Proverbs 27:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart.

New Living Translation
As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

English Standard Version
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.

New American Standard Bible
As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.

King James Bible
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.

International Standard Version
Just as water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.

NET Bible
As in water the face is reflected as a face, so a person's heart reflects the person.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As faces are not alike, so hearts are not alike.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As a face is reflected in water, so a person is reflected by his heart.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As in water face corresponds to face, so the heart of man to man.

King James 2000 Bible
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man to man.

American King James Version
As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.

American Standard Version
As in water face answereth to face, So the heart of man to man.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As the faces of them that look therein, shine in the water, so the hearts of men are laid open to the wise.

Darby Bible Translation
As [in] water face [answereth] to face, so the heart of man to man.

English Revised Version
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

Webster's Bible Translation
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

World English Bible
As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.

Young's Literal Translation
As in water the face is to face, So the heart of man to man.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

27:15,16. The contentions of a neighbour may be like a sharp shower, troublesome for a time; the contentions of a wife are like constant rain. 17. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. 18. Though a calling be laborious and despised, yet those who keep to it, will find there is something to be got by it. God is a Master who has engaged to honour those who serve him faithfully. 19. One corrupt heart is like another; so are sanctified hearts: the former bear the same image of the earthly, the latter the same image of the heavenly. Let us carefully watch our own hearts, comparing them with the word of God. 20. Two things are here said to be never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of the carnal mind for profit or pleasure are always desiring more. Those whose eyes are ever toward the Lord, are satisfied in him, and shall for ever be so. 21. Silver and gold are tried by putting them into the furnace and fining-pot; so is a man tried by praising him. 22. Some are so bad, that even severe methods do not answer the end; what remains but that they should be rejected? The new-creating power of God's grace alone is able to make a change. 23-27. We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can, still the world cannot be secured to us, therefore we must choose a more lasting portion; but by the blessing of God upon our honest labours, we may expect to enjoy as much of earthly blessings as is good for us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 19. - As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man; Vulgate, Quomodo in aquis resplendent vultus prospicientium, sic corda hominum manifesta sunt prudentibus. As in clear water the face of the gazer is reflected, so man finds in his fellow man the same feelings, sentiments, passions, which he has himself. He sees in others the likeness of himself; whatever he knows himself to be, he will see others presenting the same character. Self-knowledge, too, leads to insight into others' minds; "for what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" (1 Corinthians 2:11). There is a solidarity in human nature which enables us to judge of others by ourselves. The difficulties in the construction and wording of the sentence do not affect the interpretation. They are, however, best met by rendering, with Delitzsch, "As it is with water, face corresponds to face, so also the heart of man to man." Septuagint, "As faces are not like faces, so neither are the thoughts of men;" which is like the saying of Persius, 'Sat.,' 5:52 -

"Mille hominum species, et rerum discolor usus;
Velle suum cuique est, nec voto vivitur uno."


Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As in water face answereth to face,.... As water is as a looking glass, in which a man may behold his own face and another's; or as the face in the water answers to the face of a man, and there is a great likeness between them. All things through water appear greater, as Seneca (m) observes, and so more clear and plain;

so the heart of man to man; one man's heart may be seen and discerned in some measure by another, as by his countenance; for though, as the poet (n) says, "frontis nulla fides", yet the countenance is often the index of the mind, though not an infallible one; wrath and anger in the breast may be seen in the face, as were in Cain's; thus Jacob saw some resentment at him in the mind of Laban, and judged he had some design of mischief against him by the change of his countenance; also what is in the heart of man is discerned by what comes out of it, by his words, and also by his actions; yea, a man may know in a good measure what is in another man's heart, by what he finds in his own: the word of God is a glass, or medium of vision, and like water, in which a man's face is seen, through which a man sees his own heart; the law is a glass, in which an enlightened person sees not only the perfections of God, the nature of righteousness, but also his sin, and the sinfulness of it; this glass mother magnifies nor multiplies his sins, but sets them in a true light before him, by which he discerns heart sins, and sees and knows the plague of his heart; and the Gospel is a glass, wherein he beholds the glory of Christ, sees and can discern whether Christ is formed in him, and he has the grace of the Spirit of God wrought in his soul, as faith, hope, love, repentance, humility, self-denial, &c. moreover, as the face seen in the water is similar to a man's face, so the hearts of men are alike, not merely in a natural sense, see Psalm 33:15; but in a moral and spiritual sense the hearts of unregenerate men are alike, and answer to each other; for they are all equally corrupted, one and depraved; the heart of every man is desperately wicked; the imaginations of the thoughts of the hearts or wicked men, one and all of them, are only evil, and that continually; their affections are inordinately the same, they love and hate the same persons and things; their minds and consciences are all defiled; their understandings are darkened; their wills are averse to that which is good, and bent on that which is evil: and so the hearts of good men are alike; they have all one heart and one way given them; their experiences agree as to the work of grace and conversion; they are all made sensible of sin, the evil of it, and danger by it; they are all brought off of their own righteousness, and are led to Christ to depend on him alone for righteousness, pardon, and eternal life; they are partakers of the same promises in the Gospel, and have the same enemies to grapple with, and the same temptations, trials, and exercises from sin, Satan, and the world; and they have the same things put into their hearts, the laws of God, the doctrines of Christ, and the several graces of the Spirit of Christ; so that there cannot be a greater likeness between a man's face and that seen in the water, than there is between the heart of one saint and another; the hearts of Old and New Testament saints, and of all in all ages and places, answer to one another. The Targum paraphrases it to a sense quite the reverse,

"as waters and as faces which are not like one to another, so the hearts of the children of men are not like one to another;''

and to the same sense are the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions.

(m) Nat. Quaest. l. 1. c. 6. (n) Juvenal. Satyr. 2. v. 8.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. We may see our characters in the developed tempers of others.

Proverbs 27:19 Additional Commentaries
Context
Do Not Boast about Tomorrow
18He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored. 19As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man. 20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.…
Cross References
Proverbs 27:18
The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.

Proverbs 27:20
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.
Treasury of Scripture

As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.

in

James 1:22-25 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…

so

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…

Psalm 33:15 He fashions their hearts alike; he considers all their works.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, …

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