Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Proverbs
Book: Proverbs
Chapter: 3

Exhortations to obedience and Faith. (1-6) To Piety, and to
improve Afflictions. (7-12) To gain Wisdom. (13-20) Guidance of
Wisdom. (21-26) The wicked and the upright. (27-35)

1-6 In the way of believing obedience to God's Commandments
health and peace may commonly be enjoyed; and though our days
may not be long upon Earth, we shall live for ever in Heaven.
Let not Mercy and Truth forsake thee; God's Mercy in promising,
and his Truth in performing: live up to them, keep up thine
interest in them, and take the comfort of them. We must trust in
the Lord with all our hearts, believing he is able and Wise to
do what is best. Those who know themselves, find their own
understandings a broken Reed, which, if they lean upon, will
fail. Do not design any thing but what is lawful, and Beg God to
direct thee in every case, though it may seem quite Plain. In
all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we
must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that
prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must
acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct
thy paths; So that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at

7-12 There is not a greater enemy to the fear of the Lord in
the Heart, than self-conceit of our own Wisdom. The prudence and
sobriety which religion teaches, tend not only to the health of
the soul, but to the health of the body. Worldly wealth is but
Poor substance, yet, such as it is, we must honour God with it;
and those that do good with what they have, shall have more to
do more good with. Should the Lord visit us with trials and
sickness, let us not forget that the exhortation speaks to us as
to children, for our good. We must not faint under an
affliction, be it ever So heavy and long, not be driven to
despair, or use wrong means for relief. The Father corrects the
son whom he loves, because he loves him, and desires that he may
be Wise and good. Afflictions are So far from doing God's
children any hurt, that, By the Grace of God, they promote their

13-20 No precious jewels or earthly treasures are worthy to be
compared with true Wisdom, whether the concerns of time or
eternity be considered. We must make Wisdom our business; we
must venture all in it, and be willing to part with all for it.
This Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ and his Salvation, sought
and obtained By Faith and Prayer. Were it not for unbelief,
remaining sinfulness, and carelessness, we should find all our
ways pleasantness, and our paths peace, for his are So; but we
too often step aside from them, to our own hurt and grief.
Christ is that Wisdom, By whom the worlds were made, and still
are in being; happy are those to whom he is made of God Wisdom.
He has wherewithal to make good all his promises.

21-26 Let us not suffer Christ's words to depart from us, but
keep sound Wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in
his ways. The natural Life, and all that belongs to it, shall be
under the protection of God's Providence; the spiritual Life,
and all its interests, under the protection of his Grace, So
that we shall be kept from falling into Sin or trouble.

27-35 Our business is to observe the precepts of Christ, and to
copy his Example; to do Justice, to Love Mercy, and to beware of
Covetousness; to be ready for every good work, avoiding needless
strife, and bearing evils, if possible, rather than seeking
redress By Law. It will be found there is little got By
striving. Let us not envy prosperous oppressors; far be it from
the disciples of Christ to choose any of their ways. These
truths may be despised By the covetous and luxurious, but
Everlasting contempt will be the portion of such scorners, while
Divine favour is shown to the humble believer.