Jeremiah 10:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
LORD, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.

New Living Translation
I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.

English Standard Version
I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

New American Standard Bible
I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

King James Bible
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I know, LORD, that a man's way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps.

International Standard Version
LORD, I know that a person's life is not his to control, nor does a person establish his way in life.

NET Bible
LORD, we know that people do not control their own destiny. It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
O LORD, I know that the way humans act is not under their control. Humans do not direct their steps as they walk.

Jubilee Bible 2000
O LORD, I know that man is not the lord of his own way: it is not in man that walks to order his steps.

King James 2000 Bible
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

American King James Version
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.

American Standard Version
O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I know, O Lord, that the way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk, and to direct his steps.

Darby Bible Translation
I know, Jehovah, that the way of man is not his own; it is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps.

English Revised Version
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Webster's Bible Translation
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

World English Bible
Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

Young's Literal Translation
I have known, O Jehovah, that not of man is his way, Not of man the going and establishing of his step.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:17-25 The Jews who continued in their own land, felt secure. But, sooner or later, sinners will find all things as the word of God has declared, and that its threatenings are not empty terrors. Submission will support the believer under every grief allotted to him; but what can render the load of Divine vengeance easy to be borne by those who fall under it in sullen despair? Those cannot expect to prosper, who do not, by faith and prayer, take God with them in all their ways. The report of the enemy's approach was very dreadful. Yet the designs which men lay deep, and think well formed, are dashed to pieces in a moment. Events are often overruled, so as to be quite contrary to what we intended and expected. If the Lord has directed our steps into the ways of peace and righteousness, let us entreat him to enable us to walk therein. Say not, Lord, do not correct me; but, Lord, do not correct me in anger. We may bear the smart of God's rod, but we cannot bear the weight of his wrath. Those who restrain prayer, prove that they know not God; for those who know him will seek him, and seek his favour. If even severe corrections lead sinners to be convinced of wholesome truths, they will have abundant cause for gratitude. And they will then humble themselves before the Lord.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 23-25. - These verses confirm the view taken above, of the speaker of this whole section. Jeremiah and the people, each is, in a sense, the speaker; but here the prophetic faith seems to run rather in advance of that of his fellow-countrymen. They form, however, a fitting sequel to the charges brought against the people in Jeremiah 9. The speaker admits that he (either the People of Judah personified, or Jeremiah as a representative of its best portion) fully deserves chastisement for having attempted to go his own way (comp. Isaiah 57:17). He has now attained an insight into the truth that man's duty is simply to walk in the path which God has marked out for him. He only asks that Jehovah would chastise him with judgment, or,, more clearly, according to what is just. The contrast is between punishment inflicted in anger, the object of which is to cause pain to the criminal, and that inflicted as a duty of justice, and of which the object is the criminal's reformation" (Payne Smith). The fear expressed, however, is not exactly lest thou bring me to nothing, which is too strong for the Hebrew, but lest thou make me small. Israel was secured against annihilation by the promise of Jehovah, but feared he might possibly survive only as the shadow of his former self.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself,.... Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of that well known man Nebuchadnezzar, whose way was not in himself, and was not master of his own resolutions, but was under the influence and direction of divine Providence: when he set out of Babylon, he thought to have gone against the Ammonites; but when he came to a place where two ways met; the one leading to the children of Ammon, the other to Jerusalem; God changed his mind, and he steered his course to Jerusalem, to chastise Zedekiah for the breach of his oath: but the words seem to have a more general meaning; and the sense to be, that the prophet knew that it was not with him, nor with any of the godly, to escape the judgments that were coming upon them; that they were entirely in the hands of the Lord, to be guided, directed, and disposed of at his pleasure. The words may be accommodated to spiritual things and the affair of salvation; and be rendered thus, "I know, O Lord, that not for man is his way" (d); his own way is not good for him; not his sinful way, for this is opposite to God's way, and a going out of it; it is not according to his word; it is after the course of the world; and it is a dark and crooked way, and leads to, and ends in, destruction and death, if grace prevent not: nor the way of his own righteousness; this is no way of access to God, no way of acceptance with him, no way of justification before him, no way of salvation, no way to heaven, and eternal happiness; that which is the good and right way, the only way of salvation, is not of man, in him, or with him naturally; it is not of his devising and contriving, and much less of his effecting; it is not even within his knowledge; and so far as he knows anything of it, he does not approve of it: but it is of God; the scheme of it is of his forming; it is a work wrought out by Christ; it is a way of salvation revealed in the Gospel; and the thing itself is savingly made known, and applied by the Spirit of God; all which is known and owned when men are spiritually enlightened:

it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps; as not in natural and civil things, much less in religious ones; a good man is one that "walks", which supposes life and strength, without which there can be no walking; and a progression, a going on in a way; which ways are Christ, and his ordinances the path of doctrine and of duty; yet it is not even in this good man "to direct" and order "his steps" of himself; it is the Lord that must do it, and does; he can take no step aright without him; he is guided by him and his Spirit, both in the path of truth and of obedience; and hence it is that the saints persevere unto the end; see Psalm 37:23.

(d) "novi, Jehovah, quod non sit homini via ejus", Schmidt; so Vatablus, Cocceius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. Despairing of influencing the people, he turns to God.

way of man not in himself—(Pr 16:1; 20:24; Jas 4:13, 14). I know, O Jehovah, that the march of the Babylonian conqueror against me (Jeremiah identifying himself with his people) is not at his own discretion, but is overruled by Thee (Isa 10:5-7; compare Jer 10:19).

that walketh—when he walketh, that is, sets out in any undertaking.

direct … steps—to give a prosperous issue to (Ps 73:23).

Jeremiah 10:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jeremiah's Prayer
23I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. 24Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.…
Cross References
Proverbs 3:6
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 16:1
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Proverbs 20:24
A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?

Isaiah 26:7
The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.

Daniel 5:23
Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.
Treasury of Scripture

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.

Psalm 17:5 Hold up my goings in your paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.

Psalm 119:116,117 Uphold me according to your word, that I may live: and let me not …

Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, …

Proverbs 20:24 Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

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