The foolishness of man perverts his way: and his heart frets against the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The foolishness of man perverteth his way.—A man’s own self-will (Proverbs 1:7) overturns his way. stops his progress, whether in temporal or spiritual matters, and then, instead of blaming himself, “his heart fretteth against the Lord.” (Comp. Isaiah 8:21; Revelation 16:10-11.)Perverteth his way; either.
1. Enticeth him to sin. Or rather,
2. Crosseth and blasteth his designs and enterprises, and brings losses and miseries upon him. His heart fretteth against the Lord; he ascribes his unhappiness not to his own sin and folly, which is the true cause of it, but to God and his providence, against which he unjustly murmurs.
and his heart fretteth against the Lord; laying all the blame on him; and ascribing his ill success, not to his own sin and folly, but to divine Providence, which works against him; and therefore frets and murmurs at him; and, instead of charging his own ways with folly, charges the ways of God with inequality; see Ezekiel 18:25.The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 3. - The foolishness of man perverteth his way; rather, overturns, turns from the right direction and causes a man to fall (Proverbs 13:6). It is his own folly that leads him to his ruin; but he will not see this, and blames the providence of God. And his heart fretteth against the Lord. Septuagint, "He accuseth God in his heart" (comp. Ezekiel 18:25, 29; Ezekiel 33:17, 20). Ecclus 15:11, etc., "Say not thou, It is through the Lord that I foil away; for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth. Say not thou, He has caused me to err; for he hath no need of the sinful man," etc. The latter part of this important passage St. Augustine quotes thus: "Item apud Salomonem: Deus ab initio constituit hominem et reliquit eum in manu consilii sui: adjecit ei mandata et praecepta; si voles praecepta servare, servabunt te, et in posterum fidem placitam facere. Apposuit tibi aquam et ignem, ad quod vis porrige manum tuam. Ante hominem bonum et malum, vita et mors, paupertas et honestas a Domino Deo sunt" ('De Per. Just. Hom.,' cap. 19, § 41). And again, "Manifestum est, quod si ad ignem manum mittit, et malum ac mors ei placet, id votuntas hominis operatur; si autem bonum et vitam diligit, non solum voluntas id agit, sed divinitus adjuvatur" ('De Gest. Pelag.,' cap. 3, § 7). Homer, 'Od.,' 1:32, etc. -
"Perverse mankind! whose wills, created free,
Charge all their woes on absolute decree;
All to the dooming gods their guilt translate,
And follies are miscalled the crimes of fate."
And whoever loveth it shall eat its fruit.
The hand, יד, is so common a metaphor for power, that as here a hand is attributed to the tongue, so e.g., Isaiah 47:14 to the flame, and Psalm 49:16 to Hades. Death and life is the great alternative which is placed, Deuteronomy 30:15, before man. According as he uses his tongue, he falls under the power of death or attains to life. All interpreters attribute, 21b, ואהביה to the tongue: qui eam (linguam) amant vescentur (יאכל, distrib. sing., as Proverbs 3:18, Proverbs 3:35, etc.) fructu ejus. But "to love the tongue" is a strange and obscure expression. He loves the tongue, says Hitzig, who loves to babble. Euchel: he who guards it carefully, or: he who takes care of it, i.e., who applies himself to right discourse. Combining both, Zckler: who uses it much, as εὐλογῶν or κακολογῶν. The lxx translates, οἱ κρατοῦντες αὐτῆς, i.e., אחזיה; but אחז means prehendere and tenere, not cohibere, and the tongue kept in restraint brings forth indeed no bad fruit, but it brings no fruit at all. Why thus? Does the suffix of ואהביה, perhaps like Proverbs 8:17, Chethı̂b, refer to wisdom, which, it is true, is not named, but which lies everywhere before the poet's mind? At Proverbs 14:3 we ventured to make חכמה the subject of 3b. Then 21b would be as a miniature of Proverbs 8:17-21. Or is ואהביה a mutilation of ואהב יהוה: and he who loves Jahve (Psalm 97:10) enjoys its (the tongue's) fruit?
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