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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:8

 

 

The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Is to understand his way - Instead of הבין habin, to understand, הכין hachin, to Direct his way, is found in one MS. It makes a very good sense.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Hebrew counterpart to the Greek “Know thyself.” “The highest wisdom is for a person to understand his own way. The most extreme folly is self-deceit.” The word “deceit” may, however, involve fraud practiced upon others. The folly of fools shows itself then in their ceaseless effort to deceive.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-14.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way; But the folly of fools is deceit."

"Shrewd men are wise in grasping their affairs, but the folly of a fool leads him astray."[9]

The first clause here is the Hebrew counterpart of the Greek, "Know thy way," or "Know thyself." "The highest wisdom is for a man to know his own way. The fool, on the other hand, whose specialty is that of deceiving others, is (in the second clause) led astray, because he has deceived himself"![10]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,.... The way of his calling, in which he should abide, and how to manage it in the best manner; the way of his duty, that he may walk inoffensively both towards God and men; and the way of life and salvation, which is by Jesus Christ, which to understand and to walk in is the highest wisdom and prudence;

but the folly of fools is deceit: or "the wisdom of fools", which the opposition requires, and is meant, and is what the Holy Ghost calls "folly", as elsewhere, 1 Corinthians 3:19; this is itself "deceit"; it is science, falsely so called; it lies in tricking and deceiving; and the issue of it is, not only the deceiving of others, but themselves also: such is the folly of the man of sin and followers, which lies in deceiving the inhabitants of the earth with their sorceries and superstitions, with their lying wonders and miracles; see 2 Thessalonians 2:10, Revelation 13:14.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Appearances deceive the thoughtless, but the prudent discriminate.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to observe his way,

And the folly of fools is deceit.

The nearest idea is that of self-deceit, according to which the lxx, Syr., and Jerome render the word error (“ Irrsal ”). But מרמה is nowhere else used of self-deception, and moreover is not the suitable word for such an idea, since the conception of the dolus malus is constantly associated with it. Thus the contrast will be this: the wisdom of the prudent shows itself in this, that he considers his conduct ( הבין as Proverbs 7:7, cf. Psalms 5:2), i.e. , regulates it carefully, examining and considering (Proverbs 13:16) it according to right and duty; and that on the contrary the folly of fools shows itself in this, that they aim at the malevolent deception of their neighbour, and try all kinds of secret ways for the gaining of this end. The former is wisdom, because from the good only good comes; the latter is folly or madness, because deception, however long it may sneak in darkness, yet at last comes to light, and recoils in its destructive effects upon him from whom it proceeds.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

See here, 1. The good conduct of a wise and good man; he manages himself well. it is not the wisdom of the learned, which consists only in speculation, that is here recommended, but the wisdom of the prudent, which is practical, and is of use to direct our counsels and actions. Christian prudence consists in a right understanding of our way; for we are travellers, whose concern it is, not to spy wonders, but to get forward towards their journey's end. It is to understand our own way, not to be critics and busybodies in other men's matters, but to look well to ourselves and ponder the path of our feet, to understand the directions of our way, that we may observe them, the dangers of our way, that we may avoid them, the difficulties of our way, that we may break through them, and the advantages of our way, that we may improve them - to understand the rules we are to walk by and the ends we are to walk towards, and walk accordingly. 2. The bad conduct of a bad man; he puts a cheat upon himself. He does not rightly understand his way; he thinks he does, and so misses his way, and goes on in his mistake: The folly of fools is deceit; it cheats them into their own ruin. The folly of him that built on the sand was deceit.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

His way — Consists not in vain speculations, but in a diligent study of his duty, and of the way to eternal happiness.

The folly — The wit of ungodly men, which is really their folly, is employed only in finding out ways of deceiving.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 8. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way.] His wisdom begins in the right knowledge of himself, and ends in the right knowledge of God, that he may "walk worthy of God in all well pleasing," worthy of the calling wherewith he is called, that high and "heavenly calling" [Hebrews 3:1] to the fruition of high and heavenly privileges, to an angelical and convincing conversation, such as may draw hearts or daunt them. We use to say of him that knows his place, and carries himself accordingly, such a man understands himself well enough. So here.

