Proverbs 3:8


King James Version (KJV)

It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.

American King James Version (AKJV)

It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.

American Standard Version (ASV)

It will be health to thy navel, And marrow to thy bones.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

This will give strength to your flesh, and new life to your bones.

Webster's Revision

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

World English Bible

It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.

English Revised Version (ERV)

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Clarke's Proverbs 3:8 Bible Commentary

It shall be health to thy navel - We need not puzzle ourselves to find out what we may suppose to be a more delicate meaning for the original word שר shor than navel; for I am satisfied a more proper cannot be found. It is well known that it is by the umbilical cord that the fetus receives its nourishment all the time it is in the womb of the mother. It receives nothing by the mouth, nor by any other means: by this alone all nourishment is received, and the circulation of the blood kept up. When, therefore, the wise man says, that "trusting in the Lord with the whole heart, and acknowledging him in all a man's ways, etc., shall be health to the navel, and marrow to the bones;" he in effect says, that this is as essential to the life of God in the soul of man, and to the continual growth in grace, as the umbilical cord is to the life and growth of the fetus in the womb. Without the latter, no human being could ever exist or be born; without the former, no true religion can ever be found. Trust or faith in God is as necessary to derive grace from him to nourish the soul, and cause it to grow up unto eternal life, as the navel string or umbilical cord is to the human being in the first stage of its existence. I need not push this illustration farther: the good sense of the reader will supply what he knows. I might add much on the subject.

And marrow to thy bones - This metaphor is not less proper than the preceding. All the larger bones of the body have either a large cavity, or they are spongious, and full of little cells: in both the one and the other the oleaginous substance, called marrow, is contained in proper vesicles, like the fat. In the larger bones, the fine oil, by the gentle heat of the body, is exhaled through the pores of its small vesicles, and enters some narrow passages which lead to certain fine canals excavated in the substance of the bone, that the marrow may supply the fibres of the bones, and render them less liable to break. Blood-vessels also penetrate the bones to supply this marrow and this blood; and consequently the marrow is supplied in the infant by means of the umbilical cord. From the marrow diffused, as mentioned above, through the bones, they derive their solidity and strength. A simple experiment will cast considerable light on the use of the marrow to the bones: - Calcine a bone, so as to destroy all the marrow from the cells, you will find it exceedingly brittle. Immerse the same bone in oil so that the cells may be all replenished, which will be done in a few minutes; and the bone reacquires a considerable measure of its solidity and strength; and would acquire the whole, if the marrow could be extracted without otherwise injuring the texture of the bone. After the calcination, the bone may be reduced to powder by the hand; after the impregnation with the oil, it becomes hard, compact, and strong. What the marrow is to the support and strength of the bones, and the bones to the support and strength of the body; that, faith in God, is to the support, strength, energy, and salvation of the soul. Behold, then, the force and elegance of the wise man's metaphor. Some have rendered the last clause, a lotion for the bones. What is this? How are the bones washed? What a pitiful destruction of a most beautiful metaphor!

Barnes's Proverbs 3:8 Bible Commentary

Navel - The central region of the body is taken as the representative of all the vital organs. For "health" we should read healing, or, as in the marg. There is probably a reference to the local applications used by the surgery of the period as means of healing.

Wesley's Proverbs 3:8 Bible Commentary

3:8 Navel - To thy body, which is signified by one part of it.Marrow - Which is the nourishment and strength of the bones.

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