|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:4. God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. 5. Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. 6. By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. 7. He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. 8. A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. 9. If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. 11. To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment.
Verse 9. - A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps (ver. 1). "Man proposes, God disposes" or, as the Germans say, "Der Mensch denkt, Gott lenkt" (comp. Proverbs 20:24). The word rendered "deviseth" implies, by its spectra, intensity of thought and care. Man meditates and prepares his plans with the utmost solicitude, but it rests with God whether he shall carry them to completion or not, and whether, if they are to be accomplished, it be done with ease or with painful labour (comp. Genesis 24:12, etc.). We all remember Shakespeare's words in 'Hamlet' -
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will." Septuagint, "Let the heart of man consider what is just, that his steps may be by God directed might" (comp. Jeremiah 10:23).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A man's heart deviseth his way,.... This is to be understood, not of a wicked man, in whose heart is frowardness, and who devises mischief and evil imaginations continually, Proverbs 6:14; for such are an abomination to the Lord; nor will he direct their goings, or prosper and succeed them in their ways: but of a good man, or righteous man, as Aben Ezra; who thinks of the way in which he should go, and desires to walk in a right way, as Jarchi; and who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in this manner; for otherwise the way of man is not in himself; it is not of his own devising and finding out; nor is his disposition to walk in it of himself; and it is only such a man, a good man, whose steps are ordered by the Lord, as follows; see Jeremiah 10:23;
but the Lord directeth his steps: to go right on, and not turn to the right hand or the left; and to walk safely and surely, through a variety of troubles and difficulties, to his kingdom and glory.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Compare Pr 16:3).
Proverbs 16:9 Parallel Commentaries
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