Proverbs 4 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 4)

Verse 1

[1] Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

A father — Of me, who have paternal authority over you and affection for you.

Verse 3

[3] For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

Tender — Young and tender in years, and tenderly educated.

Only beloved — Beloved above all the rest.

Verse 4

[4] He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Said — The following verses, at least as far as the tenth verse, are the words of David.

Verse 7

[7] Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

With all — Even with the price of all.

Verse 8

[8] Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

Exalt — Let her have thine highest esteem and affection.

Verse 9

[9] She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Grace — A beautiful ornament, such as they used to put upon their heads.

Verse 16

[16] For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

For — They cannot sleep with quietness.

Verse 17

[17] For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

For — Wickedness is as pleasant to them as their bread.

Verse 18

[18] But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

But — Just men daily grow in knowledge, and grace, and consolation, 'till all be perfected and swallowed up in glory.

Verse 19

[19] The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Darkness — Full of ignorance and error, of uncertainty and confusion, of danger and misery.

Verse 23

[23] Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Heart — Thy thoughts, will, and affections.

For — From thence proceed all the actions, as of the natural, so of the spiritual life, which lead to eternal life.

Verse 24

[24] Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

Mouth — All sorts of sinful words.

Verse 25

[25] Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Right on — Direct all thine actions to a right end, and keep thy mind fixed upon that way which leads to it, and neither look or turn aside to the right-hand or the left.

Verse 26

[26] Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Ponder — Consider thine actions before thou dost them, and see that they agree with the rule.

And — Let thine actions be uniformly and constantly good in spite of all temptations.