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Movement of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
The Book of Proverbs
Brit-Am Commentary (BAC)
Proverbs 4:1-9 You Can Overcome!
Proverbs 4:10-18 Get Away from Evil While You Can!
Proverbs 4:19-27 Look Straight and Keep Faith with God, Yourself, and Others.
Proverbs 4:1-9 You Can Overcome!
[Proverbs 4:1] Hear, my children, the
instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding;
We should listen to what our fathers told us.
If we found them to be wrong then we should thing what we would want our
children to know and do.
Do we ourselves go in this path?
[Proverbs 4:2] For I give you good
doctrine: Do not forsake my law.
MY LAW: Hebrew "Torati" i.e. My Torah. The word "Torah" strictly speaking
God is the Father of us all.
We are all HIS sons.
Israel is the son of the Almighty.
Then you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD: Israel
My son, My firstborn [Exodus 4:22].
So is Ephraim.
They shall come with weeping,
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim is
My firstborn [Jeremiah 31:9].
[Proverbs 4:3] When I was my father's
son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
Parents should live their children and want what is good for them. When marital
harmony exists the connection between a child and his parents is increased since
(amongst other things) the child receives a message from each parent to love and
honor the other partner whose existence in the child they recognize.
[Proverbs 4:4] He also taught me, and
said to me: Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.
Through grasping hold of that which was good and unique in our parents and
ancestors we may enhance our own vitality.
[Proverbs 4:5] Get wisdom! Get
understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
We should try to understand things and know how to live. We all make mistakes
but we also do right things.
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav said,
"If you believe you can make it worse
then also believe you can make it better".
It all can be corrected.
Words can help. Words can make a difference. Say positive things to
others especially to those around you.
[Proverbs 4:6] Do not forsake her, and
she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.
Do not abandon wisdom and right knowledge and you will be lead in the right
[Proverbs 4:7] Wisdom is the principal
thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
Get good knowledge and right principles but also strive to understand how these
should be applied and how they work. It can be done and you can do it.
[Proverbs 4:8] Exalt her, and she will
promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
Do this, cling to this, and you shall come forward. Even if you make mistakes on
the way you will still progress. Keep striving and intend the good of all.
Maintain your belief in the Almighty.
[Proverbs 4:9] She will place on your
head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.
Eventually through striving in the right path you will earn the respect of
others. Even more importantly you will gain your own self-respect. Even if you
have lost it in the past, you will get it back.
Proverbs 4:10-18 Get Away from Evil
While You Can!
[Proverbs 4:10] Hear, my son, and
receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
# the years of your life #. In Hebrew "shanot chayim". Chayim means "life". You
may recognize the toast "Le-Chayim" (i.e. To Life) that Jews makes when they
drink alcohol together.
The Sages said that this expression, "shanot chayim" does not mean just years of
life but also years that have life (i.e. vitality) in them.
All other things being equal the Right Path gives you, in the long run, more of
Not only will you live longer but you will feel alive more!
[Proverbs 4:11] I have taught you in the
way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
[Proverbs 4:12] When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
If one absorbs Biblical knowledge then even under pressure and/or in exceptional
circumstance one will act correctly for the good of everybody.
Bible Knowledge can make you certain of the path you choose enabling you to
surge forward without fear.
[Proverbs 4:13] Take firm hold of
instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.
do not let go. In Hebrew Al Teraf i.e. do not slacken off.
We learn some things, some times. It happens that we realize a certain truth or
receive an insight that we were not aware of previously or had forgotten. We
should treasure such instruction and store it with us. How many times have we
made the same mistake over and over again? This is not necessary.
[Proverbs 4:14] Do not enter the path of
the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil.
walk. Hebrew "ta-asher". Literally go straight. Do not try to go straight ahead
along evil paths. Get away from them.
[Proverbs 4:15] Avoid it, do not travel
Turn away from it and pass on.
Avoid it: In Hebrew Parayuhu from the root PRE meaning to uncover, disturb, to pay, to alter the situation, to release from debt, to let go. This gives us the English word FREE since in Hebrew the same letter stands for both P and F. The two sounds (P and F) are interchangeable in the same word-roots and switch around for phonetic and grammatical reasons.
It could also be the source of PRAY even though conventional sources trace this word to Old French preier , from the Latin, precari "ask earnestly, beg".
When we pray we discharge a debt. We also ask the Almighty to free us, from whatever we need freeing from, by answering our prayer.
PRE can mean "pay" and we would also trace the English Word PAY to the same root.
The English word "Fray" means unravel at the edge, loosened, and this is similar to the Hebrew PRE.
We also have the related Hebrew word root PRA connoting wild and untamed. It can also mean an untamed animal. It may have given rise to the English word PREY.
[Otherwise traced to Old French preie "booty, animal taken in the chase" .]
In this case we are being told to get out of the Evil trap. Pay if you have to, squirm, struggle, liberate yourself anyway you can but get away from evil and from surroundings that cause you to go bad.
This is how the verse (Proverbs 4:15) could literally be rendered:
# Free yourself from it [i.e. from the evil path], do not pass by it, move away
from it, and pass by. #
In other words: It might be difficult. Do what it takes. Get away. Do not look
back. Bad people are not your friends.
