The Book of Proverbs chapter 3 with BAC (Brit-Am Commentary)
Proverbs 3: 1-4 Goodness is Good For You!
Proverbs 3:5-10: Trust and Giving in the Bible.
Proverbs 3:11-18 The Value of Biblical Wisdom and Understanding.
Proverbs 3:19-35 Wisdom is Good for You! Goodness is Wise!
Duration ca. 22 minutes. For article please scroll down.
[Proverbs 3:1] My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;
We have to keep the Torah. We also need to retain Biblical Consciousness.
Keeping the Torah and the Bible way of life brings a blessing in the physical realm as well as the spiritual one.
[Proverbs 3:2] For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.
This is true. Biblical Consciousness brings a blessing. The world, especially the Entertainment Industry but also society in general, presents a picture equating sin with pleasure.
On the whole, this is not true, sin is not usually pleasurable. It is deceptive. Not only are you led to pay (physically or spiritually) for what is bad for you but in the end you do not get what you paid for, but something else.
Nevertheless, Biblical Living may require the foregoing of pleasure at critical moments.
This actual loss of enjoyment may be more illusory than anything else but it may still be felt.
And peace they will add to you. The word translated as "peace" here in the Hebrew is "shalom".
Shalom connotes wholeness, health, completeness, as well as lack of strife.
[Proverbs 3:3] Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,
A good person with a merciful heart will look to see the truth. You want to know what is right. You wish to be fair. Mercy leads to truth and truth induces mercy.
MERCY: The Hebrew word used here is "Chesed" which perhaps should better be translated as "kindness". We should try to tell the truth and acknowledge the truth but we should do so with compassion for the feelings and rights of others.
[Proverbs 3:4] And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
If you act in this way the Almighty will be with you and bless you. You will experience Divine Providence close by, working on your behalf..
Other people will see this in you. They will intuitively understand that you are on their side, that the truth is with you, that you are a good person.
They will treat you accordingly, in most cases.
Go in the right way and in most cases other people will recognize your improved nature and good intentions. This is the bottom line. We will be judged according to how we lived. Giving other people a good feeling is also a part of the Biblical way.
Proverbs 3:5-10: Trust and Giving in the Bible.
[Proverbs 3:5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
God knows better than we.
[Proverbs 3:6] In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall make straight your paths.
God will lead us in the way we need to go.
[Proverbs 3:7] Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
We all have a tendency to "double-think" about matters when it comes to our own self-interest. The Book of Proverbs is telling us to do what is right and to let doing what is right be our main goal in life. Doing what is right also means looking after yourself and looking after your family, community, and nation. This is the responsibility God has given you.
[Proverbs 3:8] It will be health to your navel [body] And refreshment to your bones.
This is true. The Biblical way reduces a lot of worry, aggravation, and cause for sickness.
[Proverbs 3:9] Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
[Proverbs 3:10] So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Tithe, give offerings, do what you should do with what you receive. God will requite you many times over. Not only that but you will also find that what you have after giving to the cause of the Almighty will go further, be enjoyed more and more truly be experienced as belonging to you. This has been tested on a multitude of occasions and you too can test it:
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this, Says the LORD of hosts,
"If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,
Says the LORD of hosts;
12 And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land, Says the LORD of hosts.
You shall be blessed. God gave the Bible to you and the Biblical Way so that it would be good for you. Do not hurt yourself. Go in the Bible Way, the way of Israel.
Proverbs 3:11-18 The Value of Biblical Wisdom and Understanding
[Proverbs 3:11] My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction;
Learn from your mistakes. See what you did wrong and resolve that in future you will not repeat it.
There is a popular saying (once repeated in public by President George Bush): "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Nevertheless we often fool ourselves or let others do so to us several times over before we wake up.
Not everything is under our immediate control, but a lot is.
If a person is in trouble or having problems they should deal with what they can.
If you suffer or some calamity has come upon you, when the pain eases up, look at your situation, attitude and deeds.
There may be something that needs correction and that you can make better.
Turn your bad times into learning periods. This may become a source of blessing at a later date.
[Proverbs 3:12] For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
God talks to us as a father would but we must teach ourselves how to hear HIM.
Sometimes this is not so difficult but at other times we need to pray and inquire strongly just to get an idea of the path we should take.
[Proverbs 3:13] Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;
Wisdom can be defined as general principles and "Understanding" as the practical application of Wisdom.
"Understanding" in Hebrew is "Binah". This is where we get the Hebrew-Yiddish word "mavin" from. A "mavin" means someone who understands a certain subject.
Binah implies discernment as well as understanding.
The Sages said that women were given an extra portion of Binah. It is what is known as womens intuition. They should develop it and use it. It is what they have.
[Proverbs 3:14] For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.
You should acquire knowledge especially knowledge of the Almighty and his Book.
Brit-Am?Hebrew Nations knowledge in our time is also very very important and an attempt should be made to obtain it and encourage it through offerings and purchases.
We may not help so much in matters of worship and practice. Indirectly however Brit-Am studies instill a Bible-directed pattern of thought and attitude that is valuable.
[Proverbs 3:15] She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
"RUBIES": Hebrew "peninim" probably meaning "pearls".
The Knowledge of the Biblical Way, of the Wisdom in Scripture, is worth more than fine jewels.
[Proverbs 3:16] Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.