But the folly of fools is deceit.] Or, Is to understand deceit, to know the devil’s depths, to search his skull for carnal arguments that they may cum ratione insanire, be mad with show of reason, and deceive the hearts of the simple. "This their way is their folly; yet their posterity" - as wise as their foolsih fathers - "approve their sayings," abet their practices. [Psalms 49:13]


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 8. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, to observe where he is going, to pay close attention to his conduct; but the folly of fools Is deceit, self-deception, since they are willfully blind to the demands of every situation in which they find themselves, and so invite punishment and destruction upon themselves.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 14:8. The wisdom of the prudent Lord Bacon renders this verse thus: A wise man is wary of his way; a cunning fool seeks evasion. There be two sorts of wisdom, says he; the one true and sound, the other counterfeit and false; which last Solomon hesitates not to call folly. He who applies himself to the former takes heed to his own ways and footings; foreseeing dangers, studying remedies, using the assistance of good men, and fortifying himself against the wicked: wary how he enters upon a business, and not unprepared for a handsome retreat: attentive to advantages, courageous against impediments, with innumerable other things relating to the government of his own ways and actions. But that other kind is made up altogether of fallacies and cunning devices, and relies wholly upon the hopes of circumventing others, and framing them as it lists. This wisdom the parable rejects, not only as wicked, but as foolish; for, first, it is not in the number of things which are in our own power, nor is it directed by any constant rule; but new stratagems must be every day devised, the old failing and growing useless: and, secondly, as soon as a man hath got the name and opinion of a cunning crafty companion, he hath deprived himself utterly of the principal instrument for the management of his affairs; which is, trust; and so he will find, by experience, all things go cross to his desires: for, lastly, these arts and shifts, however they promise fair, and much please such as practise them; yet they are commonly frustrated, and, which is worse, end sadly. "Crafty and audacious counsels (says Tacitus remarkably) are joyful in the expectation, difficult in the management, and sorrowful in the event." See Advancement of Learning, as above.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way; it consists not in vain speculations, nor in a curious prying into other men’s matters, nor in cunning arts of deceiving others; but in a diligent study of his own duty, and of the way to true and eternal happiness.

The folly of fools is deceit; the wit of ungodly men, which, though they account their wisdom, is really their folly, is employed only in finding out ways of overreaching and deceiving others, and themselves too.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Wisdom of the prudent — The wary, cautious.

Is to understand — Is the discerning of his way; that is, it is the means of doing so; points out the right way to him.

But the folly of fools is deceit — Delusive, deceitful, even to themselves; folly misleads them into wrong paths. “The highest wisdom is for a man to [know,] understand, his own way. The extremest folly is self-deceit.” — Speaker’s Com. Compare Proverbs 13:16; Luke 12:20; 1 Corinthians 3:19; 2 Timothy 3:13. Some understand by this the deceits or frauds practised upon others. Their folly is seen in their ceaseless efforts to deceive.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:8. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way — It consists not in vain speculations, nor in a curious prying into other men’s matters, much less in subtle arts of deceiving others, but in a diligent study of his own duty, and of the way to true and eternal happiness; but the folly of fools is deceit — The wit of ungodly men, which, though they account it their wisdom, is really their folly, is employed only in finding out ways of overreaching and deceiving others, and themselves too.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Way. This science of the saints is the only true wisdom. --- Erreth. They are inconstant. Hebrew, "is deceit." They are bent on it.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

wisdom. Hebrew. chokma. See note on Proverbs 1:2.

the prudent = a prudent one. See note on "subtil", Genesis 3:1.

is to understand. Not to vainly speculate about it, or to pry into the ways of others.

deceit = lying. Hebrew. ramah. See note on Proverbs 11:18.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

The wisdom of the prudent (is) to understand his way - what he ought to do and how to behave: to do nothing rashly, but with return judgment; to understand what is incumbent on him by his calling (1 Corinthians 7:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:11); not to be wise in other people's business and duties and yet a feel in one's own: to begin with one's self, what sins most beset one, what are our dangers, and how to meet them.

But the folly of fools (is) deceit. Their folly is their cunningly devised deceits which they pride themselves on as But the folly of fools (is) deceit. Their folly is their cunningly devised deceits which they pride themselves on as master-strokes of wisdom. The wise man seeks by honest means-namely, by the conscientious ordering of his life; the fool seeks by deceit. The feel's deceit is practiced to gain riches and power: this "deceit" is opposed to "understanding" for while deceiving others, he does not understand that all the while be is deceiving himself.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way.—To look to it carefully that it is such as God would have it; but “the folly of fools (stupid persons, as Proverbs 14:7], is deceit;” it shows itself in trying to cheat others, though they are sure to be detected at last.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
wisdom
2:9; 8:20; Psalms 111:10; 119:5,34,35,73; 143:8; Ephesians 5:17; Colossians 1:9,10; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; James 3:13
folly
11:18; Jeremiah 13:20; *marg:; Luke 12:19,20; Ephesians 4:22; 2 Timothy 3:13

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

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