[Isaiah 33:6], But fools despise.] The fear of the Lord - In the preceding verses Solomon shows the advantage of acting according to the dictates of wisdom; in the following verses he shows the danger of acting contrary to them. 1. fear = reverence. The spirit of antagonism between the different denominations has despoiled those symbols which were before the common objects of a mutual reverence. A third way was through an encounter with the transcendent God. The fear of the finite in the presence of the Infinite, of the sinful in the presence of the Holy (compare Job 42:5-6), this for the Israelite was the starting-point of all true wisdom. Psalms 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"). [Jeremiah 8:9]. The prophet calls the fear of God "our treasure." 1. Fools (’evîlîm).—Self-willed, headstrong persons, who will listen to no advice. 1. (Calmet) --- It implies a desire to act, and not simply to understand. fools — the stupid and indifferent to God‘s character and government; hence the wicked. c. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way: The consequences of rejecting wisdom cannot be avoided. Because knowledge, as the mere accumulation of facts, is in-operative upon life. Proverbs 1:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Proverbs 1:7, NIV: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." These merchants found goodly pearls, but "the pearl of price" [Matthew 13:45-46] they failed of. [Note: James L. Crenshaw, "The Acquisition of Knowledge in Israelite Wisdom Literature," Word & World7:3 (Summer1986):247-52.]. Proverbs Bible Study Courses Section 1 (See under Proverbs 1:2.) The fear of the Lord; reverence and obedience to God, or his worship and service, as this word is commonly used. Job 28:28, which was before Solomon's eye in this verse). (cf. The fear of the Lord is an abiding and reverent sense of the presence of God and of accountableness to Him: For this to exist God must be that real, personal Being which we have every reason to believe God has revealed Himself to be: such in character, as to love, holiness, and justice, as He has declared Himself in His Word. (7) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.—The first discourse is prefaced by a distich, which serves as a key-note to all the teaching of the book. Despise wisdom and instruction; are so far from attaining true wisdom, that they despise it, and all the means of getting it; which fully proves what he now said, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fool begins his thinking with thoughts of other fools, the believer with the words of God. It is the beginning of it. James 1:5.). But what does it mean to “fear” the LORD? 5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. (Homilist. And when this reverence has found its place in our hearts, it is to be the fountain of all our life; of our reason, and we are not to be afraid of being too rational; of our commercial industries, and we are not to be afraid of being too industrious; of our humour, and we are not to be afraid of a good hearty laugh; reverence in all our life. "Knowledge" is a relationship that depends on revelation and is inseparable from character. Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33; Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13). However, the wisdom literature outside Israel did not contain advice to look to a personal relationship with a god as essential to obtaining wisdom. Login or Create an Account. The fear of the Lord is not a barren fact, like the shape of the earth or the course of the seasons; it is a living, springing, transmuting affection, capable of enduing even ordinary facts with power to cheer and to bless, and to bear fruit in men's hearts and lives. 7. Though the word is “fear,” it does not exclude a filial confidence and a conscious peace. (Comp. That is to say, the fear of the Lord is the starting point as well as the chief part of true knowledge. 2. — JEHOVAH — is the name commonly applied to the Divine Being, , ELOHIM — God. Proverbs 17:7, Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 30:22; not in Ecclesiastes. Many things which of olden time men superstitiously feared they fear no longer. As in the end he makes it the end of all, [Ecclesiastes 12:13] yea, the all of man, (b) without which he counts him not a complete man, though never so wise to the world ward. There is no motive to mental effort and high intellectual cultivation so powerful as that which true religion affords. See App-75. It is a history or a parable of the most instructive kind. (Prov. To be habitually conversant in the exercises of piety is an instance of the truest and most considerate wisdom, because it is the most effectual means to promote our happiness and well-being in this life. Proverbs 8:1-7. It is the spirit that leads one to say, “I am the greatest and the best.” There are many conditions in our life which tend to produce the spirit of self-conceit and tend to counteract the spirit of reverence. It is a desire not to sin against Him because His wrath is so awful and His love is so awesome. It is only where this knowledge of God exists that man can rise to his true dignity as a rational, moral, and religious being. The man who has a just conception of God and his relations to him can think of nothing that is not somehow related to this great theme, either as being in accordance with God’s will or contrary to that will — as being forbidden or allowed. “Knowledge” and “wisdom” are in effect synonymous--the best knowledge wisely used for the highest ends. Other ancient Near Eastern countries produced wisdom literature in addition to what we have in our Old Testament. Solomon begins his lessons on true wisdom by laying down the first principle and basis of it, which is "the fear of the Lord." 1. Human understanding is wisdom, the light and law of nature, the powers and faculties of reason, and the office of conscience, Job. The love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit produces the deepest religious reverence, genuine piety, and cheerful obedience. CHAPTER 7. "Beginning" does not mean that the fear of the Lord is where one starts learning Wisdom of Solomon, but then he or she can move away from it as from the starting line in a race. This sentence is frequent in the Scriptures; and St. Augustin in Ep. Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (a) First Discourse:—Against Companionship in Robbery (Proverbs 1:7-19). This also is Heidenheim's view.). Deuteronomy 28) But when the lesson had been learnt, and when mankind had found by experience that they were unable to keep the law of God by their own strength, then the new covenant of mercy was revealed from Calvary, even free justification “by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The ablest scholars are not agreed on such questions as who wrote these various books, at what dates, for what purpose, and with what immediate intent. We cannot cure that irreverence towards leaders and politicians by pretending respect for a man whom we do not respect, who has won his way to office by dishonourable and disreputable methods. When one highly commended the Cardinal Julian to Sigismund, he answered, Tamen Romanus est; yet he is a popeling. ., pp28-31.] “The love of Christ constraineth us,” says St. Paul. ), Filial love stands near and leans on godliness. A third and no less powerful reason is this: knowledge, understood as the mere accumulation of facts, is inoperative upon life. This sense is adopted in the... (3) As the principium (Vulgate); i.e. And, leaving in the past that reverence which was fragmentary, broken, and largely idolatrous, we are to press forward to a grander, broader, nobler, diviner reverence in the future. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The excellency of it is so great, that it would allure men to look after it, had they spiritual eyes to see it. (Note: Malbim's explanation is singular: the sceptics, from אוּלי, perhaps! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. here, Proverbs 7:22; Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 10:10, Proverbs 10:14, Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 11:29; Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 12:16; Proverbs 14:3, Proverbs 14:9; Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 16:22; Proverbs 17:28; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 24:7; Proverbs 27:3, Proverbs 27:22; Proverbs 29:9. The “fear of the Lord” is the foundation, “knowledge” is the imposed superstructure. The Septuagint adds to the first clause of this verse, as if exegetically, “And there is good understanding to all that practise it; and piety toward God is the beginning of discernment.”. We find it difficult, many of us, to have any reverence for the events that are taking place in America, and the leaders who are participating in them. Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." (a) First Discourse:—Against Companionship in Robbery (Proverbs 1:7-19). Compare on latter clause 1 Kings 12:13; 1 Samuel 2:12-25; Acts 17:18. The Congregationalist has sneered at the ritual of the Episcopalian, and the Episcopalian has shrugged his shoulders over the non-ritual of the Congregationalist. We are all on the same level. Fools; so are all such as fear not God, "being abominable, disobedient, and to every good work reprobate," or injudicious. Wisdom and instruction — , (musar,) restraint, discipline. v2 My … It means this: God has launched truth without a sponsor into the world, and left the truth to bear witness to itself. It is an affectionate reverence that results in humbly bowing to the Father"s will. Pr 7:1-27. (But) fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Comp. It is not "wisdom" itself. All wisdom which is not founded in religion, in the fear of God, is vain: piety, religion, the fear of God, are here synonimous. Beginning — The foundation without which all other knowledge is vain. Men had to be taught how hateful sin was to God, and the lesson was for the most part instilled into them by the fear of immediate punishment. Occurs forty-nine times in Proverbs, viz. I. Religiousness, or a reverent fear of God, is the best wisdom. Many a youth “living after the flesh,” caring only for the things of the flesh, having no relish for other than sensual pleasures, neglects and rejects opportunities of mental improvement; but let him come under the dominion of religious feeling and principle — let him attain to the fear of God, or, as Christianity has taught us to say, the love of God — and his soul is immediately athirst for all useful knowledge. I am aware of a formatting issue in the NIV '84 edition. 2. 2.—FIFTEEN DIDACTIC POEMS, OR DISCOURSES ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS (Proverbs 1:7 to Proverbs 9:18). Proverbs 15:33), Job 28:28, and in Psalm 111:10 (whence the lxx has interpolated here two lines). Micah 1:13 with Job 19:28). Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Heathen sages, as Seneca, Socrates, &c., were wise in their generation, and had many excellent gifts, but they missed of the main; there was no fear of God before their eyes: being herein as alchemists, who miss of their end, but yet find many excellent things by the way. Psalms 111:10. fools. The fear of the Lord signifies that religious reverence which every intelligent being owes to his Creator; and is often used to express the whole of religion, as we have frequently had occasion to remark in different places. In Psalm 111:10 it comes as the choral close of a temple hymn. 1:7) This verse is the foundational principle of the entire Book of Proverbs. That is to say, the fear of the Lord is the starting point as well as the chief part of true knowledge. