Proverbs Chapter 2 Advice for the Child of God

Jul 7th, 2009 | By | Category: Proverbs, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Proverbs Chapter 2 Advice for the Child of God

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

Chapter 2 is largely a repetition of the principles enunciated in Chapter 1. The first chapter begins with the call of God, which is available to all mankind through nature. “The heavens declare the glory of God” in international language (Psa. 19:1). No one has an excuse for not being aware of God’s existence because all nature speaks. The hand that made us is divine; the stars sing as they shine.

While the heavens are an international sign language, yet the Bible is not available to all people despite the good efforts of Bible societies. However, if one really wants to find God, the Word of God will come to him. God’s providence will see to it that the individual is led to the holy Scriptures.

When one desires “to know” more about the intelligent Creator revealed in nature, the next question is where “wisdom and instruction” can be found (Prov. 1:2). When one is truly searching for God that haply he may find Him, the next step is “to perceive the words of understanding” (Acts 17:27; Prov. 1:2), and those “words of understanding” are in the Bible. But this is only the beginning. The next step is “to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity” (Prov. 1:3). In other words, after perceiving that the Bible is the Word of God, one hearkens to it, submits to it—that is, one makes a consecration. Then Chapter 1 goes on to show the development of the Christian, the various steps that are to follow consecration. Chapter 2, on the other hand, starts with those who have already made a consecration. The consecrated are addressed as “my son” (or “my daughter”). Chapter 2 tells us that it is one thing to consecrate—to believe that there is a God and that the Bible is His Word—but more is required. One must “receive … [God’s] words” and “hide … [His] commandments” (Prov. 2:1).

What does it mean to “hide my commandments with thee”? To lay up, store up, or treasure God’s commandments—to examine them frequently.

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

“Hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom.” In the Hebrew, the second half of verse 2 reads: “and extend thine heart to understanding.” It is one thing to hearken (“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; … So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty”—Psa. 45:10,11), but there is more. Incline the ear to receive instruction, and extend the heart. The ear pertains to the head, whereas the heart is a deeper affection.

Comment: Inclining the ear unto wisdom gives the thought of intensity, intense interest. One listens intently in order to hear everything wisdom has to say.

Reply: Yes, it is as if a microphone is given to one testifying so that every word can be heard. When one inclines his ear, he wants to hear everything the Lord has to say.

Comment: Psalm 119:33–36 echoes the same sentiments: “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.”

Reply: Psalm 119 is the testimony of David himself; in it he lays bare his heart. If David was a man after God’s own heart, then we will be blessed in proportion as we hearken to these words.

Comment: Two sentences in the Expanded Comments are very good: “The Lord will bless every real truth-seeker. For such alone truth was written, to such alone it will be revealed.”

Reply: Yes, the Lord will bless those who truly hunger for knowledge of Him.

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

“Crying” and “lifting up the voice” suggest prayer, earnest prayer.

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

To seek wisdom “as silver” and to search for wisdom “as for hid treasures” would indicate perseverance, diligence, effort, work. If we are praying (even praying aloud) and asking the Lord for wisdom, we cannot then just sit back and wait and expect to find wisdom. The Lord is willing to give that understanding, but we must exert effort: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally [generously], and upbraideth not [one who makes such a request]; and it [wisdom] shall be given him” (James 1:5). When Daniel inquired for wisdom, he was called “greatly beloved” even though it was not time for the revealing of such truth.

Comment: Some will spend a lifetime searching for literal buried treasure, expending all of their money and energy.

(Matt. 13:44) “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Notice that when the man found the treasure, he hid it. When we find God’s commandments, we are to hide them in our hearts.

With the voice one cries to the Lord for understanding, and then, in harmony with that prayer, he searches. Silver is not found on the surface of the ground but through diligent effort. The person starts by looking for telltale signs and hearkening to reports of areas where silver has already been found. Then the digging begins and looking for a vein of silver. When a vein is found, the person follows it, continuing to dig and expending much effort. And so it is with us in our ongoing search for truth—we must search the Scriptures daily (not occasionally) as for “hid treasures.”

