Proverbs 2:13

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

The way of evil men forsakes or abandons the good and right path. Uprightness describes a straight and plain way. This verse shows that evil men prefer another way. They leave the good path “to walk in ways of darkness.” Darkness is often a figure for moral evil, ignorance, misery, oppression, and the like. Here it comprehends all of these. The way of darkness is a way apart from the light of wisdom. Walking speaks of a continued action, i.e. a habit. That is the bent and tendency of evil men and why they speak perverse things. Again, wisdom works in us to preserve and keep us from such error.

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Proverbs 2:12

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

Verses 12-15 provide example of the danger wisdom protects us from. The evil man is a calamitous man who brings pain and unhappiness to others. He has a way, or a course of life, and that way brings harm to others. The second clause explains how the evil man hurts others. He speaks forward things. Froward things are perverse things or things that are contrary to right and good things. His way and speech are bent away from wisdom and so he harms those who hear him. However when wisdom enters into our hearts, we are preserved and kept by it from such danger.

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Proverbs 2:11

Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
– Proverbs 2:11

Verse 10 describes the pre-condition for verse 11. The condition is met when wisdom has entered and shaped our way of thinking. Wisdom is not a checklist or flowchart for decision making. Wisdom is a way of life, a way of thought, and a way of viewing the world around us. When wisdom has so entered into our hearts and minds, the consequence is a manifested discretion and understanding. The word for discretion means purpose. It has the thought of moving in a direction deliberately. The word for understanding means reason. When we have wisdom, we have a purpose in life that we are not easily moved from. When we have wisdom, we are able to reason out what we encounter to discern if it is good or bad.

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Proverbs 2:10

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

Verses 10 and 11 give insight into how wisdom works. Wisdom gets into our hearts and minds and knowledge is pleasing or attractive to us. We come to delight in it. The more wisdom we obtain, the more we seek. Wisdom is the means of guidance that so many profess to want but few truly seek for.

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Proverbs 2:9

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

Here is the second consequence of the pursuit of wisdom. These verses should disabuse us of any notion of shortcuts to wisdom. If we do seek and search, then God gives us wisdom and we come to understand integrity, justice, and fairness. Through wisdom we are able to discern these rightly. Path is a track and refers to way one’s going in life. Here it is understanding every good way.

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Proverbs 2:8

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

To keep is to guard and to preserve is hedge about as with thorns. Paths and way both point to a road, or a way of travel. Not only does God give wisdom, but he keeps the way as well as those who walk in therein. Wisdom is not only thoughts about life, but the way of life. Solomon further emphasizes that wisdom is the way of life by speaking of the way “of his saints.”

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Proverbs 2:7

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

God is both the source and the guarantor of wisdom. He lays it up, stores it up so there is always wisdom in abundance. He is a shield. Wisdom is a shield to the upright. Verses 7-9 make it plain there is no acquiring of wisdom apart from walking uprightly. Divine wisdom is no intellectual trinket to be played with and looked at. Wisdom is sound instruction in the way of life.

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Proverbs 2:6

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

The strenuous effort described in the opening verses of chapter 2 does not do away with the divine source of wisdom. Solomon never teaches us that we can obtain wisdom by human effort, quite the reverse. God gives wisdom. Wisdom belongs to God and can only be given by him (1 Corinthians 2:14). But God does give wisdom to those who ask of him in faith (James 1:5-6). Those who seek, find (Luke 11:9-10). We all lack wisdom naturally but if we go on lacking wisdom it is probably because we have not asked (James 4:2).

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Proverbs 2:5

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

Verse 5 is the first consequence of the conditions in the previous four verses. So if we receive, hide, incline, apply, cry after, lift up the voice for, seek, and search, then we will understand or perceive or grasp the fear of the Lord and obtain the knowledge of God. The fear of the Lord is not only the beginning of wisdom; it is also the end of it. This verse specifically separates Proverbs from the realm of advice because it reveals the obtaining of wisdom is to know God. The Proverbs is a deadly serious book. It is a matter of life and death.

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