Proverbs 20:24
New International Version
A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?

New Living Translation
The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?

English Standard Version
A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?

Berean Study Bible
A man’s steps are from the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?

King James Bible
Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

New King James Version
A man’s steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?

New American Standard Bible
A man’s steps are ordained by the LORD; How then can a person understand his way?

NASB 1995
Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

NASB 1977
Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

Amplified Bible
Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the LORD. How then can a man [fully] understand his way?

Christian Standard Bible
Even a courageous person’s steps are determined by the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A man’s steps are determined by the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?

American Standard Version
A man's goings are of Jehovah; How then can man understand his way?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The steps of a man are before LORD JEHOVAH, and who is the man that will order his way?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
A man's goings are directed of the Lord: how then can a mortal understand his ways?

Contemporary English Version
How can we know what will happen to us when the LORD alone decides?

Douay-Rheims Bible
The steps of man are guided by the Lord: but who is the man that can understand his own way?

English Revised Version
A man's goings are of the LORD; how then can man understand his way?

Good News Translation
The LORD has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD is the one who directs a person's steps. How then can anyone understand his own way?

International Standard Version
A man's steps are directed by the LORD; how then can anyone understand his own way?

JPS Tanakh 1917
A man's goings are of the LORD; How then can man look to his way?

Literal Standard Version
The steps of a man [are] from YHWH, And man—how does he understand his way?

NET Bible
The steps of a person are ordained by the LORD--so how can anyone understand his own way?

New Heart English Bible
A man's steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?

World English Bible
A man's steps are from Yahweh; how then can man understand his way?

Young's Literal Translation
From Jehovah are the steps of a man, And man -- how understandeth he his way?

Additional Translations ...
Context
Wine is a Mocker
23Unequal weights are detestable to the LORD, and dishonest scales are no good. 24A man’s steps are from the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way? 25It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly, only later to reconsider his vows.…

Cross References
Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Jeremiah 10:23
I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

Daniel 5:23
Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. The vessels from His house were brought to you, and as you drank wine from them with your nobles, wives, and concubines, you praised your gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you have failed to glorify the God who holds in His hand your very breath and all your ways.


Treasury of Scripture

Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

man's

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Jeremiah 10:23
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Daniel 5:23
But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

how

Proverbs 14:8
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Psalm 25:4,12
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths…









(24) Man's goings are of the Lord.--Comp. Jeremiah 10:23 and the collect, "O God, from whom . . . all just works do proceed."

How can a man then understand his own way?--i.e., how he should go. So much the more reason for the prayer of Psalm 25:3, "Shew me thy ways, O Lord." (Comp. Psalm 119:33, ff, Psalm 143:8.)

Verse 24. - Man's goings are of the Lord. In the first clause the word for "man" is geber, which implies "a mighty man;" in the second clause the word is adam, "a human creature." So the Septuagint has ἀνὴρ in one clause and θνητὸς in the other. The proverb says that the steps of a great and powerful man depend, as their final cause, upon the Lord; he conditions and controls results. Man has free will, and is responsible for his actions, but God foreknows them, and holds the thread that connects them together; he gives preventing grace; he gives efficient grace: and man blindly works out the designs of Omnipotence according as he obeys or resists. A similar maxim is found in Psalm 37:23, "A man's goings are established of the Lord," but the meaning there is that it is God's aid which enables a man to do certain actions. Here we have very much the same intimation that is found in Proverbs 2:6 and Proverbs 19:21; and see note on Proverbs 16:9. Hence arises the old prayer used formerly at prime, and inserted now (with some omissions) at the end of the Anglican Communion Service: "O almighty Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, our thoughts, words, and actions, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection we may be preserved both here and forever." If man cannot see all sides, as God does, cannot comprehend the beginning, middle, and end in one view, how then can a man (a weak mortal) understand his own ways. How can he find out of himself whither he should go, or what will be the issue of his doings (comp. Proverbs 16:25; Jeremiah 10:23)? St. Gregory, "It is well said by Solomon [Ecclesiastes 9:1], 'There are righteous and wise men, and their works are in the hand of God; and yet no man knoweth whether he is deserving of love or of hatred; but all things are kept uncertain for the time to come.' Hence it is said again by the same Solomon, 'What man will be able to understand his own way?' And any one doing good or evil is doubtless known by the testimony of his own conscience. But it is said that their own way is not known to men, for this reason, because, even if a man understands that he is acting rightly, yet he knows not, under the strict inquiry, whither he is going" ('Moral.,' 29:34).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
A man’s
גָ֑בֶר (ḡā·ḇer)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1397: A valiant man, warrior, a person simply

steps
מִצְעֲדֵי־ (miṣ·‘ă·ḏê-)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 4703: A step, companionship

[are] from the LORD,
מֵיהוָ֥ה‪‬‪‬‪‬ (Yah·weh)
Preposition-m | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

so how
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

can anyone
וְ֝אָדָ֗ם (wə·’ā·ḏām)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 120: Ruddy, a human being

understand
יָּבִ֥ין (yā·ḇîn)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 995: To separate mentally, understand

his own way?
דַּרְכּֽוֹ׃ (dar·kōw)
Noun - common singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action


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