|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1 The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good. 2. Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct. 3. Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him.
Verse 2. - All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes (Proverbs 21:2). He may deceive himself, and be blind to his own faults, or be following an ill-informed and ill-regulated conscience (Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 14:12), yet this is no excuse in God's eyes. The Lord weigheth the spirits. Not the "ways," the outward life and actions only, but motives, intentions, dispositions (Hebrews 4:12). He too knows our secret faults, unsuspected by others, and perhaps by ourselves (Psalm 19:12). The Septuagint has here, "All the works of the humble are manifest before God, but the impious shall perish in an evil day." The next verse is omitted in the Greek; and the other clauses up to ver. 8 are dislocated.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes,.... All right and well, not only some, but all, having a high opinion of himself; for this is to be understood of a self-righteous man, who is pure in his own eyes, though not cleansed from his filthiness, and so fancies every way he walks in, and everything he does, is pure; this is owing to want of knowledge of the impurity of his nature; was he sensible of this, he would see that his best righteousness is as filthy rags and to his ignorance of the spirituality of the law, which, was he acquainted with, he would find, on comparing himself with it, that he and all he did was polluted and unclean: some read the words, "all the ways of a pure man are before his eyes": the eyes of the Lord, he sees them, and approves of them; so Aben Ezra; and to this agrees the Septuagint version, "all the works of an humble man are manifest with God"; and the Arabic version, "all the works of an humble man are clean before God"; but the former reading and sense seem best;
but the Lord weigheth the spirits; searches and tries the hearts; he sees, knows, and observes the principles of all actions, and can as exactly adjust the nature and quality of them, as a man, with a pair of scales in his hands, can tell precisely the weight of anything put into them; the Lord weighs the spirits, or hearts, from whence all actions flow, by his omniscience, and accordingly judges of them by that, and not by the outward appearance; and he weighs all actions by his law, in the balance of the sanctuary, where they are found wanting, and come greatly short of that purity and perfection pharisaical persons imagine there is in them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. clean—or, "faultless."
weigheth—or, "tries," "judges," implying that they are faulty (Pr 21:2; 24:12).
Proverbs 16:2 Parallel Commentaries
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