A wicked man hardens his face: but as for the upright, he directs his way.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A wicked man hardeneth his face.—Is insensible to rebuke, and will not confess himself in the wrong, but “the upright directeth his way,” as God would have him, or, as the margin implies, “looks well” to it, sees that it is in accordance with His commandments.Proverbs 21:29. A wicked man hardeneth his face — Continues in his evil practices with obstinacy and impudence, in spite of all the commands of God, or counsels of men; but the upright directeth his way — Ordereth his steps aright; and, if at any time he errs from the right path, he does not add rebellion to his sin, nor persist in his error, but considers his ways, and turns his feet to God’s testimonies.
directeth … way—considers it, and acts advisedly.Hardeneth his face; continueth in evil courses with obstinacy and impudence, in spite of all the commands of God, or counsels of men.
He directeth his way; he ordereth his steps aright; and if at any time, he goeth awry, he doth not add rebellion to his sin, nor persist in his error, but considereth his ways, and turneth his feet to God’s testimonies, as David did, Psalm 119:59. Or, considereth his way, remembering with grief and shame what he hath done, and taking better heed to himself for the future.
but as for the upright, he directeth his way; or "his ways" (m); according to the various reading; the man that is upright in heart, and walks uprightly, he directs his way according to the word of God; and, if he does amiss, when sensible he is ashamed of it, and amends.A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. directeth] Or, ordereth, R.V. corrigit, Vulg. There is another reading, noticed in the marg. both of A.V. and R.V., considereth; συνίει, LXX.Verse 29. - A wicked man hardeneth his face; is shameless (as Proverbs 7:13), and is insensible to rebuke or any soft feeling. This obduracy he shows with his countenance. Septuagint, "An ungodly man shamelessly withstands with his face." But as for the upright, he directeth his way. He gives it the right direction (2 Chronicles 27:6). This is the reading of the Khetib, יָכִין but, though generally adopted by the versions (except the Septuagint), it does not make a suitable antithesis to the rash stubbornness of the wicked. Hence modern commentators prefer the reading of the Keri, יָבִין, "he considereth, proveth," his way; he acts only after due thought, giving proper weight to all circumstance. Septuagint, "But the upright man himself understands (συνιεῖ) his ways." The contrast lies in the audacious self-confidence of the unprincipled man, and the calm circumspection and prudence of the saint.
Keepeth his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 13:3 resembles this. He guardeth his mouth who does not speak when he does better to be silent; and he guardeth his tongue who says no more than is right and fitting. The troubles comprehend both external and internal evils, hurtful incidents and (נפשׁ) צרות לבב, Psalm 25:17; Psalm 31:8, i.e., distress of conscience, self-accusation, sorrow on account of the irreparable evil which one occasions.
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