son, do not forget my law,/
but let your heart keep my commandments,

For length of days, long life,/
and peace, they shall add to you.

Do not let mercy and truth forsake you./
Bind them around your neck./
Write them upon the tablet of your heart.

Then you shall find favor and good understanding/
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,/
and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,/
and he will direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes./
Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

It shall be health to your body/
and marrow to your bones.

Honor the LORD with your substance/
and with the first-fruits of all your increase,

10 And your barns shall be filled with plenty/
and your presses shall burst out with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,/
neither be weary of his correction,

12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects,/
even as a father [corrects] the son in whom he delights.

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom/
and the man who gets understanding,

14 For its merchandise is better than the merchandise of silver/
and its gain than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies,/
and all the things you can desire are not to be compared to her.

16 Length of days is in her right hand,/
and in her left hand, riches and honor.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness/
and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold upon her./
And happy is everyone who retains her.

19 The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth./
By understanding he has established the heavens.

20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up,/
and the clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, do not let them depart from your eyes./
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,

22 And they shall be life to your soul/
and grace to your neck.

23 Then you shall walk in your way safely,/
and your foot shall not stumble.

24 When you lie down, you shall not be afraid./
You shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.

25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear/
or of the desolation of the wicked when it comes,

26 For the LORD will be your confidence/
and will keep your foot from being taken.

27 Do not withhold good from them to whom it is due,/
when it is in the power of your hand to do it.

28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back,/
and tomorrow I will give," when you have it with you.

29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor,/
seeing he dwells securely by you.

30 Do not strive with a man without cause,/
if he has done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the oppressor,/
and choose none of his ways,

32 For the perverse is an abomination to the LORD,/
but his secret is with the righteous.

33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked,/
but he blesses the habitation of the just.

34 Surely he scorns the scorners,/
but he gives grace to the lowly.

35 The wise shall inherit glory,/
but shame shall be the promotion of fools.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 3[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, Wisdom, or Christ, delivers out some fresh lessons and instructions to his children, as not to forget his doctrine, but heartily attend to his precepts and ordinances, seeing these are the means of lengthening out their days and of enjoying peace (Proverbs 3:1-2); as well as had the promise of the mercy and truth of God, and the continuance of them, annexed to them, and therefore are exhorted to keep close to them and show the greatest value and affection for them, which was the way to find favor with, and to be taken notice of by, God and man (Proverbs 3:3-4); and then he proceeds to exhort them to a hearty trust in the Lord without dependence on themselves, and to seek direction from him in every step they took, which they might expect to have (Proverbs 3:5-6); to humility and the fear of God and fleeing from evil, which they would find would much contribute to their health (Proverbs 3:7-8); to liberality in supporting the worship of God and the interest of religion, which would turn to account and profit to them (Proverbs 3:9-10); to patience in bearing the chastisement of the Lord as coming from a loving father (Proverbs 3:11-12); then follows a commendation of wisdom, and the happiness of the man possessed of it is declared (Proverbs 3:13); from the profit, preciousness, pleasure, and usefulness of it (Proverbs 3:14-18); and from its concern in the works of creation and providence (Proverbs 3:19-20); and from that comfort, honor, safety, and security, which come by the doctrines and instructions of Wisdom and a steady regard to them (Proverbs 3:21-26); and the chapter is concluded with exhortations to beneficence, charity, concord, and peace with neighbors (Proverbs 3:27-30); and to shun the ways of wicked men, urged from the different state and condition of wicked men and fools, and of the just, the lowly, and wise (Proverbs 3:31-35).

[v.9-10] - Reference, Malachi 3:10.

[v.11-12] - Quoted in Hebrews 12:5-6. Reference, Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalm 94:12; Revelation 3:19.

[v.12] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. From John Gill's Exposition: "as a father chastens and corrects his son, whom he dearly loves, and has the greatest pleasure in, so the Lord chastens and corrects his people..."

[v.25] - Quoted in 1st Peter 3:6.

[v.34] - Quoted in James 4:6; 1st Peter 5:5. Reference, Psalm 138:6.