Another analogy is the search for sunken treasure. Some people research information on shipwrecks in which gold and silver were part of the cargo. They obtain a map and follow it diligently, plumbing the depths day after day in search of the treasure.

The start of Chapter 2 pertains to those who are already consecrated rather than, as in the beginning of Chapter 1, to the unconsecrated. For the consecrated, the search continues for deeper truths, for a closer walk with God. With diligence one must incline the ear, extend the heart, and search for wisdom as for hidden treasure. The reward will be deeper understanding, as expressed in verse 5.

Comment: We are told that the word of the Lord is like silver refined seven times. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psa. 12:6). Also, Psalm 66:10 says, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” Silver has a much higher melting temperature than gold. Hence it is more difficult to refine and purify.

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

To know God, we must daily apply ourselves to His Word and obey its precepts. If we diligently apply ourselves for years, then we shall “understand the fear of the LORD [Jehovah], and find the knowledge of God.” Even after we find the vein of silver, much work remains to be done. We should faithfully seek after wisdom, panting as a hart for water brooks to have daily sustenance and strengthening from God’s Word.

The problem with many Christians is that when they get a certain quantity of knowledge, they are satisfied. True, Jesus has satisfied, but that does not mean we can sit down and rest. We must FOLLOW him wherever he leads us.

Comment: Silver is used instead of gold because silver represents truth and because wisdom and truth are closely related.

Reply: Gold (the divine nature) is the goal! God promises we will obtain the prize of the high calling if we follow His instructions.

Notice that the word “treasures” is plural (verse 4). And so the Lord rewards those who diligently seek Him by providing nuggets of truth from time from time. Mountains of rock and debris must be searched in order to obtain a little gold, and doing this entails much sacrifice and effort.

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

The word “wisdom” (Hebrew chokmah) that is frequently used in the Book of Proverbs is a more comprehensive term. There are many facets of wisdom. God is the source of wisdom; it flows forth “out of His mouth” (ie, out of the Bible). All of our hopes are contained in the Holy Scriptures through Jesus.

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

God “layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous.” The word “wisdom” in this verse is not the same Hebrew word as in verse 6. “Sound wisdom” is practical wisdom. The thought in Hebrew is substantial wisdom, and that which is practical is substantial—there is a reality to it. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for” even in the present life because we get a down payment as we obey the Lord and His instruction in daily living (Heb. 11:1). God “is a buckler [a shield] to them that walk uprightly.”

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

This verse suggests that Chapter 2 is addressed to a consecrated class: “his saints.” Many consider the Book of Proverbs to be natural wisdom. It is natural wisdom—in fact, very profound natural wisdom—but we, as Christians, should read “my son” (Prov. 2:1) as an address to the consecrated.

God guards the “paths of judgment.” The “paths of judgment” would be providences and experiences—and sometimes chastenings. The Pastor said, “God’s providences met with obedience and trust constitute the means whereby we are progressively justified.” True, we are justified at consecration, but there are degrees of development of justification. The experiences that come on God’s people are tests. We are tested to see if we really love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Even if one fails in a test or experience, if that individual recognizes his deficiency and repents, asks for forgiveness, and tries to reform, that very failure can work for good. One should not become disheartened, for “a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Prov. 24:16).

Comment: “Keeping the paths of judgment” is a reminder of the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve were expelled, the Lord kept the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24). God protected or guarded the access way lest anyone enter the garden and partake of the tree of life.

Reply: Enoch and Elijah were subsequently put in the Garden of Eden. Spiritually speaking, we are in the Garden of Eden, feeding on the tree of life (the Cross and what it exemplifies).

