Proverbs Chapter 2

Proverbs Chapter 2 presents a series of ifs and thens. Solomon develops how that if his son (and all readers) would listen to his wisdom (from God’s Word), then he would find the blessings of wisdom. Moreover, such godly wisdom will keep a young man (and anyone else for that matter) from the influence of evil men and women.

David Parham

7/3/202412 min read

Proverbs Chapter 2

Distributed by: KJV Bible StudiesProvervs



Introduction: Proverbs Chapter 2 presents a series of ifs and thens. Solomon develops how that if his son (and all readers) would listen to his wisdom (from God’s Word), then he would find the blessings of wisdom. Moreover, such godly wisdom will keep a young man (and anyone else for that matter) from the influence of evil men and women.

I. The Value of Wisdom

Pro 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

Pro 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Pro 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

Pro 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Solomon begins immediately with an “if” for the development of the wisdom that he offers. Essentially everything else in this chapter flows from this if and the ones to follow in verses 3 and 4. Though addressed to Solomon’s (unnamed) son, by extension, the message is for all who will read it.

Solomon speaks of his words and commandments. Yet, there is One greater than Solomon speaking these Words. The ultimate author and Father is God Himself. The inspiration by the Holy Spirit makes clear that One far greater than Solomon is speaking. The Scripture directs all who will hear to receive God’s words and hide His commandments within.

The latter thought is of treasuring God’s commandments within as one would guard great treasures. The greater thought is to cherish and not reject the counsel of God through His Word. The point of so receiving and hiding God’s Word within is to incline our ear to wisdom and apply our heart to understanding. Or put another way, the thought is to receive God’s Word to such a degree that we search for wisdom and understanding.

Once again, wisdom and understanding are linked together. They are not synonymous though they are related. Wisdom develops from understanding. In some degree, wisdom is the goal and understanding is the means thereto. To the matter of wisdom and understanding, knowledge is added. Once again, there is a development of truth.

If we compare these virtues to a building, knowledge is the foundation. Understanding rises above that, and the capstone is wisdom. As knowledge is obtained, understanding is achieved by study and reflection. The wisdom to make right decisions then becomes available. Once again, the developing thought is that this process of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are ultimately rooted in the Word of God.

The sacred writer urges his reader to receive God’s Word to receive the ultimate blessing of wisdom. The combination of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are personified and summarized as an individual—her. If we seek and search for wisdom like we might search for a hidden fortune of money, then the blessings enumerated below will become available. The first 3 verses of the chapter eloquently and articulately set forth the primary conditions for the blessings to follow: receive God’s Words and search for wisdom. Verse 4 reiterates what is said in the previous verses.

Pro 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Pro 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

Pro 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

When we absorb God’s Word and His commandments and we search after godly wisdom then will we come to understand the fear of the Lord. It is one thing to fear God; It is another to understand the implications thereof. Throughout the Bible, the fear of the Lord is set forth as a very positive spiritual virtue. See Psalm 19:9 and Proverbs 9:10, 28:28.

Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

As we willingly receive God’s Word and search for wisdom, one of the blessings which will be given to us is a development of understanding of the fear of the Lord. The primary source of wisdom is God Himself who is wisdom. I Corinthians 1:27-31 makes clear that all wisdom is found in Christ. The mention of wisdom coming out of His mouth refers to His inspired Word.

1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

The word translated as inspiration (yeopneustovtheopneustos) literally means ‘God breathed.’ When we speak, words are breathed out of our mouths. Inspiration therefore refers to God speaking. The inspired Word of God contains knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. The thought circles back to verse 1 wherein we are enjoined to receive His words and hide His commandments within us. The greater thought is that the wisdom of God comes from the Word of God. Two additional and major corollary thoughts are set forth.