The same applies in the ideological rational sphere.
Bad ideas are not good for you. They are not out to enhance your comprehension.
Do not believe in Conspiracy Theories or in the mind set of those who concoct
The same applies to free-thinkers and liberal humanitarians and the like who in
the name of high-sounding principles work against the cause of the Bible, of
good, and of justice.
They do not want your Enlightenment but rather to plunge you back into their own
Do not share their smoke, do not partake of their sex (or lack of it), do not
follow their mind-set.
Keep away from evil paths. If you cannot or will not fight it, simply avoid it.
[Proverbs 4:16] For they do not sleep
unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
This is the way of evil people. They may not be consciously aware of their own
But in most cases what the practical results of their evil machinations could be
are quite obvious. They feed off the innocent. They need others to impair and
even destroy their lives just as they themselves have done to themselves and to others before you.
[Proverbs 4:17] For they eat the bread
of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
They take from others through deceit or outright oppression. There is nothing
good about that, No good will come off it.
Lack of resistance to evil or the acceptance of evil doctrines invites violence
Matters are often open and apparent in advance. Distance yourself from bad
people and wicked influences.
[Proverbs 4:18] But the path of the just
is like the shining light,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
We must be just, fair, speak the truth and acknowledge it.
If we believe in God and avoid evil our light will shine brilliantly without any
effort on our part.
Our righteousness will be recognized. We will be able to look at ourselves with respect.
What is more we will have contributed in some way towards
making the world a better place.
That is what we are here for. Your own good is what the Almighty wants for you.
Listen unto HIM.
So too, concerning Zionism: God wants the Jewish People to return to the Land of
Israel and build it up. Anything good for Israel is in accordance with the
Divine Will. All who contribute in that direction will be rewarded.
The same applies to other Israelite countries.
The Almighty will reward whosoever works for the good of the Israelite Tribes
wherever they are.
Proverbs 4:19-27 Look Straight and Keep
Faith with God, Yourself, and Others.
[Proverbs 4:19] The way of the wicked is
They do not know what makes them stumble.
Someone who does bad deeds or things in the wrong way will fall over themselves
in other fields. They will not be aware that their sin in another matter is the
cause of their falling.
So too, if bad luck or unpleasant incidents overtakes us we must first deal with
them as they are. After that we should search back lest perhaps in some other
way we did something that
made us liable for what happened.
[Proverbs 4:20] My son, give attention
to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
[Proverbs 4:21] Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
Remember words of wisdom especially those of the Bible. Keep them with you even
if you cannot apply them properly at present or in some kind of crisis situation
and cannot think straight.
[Proverbs 4:22] For they are life to
those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
The words of the Bible will help you come through. You may not become as
successful as you would have liked to have been but the chances are that you
will be vastly better off than you were liable to be if you had not strengthened
yourself through the Bible.
There is also the psychosomatic aspect: Bad thoughts, malicious attitudes,
needless anger, baseless bitterness, backbiting, etc all arouse negative enrgies.
They enervate and dissipate and weaken our physical defense and rejuvenating
systems. Be good and good will come unto you.
[Proverbs 4:23] Keep your heart with all
For out of it spring the issues of life.
This strengthens the point of the previous verse. Think positively. God will
help you if you speak to HIM.
Do not think bad things. Avoid negative energies.
Rashi: Whatever you learn from the Torah
keep it well for even small things (that are in it) bring great reward if they
Metsudat David: More than
anything else that you may watch over, watch over your own heart. Be careful not
to think of sinning for the major outcomes of life spring from the heart. Why
therefore should you allow thoughts that can destroy your life?
Iben Ezra says that the heart is
like the king of the body.
All the Commentators understand this verse along the same lines:
Keep your thoughts positive because your
mind determines what will happen in your life.
[Proverbs 4:24] Put away from
you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
Rabeinu Yonah: # This is connected to
what it says further on,
THE WICKED IS SNARED BY THE TRANSGRESSION OF HIS LIPS [Proverbs 12:13]
DEATH AND LIFE ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE [Proverbs 18:21].
a deceitful mouth: Means one who does not admit the truth.
PERVERSE LIPS: Someone who calls evil good #
Do not lie. Do not deceive yourself. Do not be deceived. Do not deceive others.
[Proverbs 4:25] Let your eyes look
And your eyelids look right before you.
What you see is what you get but be sure you see it.
Rashi: # Perceive the truth and
Metsudat David: # Consider with
the greatest care the outcome of what you stand to do so that your gaze
(eyelids) may guide you in the right path. #
[Proverbs 4:26] Ponder the path of your
And let all your ways be established.
[Proverbs 4:27] Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.
Experience shows that going in the right path is not usually so difficult. What
is difficult is trying to remain on the right path after one has already
compromised their position. The advice given here is not to put ourselves in
such situations and to foresee the possible outcome if we consider doing so.
Avoid having to fight a rearguard action.
If you go down you may succeed to keep on fighting but it would always be easier
if you had have stayed on your feet.
If you fell down once, take heed, and try not to fall down again.
All truth passes through three
stages: First it is ridiculed.|
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).
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