On a deeper level, where a young one’s character is formed, children want to be told what they can and cannot do. They need guidance to help them adapt themselves to the world without becoming part of the world. Children need to look to their parents for this biblically guided direction throughout their childhood. If parents are inattentive, indifferent, or over-indulgent, is there any wonder that a child loses love and respect for them? How can a child continue to view the parents as a loving, kind, authority, who continually fails to offer biblically sound guidance, while continually giving them their way and conceding to the child? Young ones need a lot of parental guidance and love in their lives. However, some parents confuse permissiveness (allowing the child great or excessive freedom of behavior) with love. Rather, they need to supply them with sturdy discipline they require and unknowingly want. This means giving wisely of yourself, your experience and judgment. Therefore, we do not hold back discipline from our children. We offer a loving pat on the back to allow our child to know we are proud of them and approve of their behavior. In addition, a loving pat on the back only lower on the but is never going to hurt the child but rather is a loving way to let our children know we disapprove of their behavior. Both of these will let the child know of our love and concern and that we care for them. The following Proverbs emphasize the wisdom of the use of discipline: Proverbs 3:11, 12; 4:1; 13:1, 24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13, 14.
However, spanking is not always the answer when we are disciplining our children. Moreover, spanking is never done in anger or is it ever abusive. Spanking a child is not to cause pain, it is to get the attention of the child, so we can offer sound biblical guidance. We need to have good judgment, composure, wisdom and a little good sense on our part as parents. Our facial expressions are reflective of what message we want to send our children. A warm, loving smile of approval is very persuasive, little children cannot resist it, just as is true of a frown of disapproval. However, we should never scold our children. Scolding is abusive criticism. What we need is the correct level of tone in our voice, so our child knows our intent and that he or she has done wrong. Most importantly, a child should know that they have done bad not that they are bad. First, we need to inquire about the guilt of what we believe the child has done wrong without jumping to conclusions.
For example, think things through. We allow our child to scribble in certain books and our children see us making notes in our Bible, so one day Johnny is holding our Bible in Church and we look down to find him scribbling in our Bible. You lean over and firmly say, “Johnny, don’t scribble in the Bible, or else you’ll be punished!” While that makes sense to us, is it clear in Johnny’s young mind? We have allowed him to make marks other books. He sees us underlining our Bible, so in his little mind the thought is simply, “Why not this one?” So, when we are training our child we do what the Father, the Creator has done for us. The Father has given us sixty-six Bible books as a guide to how we are to walk through this imperfect age. He has thoroughly and clearly explained all that we need to know, especially the all-important “why.” We need to not only correct our children, but we need to explain the reasons “why,” which persuades and builds appreciation as to the why. We might say to Johnny “This book [the Bible] is a loving letter from our heavenly father, we can make study notes in it, but we never want to damage it with scribbling, as it was a loving gift from our heavenly Father. It is different from your other books.” Ask the child if they understand and if time permits, ask them to explain back to you what you just told them in their own words. We need to give them a reason for our instructions and we need to make certain that they understand that reason. A spanking is not always the answer. Moreover, remember, the firm, loving tap on the but is only to get their attention. In short, another example of being too permissive might be a time when we are walking through the mall and Johnny is running his plastic toy car over the new cars in the mall. We might think nothing of it because we feel the plastic car cannot hurt anything. However, what about when it is a different day and Johnny is holding your car keys and does the same thing and now we find ourselves paying to paint a new car.
Permissiveness, excessive freedom of behavior, easily leads to future bad behavior. The greatest gift that a father [or mother] can pass on to his [or her] son is wisdom and the longing for continued wisdom. Solomon begins chapter 4 with an exhortation that his sons be attentive to his instruction.
The Father’s Wisdom
Proverbs 4:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
and be attentive, that you may know understanding,
2 for I give you good instruction;
do not forsake my teaching.
Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father: Proverbs 1:8 reads, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction.” Again, the Hebrew term (šā·mǎʿ) for “hear” means more than simply taking in information through our ears; it also involves listening, wherein we take notice of and act on (ready to obey) the teaching and thoughts of proverbs; responding to the advice and guidance that the proverbs contain. Those translations (GNT, NRSV, LEB) that render (banim) “sons” as “children” or the CEV as “my child,” so as to be progressive and inclusive are obscuring the intended meaning because “child” conveys the idea of dependence and inability to make decisions, as opposed to the author’s intended meaning. It is rendered “O sons” by some translations (ESV, NASB, UASV), to specify that the sons are being addressed formally, which is not found in the Hebrew text but is suggested.
Instruction (mû·sār) renders the same word used in 1:8 and has the sense of teaching how something is to be done or the content of what the father teaches his sons. The father giving instructions is the teaching of a principle or established, accepted, or self-evident life-lessons that are true (Ps 50:17; Prov. 15:33; 23:12). The advice to sons is that they listen to the sound instruction of their godly parents, particularly to that of a father. He has the Scriptural duty to provide the physical as well as spiritual needs of his family. (Deut. 6:6-7; 1 Tim. 5:8) Without this instruction, it will be far more difficult for the young ones to reach maturity! Should not a son or daughter, therefore, willingly accept the discipline of their father?
