Proverbs 16:9

9 1The heart of man plans his way, but 2the LORD establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 16:9

A man's heart deviseth his way
This is to be understood, not of a wicked man, in whose heart is frowardness, and who devises mischief and evil imaginations continually, ( Proverbs 6:14 Proverbs 6:18 ) ; for such are an abomination to the Lord; nor will he direct their goings, or prosper and succeed them in their ways: but of a good man, or righteous man, as Aben Ezra; who thinks of the way in which he should go, and desires to walk in a right way, as Jarchi; and who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in this manner; for otherwise the way of man is not in himself; it is not of his own devising and finding out; nor is his disposition to walk in it of himself; and it is only such a man, a good man, whose steps are ordered by the Lord, as follows; see ( Jeremiah 10:23 ) ( Psalms 37:23 ) ; but the Lord directeth his steps:
to go right on, and not turn to the right hand or the left; and to walk safely and surely, through a variety of troubles and difficulties, to his kingdom and glory.

Proverbs 16:9 In-Context

7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
10 An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales are the LORD's; all the weights in the bag are his work.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [ver. 1; Proverbs 19:21]
  • 2. Proverbs 20:24; [Psalms 37:23; Jeremiah 10:23]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.