First, the relationship between wisdom and righteousness is again established. These two qualities are closely related to the degree they are almost synonymous. Moreover, what is clear is that God gives sound wisdom to those who walk uprightly. Psalm 5:12 says that God will bless the righteous, one clear blessing noted here is the gift of wisdom. Second, when we order our lives by the principle of righteousness, a clear fringe benefit thereof is the addition of wisdom.

The word translated as buckler (Ngm maw-gane’) refers to a shield. What a wonderful truth. God Himself becomes a shield (i.e., protection) to those who live their lives uprightly. As we order our lives by the Word of God, we will of necessity develop upright living. And, as we do, God will protect the upright and also give wisdom as a fringe benefit. It all begins with the premise in verses 1, 3, and 4 of receiving God’s Word and searching for godly wisdom contained in His Word. See also Psalm 5:12 and 84:11.

Psa 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Pro 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

From the several ifs (earlier in the chapter) summarizing the basic premise of the chapter comes the second “then”. “Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” When we willingly receive God’s words and diligently seek for wisdom, then we will come to understand a number of crucial issues of life: (1) righteousness, (2) judgment, (3) equity, and (4) every good way.

As is often the case throughout Psalms and Proverbs, righteousness and judgment are found together. Righteousness refers to the principle whereas judgment refers to the product. The thought of the latter (judgment) is of making right decisions. Thus, right decisions follow from the prior cultivation of the principle of righteous. The word translated as equity (rvym meyshar) has the sense of being ‘fair’ in one’s dealings.

The reception of God’s Word and the procural of godly wisdom will result in just and fair dealings with others. Moreover, the absorption of God’s Word and the development of godly wisdom will lead to understanding every good way in life. In short, as God’s people receive the Word of God and develop godly wisdom, they will have the insight to make right decisions in life. They will be just in dealing with others. And, they will have understanding of the issues of life.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!

II. The Value of Wisdom

Pro 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

Pro 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Another sequence of godly logic is set forth from here to the end of the chapter. The thought builds upon the foundation laid in the previous nine verses. When wisdom has been absorbed in our hearts as described above and when godly knowledge is sweet in our soul, then . . .. (Though the word then is not found in the next verse, the concept is clearly implied.) When godly wisdom and knowledge have been absorbed, then “discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.”

Discretion is an outworking of wisdom. It is very similar in principle to the thought of judgment as noted in verse 9. Discretion is having right discernment which leads to right decisions. The thought is how discretion (which derives from godly wisdom) will guard and protect us from the pitfalls of life. Several specific pitfalls are noted below.

Pro 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

Pro 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

Pro 2:14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

Pro 2:15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

The logic developed above continues. When we absorb the Word of God and search out after godly wisdom, the wise discretion which results will direct us away from the paths of evil men. Implicit is the principle of separation. Truly,” blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).

When God’s Word saturates our heart, producing godly wisdom, it will give us the good sense to avoid the haunts of the ungodly. It will make us uncomfortable in their places of entertainment and in their circles.

The character of the world’s crowd is further described. Though Solomon wrote about 3,000 years ago, the principles have not changed at all. The ungodly are those who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness. Notice how evil men are described as departing from uprightness. As simple as it may sound, evil is the departure from doing what is right. Moreover, evil and ungodly men are connected with darkness.

Darkness is the realm of evil whether spiritually, morally, criminally or in any other way. Jesus said that “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). Sin of most varieties is most frequently practiced under the cover of darkness. Godly wisdom will prevent and protect a man from such sin. The absorption of God’s Word and of godly wisdom will protect a godly man from evil men who also “rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths”.

Evil and ungodly men are further described. The world’s crowd laughs about their sin and takes pleasure in the perversity of other wicked men. They are crooked in their dealings and devious in their ways. The word translated as froward {zwl luwz} in this context has the sense of being ‘devious’ or ‘perverse. The greater point is that godly wisdom as described above will protect a wise person from the pitfalls of getting hooked up with criminal and corrupt characters.

