|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.
Verse 26. - Ponder the path of thy feet; properly, make straight or level the path of thy feet. The command carries on the idea of the previous verse. Simplicity of aim in the moral life is to be accompanied by attention to the moral conduct. The sense is, remove every obstacle which may impede or render insecure the way of moral life, and thus avoid every false step. The meaning "to ponder," i.e. "to weigh," seems to be given to the verb palles, piel of the unused palas here used only in Psalm 58:3 and possibly in Proverbs 5:21. Its ordinary signification is "to make level, or even," as in Isaiah 26:7; Isaiah 40:12; and Proverbs 5:6. The LXX. keeps this in view in rendering, "Make straight paths for thy feet" (cf. Hebrews 12:13). The Authorized Version would mean, "Weigh your conduct as in a balance; before acting, consider the consequences and nature of the act." The second clause, and let all thy ways be established, is in effect only a repetition of the preceding thought, since it signifies, "See that thy conduct is correct; let all thy ways be definite and fixed." The marginal reading. "And all thy ways shall be ordered aright." gives the literal rendering to the tense; yikkonu being the future hiph. of kun, "to be established," "to stand firm." This would express the result of giving heed to one's conduct.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ponder the path of thy feet,.... Consider well what path it is, whether right or wrong; or weigh it in the balances of thought, as Aben Ezra; or rather in the balances of the word, and see whether it agrees with that or not. The Septuagint version is, "make straight paths for thy feet"; to which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews seems to have respect, Hebrews 12:13;
and let all thy walls be established; so as to walk on steadily, constantly, uniformly, and not be easily moved out of the ways of religion and truth. Or, "let all thy ways be prepared", or "directed", or "disposed" (c); according to the rule of the divine word. Some render it as a promise, "and all thy ways shall be established" (d); when care is taken to look well into them; see 2 Chronicles 20:20.
(c) "dirigantur", Tigurine version, Mercerus; "recte apparentur aut disponantur", Vatablus. (d) "Stabilientur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "constabilientur", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. Ponder—Consider well; a wise course results from wise forethought.
Proverbs 4:26 Parallel Commentaries
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