U2 Y1 16:1-33. Personal confidence in God. Y2 17:1-28. Personal contentment and peace. Y3 18:1-24. Personal virtues in social life. Y4 19:1-19. Personal character. Humility, meekness, and gentleness.
1 To man [pertains] the plans of his heart, (Illustrations: Balaam [Num. 23:11,12; 24:10-13. Josh. 24:9,10. Neh. 13:2]. Cp. Jer. 10:23.)
But from the Lord [comes] the final decree. (The silent and secret plan's of man's heart are contrasted with the disclosures of the tongue. Every word you utter is inspired of the Lord, if you are in Him and He in you. He love you and directs you. That is pretty powerful friends.)
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes; (Conscience is no safe guide, for it depends on what a man believes. Illustrations; Haezel [2 Kings 8:13]; Jehu [2 Kings 10:16,31]; the Pharisee [Luke 18:11-14]; Paul [Acts 26:9; cp. 9:4. 1 Tim. 1:13 and Rom. 7:9].)
But the LORD weighs spirits. (With moral and spiritual weights.)
3 Commit your works to the LORD,
And your plans shall be established. (Illustrations: Jacob [Gen. 17:45; 30:8-19. 2 Sam. 5:19-25]; Ezra [Ezra 8:21-23,31,31]; Esther [Est. 4:14-17; 8:15-17]; Daniel [Dan. 6:10. Ps. 37:4-6]. Your thoughts, your plans and your hopes will prosper, if you commit your works to Him. This is important. Ask Him to be in your life. Ask Him to help you.)
4 The LORD has made all things for Himself:
Yes, even a lawless one for the day of evil. (All souls, including the souls of the wicked, belong to God [Ezekiel 18:4]. That includes every last one of us.)
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:
Though hand join in hand, he shall not be acquitted (or held innocent).
6 By grace (or loving-kindness) and truth iniquity is covered (i.e. by a propitiatory covering):
And by the reverence of the LORD men depart from evil. (If you revere the Lord, you want nothing to do with evil. You realize evil robs you of God's many blessings.)
7 When a man's ways please the LORD,
He make even his enemies to be at peace with him. (God has the power to change the minds of you enemies. Remember, He owns their souls as well as yours.)
8 Better is a little with righteousness
Than great revenues without right. (You never get ahead with ill gotten gains.)
9 A man's heart devises his way:
But the LORD directs his steps. (Illustrations: Joseph's brethren [Gen. 37;18-28, and 45:5]; Pharaoh's daughter [Ex. 2:5]; Saul [1 Sam. 9;3,15,16; 23:26-28]; Jesse [1 Sam. 16:8-11; 17:23,53]; Syrians [2 Kings [5:2]; Zacchaeus [Luke 19:4,5,9]; woman [John 4:7]; Saul [Acts 9:1, &ct.]; Philemon. We all head down the wrong road from time to time. If you love the Lord and are serving Him, He will direct your steps back onto the right path. Put your trust and hope in him)
10 An oracle is in the lips of the king:
His mouth transgresses not (or, will not be unfaithful) in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the LORD'S:
All the weights of the bag are His something made. (i.e. His ordinance. Lev. 19;36. Cp. Prov. 11:1. The shekel was the shekel "of the sanctuary".)
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit lawlessness:
For the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings;
And they love him that speaks right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: (Illustrations; Benaiah [1 Kings 2;25]; Haman [Est. 7:8-10].)
But a wise man get it covered.
15 In the light of the king's countenance is life;
And his favor is as a heavy cloud of the latter rain. (Specially valuable, falling just before the harvest.)
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
17 The highway of upright ones is to depart from evil:
He that guards his way preserves his soul.
18 Pride goes before destruction, (Illustrations: Asahel [2 Sam. 2:18-23]; Ben-hadad [1 Kings 20:3,11,32]; Babylon [Isa. 47:10,11]; Azariah [Jer. 43:2-11]; Nebuchadnezzar [Dan. 4;30,31. Ps. 49:11,12]; Edom [Obad. 3,4]; Herod Agrippa [Acts 12:21-23].)
And an haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the wretched,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handles a matter wisely shall find good:
And whoso confides in the LORD, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart (put for understanding or discernment) shall be called prudent:
And the sweetness of the lips increases learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him that has it:
But the instruction of fools is folly. (= lax or careless habit of mind and body.)
23 The heart of the wise makes wise his mouth, (Illustrations: Eleazar [Gen. 24:34-49]; Jacob [47;9]; Peter [Acts 3:12,&c.; 4:19,&c.]; Paul [Acts 13:16-41; 14:17; 17:28; 24:25; 26:2-27. Philem. 1 Tim. 1:12-16].)
And adds learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant sayings are as an honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones (put for the whole body).
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But the end thereof are the ways of death.
26 The soul of him who labors labors for himself;
For his appetite urges him on.
27 An man of Belial digs up evil:
And in his lips there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man sends forth strife: (Illustrations: Princes of Ammon [2 Sam.10:3]; Zilba 2 Sam. 16:3]; Chaldeans [Dan. 3:8-13]; Herodias [Mark 6:19,20].)
And a whisperer separates chief friends.
29 A violent man entices (deceives) his neighbor,
And leads him into the way that is not good.
30 He shuts his eyes to devise froward things:
Moving his lips he brings evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, (Illustrations: Jacob [Gen. 47:9; 48;1,&c.]; Samuel [1 Sam. 12;2-4; 25:1]; Barzillai [2 Sam. 19:32,37]; Elisha [2 Kings 13:14]; Jehoiada [2 Chron. 24:15,16].)
If it be found in the way of righteousness.
32 He that is slow to anger is better than a mighty one;
And he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city. (Illustrations; Jehoshaphat [1 Kings 22:3,4. Even if the city had been taken, which it was not].)
33 The stone is cast into the bosom; (The reference is to the bag of the ephod, in which the 2 stones by which Yehovah gave true judgment or decision. See Ex. 28:30. Num. 26:55. Illustrations; Haman [Est. 3;3]; Jonah [Jonah 1:7]; apostles [Acts 1:15-26].)
But in every decision (or judgment) thereof is of the LORD. (As in Num. 27:21.)