Proverbs 14:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

King James Bible
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

American Standard Version
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil; But the fool beareth himself insolently, and is confident.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A wise man feareth and declineth from evil: the fool leapeth over and is confident.

English Revised Version
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool beareth himself insolently, and is confident.

Webster's Bible Translation
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

Proverbs 14:16 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Four proverbs of joy and sorrow in the present and the future:

10 The heart knoweth the trouble of its soul,

     And no stranger can intermeddle with its joy.

The accentuation לב יודע seems to point out יודע as an adjective (Lwenstein: a feeling heart), after 1 Kings 3:9, or genit. (of a feeling heart); but Cod. 1294 and the Jemen Cod., and others, as well as the editions of Jablonsky and Michaelis, have לב with Rebia, so that this is by itself to be taken as the subject (cf. the accentuation Proverbs 15:5 and under at 16a). מרּת has the ר with Dagesh, and consequently the short Kametz (Michlol 63b), like שׁרּך Proverbs 3:8, cf. כּרתה, Judges 6:28, and on the contrary כרּת, Ezekiel 16:4; it is the fem. of mōr equals morr, from מרר, adstringere, amarum esse. Regarding לב, in contradistinction to נפשׁ, vid., Psychol. p. 251. "All that is meant by the Hellenic and Hellenistic νοῦς, λόγος, συνείδησις, θυμός, is comprehended in καρδία, and all by which the בשׂר and נפשׁ are affected comes in לב into the light of consciousness."

The first half of the proverb is clear: the heart, and only it, i.e., the man in the centre of his individuality, knows what brings bitterness to his soul, i.e., what troubles him in the sphere of his natural life and of the nearest life-circle surrounding him. It thus treats of life experiences which are of too complex a nature to be capable of being fully represented to others, and, as we are wont to say, of so delicate a nature that we shrink from uncovering them and making them known to others, and which on this account must be kept shut up in our own hearts, because no man is so near to us, or has so fully gained our confidence, that we have the desire and the courage to pour out our hearts to him from their very depths. Yet the saying, "Every one knows where the shoe pinches him" (1 Kings 8:38), stands nearer to this proverb; here this expression receives a psychological, yet a sharper and a deeper expression, for the knowledge of that which grieves the soul is attributed to the heart, in which, as the innermost of the soul-corporeal life, it reflects itself and becomes the matter-of-fact of the reflex consciousness in which it must shut itself up, but also for the most part without external expression. If we now interpret לא־יתערב as prohibitive, then this would stand (with this exception, that in this case אל instead of לא is to be expected) in opposition, certainly not intended, to the exhortation, Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice," and to the saying, "Distributed joy is doubled joy, distributed sorrow is half sorrow;" and an admonition to leave man alone with his joy, instead of urging him to distribute it, does not run parallel with 10a. Therefore we interpret the fut. as potentialis. As there is a soul-sorrow of the man whose experience is merely a matter of the heart, so there is also a soul-joy with which no other (vid., regarding זר, p. 135, and cf. here particularly Job 19:27) intermeddleth (ההערב בּ like Psalm 106:35), in which no other can intermeddle, because his experience, as e.g., of blessed spiritual affection or of benevolent feeling, is purely of a personal nature, and admits of no participation (cf. on ἔκρυψε, Matthew 13:44), and thus of no communication to others. Elster well observes: "By this thought, that the innermost feelings of a man are never fully imparted to another man, never perfectly cover themselves with the feelings of another, yea, cannot at all be fully understood by another, the worth and the significance of each separate human personality is made conspicuous, not one of which is the example of a species, but each has its own peculiarity, which no one of countless individuals possesses. At the same time the proverb has the significance, that it shows the impossibility of a perfect fellowship among men, because one never wholly understands another. Thereby it is indicated that no human fellowship can give true salvation, but only the fellowship with God, whose love and wisdom are capable of shining through the most secret sanctuary of human personality." Thus also Dchsel (but he interprets 10b admonitorily): "Each man is a little world in himself, which God only fully sees through and understands. His sorrow appertaining to his innermost life, and his joy, another is never able fully to transfer to himself. Yea, the most sorrowful of all experiences, the most inward of all joys, we possess altogether alone, without any to participate with us."

Proverbs 14:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 16:6,17 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil...

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Genesis 33:9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that you have to yourself.

Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said to them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:

Nehemiah 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine...

Job 31:21-23 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate...

Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembles for fear of you; and I am afraid of your judgments.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

the fool

Proverbs 7:22 He goes after her straightway, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

Proverbs 28:14 Happy is the man that fears always: but he that hardens his heart shall fall into mischief.

Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

1 Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also...

1 Kings 20:10,11,18 And Benhadad sent to him, and said, The gods do so to me, and more also...

Ecclesiastes 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

Mark 6:17-19,24,25 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold on John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife...

John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said to him, Are we blind also?

Cross References
Job 28:28
And he said to man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'"

Psalm 34:14
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Proverbs 3:7
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 14:15
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

Proverbs 14:17
A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.

Proverbs 16:6
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.

Proverbs 22:3
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.

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Arrogant Beareth Behaveth Careless Cautious Confident Danger Departeth Evil Feareth Fearing Fears Fool Foolish Goes Insolently Keeps Pride Rageth Reckless Restraint Shuns Thought Throws Transgressing Turns Wise
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Arrogant Beareth Behaveth Careless Cautious Confident Danger Departeth Evil Feareth Fearing Fears Fool Foolish Goes Insolently Keeps Pride Rageth Reckless Restraint Shuns Thought Throws Transgressing Turns Wise
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