Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove your foot from evil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Turn not aside . . .—Comp. the direction of Joshua 1:7, and the praise accorded to David (1Kings 15:5).Isaiah 30:21; nor be moved out of it by threatenings and menaces, nor by flatteries and promises; neither be cast down with adversity, nor be lifted up with prosperity; but keep on in an even way, attending to that which is just and right; leaving all events with God, as knowing you are in the way of your duty, and in which he would have you walk;
remove, by foot from evil; from walking in evil ways and along with evil men, and from doing evil things; abstain from all appearance of evil, keep at a distance from it; the evil of sin brings on the evil of punishment. There are two verses added in the Septuagint, Arabic, and Vulgate Latin versions, which are not in the Hebrew text;Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. At the end of this verse the LXX. add:
“For the ways on the right God knoweth,
But the ways on the left are crooked.
And He will make straight thy paths,
And thy goings will He conduct in peace.”Verse 27. - This verse, with which the teacher closes this discourse, is very closely connected with ver. 26, which it more fully explains. The command is the parallel of ver. 25. As in ver. 25, the gaze is to be concentrated. So here the feet are not to deflect nor turn aside to byways. Nothing is to be permitted to draw one off from the right way, neither adversity, nor prosperity, nor anything which can possess the power of temptation (Bayne and Wardlaw). Remove thy foot from evil. A fuller expression than "depart from evil," of Proverbs 3:7. Both the LXX. and the Vulgate add, "For the Lord knows the ways which are on thy right hand; but they are perverse which are on thy left. He shall make thy paths straight, and shall advance thy ways in peace."
20 My son, attend unto my words,
Incline thine ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
Keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life to all who get possession of them,
And health to their whole body.
Regarding the Hiph. הלּין (for הלין), Proverbs 4:21, formed after the Chaldee manner like הלּין, הנּיח, הסּיג, vid., Gesenius, 72, 9; - Ewald, 114, c, gives to it the meaning of "to mock," for he interchanges it with הלין, instead of the meaning to take away, efficere ut recedat (cf. under Proverbs 2:15). This supposed causative meaning it has also here: may they equals may one (vid., under Proverbs 2:22) not remove them from thine eyes; the object is (Proverbs 4:20) the words of the paternal admonition. Hitzig, indeed, observes that "the accusative is not supplied;" but with greater right it is to be remarked that ילּיזוּ (fut. Hiph. of לוּז) and ילוּזוּ (fut. Kal of id.) are not one and the same, and the less so as הלּיז occurs, but the masoretical and grammatical authorities (e.g., Kimchi) demand ילּיזוּ. The plur. למצאיהם is continued, 22b, in the sing., for that which is said refers to each one of the many (Proverbs 3:18, Proverbs 3:28, Proverbs 3:35). מצא is fundamentally an active conception, like our "finden," to find; it means to attain, to produce, to procure, etc. מרפּא means, according as the מ is understood of the "that equals ut" of the action or of the "what" of its performance, either health or the means of health; here, like רפאוּת, Proverbs 3:8, not with the underlying conception of sickness, but of the fluctuations connected with the bodily life of man, which make needful not only a continual strengthening of it, but also its being again and again restored. Nothing preserves soul and body in a healthier state than when we always keep before our eyes and carry in our hearts the good doctrines; they give to us true guidance on the way of life: "Godliness has the promise of this life, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8.
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