God protects the “way of his saints.” In the book Pilgrim’s Progress, Pilgrim was trying to get to the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. En route he was presented with all kinds of temptations, seductions, and pitfalls. For example, chained lions along the path almost devoured him. Thus it takes faith to keep pressing on in the narrow way when the Adversary is roaring.

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

Verse 9 sums up verses 1–9. If one does all the things mentioned in verses 1–8, then he shall be victorious in understanding “ righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” “Righteousness, justice, and equity” remind us of the third step of wisdom in Proverbs 1:3, “To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity.” Our goal is to attain the wisdom, fear, and love of God. “Righteousness, and judgment, and equity” are basically the same word in Hebrew.

Proverbs 1:3 holds these out as a goal, hope, or promise in the quest for understanding God. Similarly, each of the messages to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation ends with a promise to be given to those who are faithful unto death.

We must exercise faith with works in the sense that faith without works is dead. Without works, faith is merely a superficial belief (James 2:17).

We must develop the understanding of “righteousness, and judgment, and equity” if we are to be the priests, kings, prophets (teachers), and judges of the next age. We practice in the present life. If faithful and diligent, we begin to “understand” righteousness, judgment, and equity.

The Book of Proverbs concentrates on the inner man, the heart condition. We are striving to have a heart and mind like God and Jesus. With every step of obedience comes a reward of knowledge. When the Israelites entered Canaan, the promise was that every step they took in faith and confidence in God would be rewarded. In other words, we are to lay hold of the promises and make progress.

Comment: Righteousness, judgment, and equity seem to be three aspects in understanding right and wrong. Having the wisdom to understand right and wrong helps us to know which path to take in our Christian walk.

“Righteousness” is understanding what justice is. “Judgment” is the next step: the carrying out or enactment of justice. There are different levels of development in judging a matter. For instance, consider the stages in a court trial. First, information is collected to bring out the facts and the background and to understand both sides. Next the information is weighed. The verdict follows, and then comes the sentence.

Certain observations are in order. If faithful in verses 1–9, we will get the rewards of paths of pleasantness both in the present life and in the next life. The end of the chapter (verses 12–22) tells why wisdom is important: to keep us from falling into the pit. A man and a woman are shown, as follows:

1. The man is trying to deceive by doctrine and lead others astray from the right path (verses 12 and 13). True wisdom is needed lest we be deceived by wrong doctrine out of the mouths of consecrated teachers, leaders, and friends, whose teachings lead to forsaking the way of sacrifice and going off in other directions. We must have wisdom and understanding, with obedience, in order to detect and avoid the pitfall of erroneous doctrine.

2. The woman pertains to morals, enticement along fleshly lines. Earlier in the Harvest period, there was a wholesomeness in society, generally speaking. Even those in the world were ashamed to do certain things. At that time some of the brethren said: “Adultery and sexual sins of the flesh will never be a problem for the Christian because they are so obviously wrong. There is no danger of the Christian falling along these lines.” But the attraction of the flesh has always been a temptation; it has been a tool of Satan all down through history. Many have forsaken their consecrations because of the pleasures of the flesh. We must perceive and shun such temptations and seductions as far as possible. On a higher level, the woman pictures the false Church.

Thus the man is a teacher of doctrine, but the woman is seductive in two ways: (1) according to the natural flesh and (2) through the teaching of the false Church. What is the attraction of the nominal Church? Companionship, fellowship, numbers, and convenient doctrines that make life not too hard. One can do what he wants and then

confess his sins to the priest; that is a form of deception or hypocrisy.

Comment: Papacy’s being pictured as a harlot fits well with the seductive woman here in Proverbs.

Comment: Verse 16 talks about how the woman entices. She “flattereth with her words.”

One example of “flattery” in the nominal Church is the teaching of eternal security: once in grace, always in grace. “Just believe in Jesus and be saved” is a form of flattery because it makes one a “Christian.”

Reply: Yes, “once saved, always saved” is a very dangerous teaching.

