Humility: Proverbs 22:4 Only God is…

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Only God is all seeing, all knowing, and ever-present.

Verse 4. – By humility and the fear of the Lord, etc. This does not seem to be the best rendering of the original. The word rendered “by” (עֵקֶב ekeb), “in reward of,” is also taken as the subject of the sentence: “The reward of humility [‘and,’ or, ‘which is’] the fear of God, is riches,” etc. There is no copulative in the clause, and a similar asyndeton occurs in ver. 5; so there is no reason why we should not regard the clause in this way. Thus Revised Version, Nowack, and others. But Delitzsch makes the first hemistich a concluded sentence, which the second member carries on thus: “The reward of humility is the fear of the Lord; it [the reward of humility] is at the same time riches,” etc. Vulgate, Finis modestiae timor Domini, divitiae et gloria et vita; Septuagint, “The generation (γενεὰ) of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and wealth,” etc. It is preferable to translate as above, taking the two expressed virtues as appositional, thus: “The reward of humility, the fear of the Lord.” Humility brings with it true religion, which is expressed by “the fear of the Lord.” The feeling of dependence, the lowly opinion of self, the surrender of the will, the conviction of sin, all effects which are connected with humility, may well be represented by this term, “the fear of God,” which, in another aspect, is itself the source of every virtue and every blessing; it is riches, and honour, and life. These are God’s gifts, the guerdon of faithful service (see notes on Proverbs 3:16 and Proverbs 21:21; and comp. Proverbs 8:18). The Easterns have a pretty maxim, “The bending of the humble is the graceful droop of the branches laden with fruit.” And again, “Fruitful trees bend down; the wise stoop; a dry stick and a fool can be broken, not bent” (Lane).

From Pulpit Commentary

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