path, path'-wa (orach, nethibhah, etc.; tribos, trochia):
(1) In the Old Testament.--In addition to its obvious literal sense (e.g. Genesis 49:17), it has very frequently a figurative meaning.
(a) As applied to man, a course or manner of life:
(i) man's outward lot in life, his career or destiny, whether of the just man (Isaiah 26:7) or of the ungodly (Job 8:13); (ii) frequently in an ethical sense, of men's conduct or inward life-purpose, whether it be good or evil (e.g. Proverbs 2:15), generally accompanied by a term defining the moral quality of the conduct, either an abstract noun (e.g. "the paths of uprightness," Proverbs 2:13; 4:11; "the paths of justice," Proverbs 2:8; Isaiah 40:14; "the paths of life," Psalms 16:11; Proverbs 2:19), or a concrete adjective or noun (e.g. "crooked paths," Isaiah 59:8; "the paths of the righteous," Proverbs 2:20; 4:18).
(b) The term is also applied to God either (i) of the methods of the Divine Providence, God's dealings with men (Psalms 25:10; 65:11), or (ii) of the principles and maxims of religion and morality divinely revealed to man ("Show me thy ways, O Yahweh, teach me thy paths," Psalms 25:4; compare Isaiah 2:3).
(2) In the Apocrypha we have the "paths" of Wisdom (tribos, Baruch 3:21,31); the "path" shown to men by the Law (semita, 2 Esdras 14:22); and a man's "paths" (tribos, Tobit 4:10).
Pathway occurs in Proverbs 12:28 (derekh nethibhah) and The Wisdom of Solomon 5:10 (atrapos).
D. Miall Edwards
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