Bridges on Proverbs 1:1-4
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 1:1-4


1.  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2. To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; {equity: Heb. equities} 4. To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. {discretion: or, advisement}.
THE Book naturally opens with a short account of its author. Solomon is recorded as the wisest of men; a man of wisdom, because a man of prayer. (1 Kings 3:12. Compare Chapter 2:1-9.) His extraordinary wisdom was the admiration of the world. (1 Kings 3:28; 4:34.) Had he been the son of Jeroboam, he would have commanded respect; much more as the son of David, formed by his godly prayers (Psalm 72:1) and counsels. (Chapter 4:1-4. 1 Kings 2:1-4. 1 Chronicles 28:9.) And if a King’s sayings even though without intrinsic merit, are preserved, the wise teaching of this King of Israel (Ecclesiastes 1:1; 12:9, 10) may well demand our especial interest.
Valuable, however, as were Solomon’s maxims for their own wisdom (exceeding the sages of his own or any other time) (1 Kings 4:29-31); they claim our reverence upon infinitely higher ground. “Behold! A greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42). Often does he speak in the person (verse 20; Chapter 8. Chapter 9. Chapter 23:26) always under the inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16) of “the wisdom of God;” so that his sayings are trulyDivine sentences in the lips of the King.” (Chapter 16:10.)
The great end of this inestimable book is to teach, not secular or political wisdom (though many excellent rules of each are interspersed) (Chapter 6:1-11; 27:23-27; with 11:14; 14:28, 34; 20:18); but that knowledge of God (Verse 7), which, while it “maketh wise unto salvation, perfects and furnishes the man of God unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17. Titus 2:11, 12.) Its glowing privileges are set forth (Chapter 3:13-18.) It is pressed upon us with intense earnestness, as “the principal thing,” our very “life.” (Chapter 4:5-9, 13.) Instruction is the means of gaining it. We are directed to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction as a complete rule of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity (Compare Chapter 2:9); sound principles, and their practical application. Here also the simple, so readily deluded (Chapter 14:15; 21:11. Ezekiel 45:20), learn that subtlety, so needful to discriminate between truth and error (Philippians 1:10. 1 Thessalonians 5:21); to guard them from false teachers (Psalm 17:4. 1 John 4:1. Compare Acts 17:11); and to “convince gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9; 2:8 Compare Matthew 22:15-46.) Specially is the young man directed to this book.† His undisciplined ardor runs to waste. His mind fluctuates at the mercy of the winds of opinion in the world around him; and greatly does he need some settled master-principles to fix his purpose, choice, and conduct. Here then he finds knowledge and discretion; a religion, not of imagination, impulse, or sentiment; but the sound practical energy of Scriptural truth.