|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1 The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. 2. We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. 3. Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. 4. Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. 5. The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. 6. While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. 7. Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. 8. The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.
Verse 2. - This is similar to Proverbs 16:2 (where see note. Comp. also Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25; Proverbs 20:24). See here a warning against self-deception and that silly self-complacency which thinks its own ways the best. Septuagint, "Every man appears to himself righteous, but the Lord directs the hearts."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,.... This is repeated, from Proverbs 16:2; for the confirmation of it; and that it might be observed and taken notice of, and men be brought under a conviction of it; which is not easily done, it being what affects all men: every man is conceited of himself and his own way, and is not easily persuaded off of it; his sinful ways are agreeable to him promising him pleasure, profit, or honour; and his self-righteous ways suit with the vain opinion he has of himself, whereby he promises himself eternal life and happiness. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it to this sense,
"every man seems righteous to himself;''
but the Lord pondereth the hearts: weighs them in the balance of righteousness and truth; considers them, having a perfect knowledge of them, and all the springs of action in them; and knows that every way of man is not right, though they may seem so to him.
Proverbs 21:2 Parallel Commentaries
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