And be attentive that you may know understanding: The Hebrew verb (qā·šǎḇ) be attentive means listening and paying close attention, giving heed (i.e., obeying), accepting the instruction as being true and responding to it favorably. Understanding (Heb. teḇû·nā(h)) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who possesses understanding can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. – Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15.
For I give you good instruction: Here the father or teacher is offering the reason as to why he should be readily and favorably heard. The Hebrew verb give (nā·ṯǎn) in this context means to place idea into the mind of another by teaching or showing. The Hebrew adjective good (ṭôḇ) used to qualify instruction is stating the obvious positive results of paying close attention, giving heed (i.e., obeying), accepting the instruction as being true and responding to it favorably.
Do not forsake my teaching: The Hebrew verb forsake (ʿā·zǎḇ) means to abandon, give up, turn away from, reject, desert. The Hebrew noun teach (tô·rā(h)) has the sense of teaching or instruction, imparting information to the student or in this case, from the father to the sons.
This instruction is meant in such a way that it includes what is necessary for a successful life. While teaching is literally the Hebrew term for the “law,” which had been handed down by Moses, yet the personal preposition of “my” suggests the best rendering is my teaching or instructions. Solomon or rather Jehovah’s inspired Word offers the best direction, and not paying attention would be very foolish.
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Choose Life by Willing Keeping the Commandments
Proverbs 4:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only son in the sight of my mother,
4 he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
When I was a son with my father: Here Solomon is showing that he too was a young learner like his own children are now. He is, in essence, saying, “I also had a father who educated me as well.” “I was a son once also.
Tender, the only son in the sight of my mother: Here in this context, the Hebrew adjective tender (rǎḵ) means a son who is young in years, that is, a small child. Solomon is emphasizing when he too was an only child. The Hebrew phrase in sight of (pā·ně(h)) is literally “in the face of,” meaning being before someone in front of someone as to the proximity, with emphasis his having received special care and love from his mother, especially being the only son. Here Solomon is painting a picture for us of his loving childhood. He was the son of King David, living in the home of David, having constant access to his father. While he was the only child for some time, David and Bathsheba devoted much training, attention, and love to him.
He taught me and said to me: This line introduces us to the quoted material from his father David in the second line and runs through verse 9.
Let your heart hold fast my words: The Hebrew noun heart (lēḇ), as is used here is referring to the seat or center of intellect. For the Hebrew, it is the heart that keeps knowledge, wisdom, discernment, understanding, and insight in the mind. In Proverbs 2:2, we find, “inclining your heart to understanding.”
Keep my commandments, and live: Provers 7:2 begins with the exact same words. My commandments of this line is the same as my words of the previous line, conveying the same thought. The Hebrew (miṣ·wā(h)) is the same word from 2:1 and 3:1, where it is referring to the wisdom, discernment, understanding, the teaching (instruction, orders) given by the one who is wise. If these commandments are kept, it means life. Solomon must wholeheartedly hold to his father’s word. He must also choose life by willing keeping the commandments.
Solomon was very fortunate, as he was the Son of King David, who had his mistakes but was by far one of the closest human friends Jehovah God has had. Solomon spent his childhood being taught by loving parents before any siblings came along. We see this direction being given to young Solomon starting in verse 4-9. He is determined to pass on this wisdom of his father King David, to his sons. He begins with the command that they get his words deep down in their heart, to pay attention to his commandments so that they may live.
Acquire Wisdom and Understanding
Proverbs 4:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding: Understanding (Heb. teḇû·nā(h)) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who possesses understanding can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. (Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15) Wisdom: (Heb. ḥāḵ·mā(h)) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. (Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8) King David advised his son to get wisdom, which could have prompted Solomon to ask God for wisdom later in life – 1 Kings 3:5-14.
Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth: Here we are having the second line of 4:2 reinforced, where Solomon says, “for I give you good instruction; do not forsake my teaching.” The Hebrew verb forget (šā·ḵǎḥ) means to dismiss from the mind, to stop remembering, to ignore, to overlook, to be unmindful. In essence, failing to remember the information one has taken into the mind and thus it becomes insignificant. Like the Hebrew verb forsake (ʿā·zǎḇ), which means to abandon, give up, turn away from, reject, desert; the Hebrew verb turn away from (nā·ṭā(h)) also means to abandon or give up, to turn aside. The son must also keep up the pursuit of wisdom and understanding; he will suffer the consequences if he disregards his instructions or turns aside.
Proverbs 4:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
love her, and she will safeguard you.
Do not forsake her: 4:2 reads, “do not forsake my teaching.” The Hebrew verb forsake (ʿā·zǎḇ) means to abandon, give up, turn away from, reject, desert. Her here refers to wisdom, which is pictured as a gracious, desirable woman in verses 6-9.
