Proverbs 4:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

King James Bible
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Darby Bible Translation
Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life.

World English Bible
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.

Young's Literal Translation
Above every charge keep thy heart, For out of it are the outgoings of life.

Proverbs 4:23 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Keep thy heart with all diligence - "Above all keeping," guard thy heart. He who knows any thing of himself, knows how apt his affections are to go astray.

For out of it are the issues of life - תוצאות חיים totseoth chaiyim, "the goings out of lives." Is not this a plain allusion to the arteries which carry the blood from the heart through the whole body, and to the utmost extremities? As long as the heart is capable of receiving and propelling the blood, so long life is continued. Now as the heart is the fountain whence all the streams of life proceed, care must be taken that the fountain be not stopped up nor injured. A double watch for its safety must be kept up. So in spiritual things: the heart is the seat of the Lord of life and glory; and the streams of spiritual life proceed from him to all the powers and faculties of the soul. Watch with all diligence, that this fountain be not sealed up, nor these streams of life be cut off. Therefore "put away from thee a froward mouth and perverse lips - and let thy eyes look straight on." Or, in other words, look inwardlook onward - look upward.

I know that the twenty-third verse is understood as principally referring to the evils which proceed from the heart, and which must be guarded against; and the good purposes that must be formed in it, from which life takes its colouring. The former should be opposed; the latter should be encouraged and strengthened. If the heart be pure and holy, all its purposes will be just and good. If it be impure and defiled, nothing will proceed from it but abomination. But though all this be true, I have preferred following what I believe to be the metaphor in the text.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

keep

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the fraudulent: he that does keep his soul shall be far from them.

Proverbs 23:19 Hear you, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the way.

Proverbs 28:26 He that trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen...

Psalm 139:23,24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts...

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Mark 14:38 Watch you and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you...

with all diligence

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.

Proverbs 3:21 My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman retains honor: and strong men retain riches.

Proverbs 13:3 He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

for

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things...

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders...

James 1:14,15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed...

Library
Monotony and Crises
'When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.'--PROVERBS iv. 12. The old metaphor likening life to a path has many felicities in it. It suggests constant change, it suggests continuous progress in one direction, and that all our days are linked together, and are not isolated fragments; and it suggests an aim and an end. So we find it perpetually in this Book of Proverbs. Here the 'way' has a specific designation, 'the way of Wisdom'--that is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Two Paths
'Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. 14. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16. For they sleep not,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Epistle cxx. To Claudius in Spain .
To Claudius in Spain [78] . Gregory to Claudius, &c. The renown of good deeds being fragrant after the manner of ointment, the odour of your glory has extended from the Western parts as far as here. Besprinkled by the sweetness of which breath of air, I declare that I greatly loved one whom I knew not, and within the bosom of my heart seized thee with the hand of love; nor did I love without already knowing him to be one whose good qualities I had learnt. For of him who is known to me by great
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Twenty-Fourth Day. Firmness in Temptation.
"Jesus saith unto him, Get thee hence, Satan."--Matt. iv. 10. There is an awful intensity of meaning in the words, as applied to Jesus, "He suffered, being tempted!" Though incapable of sin, there was, in the refined sensibilities of His holy nature, that which made temptation unspeakably fearful. What must it have been to confront the Arch-traitor?--to stand face to face with the foe of His throne, and His universe? But the "prince of this world" came, and found "nothing in Him." Billow after
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

Cross References
Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 15:18
But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Mark 7:21
For it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come--sexual immorality, theft, murder,

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

2 Kings 10:31
Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

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