Proverbs 21:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

King James Bible
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

American Standard Version
To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To do mercy and judgment, pleaseth the Lord more than victims.

English Revised Version
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Webster's Bible Translation
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Proverbs 21:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

With a proverb of a light that was extinguished, Proverbs 20:20 began the group; the proverb of God's light, which here follows, we take as the beginning of a new group.

27 A candle of Jahve is the soul of man,

     Searching through all the chambers of the heart.

If the O.T. language has a separate word to denote the self-conscious personal human spirit in contradistinction to the spirit of a beast, this word, according to the usage of the language, as Reuchlin, in an appendix to Aben Ezra, remarks, is נשׁמה; it is so called as the principle of life breathed immediately by God into the body (vid., at Genesis 2:7; Genesis 7:22). Indeed, that which is here said of the human spirit would not be said of the spirit of a beast: it is "the mystery of self-consciousness which is here figuratively represented" (Elster). The proverb intentionally does not use the word נפשׁ, for this is not the power of self-consciousness in man, but the medium of bodily life; it is related secondarily to nshmh (רוח), while נשׁמת חיים (רוח) is used, נפשׁ חיים is an expression unheard of. Hitzig is in error when he understands by נשׁמה here the soul in contradistinction to the spirit, and in support of this appeals to an expression in the Cosmography of Kazwni: "the soul (Arab. âl-nefs) is like the lamp which moves about in the chambers of the house;" here also en-nefs is the self-conscious spirit, for the Arab. and post-bibl. Heb. terminology influenced by philosophy reverses the biblical usage, and calls the rational soul נפשׁ, and, on the contrary, the animal soul נשׁמה, רוח (Psychologie, p. 154). חפשׂ is the particip. of חפּשׂ, Zephaniah 1:12, without distinguishing the Kal and Piel. Regarding חדרי־בטן, lxx ταμιεῖα κοιλίας, vid., at Proverbs 18:8 : בּטן denotes the inner part of the body (R. בט, to be deepened), and generally of the personality; cf. Arab. bâtn âlrwh, the interior of the spirit, and Proverbs 22:18, according to which Fleischer explains: "A candle of Jahve, i.e., a means bestowed on man by God Himself to search out the secrets deeply hid in the spirit of another." But the candle which God has kindled in man has as the nearest sphere of illumination, which goes forth from it, the condition of the man himself - the spirit comprehends all that belongs to the nature of man in the unity of self-consciousness, but yet more: it makes it the object of reflection; it penetrates, searching it through, and seeks to take it up into its knowledge, and recognises the problem proposed to it, to rule it by its power. The proverb is thus to be ethically understood: the spirit is that which penetrates that which is within, even into its many secret corners and folds, with its self-testing and self-knowing light - it is, after Matthew 6:22, the inner light, the inner eye. Man becomes known to himself according to his moral as well as his natural condition in the light of the spirit; "for what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" says Paul, 1 Corinthians 2:11. With reference to this Solomonic proverb, the seven-branched candlestick is an ancient symbol of the soul, e.g., on the Jewish sepulchral monuments of the Roman vi Portuensis. Our texts present the phrase נר יהוה; but the Talm. Pesachim 7b, 8a, the Pesikta in part 8, the Midrash Othijoth de-Rabbi Akiba, under the letter נ, Alphasi (יף''ר) in Pesachim, and others, read נר אלהים; and after this phrase the Targum translates, while the Syr. and the other old versions render by the word "Lord" (Venet. ὀντωτής), and thus had יהוה before them.

Proverbs 21:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold...

Psalm 50:8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

Isaiah 1:11-17 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams...

Jeremiah 7:21-23 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh...

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Micah 6:6-8 With which shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings...

Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength...

Cross References
1 Samuel 15:22
And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Proverbs 15:8
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Isaiah 1:11
"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

Isaiah 1:16
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,

Hosea 6:6
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Micah 6:7
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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