Proverbs 20:18

18 Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

Proverbs 20:18 in Other Translations

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
18 Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
18 Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.
18 Finalize plans through counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.

Proverbs 20:18 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 20:18

[Every] purpose is established by counsel
Or "the thought" F6 of a man, everyone of them, what he has thought to do, formed a scheme of in his mind, and resolved upon, by taking advice of his friends, and especially by asking counsel of God, who gives, wisdom liberally, and upbraids not; he is confirmed in his good designs; and he cheerfully pursues them, and they are ordered and directed to the glory of God, his own good and the good of others; for this can only be understood of wise and good thoughts and purposes; and with good advice make war;
this should not be entered upon rashly, without first considering whether there is a just and lawful cause of it; and without consulting the necessary charge and expense of it; whether there is a sufficiency of men and money to carry it on; and what may probably be the issue of it. It is right in a king to advise with his privy council, or with the chief council of the nation; but, above all, both he and his people should seek advice of the Lord on such an occasion; see ( Luke 14:31 Luke 14:32 ) . This may be applied to our spiritual warfare with sin, Satan, and the world; not that it should be any doubt with whether we should engage in such a war; but we should advise with experienced soldiers, and especially with God and his word, what weapons to take, and how to use them; and consider in whose name and strength we are to fight; and inquire and learn the force, methods, and designs of the enemy, and where to guard against them or attack them. Jarchi interprets it of making war with Satan by repentance, prayer, and fasting.


F6 (twbvxm) "cogitationes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus; "unaquaeque cogitationum", Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis.

Proverbs 20:18 In-Context

16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
20 If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 24:6
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