And she will guard you: The Hebrew verb guard (šā·mǎr) means to keep watch over, to protect or look after. Who is you, who is wisdom guarding? You in the Hebrew (ʾǎt·tā(h)) is masculine singular, as it is referring back to Solomon who is quoting his father, King David’s, counsel to him.
Love her, and she will safeguard you: The Hebrew verb (nā·ṣǎr) safeguard means to watch over, to keep safe from injury, harm, or danger, or to protect. Wisdom will protect those who remain loyal in their love for her.
Above All Acquire Wisdom
Proverbs 4:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Acquire wisdom,
and with all you acquire, acquire understanding.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Acquire wisdom: Here the Hebrew has two detached phrases that are literally “the first thing of wisdom” and “get wisdom.” Here King David in his advice to his son when Solomon was young was that wisdom is the most important thing, and therefore, he should pursue it so as to obtain it.
Wisdom: (Heb. ḥāḵ·mā(h)) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. – Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8.
And with all you acquire, acquire understanding is again places the highest importance on obtaining or acquiring but this time it is in the pursuit of understanding or insight.
Understanding (Heb. teḇû·nā(h)) is the ability to see how the parts or aspects of something are connected to one another. One who possesses understanding can see the big picture (the entire matter) and not just the isolated facts. – Prov. 2:5; 9:10; 18:15.
Insight (Heb. bî·nā(h)) is the ability to see into a situation. One who possesses insight acts with wisdom, caution, and discretion. Insight is closely related to understanding, but there is a fine distinction between the two terms. Says the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: “While bîn [understanding] indicates “distinguishing between,” śākal relates to an intelligent knowledge of the reason. There is the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in a wise dealing and use of good practical common sense. Another end result is the emphasis upon being successful.” – Psa. 14:12.
As we learned in Proverbs chapter three, wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge and understanding effectively, to have success. Knowledge is acquired by our taking in facts that were gained by paying attention and experience, as well as through reading and study. However, all of that is useless if one cannot put that information to work for them. Insight is the ability to see into a situation. When one acts with insight, he has good sense in dealing with practical matters, using good judgment to consider likely consequences and act accordingly, as well as discretion. We are foolish if we forsake wisdom, as she will protect us from the difficulties of this system of things, but that protection only comes to those that remain loyal in our love for her. If we lack wisdom, then we must begin to pursue it, in addition to insight.
The education of an Israelite child was taken very seriously, as Jehovah himself commanded that parent, “You shall teach them [the law] diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7) However, before they were to teach their child, it was commanded “these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” (Deut. 6:6) As Deuteronomy, 6:7 made quite clear there is no excuse for not spending time with your child and passing on wisdom and insight is paramount.
Acquire wisdom, and with all you acquire, acquire understanding. commands King David to his young son Solomon. How can you apply this counsel to our Bible reading? The Bible of sixty-six books is the only book to be authored by God as he used 40+ men, moving them along with the Holy Spirit as they wrote. The Bible contains God’s thoughts. There is more to acquiring God’s thoughts than merely reading the printed words on a page. We must understand what we read. Moreover, we must understand what the author meant by the words that were used, as opposed to interjecting what we feel, think, or believe God meant by those words. So, we need to meditatively read, study, and research the Bible, then, acquiring an understanding of what God meant to convey to us by the words of wisdom that he used.
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Fondly Embrace Wisdom Tightly with Tender Love
Proverbs 4:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Prize her, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
Prize her, and she will exalt you: The Hebrew verb (sā·lǎl) prize means to highly value, extol, praise, to speak words that elevate the status of a person. This means to raise someone or something higher and higher in value. The Hebrew verb (rûm) exalt means to honor, be lifted up, exalted, elevate. When you prize or esteem wisdom, she will exalt you into a higher position of respect and honor.
She will honor you if you embrace her: The principal Hebrew term denoting honor is (kabed), which literally means “to be heavy, weighty.” Thus, a person who is honored is seen as being weighty, that is, they amount to something. To Honor someone means that we hold them in high esteem, to recognize them as being great and worthy of our respect. The Hebrew verb (ḥā·ḇǎq) embrace means to fondly hold someone tightly in your arms, showing close association and affection. You need to fondly embrace wisdom with tender love, holding her tightly close to you, for she will then honor you with self-respect and respect of others.
Acquiring wisdom is well worth the effort! She will make you far more valuable to all who listen to you. If you honor and embrace her, she will make your advice, guidance, and counsel highly respected. This does not necessarily mean that you are going to be sought after by the powerful of the world. It means that everyone you touch in life, by their hearing your voice, they are going to be the better for it. Are you diligently improving our knowledge of God’s Word, doing so steadily? Are you taking in accurate knowledge, pressing on to the goal of being a full-grown in the faith?
Falling in Love with Lady Wisdom
Proverbs 4:9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 She will place on your head a garland of grace;
she will bestow on you a crown of beauty.”
She will place on your head a garland of grace: The Hebrew noun (liw·yā(h)) garland is a decorative headdress or wreath that serves as a symbol of adornment and honor.
