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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Proverbs

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4.1–9 :

Lecture V: Loving wisdom, hating evil.

1–4 :

The speaker recounts how he received instruction from his own father and quotes his teaching (vv. 4bc–9 ). The message is: get wisdom.

6 :

It is not enough to obey wisdom. One must love it, just as one must love God (Deut. 6.5, etc.).

7 :

The first step in attaining wisdom is to acquire (absorb) the teachings of wisdom, to hear and assimilate them, even before one can properly understand and apply them.

4.10–19 :

Lecture VI: The two paths. One who chooses the right course of behavior will naturally find himself going in the right direction and will prosper and be safe. One must avoid the twisted and murky path of the wicked, for the wicked live in turmoil and anxiety.

13 :

Discipline, Heb “musar,” is one way wisdom is conveyed. It generally implies physical chastisement of some sort. Even this kind of teaching must be embraced passionately.

17 :

The values of the wicked are twisted. They live on wickedness and lawlessness; see 2.12–15 .

4.20–27 :

Lecture VII: The straight path. Whereas Lecture VI spoke of the two paths of life, good and evil, this one pictures a single path, which is a person's mode of behavior, for better or worse. One must walk straight, for evil and dangers lurk on either side, and look straight ahead, because temptations beckon all around. In biblical literature, “straight” is a common metaphor for correct behavior.

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