Proverbs 18:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

New Living Translation
Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.

English Standard Version
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

New American Standard Bible
He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

King James Bible
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.

International Standard Version
Whoever isolates himself pursues selfish ends; he resists all sound advice.

NET Bible
One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In his idleness one meditates on lust and mocks at good instruction.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A loner is out to get what he wants for himself. He opposes all sound reasoning.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Whosoever goes astray seeks according to his own lust and shall meddle with every doctrine.

King James 2000 Bible
A man, having separated himself, seeks his own desire, and rages against all sound wisdom.

American King James Version
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom.

American Standard Version
He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire, And rageth against all sound wisdom.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that hath a mind to depart from a friend seeketh occasions: he shall ever be subject to reproach.

Darby Bible Translation
He that separateth himself seeketh [his] pleasure, he is vehement against all sound wisdom.

English Revised Version
He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire, and rageth against all sound wisdom.

Webster's Bible Translation
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

World English Bible
An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgment.

Young's Literal Translation
For an object of desire he who is separated doth seek, With all wisdom he intermeddleth.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. 2. Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. 3. As soon as sin entered, shame followed.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - This is a difficult verse, and has obtained various interpretations. The Authorized Version gives, Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom; i.e. a man who has an earnest desire for self-improvement will hold himself aloof from worldly entanglements, and, occupying himself wholly in this pursuit, will become conversant with all wisdom. This gives good sense, and offers a contrast to the fool in ver. 2, who "hath no delight in understanding." But the Hebrew does not rightly bear this interpretation. Its conciseness occasions ambiguity. Literally, For his desire a man who separates himself seeks; in (or against) all wisdom he mingles himself. There is a doubt whether the life of isolation is praised or censured in this verse. Aben Ezra and others of Pharisaic tendencies adopt the former alternative, and explain pretty much as the Authorized Version, thus: "He who out of love of wisdom divorces himself from home, country, or secular pursuits, such a man will mix with the wise and prudent, and be conversant with such." But the maxim seems rather to blame this separation, though here, again, there is a variety of interpretation. Delitzsch, Ewald, and others translate, "He that dwelleth apart seeketh pleasure, against all sound wisdom he showeth his teeth" (comp. Proverbs 17:14). Nowack, after Bertheau, renders, "He who separates himself goes after his own desire; with all that is useful he falls into a rage." Thus the maxim is directed against the conceited, self-willed man, who sets himself against public opinion, delights in differing from received customs, takes no counsel from others, thinks nothing of public interests, but in his mean isolation attends only to his own private ends and fancies (comp. Hebrews 10:25). The Septuagint and Vulgate (followed by Hitzig) read in the first clause, for taavah, "desire," taanah, "occasion;" thus: "He who wishes to separate from a friend seeks occasions; but at all time he will be worthy of censure." The word translated "wisdom" (tushiyah) also means "substance," "existence;" hence the rendering, "at all time," omni existentia, equivalent to omni tempore.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Through desire a man having separated himself, seeketh,.... Or, "a separated man seeketh desire" (g); his own desire, will, and pleasure. This is either to be understood in a good sense, of one that has a real and hearty desire after sound wisdom and knowledge, and seeks in the use of all proper means to attain it; and in order to which he separates himself from the world and the business of it, and retires to his study, and gives up himself to reading, meditation, and prayer; or goes abroad in search of it, as Aben Ezra: or of a vain man that affects singularity; and who, through a desire of gratifying that lust, separates himself, not only from God, as Jarchi interprets it, pursuing his evil imagination and the lust of his heart; and from his friends, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions; but from all men, like the Jews, who "please not God, and are contrary to all men"; so such a man sets himself to despise and contradict the sentiments and opinions of others, and to set up his own in opposition to them. This is true of the Pharisees among the Jews, who had their name from separating themselves from all others, having an high opinion of their own Wisdom and sanctify; and also of the Gnostics among the Christians, who boasted of their knowledge, and separated themselves from the Christian assemblies; and were sensual, not having the Spirit, being vainly puffed up with their fleshly mind;

and intermeddleth with all wisdom; the man who is desirous of being truly wise and knowing grasps at all wisdom, every branch of useful knowledge; would gladly learn something of every art and science worthy of regard; and he makes use of all means of improving himself therein; and covets the company and conversation of men of wisdom and knowledge, that he may attain to more; he intermingles himself with men of wisdom, as Aben Ezra interprets it, and walks and converses with them. Or if this is to be understood of a vain glorious person, the sense is, "he intermeddles" or "mingles himself with all business" (h), as it may be rendered; he thrusts himself into affairs that do not concern him, and will pass his judgment on things he has nothing to do with; or he monopolizes all knowledge to himself, and will not allow any other to have any share with him. Jarchi interprets this clause thus,

"among wise men his reproach shall be made manifest;''

and observes, that their Rabbins explain it of Lot separating from Abraham, following the desires of his heart: but R. Saadiah Gaon better interprets it of an apostate from religion; that objects to everything solid and substantial, in a wrangling and contentious manner; and "shows his teeth" (i) at it, as Schultens, from the use of the Arabic word, renders it.

(g) So the Targum. (h) "immiscet se omni negotio", Munster; "omnibus quae sunt immiscet se", Junius & Tremellius. (i) "Et in omne solidum dentes destringei", Schultens.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 18

Pr 18:1-24.

1. Through desire … seeketh—that is, seeks selfish gratification.

intermeddleth … wisdom—or, "rushes on" (Pr 17:14) against all wisdom, or what is valuable (Pr 2:7).

Proverbs 18:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Unfriendly Pursue Selfishness
1He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. 2A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.…
Cross References
Proverbs 3:21
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;

Proverbs 8:14
Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
Treasury of Scripture

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom.

seeketh

Proverbs 2:1-6 My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you…

Matthew 13:11,44 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Mark 4:11 And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the …

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…

intermeddleth

Proverbs 14:10 The heart knows his own bitterness; and a stranger does not intermeddle …

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore …

Proverbs 20:3,19 It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will …

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear you the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them …

Proverbs 26:17 He that passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, …

Isaiah 26:8,9 Yes, in the way of your judgments, O LORD, have we waited for you; …

Jeremiah 15:17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone …

Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting …

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