She will bestow on you a crown of beauty: The Hebrew noun (ʿǎṭā·rā(h)) crown is an ornamental, jeweled, precious metal adornment often worn on the head of a ruler, symbolizing rulership or a high station in life.
Your falling in love with Lady Wisdom offers you great advantages to life than anything the unbeliever has. She “will honor you if you embrace her” (vs 8) by bestowing you with a crown of beauty, that is, guiding you to a better position in life. Yes, wisdom offers you a better life now, blessings that result from heeding her direction. It is as though your eyes will see the way that you should go when multiple paths or choices are open before you. While garland of grace and crown of beauty may make you think of a life of prestige and pomp, this is really not the case, it merely refers to all blessings that may be available to you in your everyday life because you heeded wisdom.
Take Hold of the Right Path
Proverbs 4:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11 In the way of wisdom I have taught you;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
Hear, my son, and accept my words: The Hebrew verb (šā·mǎʿ) for hear means more than simply taking in information through our ears; it also involves listening and paying attention, wherein we take notice of and act on (ready to obey) the teaching and thoughts of proverbs; responding to the advice and guidance that the proverbs contain. – Prov. 1:5; 4:10
That the years of your life may be many: If the son will trust in and seize on what he hears, he will enjoy many years of life.
In the way of wisdom I have taught you: In the way (Heb. dě·rěḵ) is a course of conduct, what is done, the manner in which you conduct yourself on this journey filled with life-choices that you make in this imperfect age of Satan’s world. The father is giving the son the way to go by way of wisdom. Wisdom: (Heb. ḥāḵ·mā(h)) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. (Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8) Taught: (yā·rā(h)) means to communicate or convey knowledge. It means to teach, to instruct, give guidance, direct, that is, the one teaching is giving information either in a formal or an informal setting, which implies the authority of the teacher, as well as the content of the teaching. – Ex 4:12.
I have led you in the paths of uprightness: The Hebrew noun paths (Heb. mǎʿ·gāl) is figuratively referring to teaching as a well-worn path. It can all figuratively refer to the way you conduct yourself in life as a well-worn path. This is conforming to the moral standard of God as you focus on the proper spiritual goals of life. The Hebrew noun uprightness: (Heb. yō·šěr) is the quality of one who conforms to God’s moral standards. He is honest in both his words and his actions to what is real. (1Ch 29:17; Job 6:25; Prov. 11:24; 17:26) Upright (Heb. yā·šār) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. – Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12.
Solomon must have appreciated the loving discipline that gave his life the instruction he needed to walk with God, even correction that weeded out undesirable traits. Here again, Solomon is making his case that his sons do the same so that they may enjoy the years of their lives. More often than not, if these sons heed his voice, and follow the paths of uprightness, they will not be hampered by the troubles in life that stumble so many others. Imagine the path of the wicked one, as his sinful ways trip him up at every turn. This will not be the case for the morally upright one as his paths will be cleared of most of these obstacles, even to the point that he could break out into a run.
Heed the Wisdom of the Father
Proverbs 4:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered:
The Hebrew verb walk: (Heb. hā·lǎḵ) used illustratively normally suggests a state of blamelessness, being declared righteous, being free of guilt. (Prov. 2:7) In the Bible, the expression “to walk” is illustrative and can mean to follow a certain course of action, as “Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9; 5:22) Those who walk with God follow the life course outlined by God’s Word and will find his favor, that is, be pleasing to him. Pursuing such a life-course makes you different from most of the unbelievers. The Greek New Testament uses the same illustrative expression, contrasting two different courses of action sought by one before and after becoming a servant of God. (Eph. 2:2, 10; 4:17; 5:2) The Hebrew verb (ṣā·rǎr) hampered in this context means that if you are following a life course, walking with God, your life paths of uprightness will not be impeded or hindered by obstacles (life problems and difficulties) that prevent you from going forward. This is not an absolute, it is a, generally speaking, situation, in that, to the degree that you heed wisdom, you will face far fewer hindrances than the unbeliever.
And if you run, you will not stumble: Similarly, the Hebrew run (Heb. rûṣ) “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. God tells us that the prophets in Judah “ran” (i.e., took the prophetic course) though he did not send them, that is, they prophesied falsely. (Jer. 23:21) Similarly in the New Testament, “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. (1 Pet. 4:4) Paul gives us a visual picture of the Christian course in terms of “running.” He compares it to a race that a person must run, while also obeying the rules of the race if they are to win the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; 5:7) The Hebrew verb stumble (Heb. kā·šǎl) means to walk unsteadily. Figuratively, in this context, it refers to a weak, troubled, failing person. When you walk on the paths of uprightness under the direction of the wisdom of the Father, your steps will not be hampered. In other words, you will not be stumbled by the obstacles of your sinful nature, your human imperfection, and your human weaknesses, but you will have adequate room to walk. Even if you run, the paths of uprightness will be without the obstacles to the degree that you heed the wisdom of the Father and there are no unforeseen occurrences, and you will not stumble if you stay the course.
