New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:3 my father’s son. If, as suggested in the footnote to Proverbs 1:1, the first nine chapters of Proverbs were actually written by David for his son Solomon, then Proverbs 4:3-9 may give an insight into the character and teachings of David’s father Jesse, possibly illuminating God’s reason for calling one of Jesse’s sons to play such a vital role in human history.
4:7 principal. “Principal” is the same word as “beginning.” Wisdom is the foundation of a fruitful life, and the foundation of true wisdom is fear of the Lord.
4:15 Avoid it. God’s Word emphasizes again and again that God’s true children should never compromise with evil, whether false teachings or immoral behavior. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
4:18 path of the just. In contrast to “the path of the wicked,” whose way “is as darkness” (Proverbs 4:14,19), the believer’s path is illuminated by the “shining light” of God’s Word (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23), and “the light of the world,” Jesus Christ (John 8:12).
4:18 the shining light. The “light” that shines on the path to guide the “just” is, of course, the Lord Himself (Psalm 27:1,11; II Corinthians 4:6), through His inspired written Word (II Peter 1:19). This light eventually leads us to the land of “perfect day” where there is no more night (Revelation 22:5).
4:23 heart. In Scripture, the heart is both the physical organ energizing the circulatory system and also the seat of the intellect and emotions. This truth is valid in both cases. A well-maintained, healthy heart and circulation are essential to optimum effectiveness in every area of one’s natural life, and a heart right before God spiritually is essential to a truly fruitful Christian life.