Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Proverbs 22:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Bow down thine ear - From this to the end of Proverbs 22:21; are contained, not proverbs, but directions how to profit by that which wisdom has already delivered; the nature of the instruction, and the end for which it was given.

I shall give a paraphrase of this very important passage: -

    I. Solomon addresses his pupils on the use of his past teachings. See on Proverbs 22:6; (note).

  • The wise man speaks; and all his words, not merely his sentiments, are to be carefully heard.
  • He speaks knowledge - gives doctrines true in themselves, and confirmed by observation and experience.
  • These are to be heard with humility and deep attention: "Bow down thine ear."
  • 4. They must not only be heard, but meditated and pondered: "Apply thine heart to my knowledge."

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    This is the commencement of a new and entirely distinct section, opening, after the fashion of Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 4:1; Proverbs 7:1; with a general exhortation Proverbs 22:17-21 and passing on to special precepts. The “words of the wise” may be a title to the section: compare Proverbs 24:23. The general characteristics of this section appear to be

    (1) a less close attention to the laws of parallelism, and

    (2) a tendency to longer and more complicated sentences. Compare the Introduction to Proverbs.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him, is the foundation of all practical religion. The way to know the certainty of the word of truth, is to make conscience of our duty. 22,23. He that robs and oppresses the poor, does so at his peril. And if men will not appear for them, God will. 24,25. Our corrupt hearts have so much tinder in them, that it is dangerous to have to do with those that throw about the sparks of their passion. 26,27. Every man ought to be just to himself, and his family; those are not so, who, by folly or other carelessness, waste what they have. 28. We are taught not to trespass on another man's right. And it is hard to find a truly industrious man. Such a man will rise. Seest thou a man diligent in the business of religion? He is likely to excel. Let us then be diligent in God's work.
    Ellen G. White
    The Ministry of Healing, 447-8

    The widespread use of such books at this time is one of the cunning devices of Satan. He is seeking to divert the minds of old and young from the great work of character building. He means that our children and youth shall be swept away by the soul-destroying deceptions with which he is filling the world. Therefore he seeks to divert their minds from the word of God and thus prevent them from obtaining a knowledge of those truths that would be their safeguard. MH 447.1

    Never should books containing a perversion of truth be placed in the hands of children or youth. Let not our children, in the very process of obtaining an education, receive ideas that will prove to be seeds of sin. If those with mature minds had nothing to do with such books, they would themselves be far safer, and their example and influence on the right side would make it far less difficult to guard the youth from temptation. MH 447.2

    We have an abundance of that which is real, that which is divine. Those who thirst for knowledge need not go to polluted fountains. The Lord says: MH 447.3

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