Take Hold of Instruction
Proverbs 4:13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go: The Hebrew (ḥā·zǎq) to grasp (hold), hold firmly, the great significance or value of dedication, loyalty, and devotion to the instruction that is in these chapters. Instruction (mû·sār) is communication relating to how something is to be accomplished. It is the teaching of a fundamental truth (rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior) or a proverb for life. (Psa. 50:17; Prov. 1:8; 15:33; 23:12) Do not let go (rā·p̄ā(h)) here means to not abandon, forsake, withdraw, give up, or leave behind the instruction you have received in these chapters.
Guard her, for she is your life: In 4:6 it was wisdom that will guard and safeguard you. The Hebrew verb guard (šā·mǎr) means to keep watch over, to protect or look after. Here you are told to guard, protect, look after, or watch over instruction. What is meant by this command is for the learner, you, to grasp or hold firmly to understanding, to never let it out of your sight, as it will guide you through life. She [instruction] is your life meaning that in all things it will guide you through life.
As a son to his father, King David, Solomon must have welcomed the advantage of loving instruction that teaches and corrects. Without balanced instruction, how could you expect to make progress spiritually or hope to improve your quality of our life? You need to learn from mistakes that are inevitable in your human imperfection. You need to be quick and receptive to correcting wrong ideas. Otherwise, your spiritual growth will be insignificant. Reasonable instruction leads to godly behavior and thus helps us to walk with God on the paths of uprightness. Solomon is, therefore, telling his son that instruction is the key to life.
Shun Wicked Paths
Proverbs 4:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it; do not pass by it;
turn away from it and pass on.
Do not enter the path of the wicked: the Hebrew noun (ʾō·rǎḥ) road, way, path is figuratively speaking of a manner or course of conduct that we should not imitate. We should not live, do, or be like the wicked.
And do not walk in the way of evil men: In the Bible, the expression “to walk” (Heb. hā·lǎḵ) is illustrative and can mean to follow a certain course of action, as “Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9; 5:22) Those who walk with God follow the life course outlined by God’s Word and will find his favor, that is, be pleasing to him. Pursuing such a life-course makes you different from most of the unbelievers. The Greek New Testament uses the same illustrative expression, contrasting two different courses of action sought by one before and after becoming a servant of God. (Eph. 2:2, 10; 4:17; 5:2) Similarly “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. (1 Pet. 4:4) God tells us that the prophets in Judah “ran” though he did not send them, yet they took the prophetic course, that is, prophesied falsely. (Jer. 23:21) Paul gives us a visual picture of the Christian course in terms of “running.” He compares it to a race that a person must run, while also obeying the rules of the race if they are to win the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; 5:7) Therefore, you would not want to behave or follow the lifestyle of the wicked.
Avoid it; do not pass by it: The Hebrew (pā·rǎʿ) avoid means staying clear from, stay away from someone or something. You will stay clear of any person, so as to not walk in the way or the path of evil men.
Turn away from it and pass on: The Hebrew (śā·ṭā(h)) for turn away from is different from avoiding. This means that you are to turn away from the way or the path of evil men.
You should never enter the path (life course) of the wicked, do not walk down it even for a moment. Stay clear of that path as your life depends on it. Avoid the path of the wicked. However, if you happen upon the path of the wicked unexpectedly, turn away from it at once. Do not pause even for a moment.
The Wicked Cannot Sleep Until They Have Quenched Their Desire to Do Wrong
Proverbs 4:16-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong: They, the wicked ones, are nothing like the Psalmist, who says, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Jehovah, make me dwell in safety.” No, the wicked ones here are a special breed of evil, as they are unable to sleep unless they have wronged someone in some way. As we will notice from the parallel line of verse 16, they are not purposely laying awake, so as to commit some crime in the middle of the night, but rather they have a conscience that desires evil to the point of not being able to sleep until it has been quenched (satisfied). They cannot sleep unless they have been busy wronging another to the point where the victim stumbles.
They are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble: Here robbed (gā·zǎl) the passive form of the verb, which means to take someone’s possessions unlawfully (to seize or tear away) from them by force or threat of force against their will. In both Hebrew and English, someone can be robbed (deprived) of sleep if his thoughts or anxieties keep him from sleeping. In this case, the wicked one is being robbed of sleep because he is anxious to do evil to another. The Hebrew verb stumble (Heb. kā·šǎl) means to walk unsteadily. Figuratively, again, in this context, it refers to a weak, troubled, failing person.
For they eat the bread of wickedness: Yes, the wicked seem to sustain themselves on evil deeds. Doing what is evil is like food to the wicked one. They are incapable of sleeping unless they engage in acts of wrongdoing to the point of causing another to stumble. Their very nature is depraved! Can you really safeguard your heart while in association with them?