Pro 2:16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

Pro 2:17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

Pro 2:18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

Pro 2:19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

Godly wisdom derived from the absorption of God’s Word, as described above, will protect the godly man from evil men. Recall this chapter is being directed to Solomon’s son and by extension to all sons of God. The same godly wisdom described above will protect a young man from immoral women. The genders are reflexive. That is, the same is true for a godly young woman. Godly wisdom will keep her from immoral men.

Throughout the Scriptures, a strange woman refers to a woman of loose morals. She is one who is willing to engage in either pre-marital or extra-marital sexual relationships—and the world is full of such today. In Proverbs 22:14 and 23:7, a strange woman is likened unto a pit or a trap, difficult to extract oneself. Such immoral females have no scruples about enticing or seducing by what they say or what they wear.

Females of loose and easy virtue often have turned their backs upon the moral training they received from their parents. (In other cases they received no moral training at all.) In any event, immoral females have forgotten the basic moral covenant of God to reserve themselves exclusively for a husband.

There is something spiritually debilitating about sexual immorality. Those who give themselves thereto are headed down the path of spiritual death. In some cases, infidelity or promiscuity leads to physical death as enraged husbands or lovers murder those involved with their wife or lover.

However, the greater thought here refers to spiritual deadening. The prophet Hosea wrote, “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart” (Hosea 4:11). The thought is how that sexual immorality utterly deadens one to the things of God.

Those who are committing fornication or adultery are not interested in the things of God. Homosexuals often are totally rebellious against anything pertaining to God. Sexual sin prevents one from taking hold of the paths of true spiritual life.k. The indulgence of the flesh supercedes and blinds spiritual interest. Not surprisingly, the devil continually promotes immodesty, intoxication, sensuous music, and promiscuity—all of which lead to sexual immorality. He knows that immorality deadens men and women to the things of God.

The collective thought of this chapter to this point is how that the absorption of the Word of God and the gaining of godly wisdom will protect one from both crooked and immoral individuals. Both will lead to spiritual imprisonment and endless troubles in life.

Pro 2:20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

Pro 2:21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

Pro 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

This forceful chapter comes to its logical and spiritual conclusion. When God’s people so absorb the Word of God and search for godly wisdom, it will keep us from all manner of evil in life “so that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.” Godly wisdom which derives from the Word of God will lead one to the paths of good men and of righteousness.

Godly wisdom will lead us to godly people and godly paths. It will direct us to the place of God’s blessing. It will be helpful to recall that Solomon wrote from a Hebrew perspective. God had given the land (Urah ha-eretz) to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons. The land of Israel was the place God had promised to Israel. It was a blessing and their home. Solomon’s point here is that those who walked uprightly before God would remain in peace and tranquility in the land God had promised them.

The thought inherent in the word translated as perfect (Mymt tamiym) is of whole-hearted dedication. In contrast is the promise of God found in Deuteronomy 28 and elsewhere that disobedience and sin on the part of Israel would ultimately conclude in them being forced out of their land. The hindsight of history has demonstrated that that is exactly what God did to Israel after centuries of rebellion and disobedience against Him. Implicit also is the prospect of the resurrection of the godly Israelite in which they would be raised in that day to again live in the land promised to Abraham.

Solomon’s advice was essentially that godly wisdom derived from the Word of God resulting in righteous and dedicated living would bring the blessing of God upon them. The word translated as the earth (Urah ha-eretz) is the same as translated as “the land” in the preceding verse. (The word can mean both.) It very well may be that Solomon was warning that those who disregarded God’s Word would eventually be uprooted out of their land. That certainly happened several hundred years later.

In its greater sense, all wicked will eventually be cut off from the earth in death and will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. In that day, all unsaved men will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. Also implicit is that ungodly Jews would not be resurrected to live in the land but would be forever uprooted out of it. The greater point of Proverbs 2 is that the Word of God will bring godly wisdom which will bring wise guidance and blessing both now and forever. To the contrary, a lack of godly wisdom will bring nothing but trouble.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.



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