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. “The fear of God is the fountain of life.” I think it is Goethe who has drawn the distinction between fear and reverence. This expression occurs fourteen times in Proverbs (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:29; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 14:26, Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 15:16, Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 16:6; Proverbs 19:23; Proverbs 22:4; Proverbs 23:17). ראשׁית combines in itself, as ἀρχή, the ideas of initium (accordingly J. H. Michaelis: initium cognitionis, a quo quisquis recte philosophari cupit auspicium facere debet) and principium, i.e., the basis, thus the root (cf. But we have no such cathedrals. Unless He be known first and known throughout, knowledge will abide alone in the head, and will not find a way to the heart: man will know, but will not grow by it; will know, but will not act upon it; will know for narrow, and low, and selfish purposes, but never for blessing to himself or to others, never for the great ends of his being and never for glory to his God. Finally, our democratic theology has tended against the old spirit of reverence. If you would be worth anything to society, worth anything to your own families, worth anything to yourselves, the fear of God must come first in your thoughts and lives. IV. An impression of goodness lies at the foundation of reverence, and hence, too, gratitude, love, adoration enter into this reverence. And did not choose the fear of the Lord: Since this fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7, Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10, and Ecclesiastes 12:13), to reject this respect of God is to reject wisdom. There is no study so high, so noble, so grand, so wholesome, so beneficent, as this. The fear of the Lord (is) the beginning of knowledge - the grand summary of the whole book (cf. How is the “fear of the Lord” the beginning of knowledge? BOOK: (What does the Bible say?) Some translate it, the principal point of wisdom is the fear of God: Piety, virtue, true wisdom, is principally founded upon the fear of the Lord: but the former sense is more clear and natural. The knowledge of God is the root of knowledge. We account so in outward things. Proverbs 1:7 Bible Study Resources. It implies a knowledge of the true God, of his existence, attributes, and works, and also of his relations to us as far as these several things were revealed in that day. (Proverbs 1:7) As we approach “the School of Solomon,” we find this motto prominently inscribed above the entryway: THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE. The fear of Jahve is the beginning of knowledge; Wisdom and discipline is despised by fools. By "the fear of the Lord" is not meant a servile fear, a fear of punishment, of hell, wrath, and damnation, which is the effect of the first work of the law upon the conscience; but a filial fear, and supposes knowledge of God as a father, of his love and grace in Christ, particularly of his forgiving love, from whence it arises, Psalm 130:4; it is a holy, humble, fiducial fear of God; a reverential affection for him, and devotion to him; it includes the whole of religious worship, both internal and external; all that is contained in the first table of the law, and the manner of performing it, and principle of acting: this is the first of all sciences to be learned, and it is the principal one; it is the basis and foundation of all the rest, on which they depend; and it is the head, the fountain, the root an source, from whence they spring; and unless a man knows God, knows God in Christ, and worships him in his fear, in spirit and in truth, according to his revealed will, he knows nothing as he ought to know; and all his knowledge will be of no avail and profit to him; this is the first and chief thing in spiritual and evangelical knowledge, and without which all natural knowledge will signify nothing; see Job 28:28; but fools despise wisdom and instruction; the same with "knowledge" before; they do not desire the knowledge of God, and of his ways and worship, but despise it, make no account of it, but treat it with contempt; especially the knowledge of God in Christ, in which lies the highest wisdom, for this is "life eternal", John 17:3; they despise Christ "the Wisdom of God", and the Gospel, and the truths of it, which are "the hidden wisdom" of God; and all "instruction" into it, and the means of it; they despise the Scriptures, which are able to make a man "wise unto salvation"; and the ministry of the word, and the ministers of it: such sort of "discipline"F14מוסר "disciplinam", Tigurine version, Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens, was this, as the word signifies, they dislike and abhor; and especially "correction" or "chastisement"F15"Castigationem, correctionem", Vatablus. Neglect of the means of grace is a real slighting of wisdom. In truth there is very little foundation for it. But this and not love is the “beginning of wisdom.” Through successive stages and by the discipline of life, love blends with it and makes it perfect. The great majority of the books are anonymous; the great majority of them are without definite and positive date. 2. Schultens rightly compares παχεῖς, crassi pro stupidis. That law which was given amid “blackness, and darkness, and tempest” was enforced by the threat, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). The sum and subject of the first nine chapters is primarily the fear of the Lord the true knowledge; and secondarily, wisdom and instruction - i:e., disciplining the life in consonance with the fear of the Lord, from which these two spring. Proverbs 1:7. It is next to reverence for God. 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