And drink the wine of violence: “The metaphor of ingesting food and drink is used to indicate the deeply engrained wickedness of the wicked. Again, doing what is evil is like wine to the wicked one. How foolish to walk on “the path of the wicked” or “walk in the way of evil men” (vs 14) by exposing ourselves to the violence of their companionship, the violence of their mindset! Endeavoring to be tenderly compassionate utterly is not harmonious with taking in the thinking of these wicked ones by thinking that you can convert him to the faith through your association. When a clean glove and a dirty glove come into contact with each, it is the dirty glove that rubs off on the clean glove, not the other way.
Solomon makes it all too clear to his son; he must cling to this instruction as if it is a life preserver. Solomon goes into a bit of an outburst of warning, to get the point across that the path of the evil one is filled with sin, vile acts, and violence. How many different ways can he stress the need to avoid that path? These ones are so deplorable that they “cannot sleep unless they have done wrong.” The righteous one is very foolish if he believes that he can walk on the path of the wicked one, and at the same time, keep his heart pure. His feeding his mind on, entertaining his thinking with, cultivating violence, will only lead to sin and death. Imagine walking on the railing of the Niagara Falls, and that is what it is like even considering the idea of entering the path of the wicked.
Proverbs 4:18-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn: The conjunction but shows us that verse 18 and 19 will be contrasting the righteous person with the wicked person. The path of the righteous refers to the life course of the upright person, the blameless person. Blameless: (Heb. tam, tamim; Gr. amomos, amometos) means “perfect, blameless, sincerity, entire, whole, complete, and full.” Of course, Noah, Jacob, and Job were said to be blameless and they were not literally perfect. When used of imperfect humans, the terms are relative, not absolute. However, if we are fully committed to following, a life course based on God’s will and purposes, fully living by his laws, repent when we fall short, he will credit us righteousness. – Gen. 6:6; 25:27; Job 9:20-22l Ps. 119:1; Pro. 11:20; Phil 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:23.
The path of the righteous is like … is a simile. Similes are normally introduced with the word “like” or “as.” They compare two things that are very different, highlighting something these two things have in common. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water …” (Psalm 1:3) In this simile, the path of righteousness is being compared to the light of dawn. What is the commonality between the two? Dawn occurs before sunrise before the top of the Sun reaches the horizon. So, the path of righteousness (life course of a blameless upright believer) is being compared rising sunlight, meaning the way in which they are to go is made clear, so they can be aware of the unseen dangers.
Which shines brighter and brighter until full day: The path or life course of the believer is one where there is increased light, just as the sunlight of dawn pulls the righteous one out of the darkness and into the light of the full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness: This too is a simile, as it is introduced with the word “like.” The way of the wicked is being compared to deep darkness. The deep darkness (ʾǎp̄ē·lā(h)) spoken of here is mental darkness, not literal physical darkness. What is the commonality between the two? Like deep darkness, the wicked are in mental darkness in that they cannot see any light whatsoever. Mental darkness is a sort of mental blindness where one sees what others see and even understands the meaning, but their mind is beyond repentance, unreceptive, closed, so they see it as foolish. They are in darkness mentally.
The apostle Paul warns the reader at 2 Corinthians 4:4, “the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The apostle John says of Jesus Christ, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.” (John 1:4-5) However, even the light of the truth cannot penetrate the mental darkness of some.
They do not know over what they stumble: When you are in mental darkness, you are so blinded by your closed heart and mind, you cannot even see what is making you stumble. The Hebrew verb stumble (Heb. kā·šǎl) means to walk blindly. In this context, it refers to a wicked, evil, person who basks in their willful ignorance (darkness).
A believer can pass from death to life by choosing Christ. However, he can also pass from life to death if he stumbles to the point of spiritual shipwreck. There are times when these ones can be recovered. (Gal 6:1) However, if he rejects the help from spiritual leaders within the congregation because his heart has grown callused, he can go to the point of being beyond repentance. He would come to the point of having no desire to be restored. (Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-29) The wicked, foolish ones are beyond repentance and refuse to be corrected by Wisdom; therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their way (1:31), namely, suffer the consequences of their conduct. These ones have thrown their faith to the wind and have rejected God and have moved over to the point of being beyond repentance. Truly wicked ones will not change their ways, as they are in mental darkness, beyond repentance, unable to see any light whatsoever, and are blinded by the god of this wicked age. (2 Cor. 4:3-4) However, we can rescue the young one, who may fall prey to their seductive ways.
The contrast is all too clear, as the path of the righteous is one that grows brighter throughout his or her life, everything becoming clearer. On the other hand, the way of the wicked is so dark that they cannot even see what causes them to stumble. Those on the path of righteousness possess moral insight that adds joy to their life, while the way of the wicked possesses ignorance that leads to unhappiness. The objective of Solomon here is that he wants to whet the appetite of his sons for wisdom and insight, knowing the result will be that their actions will come thereafter.
Staying the Course
Proverbs 4:20-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to him who finds them,
and a healing to all his flesh.
My son, be attentive to my words: The Hebrew (qā·šǎḇ) be attentive means to pay close attention, to listen, give heed, accept information as being true, while usually following it.
