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Proverbs 4:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But the path of the just - The path of the wicked is gloomy, dark, and dangerous; that of the righteous is open, luminous, and instructive. This verse contains a fine metaphor; it refers to the sun rising above the horizon, and the increasing twilight, till his beams shine full upon the earth. The original, היום נכון עד ואור הולך holech vaor ad nechon haiyom, may be translated, "going and illuminating unto the prepared day." This seems plainly to refer to the progress of the rising sun while below the horizon; and the gradual increase of the light occasioned by the reflection of his rays by means of the atmosphere, till at last he is completely elevated above the horizon, and then the prepared day has fully taken place, the sun having risen at the determined time. So, the truly wise man is but in his twilight here below; but he is in a state of glorious preparation for the realms of everlasting light; till at last, emerging from darkness and the shadows of death, he is ushered into the full blaze of endless felicity. Yet previously to his enjoyment of this glory, which is prepared for him, he is going - walking in the commandments of his God blameless; and illuminating - reflecting the light of the salvation which he has received on all those who form the circle of his acquaintance.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 4-20

The counsel which has come to him, in substance, from his father. Compare it with 2 Samuel 23:2 etc.; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Chronicles 29:17; Psalm 15:1-5; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 4:7

Or, “The beginning of wisdom is - get wisdom.” To seek is to find, to desire is to obtain.

Proverbs 4:12

The ever-recurring parable of the journey of life. In the way of wisdom the path is clear and open, obstacles disappear; in the quickest activity (“when thou runnest”) there is no risk of falling.

Proverbs 4:13

She is thy life - Another parallel between personified Wisdom in this book and the Incarnate Wisdom in John 1:4.

Proverbs 4:16

A fearful stage of debasement. Sin is the condition without which there can be no repose.

Proverbs 4:17

i. e., Bread and wine gained by unjust deeds. Compare Amos 2:8. A less probable interpretation is, “They eat wickedness as bread, and drink violence as wine.” Compare Job 15:16; Job 34:7.

Proverbs 4:18

Shining … shineth - The two Hebrew words are different; the first having the sense of bright or clear. The beauty of a cloudless sunshine growing on, shining as it goes, to the full and perfect day, is chosen as the fittest figure of the ever increasing brightness of the good man‘s life. Compare the marginal reference.

Proverbs 4:19

Compare our Lord‘s teaching John 11:10; John 12:35.

Proverbs 4:20

The teacher speaks again in his own person.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.
Ellen G. White
Messages to Young People, 15

I have a deep interest in the youth, and I greatly desire to see them striving to perfect Christian characters, seeking by diligent study and earnest prayer to gain the training essential for acceptable service in the cause of God. I long to see them helping one another to reach a higher plane of Christian experience. MYP 15.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 476

Paul in his letter to the Colossians sets forth the rich blessings granted to the children of God. He says: We “do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:9-11. GC 476.1

Again he writes of his desire that the brethren at Ephesus might come to understand the height of the Christian's privilege. He opens before them, in the most comprehensive language, the marvelous power and knowledge that they might possess as sons and daughters of the Most High. It was theirs “to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,” to be “rooted and grounded in love,” to “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” But the prayer of the apostle reaches the climax of privilege when he prays that “ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19. GC 476.2

Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32. The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness. Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13. “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 14:14: 16:24. GC 477.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 228

If you, my dear brother, are saved, it will indeed be a miracle of mercy. The love of the world is increasing upon you. Carefully consider the words of Christ: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” My brother, you have obeyed neither the first nor the second of these commandments. You would not hesitate to reach out and advantage yourself, although you knew it would greatly disadvantage your neighbor. You look to your own selfish interest, and say: “Am I my brother's keeper?” 2T 228.1

You are not laying up treasure in heaven and becoming rich toward God. Self and selfish interests are eating out true godliness from your soul. You are bowing to the god of this world. Your heart is alienated from God. An inspired writer says: “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” The steps of a Christian may at times appear feeble and faltering, yet in his conscious weakness he leans upon the Mighty One for support. He is sustained, and makes sure progress onward and upward toward perfection. He gains new victories daily, and comes nearer and nearer to the standard of perfect holiness. His eye is not downward to the earth, but upward, ever keeping in view the heavenly Pattern. 2T 228.2

Brother D, the glitter and tinsel of the corruptible things of earth have eclipsed the charms of heaven, and made eternal life of but little value to you. As a servant of Christ, I entreat you to awake that you may see yourself as you are. The profits you will obtain in the course you are now pursuing will be eternal loss. You will find at last that you have made a terrible mistake which can never be remedied. 2T 228.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 247

St. Helena, California,

April 21, 1903

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