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Geneva Study Notes
Proverbs Chapter 1

Proverbs 1:1
1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

 The Argument - The wonderful love of God toward his Church is
    declared in this book: for as much as the sum and effect of
    the whole Scriptures is here set forth in these brief
    sentences, which partly contain doctrine, and partly
    manners, and also exhortations to both: of which the first
    nine Chapters are as a preface full of grave sentences and
    deep mysteries, to assure the hearts of men to the diligent
    reading of the parables that follow: which are left as a
    precious jewel to the Church, of those three thousand
    parables mentioned in 1 Kings 4:32 and were gathered and
    committed to writing by Solomon's servants and incited by

Proverbs 1:2
1:2 To know wisdom {a} and instruction; to perceive the words
    {b} of understanding;

    (a) That is, what we ought to know and follow, and what we
        ought to refuse.
    (b) Meaning, the word of God in which is the only true

Proverbs 1:3
1:3 To receive the {c} instruction of wisdom, {d} justice, and
    judgment, and equity;

    (c) To learn to submit ourselves to the correction of those
        who are wise.
    (d) By living justly and rendering to every man that which
        belongs to him.

Proverbs 1:4
1:4 To give subtilty to the {e} simple, to the young man
    knowledge and discretion.

    (e) To such as have no discretion to rule themselves.

Proverbs 1:5
1:5 A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a
    man of {f} understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

    (f) As he shows that these parables containing the effect of
        religion concerning manners and doctrine, belong to the
        simple people: so he declares that the same is also
        necessary for them who are wise and learned.

Proverbs 1:8
1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy {g} father, and forsake
    not the law of thy {h} mother:

    (g) He speaks this in the Name of God, who is the universal
        Father of all creatures, or in the name of the pastor of
        the Church, who is as a father.
    (h) That is, of the Church, in which the faithful are
        begotten by the incorruptible seed of God's word.

Proverbs 1:10
1:10 My son, {i} if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

     (i) That is, the wicked who do not have the fear of God.

Proverbs 1:11
1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for {k} blood,
     let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

     (k) He speaks not only of the shedding of blood with hand,
         but of all crafty practises which tend to the detriment
         of our neighbour.

Proverbs 1:12
1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the {l} grave; and whole,
     as those that go down into the pit:

     (l) As the grave is never satisfied, so the malice of the
         wicked and their cruelty has no end.

Proverbs 1:14
1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one {m} purse:

     (m) He shows how the wicked are allured to join together,
         because they have everyone part of the spoil of the

Proverbs 1:15
1:15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy
     foot from their {n} path:

     (n) That is, have nothing at all to do with them.

Proverbs 1:18
1:18 And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily
     for {o} their [own] lives.

     (o) He shows that there is no reason to move these wicked
         to spoil the innocent, aside from their malice and

Proverbs 1:19
1:19 So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain;
     [which] taketh away {p} the life of the owners thereof.

     (p) By which he concludes that the covetous man is a

Proverbs 1:20
1:20 {q} Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the
     {r} streets:

     (q) This wisdom is the eternal word of God.
     (r) So that no one can pretend ignorance.

Proverbs 1:22
1:22 How long, ye {s} simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and
     the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate

     (s) Wisdom reproves three kinds of men, the foolish or
         simple who err out of ignorance, the mockers who cannot
         stand to be taught, and the fools who are drowned in
         worldly lusts and hate the knowledge of godliness.

Proverbs 1:26
1:26 I also will {t} laugh at your calamity; I will mock when
     your fear cometh;

     (t) This is spoken according to our capacity signifying
         that the wicked, who mock and jest at God's word, will
         have the just reward of their mocking.

Proverbs 1:27
1:27 When {u} your fear cometh as desolation, and your
     destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and
     anguish cometh upon you.

     (u) That is, your destruction, which you feared.

Proverbs 1:28
1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they
     shall seek me early, but they shall not {x} find me:

     (x) Because they sought not with an affection to God, but
         for ease of their own grief.

Proverbs 1:30
1:30 They would none of my counsel: they {y} despised all my

     (y) Showing that without faith and obedience, we cannot
         call on God correctly.

Proverbs 1:31
1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the {z} fruit of their own way,
     and be filled with their own devices.

     (z) They will feel what convenience their wicked life will
         give them.

Proverbs 1:32
1:32 For {a} the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and
     the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

     (a) That is, the prosperity and sensuality in which they

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