People who go on the right path live longer, are better off materially, and are more honored and respected than they otherwise would be. They are also far ahead of those who may begin from a higher starting point but do not go along the same straight path. This is true for a person for most of their life or for a community or social group on the whole. There are exceptional cases and exceptional periods that confuse matters but on the whole this principle of reward in this life (as well as the next) does hold. It is not so much as comparing one person to another, though this also applies. It is more realizing how we were liable to have become if we did not attach themselves to Biblical pathways.
[Proverbs 3:17] Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.
If you go in the Biblical Path you will be more positive towards yourself and others. This should result in greater harmony and a pleasanter co-existence with other people.
You will probably be appreciated more by others. You will learn to value others. Your lifestyle should contribute to the welfare of all.
The Bible helps set us free. It gives us a yardstick to determine what we should or should not do.
[Proverbs 3:18] She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.
The Wisdom of the Bible gives you life. It tells you how to live and imparts vitality, healing, happiness, faith, love of God and reconciliation with your fellow-man. It strengthens one to overcome evil in oneself and outside of the self. No-one who follows the Biblical path regrets it.
Proverbs 3:19-35 Wisdom is Good for You! Goodness is Wise!
[Proverbs 3:19] The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
The wonders of creation are there for us to understand and appreciate them and through them to draw closer to the Almighty.
The order of the verse would indicate according to one opinion that the heavens were created to fit the earth.
It may be difficult for us to understand how and why the enormous expanse of the universe was created all for us but so it would seem.
Our actions and words may be more important than we realize.
[Proverbs 3:20] By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.
God knows everything and plans all.
Creationist articles and program are valuable. They remind us that evolution etc is still just a theory that leaves too many unanswered questions to be accepted.
Incidentally they also teach us something about the wonders of natures and the inter-dependence of all Creation.
[Proverbs 3:21] My son, let them not depart from your eyes? Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
Remember these truths always.
WISDOM: Hebrew: "Toshia" better rendered as "Resourcefulness", i.e. keep your wits about you.
God wants your success.
DISCRETION: Hebrew: "Mizima" also translatable as "initiative" or "innovative planning".
[Proverbs 3:22] So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.
"YOUR SOUL": Hebrew: "Nafshecha" also translatable as "your psyche", "your mind".
The words of the Bible give you life and vitality and renewal of mind.
They cause you to feel better and to look better in the eyes of others.
Your possession of Biblical Knowledge is like a handsome pendant hanging on a necklace around your neck.
It gives you presence of mind and value.
[Proverbs 3:23] Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.
The Bible helps your mind "clear itself up". It causes you to be more at peace with yourself and sure of your way.
This has an effect in practical terms in that you are less likely to make mistakes and you will not stumble in your path.
[Proverbs 3:24] When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Go in the way of the Bible and sooner or later things will work out. At the least they should become much much better than they otherwise would be.
You will be able to live your life well and lie down to rest without fear of the morrow.
[Proverbs 3:25] Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
[Proverbs 3:26] For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
[Proverbs 3:27] Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
If you can help someone who deserves your help do not put off helping them. If you owe someone money and have it with you, pay them. We all have a tendency to delay things or to put off doing a good turn for others. This attitude is liable to harm others as well as ourselves.
It says in the Bible, "Love your neighbor as yourself".
The Talmudic sage Hillel and the English King Alfred (who lived a few centuries after Hillel), as reported by W.S. Churchill in his History of the English-Speaking People, both interpreted this verse as saying:
"What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to them".
# You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD # [Leviticus 19:18].
Rashi gives an alternate explanation to this verse: Do not prevent another person from doing good!
[Proverbs 3:28] Do not say to your neighbor, go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, When you have it with you.
[Proverbs 3:29] Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety's sake.
Do not go looking for trouble and try not to cause trouble for others especially when they have not provoked you.
[Proverbs 3:30] Do not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.
Do not be prejudiced and do not pick quarrels needlessly.
In this life trouble and insult is liable to find you all on its own without you seeking it out.
Do not be offended when no offence was meant: Even when it is meant you are often better off ignoring it and at the least one is liable to find such occasions more than enough to cope with.
[Proverbs 3:31] Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways;
"OPPRESSOR": Hebrew "Ish Chamas" literally meaning "man of violence" but also applicable by extension to anyone who pushes others around. If you see someone who bullies physically or with their mouth or with vindicative expressions (sometimes noticeable in women) and seem to get their own way because of it, do not envy them or consider imitating them.
Seeing how others seem to get their way or succeed by acting in ways that we would otherwise not want to act in is a trap.
Avoid doing negative things just because others do. Be true to yourself.
Why be a 'sucker" and act as you would not want to act and then have to regret it?
[Proverbs 3:32] For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright.
God wants the straight and simple path. HE will be with you. HE is your source of strength.
[Proverbs 3:33] The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just.
CURSE: Hebrew "Me-ayrat" explained by S.R. Hirsch to mean a lessening, i.e. God causes the wicked to receive less than they should or wickedness in itself has the effect of diminishment. On the other hand even a poor man blessed by the Almighty can in effect be rich with what he has.
[Proverbs 3:34] Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.
[Proverbs 3:35] The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
Bad people are foolish and being foolish is bad. The Almighty wants us to do the best we can with what we have and HE will add to it.
Note also the associations used here: Do not deprive others of the good they can receive. Do not hold back from helping others.
Keep and treasure the Wisdom of the Bible.
Also, Watch out for yourself. Plan things. Initiate matters. By going in the right path we psychologically clear our minds.
We purify ourselves. We clean our mental faculties up, so to say. This enables us to think more clearly and to plan what we have to do and carry it out.