Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 12:15. The way of a fool — The counsel and course which his own mind suggests to him in ordering his affairs; is right in his own eyes — Highly pleases him, so that he neglects and despises the opinions and advices of others; but he that hearkeneth, &c., is wise — That distrusts his own judgment, and seeks counsel from others.

12:14. When men use their tongues aright, to teach and comfort others, they enjoy acceptance through Christ Jesus; and the testimony of their conscience, that they in some measure answer the end of their being. 15. A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes.See Proverbs 13:2 note. 15. The way … eyes—The fool is self-conceited (compare Pr 12:1; 1:32; 10:17; Jas 3:17). The way of a fool, the counsel and course which his own mind suggests to him in ordering of his affairs,

is right in his own eyes; highly pleaseth him, so that he neglects and despiseth the opinions and advices of others.

He that hearkeneth unto counsel; that distrusteth his own judgment, and seeketh counsel from others.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,.... Whether it be the way of open profaneness, or self-righteousness, it appears to him to be the right way; it seems to him a very plain one, and he finds it pleasant; and, trusting to carnal sense, corrupt reason, and a false judgment, and having a high opinion of himself and his own knowledge, never asks after the right way, nor takes the advice of others;

but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise; that asks advice and takes it of such who are men of age and experience, men of longer standing, and are wiser than himself; who consults the word of God about the right way of walk, worship, and salvation, and makes the testimonies of God the men of his counsel, which are able to make him wise unto salvation; who hearkens to the counsel of Gospel ministers, and obeys it; and especially to Jesus Christ the wonderful Counsellor, and to the advice he gives, Revelation 3:18; and who not only hears his words, but does them; such an one is a wise man, Matthew 7:24.

The way of a fool is {g} right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth to counsel is wise.

(g) He stands in his own conceit, and condemns all others in respect to himself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. he that hearkeneth … is wise] Rather, he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsel, R.V. (εἰσακούει δὲ συμβουλίας σοφός, LXX.; qui autem sapiens est audit consilia, Vulg.), in contrast to the fool, who thinks his own way must be right.

Verse 15. - The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; i.e. in his own judgment (Proverbs 3:7: 16:2). The second clause is best translated, as in the Revised Version, "But he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsel," distrusting his own unaided judgment, which might lead him astray (Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25; Proverbs 21:2; comp. Ecclus. 35:19; Tobit 4:18). Theognis, 221, etc. -

Ὅς τις τοι δοκέει τὸν πλησίον ἴδμεναι οὐδὲν
Ἀλλ αὐτὸς μοῦνος ποικίλα δήνε ἔχειν
Κεῖνός γ ἄφρων ἐστὶ νόου βεβλαμμένος ἐσθλοῦ
Ἴσως γὰρ πάντες ποικίλ ἐπιστάμεθα

"Who thinks his neighbour nothing knows,
And he alone can see,
Is but a fool, for we perhaps
Know even more than he."
Proverbs 12:1515 The way of the fool is right in his own eyes,

     But the wise listeneth to counsel.

Other proverbs, like Proverbs 16:2, say that generally the judgment of a man regarding his character does not go beyond a narrow subjectivity; but there are objective criteria according to which a man can prove whether the way in which he walks is right; but the fool knows not other standard than his own opinion, and however clearly and truly one may warn him that the way which he has chosen is the wrong way and leads to a false end, yet he obstinately persists;

(Note: Vid., kindred proverbs by Carl Schulze, Die bibl. Sprichwrter der deutschen Sprache (1860), p. 50, and M. C. Wahl's Das Sprichwort in der heb.-aram. Literatur, u.s.w. (1871), p. 31.)

while a wise man is not so wise in his own eyes (Proverbs 3:7) as not to be willing to listen to well-meant counsel, because, however careful he may be regarding his conduct, yet he does not regard his own judgment so unerring as not to be inclined ever anew to try it and let it stand the test. Ewald has falsely construed: yet whoever hears counsel is wise. In consequence of the contrast, אויל and חכם are the subject ideas, and with ושׁמע לעצה is brought forward that which is in contrast to the self-complacency of the fool, the conduct of the wise man.

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