Proverbs 19:21
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) There are many devices (or, thoughts) in a man’s heart.—“He disquieteth himself in vain” (Psalm 39:6), endeavouring to carry out his various plans in life, while the one unchangeable “counsel of the Lord,” that shall stand—i.e., abide in all its fulness. (Comp, Isaiah 46:10-11; Psalm 33:11; Job 23:13.)

Proverbs 19:21. There are many devices in a man’s heart — Which shall not stand, but be disappointed; many designs and contrivances, which he thinks to be so well devised and planned that they cannot miscarry. Nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord — Which ofttimes contradicts, and therefore overrules or defeats the designs and purposes of men; that shall stand — Shall certainly be fulfilled, and bring to pass whatever he pleases.19:19. The spared and spoiled child is likely to become a man of great wrath. 20. Those that would be wise in their latter end, must be taught and ruled when young. 21. What should we desire, but that all our purposes may agree with God's holy will? 22. It is far better to have a heart to do good, and want ability for it, than to have ability for it, and want a heart to it. 23. Those that live in the fear of God, shall get safety, satisfaction, and true and complete happiness. 24. Indolence, when indulged, so grows upon people, that they have no heart to do the most needful things for themselves. 25. A gentle rebuke goes farthest with a man of understanding. 26. The young man who wastes his father's substance, or makes his aged mother destitute, is hateful, and will come to disgrace.Contrast the many purposes of man, shifting, changing, from good to better, from bad to worse, and the one unchanging righteous "counsel" of Yahweh. 21. (Compare Pr 16:1, 9; Ps 33:10, 11). The failure of man's devices is implied. There are many devices in a man’s heart; understand out of the opposite clause, which shall not stand, but be disappointed.

The counsel of the Lord; his eternal, and unchangeable, and most wise decree, which ofttimes contradicts, and always overrules, the designs and purposes of men.

Shall stand, i.e. be certainly fulfilled, as this phrase is used, Jeremiah 44:28,29, and elsewhere. There are many devices in a man's heart,.... Some about civil things; to get wealth and riches: to obtain honour and glory among men; to attain to a long life, and to perpetuate their memories after death: some about sinful things; to gratify their carnal lusts and sensual appetites; and to do mischief to others, particularly the people of God, and the cause and interest of Christ: some about religious things; coming new doctrines, devising new ordinances and modes of worship; contriving other methods of salvation than by Christ; as by the light of nature; by the law of Moses; by mere morality, civility, and external justice between man and man; by keeping to the religion they were born and brought up in; and by a mere outward profession of religion, and submission to ordinances, and performance of duties, and a multitude more of the like kind;

nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand; and can never be frustrated by the devices of man's heart, though there are many, and that but one; see Psalm 33:10. This may be applied to the Gospel, and the scheme of salvation in it, called the whole counsel of God, Acts 20:27; it being the fruit of infinite wisdom, and the effect of a divine council between the eternal Three, and full of the best advice and instructions to the sons of men; and which has stood, and shall stand, notwithstanding the persecutions of wicked men, the craft of false teachers, and the ridicule of a profane world; it will continue till all the elect are gathered in, even, to the end of the world; and so will the ordinances of it, which are also called the counsel of God, Luke 7:30; and which will continue till the second coming of Christ. Moreover, the purposes of God, his counsels of old, or his eternal decrees, may be here meant; which are wisely formed in his own breast, and are not frustrable; and according to which counsel of his will all things are done in nature, providence, and grace; all things in this world are ordered as he pleases, and all things are done as he has ordered them; all his purposes are or will be fulfilled; his designs will be accomplished in the world and in his church, in spite of all the schemes, contrivances, and opposition of men and devils.

There are many devices in a {g} man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

(g) Man's device will not have success, unless God governs it, whose purpose is unchangeable.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 21. - The immutability of the counsel of God is contrasted with the shifting, fluctuating purposes of man (comp. Proverbs 16:1, 9; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6). Aben Ezra connects this verse with the preceding, as though it gave the reason for the advice contained therein. But it is most natural to take the maxim in a general sense, as above Wisd. 9:14, "The thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain." The counsel of the Lord, that shall stand; permanebit, Vulgate; εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα μενε1FC0;ι, "shall abide forever," Septuagint (Psalm 33:11). 15 Slothfulness sinketh into deep sleep,

     And an idle soul must hunger.

Regarding תּרדּמה and its root-word רדם, vid., at Proverbs 10:5. הפּיל, to befall, to make to get, is to be understood after Genesis 3:21; the obj. על־האדם, viz., העצל, is naturally to be supplied. In 15b the fut. denotes that which will certainly happen, the inevitable. In both of its members the proverb is perfectly clear; Hitzig, however, corrects 15a, and brings out of it the meaning, "slothfulness gives tasteless herbs to eat." The lxx has two translations of this proverb, here and at Proverbs 18:8. That it should translate רמיה by ἀνδρόγυνος was necessary, as Lagarde remarks, for the exposition of the "works of a Hebrew Sotades." But the Hebrew literature never sunk to such works, wallowing in the mire of sensuality, and ἀνδρόγυνος is not at all thus enigmatical; the Greek word was also used of an effeminate man, a man devoid of manliness, a weakling, and was, as the lxx shows, more current in the Alexandrine Greek than elsewhere.

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