Incline your ear to my sayings: The Hebrew (nā·ṭā(h)) incline is when one leans their ear in the speaker’s direction so that they can hear better. This is simply a more literary way of saying be attentive or pay attention. The believer needs to carefully listen to the Father and heed his words.
Do not let them depart from your eyes: Them is a reference to “my words” and “my sayings” in verse 20. This is an appeal to the believer to not lose sight of the words and sayings of the Father. In other words, you would say do not let wisdom, knowledge, discernment, understanding, and thinking ability that the Father has given us out of your sight. Do not let them depart from your eyes (Heb. ʿǎ·yin), which has the sense of paying attention, concentrating on the qualities of God to the exclusion of Satan’s world that surrounds us.
Keep them in the midst of your heart: Hear heart is being used figuratively, which refers to the interior of the believer: such as the desires, affections, emotions (15:15, 30), passions, purposes (11:20; 14:14), center of thinking and reasoning (3:3; 6:21; 7:3), perceptions, wisdom (4:24), knowledge, and the motivating force behind one’s conduct (4:26-27).
For they are life to him who finds them: Again, here them is referring to the words and the sayings, that is, the teachings of the Father. The Hebrew (mā·ṣā(ʾ)) find (discover, uncover) has the sense of discovering something by searching for it.
And a healing to all his flesh: Here his is referring to all who find the teachings of the Father. His flesh both narrowly and broadly refers to the person’s body and his wellbeing as a whole (mental, moral, and physical well-being), respectively.
Solomon is closing this message out, and he needs to get their undivided attention one last time. They need to be actively listening to his every word. Again, he promises life and good health to those that heed the words and sayings. Yes, this section is referring to Solomon and his son but, in the end,, it on a larger scale is referring to the Father and all the believers who heed his words and his says, namely, his teachings.
You can never go wrong by obeying the Father. What he instructs and counsels you through his Word, it is for your best interests and for the improvement of your life now and eventually your eternal life. Do not be like some who get an exaggerated opinion of their own wisdom when they gain a little knowledge. You should never foolishly think you are wiser than God and can direct your lives better than the Father, your Creator. He is infinitely wiser that could ever be imagined. While the world foolishly rejects his wisdom, you should not follow in its folly. The wickedness that you see in the world today is evidence of that foolishness. Your best teacher is the Father; so, respect his words and sayings.
Safeguard Your Heart
Proverbs 4:23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Keep your heart with all vigilance: The heart (Heb. lēḇ) in the Old Testament seldom has anything to do specifically with emotions. The heart is the “center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans. The heart and the intellect are closely connected, the heart being the seat of intelligence.” The heart is to be kept (Heb. nā·ṣǎr) with all vigilance (Heb. miš·mār). To keep has the sense of safety: to keep, protect, or preserve something safe from injury, harm, or danger. It suggests a relationship with the protector. (Psa. 40:12) Vigilance means to guard or keep careful watch over for protection against possible danger or difficulties. It is constant reminders that keep these things close to the heart. This is why the writers of the Hebrew Old Testament repeated things so often or made the same point but in different ways. Without constant watchfulness, the heart can be caught off guard and lured into wrongdoing. If you keep a careful watch over your mind and your eyes, you will, in essence, be keeping a careful watch over your heart.
For from it flow the springs of life: From it, namely, the heart, figuratively, the mind, the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. The centerpiece of it all is the mind. Our moods, behaviors and body responses result from the way we view things. It is a proven fact that we cannot experience any event in any way, shape, or form unless we have processed it with our mind first. No event can depress us; it is our perception of that event that will depress us. If we are only sad over an event, our thoughts will be rational, but if we are depressed wrathful, or anxious about an event, our thinking will be bent and irrational, distorted and utterly wrong.
It may be difficult for each of us to wrap our mind around it, but we are superb at telling ourselves outright lies and half-truths, repeatedly throughout each day. In fact, some of us are so good at it that it has become our reality and led to annoyance, stress, irritation, anger, even depression, and anxiety. In many ways, our lives are somehow defined by the thoughts stored in and running through the heart or mind. How we think is how we feel.
Speak truth by Your Words and by Your life You live
Proverbs 4:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Put away from you crooked speech: The Hebrew for put away (sûr) is to remove something concrete or abstract, to take it away, to cause it to go away. Crooked (ʿiq·qešûṯ) speech is literally “crookedness of mouth.” Crooked speech is unwise speech in that it is false speech, lies, and deception. This speech is a perversion, a moral corruptness that deviates from what is right and just. The true servant of God speaks the truth by his words and by the life he lives.
And put devious talk far from you: The Hebrew for devious (lā·zûṯ) talk is perverse and corrupt, deceitful and underhanded, any kind of speech that is misleading, untrue, or deviates from an acceptable moral standard. The second line here is simply expanding on the first lines as it also repeats it.
Once the heart or the inner person is protected from the wicked thinking, Solomon moves on to what one says, crooked speech. However, we are not moving too far from the heart, as Jesus said, “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart.” (Matt. 15:18) We must avoid speech that is misleading with untruth or stained with deceitfulness.