Notice that both the man and the woman forsook the way (Prov. 2:12,13,16,17). They were once in the way but subsequently forsook it. Hence the “woman” can be a consecrated sister who seduces.

The practical lesson of verses 1–9 is that as we lay up treasures in heaven day by day, as temptations come to the mind, decision-making is required: whether to obey or to disobey. As the treasures increase in heaven, the individual is not as apt to go astray because he is weighing the consequences: life, the high calling, to see God, to see Jesus, to reign with him. When doctrinal deceptions come, those who have been seeking for truth as for hid treasures will not succumb. The ways of truth are ways of pleasantness.

Chapter 1 laid out a broad spectrum or summary outline of the way of truth. Chapters 2–5 pick up threads of Chapter 1 and expand upon them. It is important to realize that Chapter 2 pertains to those who are already consecrated and the importance of making progress. No matter how long we have been consecrated, we should still be panting for truth as the hart pants for water brooks in the desert. We should so desire truth that if we do not have it, we miss it. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

Q: Several times it was stated that verse 9 is a summary statement. It begins with the words “Then shalt thou understand.” Verse 5 also starts with those words: “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Therefore, wouldn’t verse 5 also be a summary statement? And wouldn’t verse 5 tie in with verse 7 of the first chapter, which reads, “The fear of the LORD is the principal part of wisdom”?

Doesn’t the summary statement in verse 5 verify the statement in Chapter 1 that obtaining the knowledge or wisdom of God is a process?

A: Yes.

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

Verse 10 marks a break in thought. Verses 10–15 pertain to the evil man, and verses 16–19 tell of the strange woman.

Progression is shown. Wisdom has been entering into the heart for some time in a developmental manner and has now reached a stage in which it is pleasant to the soul and guards one from temptation (verse 11).

Prov. 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

When one has laid up or accumulated treasures in heaven for a while, as the scale tips more and more to heavenly things, the individual is aware that temptations of short term pleasure would adversely affect long-term benefits. The result is discretion to realize what would be sacrificed or lost by some foolish act, such as Esau selling his birthright for a mess of pottage. The laying up of wisdom helps one who is confronted with temptations to realize what would be lost by going off the beaten path.

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

Who is the “evil man”?

Comment: The NIV says, “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.” Wisdom delivers one from evil actions and evil words. Reply: In other words, wisdom delivers one from false doctrines, which are deceptive “words.”

Q: Could the “evil man” be oneself if we do not abide by the instruction we receive?

A: That option remains open, for “man” is a supplied word. Thus the evil could be that which is residual either in one’s own fallen nature or in someone else’s.

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

Notice that the evil one was previously consecrated: he has left “the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.” None are upright except the justified; only the consecrated can be spoken of as being just. Hence this wisdom is not just worldly wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs is much more than just shrewd advice given to people in general. This book is spiritual and it applies to the consecrated. Here is a consecrated individual who is not only being deceived himself but is an instrument of deception to others. Thus the unwary can be deceived by the doctrine and behavior of those who are not walking properly in the way of uprightness.

The King James Version gives the impression of a sudden, radical departure from the “paths of uprightness” into utter “darkness,” but that is not the thought. The departure would take place in a gradual manner but then manifest itself when it is openly expressed. The departure is preceded by a changing condition in the heart, mind, or will of the individual. In time the change becomes a more open manifestation that can be discerned by those who are obeying the path of wisdom, by those who have been instructed in the way of wisdom to discern the wrong. There is a split in the path: one is the way of uprightness and the other is the way of darkness. The departure can be slight at first, but it is a departure going in the way of darkness.

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

The thought is not that one says, “I delight to do evil; I know this is wrong, but I do not care,” for such a bold statement would not be a deception to others. There is a marked distinction between black and white, but a tint or shade of gray is more difficult to discern. Verse 14 indicates that the evil person, whoever he might be, is now more confirmed in his thinking. He thinks the evil is quite all right; the way seems more pleasurable and he is not ashamed.

