Proverbs 5:21
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.

King James Bible
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

American Standard Version
For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah; And he maketh level all his paths.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Lord beholdeth the ways of man, and considereth all his steps.

English Revised Version
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he maketh level all his paths.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

Proverbs 5:21 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The commendation of true conjugal love in the form of an invitation to a participation in it, is now presented along with the warning against non-conjugal intercourse, heightened by a reference to its evil consequences.

15 Drink water from thine own cistern,

     And flowing streams from thine own fountain.

16 Shall thy streams flow abroad,

     The water-brooks in the streets!

17 Let them belong to thyself alone,

     And not to strangers with thee.

One drinks water to quench his thirst; here drinking is a figure of the satisfaction of conjugal love, of which Paul says, 1 Corinthians 7:9, κρεῖσσόν ἐστι γαμῆσαι ἢ πυροῦσθαι, and this comes into view here, in conformity with the prevailing character of the O.T., only as a created inborn natural impulse, without reference to the poisoning of it by sin, which also within the sphere of married life makes government, moderation, and restraint a duty. Warning against this degeneracy of the natural impulse to the πάθος ἐπιθυμίας authorized within divinely prescribed limits, the apostle calls the wife of any one τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος (cf. 1 Peter 3:7). So here the wife, who is his by covenant (Proverbs 2:17), is called "cistern" (בור)

(Note: The lxx translate ἀπὸ σῶν ἀγγείων, i.e., מכּוריך (vid., Lagarde).)

and "fountain" (בּאר) of the husband to whom she is married. The figure corresponds to the sexual nature of the wife, the expression for which is נקבה; but Isaiah 51:1 holds to the natural side of the figure, for according to it the wife is a pit, and the children are brought out of it into the light of day. Aben-Ezra on Leviticus 11:36 rightly distinguishes between בור and באר: the former catches the rain, the latter wells out from within. In the former, as Rashi in Erubin ii. 4 remarks, there are מים מכונסים, in the latter חיים מים. The post-biblical Hebrew observes this distinction less closely (vid., Kimchi's Book of Roots), but the biblical throughout; so far the Kerı̂, Jeremiah 6:7, rightly changes בור into the form בּיר, corresponding to the Arab. byar. Therefore בור is the cistern, for the making of which חצב, Jeremiah 2:13, and באר the well, for the formation of which חפר, Genesis 21:30, and כרה, Genesis 26:25, are the respective words usually employed (vid., Malbim, Sifra 117b). The poet shows that he also is aware of this distinction, for he calls the water which one drinks from the בור by the name מים, but on the other hand that out of the באר by the name נוזלים, running waters, fluenta; by this we are at once reminded of Sol 4:15, cf. 12. The בור offers only stagnant water (according to the Sohar, the בור has no water of its own, but only that which is received into it), although coming down into it from above; but the באר has living water, which wells up out of its interior (מתּוך, 15b, intentionally for the mere מן), and is fresh as the streams from Lebanon (נזל, properly labi, to run down, cf. אזל, placide ire, and generally ire; Arab. zâl, loco cedere, desinere; Arab. zll, IV, to cause to glide back, deglutire, of the gourmand). What a valuable possession a well of water is for nomads the history of the patriarchs makes evident, and a cistern is one of the most valuable possessions belonging to every well-furnished house. The figure of the cistern is here surpassed by that of the fountain, but both refer to the seeking and finding satisfaction (cf. the opposite passage, Proverbs 23:27) with the wife, and that, as the expressive possessive suffixes denote, with his legitimate wife.

Proverbs 5:21 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth...

Job 31:4 Does not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

Job 34:21 For his eyes are on the ways of man, and he sees all his goings.

Psalm 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Psalm 17:3 You have proved my heart; you have visited me in the night; you have tried me, and shall find nothing...

Psalm 139:1-12 O lord, you have searched me, and known me...

Jeremiah 16:17 For my eyes are on all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from my eyes.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? said the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? said the LORD.

Jeremiah 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open on all the ways of the sons of men...

Hosea 7:2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about...

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight...

Revelation 2:18,23 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things said the Son of God, who has his eyes like to a flame of fire...

Cross References
Hebrews 4:13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Job 14:16
For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin;

Job 31:4
Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?

Job 34:21
"For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.

Psalm 119:168
I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

Proverbs 4:26
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.

Proverbs 5:6
she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

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