Proverbs 20:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

New Living Translation
Plans succeed through good counsel; don't go to war without wise advice.

English Standard Version
Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

New American Standard Bible
Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.

King James Bible
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Finalize plans with counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.

International Standard Version
Make plans by seeking advice; make war by obtaining guidance.

NET Bible
Plans are established by counsel, so make war with guidance.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Counsel is acquired in the mind and in provocation war is made.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Plans are confirmed by getting advice, and with guidance one wages war.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Every purpose is established by counsel; And with good advice carry on war.

New American Standard 1977
Prepare plans by consultation,
            And make war by wise guidance.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Every thought must be ordered by counsel, and with intelligence war is made.

King James 2000 Bible
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice wage war.

American King James Version
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

American Standard Version
Every purpose is established by counsel; And by wise guidance make thou war.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Designs are strengthened by counsels: and wars are to be managed by governments.

Darby Bible Translation
Plans are established by counsel; and with good advice make war.

English Revised Version
Every purpose is established by counsel: and by wise guidance make thou war,

Webster's Bible Translation
Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

World English Bible
Plans are established by advice; by wise guidance you wage war!

Young's Literal Translation
Purposes by counsel thou dost establish, And with plans make thou war.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

20:7. A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. 8. If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. 9. Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. 10. See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. 11. Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. 12. All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. 13. Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. 14. Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. 15. He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. 16. Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. 17. Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. 18. Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. 19. Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. 20. An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. 21. An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. 22. Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. - Every purpose is established by counsel (comp. Proverbs 15:22, where see note). The Talmud says, "Even the most prudent of men needs friends' counsels;" and none but the most conceited would deem himself superior to advice, or would fail to allow that, as the Vulgate puts it, cogitationes consillis roborantur. This is true in all relations of life, in great and small matters alike, in peace, and, as our moralist adds, in war. With good advice make war; Vulgate, Gubernaculis tractanda sunt bella; Revised Version, By wise guidance make thou war. The word here used is takebuloth, for which see note, Proverbs 1:5. It is a maritime metaphor, rightly retained by the Vulgate, and might be rendered "pilotings," "steerings." War is a necessary evil, but it must be undertaken prudently and with a due consideration of circumstances, means, etc. Our Lord illustrates the necessity of due circumspection in following him by the case of a threatened conflict between two contending kings (Luke 14:31, etc.). Grotius quotes the gnome -

Γνῶμαι πλέον κρατοῦσιν η} σθένος χερῶν.

"Titan strength of hands availeth counsel more." To which we may add -

Βουλῆς γὰρ ὀρθῆς οὐδὲν ἀσφαλέστερον.

"Good counsel is the safest thing of all." (Comp. Proverbs 24:6, where the hemistich is re-echoed.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Every purpose is established by counsel,.... Or "the thought" (f) of a man, everyone of them, what he has thought to do, formed a scheme of in his mind, and resolved upon, by taking advice of his friends, and especially by asking counsel of God, who gives, wisdom liberally, and upbraids not; he is confirmed in his good designs; and he cheerfully pursues them, and they are ordered and directed to the glory of God, his own good and the good of others; for this can only be understood of wise and good thoughts and purposes;

and with good advice make war; this should not be entered upon rashly, without first considering whether there is a just and lawful cause of it; and without consulting the necessary charge and expense of it; whether there is a sufficiency of men and money to carry it on; and what may probably be the issue of it. It is right in a king to advise with his privy council, or with the chief council of the nation; but, above all, both he and his people should seek advice of the Lord on such an occasion; see Luke 14:31. This may be applied to our spiritual warfare with sin, Satan, and the world; not that it should be any doubt with whether we should engage in such a war; but we should advise with experienced soldiers, and especially with God and his word, what weapons to take, and how to use them; and consider in whose name and strength we are to fight; and inquire and learn the force, methods, and designs of the enemy, and where to guard against them or attack them. Jarchi interprets it of making war with Satan by repentance, prayer, and fasting.

(f) "cogitationes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus; "unaquaeque cogitationum", Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. (Compare Pr 15:22). Be careful and considerate in important plans.

Proverbs 20:18 Additional Commentaries
Wine is a Mocker
17Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 18Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance. 19He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.…
Cross References
Luke 14:31
"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

Proverbs 11:14
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 15:22
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 24:6
Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.
Treasury of Scripture

Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.


Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of …

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel you shall make your war: and in multitude of …


Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest you know not what to do in the …

Judges 1:1,2 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

Judges 9:29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove …

Judges 20:7,18,23,26-28 Behold, you are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel…

2 Samuel 2:26,27 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? …

2 Chronicles 25:17-23 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son …

Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first…

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