Proverbs 19:16

16 The one who keeps commands preserves himself; one who disregards[a] his ways will die.[b]

Proverbs 19:16 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 19:16

He that keepeth the commandment
Either of parents, as children ought to do; or of masters, as servants should; or of kings and princes, as is the duty of subjects in all things lawful: or rather of God; every command of his, whether of a moral or positive nature, which, though they cannot be perfectly kept, yet should as much as in man lies, in faith, from a principle of love, and to the glory of God: and such a man keepeth his own soul,
or "observes" F19 it; he shows that he has a concern for its welfare and peace; for though peace does not arise from keeping the commandments of God, yet such have great peace of soul who do love and keep the law of God; though there is no reward for, yet there is a reward in keeping the divine commands; though salvation is not hereby, yet blessed are they that do his commands; by which it appears they have a right to enter into the city, into eternal happiness, ( Psalms 119:165 ) ( 19:11 ) ( Revelation 22:14 ) ; [but] he that despiseth his ways:
which are at and proper for him to walk in, as Aben Ezra observes; or who is negligent of his ways, does not care in what ways he walks, or what is the issue of them; he walks in the ways of his own heart, and in the sight of his eyes; has his conversation according to the course of this world; walks with a multitude, with a crowd, to do evil, in the broad road which leads to destruction, and yet is quite careless about it: or that despises the ways of the commandment or word of God, which that directs to; for that is a lamp and a light, which men would do well to take heed to, as it shows them the ways in which they should walk; but these they neglect and contemn: or he that despises the ways of God, the ways he himself takes in the salvation of men, all whose ways are mercy and truth; that despises the ways of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Jesus Christ: he shall die;
he is dead in sins already, and he shall die the second death, that neglects and despises so great salvation, and all the ways of the Lord, ( Hebrews 2:3 ) ( 10:26-29 ) . There is a "Keri", or marginal reading, which we follow; but the "Cetib", or written text, is, "he shall be killed", or put to death; and so the Syriac version; immediately, by the hand of heaven, by the Lord himself, before his time; or by the judges and civil magistrates; his sins being openly known, as Aben Ezra.


F19 (rmv) "observat".

Proverbs 19:16 In-Context

14 A house and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a sensible wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness induces deep sleep, and a lazy person will go hungry.
16 The one who keeps commands preserves himself; one who disregards his ways will die.
17 Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.
18 Discipline your son while there is hope; don't be intent on killing him.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or despises, or treats lightly
  • [b]. Pr 3:1-2; 4:4; 13:13
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