Do Not Allow Your Eyes to Wander from the Path of Life
Proverbs 4:25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
and your gaze be straight ahead of you.
Let your eyes look directly ahead: This is an idiom for staying the course. We are now returning to the idea of walking down the path imagery of before (the path of the righteous), and now the father is imploring the son to focus on what lies ahead and not be distracted by what lay off the path of life. Look straight ahead as a believer. With the eyes of faith, we see the life that lies directly ahead.
And your gaze be straight ahead you: The gaze (Heb. ʿǎp̄·ʿǎp·pǎ·yim) is the part of the body that blinks and covers the eyes. In other words, it is the eyelids, which you use to make a long-fixed look at something. If you allow your gaze to wander from the path, you may be led astray by the temptations of Satan’s world. The path of righteousness (life course of a blameless upright believer) is straight ahead of you, meaning the way in which you are to go is very clear, so you can be aware of the unseen dangers that lay outside the boundaries of the path of the righteous. Great effort is needed to keep looking ahead in the flashy images of this world. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (2 John 2:16) The natural inclination of our human imperfection is to give up and look away from the path of life.
Consider Your steps Carefully
Proverbs 4:26-27 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
26 Make level the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
turn your foot from evil.
Make level the path of your feet: The Hebrew expression make level (pā·lǎs) can mean to carefully consider, to weigh carefully, to ponder as you choose your steps carefully on the path of life.
Then all your ways will be sure: The Hebrew (kûn) be sure means to be established, to be firm, to be steadfast, to stand firm. Here the son is conforming his ways of life to the knowledge, wisdom, discernment, understanding, and insight of the father, which is evidence that he trusts (believes) the words and sayings of the father. He is committing his steps carefully, which gives him sure-footedness on the path of life.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left: The Hebrew for turn (nā·ṭā(h)) means to change direction or to deviate from a straight-line course, namely, turning or deviating off the path of life. If the son is busy being sidetracked by Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), he will be lost “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life, [which] is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-17) If the son wanders carelessly, it is only a matter of time before he turns his attention to the bright lights of Satan’s world to the right or to the left, which may very well stumble him off the path of life.
Turn your foot from evil: Clearly, the son must turn his foot from anything that is contrary to the words and the sayings of the father, anything that he knows is unacceptable to the father’s standards. So, we to, like the son, avoid anything that violates the standards of the Father that we know is bad, but we also carefully consider, weigh carefully, ponder anything that we suspect might not be good for us and might harm our relationship with the Father.
The counsel is that ‘our eyes look directly forward, and our gaze is straight before us.’ If we keep our eyes fixed on the path of carrying out the Father’s will and purposes according to Scripture, we will not be enticed by the things alongside the path. As we make life changing decision, we must see these as possibly stepping off the path, and they must be carefully considered, as nothing but evil lies to the right and the left of the path of our Father.
PROVERBS 4 No Bible Difficulties
(4:1-2) Why is the Father’s wisdom and instructions so important?
(4:3-4) How do we choose life by keeping God’s commandments?
(4:5) What does it mean to acquire wisdom and understanding and why would you not turn away from the words of the Father’s mouth?
(4:6) How is loving wisdom a protection?
(4:7) Talk about the need to acquire wisdom.
(4:8) What will happen if we embrace wisdom?
(4:9) What will you receive for your loving wisdom?
(4:10-11) Why is it important to accept the Father’s Word, resulting in what? How has the Father taught you, leading you to where?
(4:12) What will happen if we heed the wisdom of the Father?
(4:13) Why should you take hold of instruction and who is “her” and how is she your life?
(4:14-15) What is all involved in shunning the wicked path?
(4:16-17) Why can the wicked ones not sleep? To what extent are they wicked?
(4:18-19) What is the contrast between the righteous and the wicked?
(4:20-22) What does it mean to be attentive to the words of the Father and incline your ear to his sayings? What does it mean to not let the Father’s words and sayings not depart from your eyes and to keep them in the midst of your heart? How are the Father’s words and sayings life and a healing?
(4:23) Why should you keep your heart with all vigilance?
(4:24) What are crooked speech and devious talk and why should they be put away?
(4:25) Why should you not allow your eyes to wander from the path of life?
(4:26-27) How do you consider your steps carefully?
Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts that Cover 25 Biblical Studies Subject Areas Free for Those Who Cannot Afford
 R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 877.
 John H Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Old Testament): The Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 476.
 Gerald P. Cowen, “Heart”, in Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et al., 731 (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003).
 Or Weigh carefully; Ponder
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How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim …
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …
…IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on…
God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …
…THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …
…The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …
…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Rachael Garrison knows all the shrewd ways to successfully close multi-million-dollar real estate deals with her father’s famous New York real estate enterprise. But beyond her savvy to rake in huge deals is her premonition that an impending global takeover of the world’s financial wealth is on the horizon by evil leaders of The Great Ten Nations. From New York City to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and into the streets of Detroit her life takes on enormous purpose as
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.