Q: Would Lot’s wife be an example?

A: Her thinking led to an overt act of disobedience, but the tugging in her heart existed much earlier. When she was extricated from the city by the two angels, her heart was not fully in accord, as was subsequently manifested.

To “delight in the frowardness of the wicked” would fit the Scripture “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.” To “seem right” would mean that the wrong being committed is justified by the individual. It is a form of selfjustification. These verses are leading up to the manner in which temptation comes to a person.

Temptation starts with wrong thinking, for wrong that is harbored in the mind or heart increases the temptation. Resistance to wrongdoing becomes nil, and the temptation overcomes the individual.

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

The man here leads to the woman. As we continue and find out about the woman and then consider the man and the woman together, the particular problem of this chapter will become more meaningful.

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

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

What about the “strange woman?”

Comment: The NIV says in verse 16, “It will save you also from the adulteress.” Would this be from the aspect of the nominal system with the adulteress being Jezebel?

Reply: For other reasons not yet considered, the application here would be more a literal one. Years ago one of the brethren regularly preached the truth to prisoners. After a while he gained recognition as the chaplain. In time he was even given a clerical robe. He subsequently confessed to several brethren that there was a tug-of-war of desire for recognition and for wearing the garment, and he asked, “Is what I am doing proper?” The inappropriateness of what was happening was evident, for he was forsaking meetings and conventions for the more appealing “honorable” type of service. This case is an example of getting pleasure from a wrong with the result that the mind gets confused and begins to reason: “Maybe this type of service is not so bad. After all, I am doing a service for the Lord.” But the effect was harmful.

The effect of true wisdom will “deliver” the individual (the “my son” or “my daughter” class) from the way of the evil man and from the strange woman. One who has the guard or protection of sound wisdom, of understanding and discretion, will be safeguarded from the evil man and the strange woman. In addition, there is a relationship between the two.

The strange woman has forsaken “the guide of her youth.” Like the evil man, the strange woman is also a consecrated individual who has left the way.

The strange woman “flattereth with her words.” In her current condition, she is “strange,” but when she was formerly with the Lord, she was not strange. In other words, she has become estranged. She departed from the way of truth and took the strange or wrong path, forsaking “the guide of her youth” and forgetting “the covenant of her God.”

Verse 17a in the New International Version reads, “Who has left the partner of her youth,” giving the thought of her husband. The latter part of the verse shows her relationship with God: “and ignored the covenant she made before God.” The thought is that this pitfall is not for the single consecrated man or the single consecrated woman, but it affects married couples. In other words, marriage is a bona fide, God-recognized relationship that can be broken only in cases of adultery or fornication (a broader term including very serious abnormalities). Under such circumstances the guiltless spouse is free to seek a divorce.

Q: Can the husband be Christ, referring to the espousal of the consecrated to him? The individual may not be grossly sinning but simply forgets his or her consecration in the sense of living a worldly life.

A: More definition is needed, for sometimes one’s going back into the world is merely a perception and not a reality. Elsewhere the Scriptures do expound on the subject. In other words, probably more people who have consecrated go out of the truth and into Second Death because of adultery, the flesh, than for any other reason. The flesh is our worst problem, for we are in it at all times. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7).

We are born in sin and shaped in iniquity (Psa. 51:5). Our struggle against the flesh can be a mental, moral, and/or physical battle. He who rules his own spirit is better than a general who takes a city (Prov. 16:32). As one becomes more immersed into the thinking, mind, and Word of God, the better are his or her chances of becoming victorious. The Bible covers every phase of life.

Comment: In 1 Thessalonians 4:6, the Apostle Paul warns, “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.”

Comment: The defrauding would be not only in money matters but also along the lines of the flesh and adultery.

Comment: This chapter is a good contrast between the importance of an intellectual understanding of the Lord’s commandments regarding wisdom and the emotional pursuit of an adulterous woman.

