There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 16:25-26. There is a way, &c. — See on Proverbs 14:12. He that laboureth, laboureth for himself — For his own use and benefit. Solomon’s design in this proverb is, to condemn idleness, and to commend diligence, in a man’s calling; for his mouth craveth it of him — Hebrew, אכŠ עליו, boweth to him, namely, as a suppliant; beggeth him to labour, that it may have something put into it, for its own comfort, and the nourishment of the whole body.Proverbs 14:12, and is here repeated, partly for its great importance and usefulness to prevent that self-deceit which is so common and dangerous; and partly to keep men from leaning too much to their own understanding, and to oblige them to seek and receive the good counsels of wise and holy men. Proverbs 14:12, and is here repeated because of the excellence, importance, and usefulness of the observation, and to excite an attention to it; that men may be more diligent to look into their ways, and be more cautious where and how they walk, and be more considerate and thoughtful of the issue of them. See Gill on Proverbs 14:12. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. See Proverbs 14:12, where the same proverb occurs.Verse 25. - A repetition of Proverbs 14:12.
Than to divide spoil among the proud.
The form שׁפל is here not adj. as Proverbs 29:23 (from שׁפל, like חסר, Proverbs 6:32, from חסר), but inf. (like Ecclesiastes 12:14, and חסר, defectio, 10:21). There existed here also no proper reason for changing עניּים (Chethı̂b) into ענוים; Hitzig is right in saying that עני may also be taken in the sense of ענו [the idea "sufferer" is that which mediates], and that here the inward fact of humility and the outward of dividing spoil, stand opposed to one another. It is better to live lowly, i.e., with a mind devoid of earthly pride (Demut [humility] comes from do with the deep e, diu, servant), among men who have experience of the vanity of earthly joys, than, intoxicated with pride, to enjoy oneself amid worldly wealth and greatness (cf. Isaiah 9:2).
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