Proverbs 5:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths.

New Living Translation
For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.

English Standard Version
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.

New American Standard Bible
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.

King James Bible
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For a man's ways are before the LORD's eyes, and He considers all his paths.

International Standard Version
Indeed, what a man does is always in the LORD's presence, and he weighs all his paths.

NET Bible
For the ways of a person are in front of the LORD's eyes, and the LORD weighs all that person's paths.

New Heart English Bible
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD. He examines all his paths.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because the ways of a man are in front of Lord Jehovah and all his paths are open before him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Each person's ways are clearly seen by the LORD, and he surveys all his actions.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He maketh even all his paths.

New American Standard 1977
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
            And He watches all his paths.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he weighs all his goings.

King James 2000 Bible
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.

American King James Version
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his goings.

American Standard Version
For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah; And he maketh level all his paths.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Lord beholdeth the ways of man, and considereth all his steps.

Darby Bible Translation
For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah, and he pondereth all his paths.

English Revised Version
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he maketh level all his paths.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

World English Bible
For the ways of man are before the eyes of Yahweh. He examines all his paths.

Young's Literal Translation
For over-against the eyes of Jehovah are the ways of each, And all his paths He is pondering.
Study Bible
Avoid Immorality
20For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner? 21For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. 22His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin.…
Cross References
Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Job 14:16
"For now You number my steps, You do not observe my sin.

Job 31:4
"Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?

Job 34:21
"For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.

Psalm 119:168
I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are before You. Tav.

Proverbs 4:26
Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established.

Proverbs 5:6
She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.

Jeremiah 16:17
"For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.

Jeremiah 29:23
because they have acted foolishly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives and have spoken words in My name falsely, which I did not command them; and I am He who knows and am a witness," declares the LORD.'"
Treasury of Scripture

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his goings.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth…

Job 31:4 Does not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

Job 34:21 For his eyes are on the ways of man, and he sees all his goings.

Psalm 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his …

Psalm 17:3 You have proved my heart; you have visited me in the night; you have …

Psalm 139:1-12 O lord, you have searched me, and known me…

Jeremiah 16:17 For my eyes are on all their ways: they are not hid from my face, …

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every …

Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? said …

Jeremiah 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open on all …

Hosea 7:2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: …

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight…

Revelation 2:18,23 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things said …

(21) For the ways of man . . .--Another reason for avoiding sin is the certainty of detection by the Judge, whose "eyes run to and fro through the whole earth" (2Chronicles 16:9), comp. Psalm 11:4.

Verse 21. - For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord. The obvious meaning here is that as "the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3), there is no possibility of any act of immorality escaping God's notice. The consciousness of this fact is to be the restraining motive, inasmuch as he who sees will also punish every transgression. The great truth acknowledged here is the omniscience of God, a truth which is borne witness to in almost identical language in Job: "For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings" (Job 34:21; cf. 24:23 and Job 31:4). So Hanani the seer says to Asa King of Judah, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth" (2 Chronicles 16:9); and Jehovah says, in Jeremiah, "For mine eyes are upon all their ways, they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes" (Jeremiah 16:17; cf. 32:29); and again, in Hosea, "They are before my face" (Hosea 7:2), and the same truth is re-echoed in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in all probability gathered from our passage, "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13). The ways of man; i.e. the conduct of any individual man or woman; ish, "man," being used generically. Are before the eyes of the Lord; i.e. are an object on which Jehovah fixes his gaze and scrutiny. And he pondereth all his goings. The word "he pondereth" is in the original m'phalles, the piel participle of philles, piel of the unused kal, palas, and appears to be properly rendered in the Authorized Version. This verb, however, has various meanings:

(1) to make level, or prepare, as in Proverbs 4:26 and Proverbs 5:6;

(2) to weigh, or consider accurately, in which sense it is used here.

So Gesenius, Lee, Buxtorf, and Davidson. Jehovah not only sees, but weighs all that a man does, wheresoever he be, and will apportion rewards and punishments according to a man's actions (Patrick). The German commentators, Delitzsch and Zockler, however, look upon the word as indicating the overruling providence of God, just as the former part of the verse refers to his omniscience, and render, "he marketh out," in the sense that the Lord makes it possible for a man to walk in the way of uprightness and purity. There is nothing inherently objectionable in this view, since experience shows that the world is regulated by the Divine government, but it loses sight to some extent of the truth upon which the teacher appears to be insisting, which is that evil actions are visited with Divine retribution. For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,.... Both good and bad; the ways of a chaste and virtuous man, who cleaves to his own wife and shuns the harlot, which are approved of by the Lord; and the ways of a lewd man, all the impure thoughts, desires, and contrivances of his mind, and all the steps he takes to commit lewdness, and all the filthy actions he is guilty of, these are all open and naked to the omniscient God: the adulterer seeks the twilight, and flatters himself with secrecy, not considering that the eye of God is upon him; there are many, that, were their filthy actions known to men, they would be ashamed of them; and this consideration greatly deters from them, and puts them upon secret ways of committing them; much more should the consideration of the divine omniscience weigh with them to avoid them; which is the argument here made use of;

and he pondereth all his goings; he not only sees them, but takes notice of them, and observes them, and ponders them in his mind, and lays them up there, in order to bring to an account for them hereafter; yea, he weighs them in the balance of justice, and will proportion the punishment unto them, according to the rules of it; when it must go ill with those that follow such lewd practices, Hebrews 13:4. 21. The reason, God's eye is on you,5:15-23 Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God's word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. Ever remember, that though secret sins may escape the eyes of our fellow-creatures, yet a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, who not only sees, but ponders all his goings. Those who are so foolish as to choose the way of sin, are justly left of God to themselves, to go on in the way to destruction.
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