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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Proverbs 14



Verse 12


‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.’

Proverbs 14:12

I. There are ways that lead to death.—Each of us has come into contact with beings whom excesses have led to a premature end; others still occupy a place in the world, but their ruined health, their weakened faculties, show that, to use the words of St. Paul, ‘they are dead while living.’ The death in question here is the condition of a creature who has willingly separated itself from God.

II. Many a way that leads to perdition may seem to us to be right.—(1) In the order of things temporal it is evident that sincerity in ignorance or error has never saved any one from the often terrible end of a life not led under the direct influence of religion. (2) Take the case of those who, believing from the heart and living in the main as in God’s sight, are yet notoriously and confessedly wanting in some important requisite of the Gospel. These ways seem right unto those who are following them. (3) Errors of doctrine. There is nothing in life for which we are so solemnly accountable, as the formation of our belief.

Dean Alford.


‘The self-deception of many men in regard to their courses, imagined to be heathful, but in reality leading to eternal ruin. As Melanchthon says, “the admonition relates to the mistiness and weakness of man’s judgment, and his many and great errors in counsel, for it is manifest that men often err in judging and in their deliberations. Now they are deceived either by their own imaginations, or by the example of others, or by habit, etc., and being deceived, they rush on all the more fascinated by the devil, as is written of Judas in John 13:27.”’


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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