Reply: When properly understood, wisdom is a development not only of the intellect but also of the emotions. We must have reverence for God and admire Him, His thinking, and His dealings with others and with us personally. Rather than just obey a commandment, His law should be written in our hearts so that besetments and deceptions become trivial when compared with our desire to serve and know Him more deeply.

Reading about the wicked one delighting in his own frowardness brings to mind the thought that one of the most deceptive subjects today is love. What is it to love the brethren? Jesus said to “Love one another,” but in what way? The Apostle John enunciated the principles of love in his epistles. Sometimes love properly  expresses itself in hatred—we are to hate the wrong yet guard against vindictiveness. The other extreme from vindictiveness is where love becomes liberality, which is a weakness. The proper course is a middle ground in between. We are to love righteousness and hate iniquity.

Jesus was rewarded because he achieved this dual development (Heb. 1:9). Unfortunately, one can feel fully comfortable in a misconception of the subject and a pursuing of the wrong path. We all need continual instruction and prayer that we have the correct perception on this subject and that we are not led astray by the ingenuousness of the mind, which can justify almost any course.

Comment: Ecclesiastes 7:25,26 reads, “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.”

Reply: Over long years of consecration, we have seen many go out of the truth. We are in a marathon race. Some who were exceptionally zealous in the beginning have burned out. They relied on their enthusiasm, efforts, drive, and joy but not on the Word of God.

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

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

The destiny of those who are so deceived is very unfavorable. The seventh chapter of Proverbs repeats the same story and tells that such a departure is the path to Second Death. This departure is on an individual or personal level. In one sense it has nothing to do with nominal Babylon, but in another sense it does. Therefore, both applications are helpful.

The nominal Church application will be considered. The danger of Second Death is for those who have left the nominal Church for present truth and then return to it with the doctrines of hellfire and the Trinity. After being in covenant relationship with God, such a course is very dangerous. But the literal application of an adulteress woman is equally important.

Her paths incline “unto death, and her paths unto the dead.” Rescue is still a possibility, but when one goes back into the system and begins to reside there, the path leads down and down to the pit of everlasting (Second) death, with rescue becoming more and more unlikely as time goes on. The longer the path is trod, the more the person is in the chains of everlasting darkness.

“None that go unto her return again.” In other words, the percentage of those who are rescued is very, very small. The longer one goes downward, the less are the chances of retrieval. Numerically speaking, it is a seemingly hopeless situation for those who do not wake up and take immediate action, asking for deliverance right away.

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

Verses 20 and 21 are the happy end or benefit of properly received wisdom: one is delivered from the evil man and the evil woman. The way of the evil man seems pleasant to him (verse 14), but true wisdom brings true pleasantness.

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

“The perfect” are the consecrated who maintain integrity of purpose. Our wills can be perfect but not our deeds; hence even those who faithfully keep on the right path need the robe of Christ’s righteousness. “The upright shall dwell in the [Beulah] land,” the land beyond Jordan, the Promised Land. “The perfect [those who are faithful unto death, those who have a maturity of character and thus do not leave the path of righteousness] shall remain in it [the heavenly land of promise].”

Comment: With the first seven chapters of Proverbs, the adulterous woman is mentioned four times (2:16–19; 5:3–14; 6:24–32; and 7:6–23).

Reply: Yes, the repetition shows the importance of the application as a warning to the consecrated.

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

God’s purpose regarding the Kingdom is to remove the incorrigible transgressors from the land of uprightness. In the Gospel Age, the same work is taking place among the currently consecrated.

The introduction of both the evil man and the evil woman keeps the discussion from being one-sided. If either a consecrated brother or a consecrated sister leaves the way of truth, he or she is not fit for the inheritance of the saints in light. The pitfall is a danger to both genders. Both can go astray and become estranged from their covenant relationship with the Lord.

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