Proverbs 4:27
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
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(27) Turn not aside . . .—Comp. the direction of Joshua 1:7, and the praise accorded to David (1Kings 15:5).

4:14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.The ever-recurring image of the straight road on which no one ever loses his way represents here as elsewhere the onward course through life of the man who seeks and finds wisdom. 27. (Compare Pr 4:25). Avoid all by-paths of evil (De 2:27; 17:11). A life of integrity requires attention to heart, speech, eyes, and conduct. Fly all extremes, and neither add to God’s commands, nor take from them.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left,.... Either into the road of immorality and profaneness, or into that of error, superstition, and false worship; but attend to the way of holiness and truth, directed to in the word of God; see Isaiah 30:21; nor be moved out of it by threatenings and menaces, nor by flatteries and promises; neither be cast down with adversity, nor be lifted up with prosperity; but keep on in an even way, attending to that which is just and right; leaving all events with God, as knowing you are in the way of your duty, and in which he would have you walk;

remove, by foot from evil; from walking in evil ways and along with evil men, and from doing evil things; abstain from all appearance of evil, keep at a distance from it; the evil of sin brings on the evil of punishment. There are two verses added in the Septuagint, Arabic, and Vulgate Latin versions, which are not in the Hebrew text;

"for the ways which are on the right hand God knoweth; but those that are on the left are perverse. He will make thy paths right, and promote thy goings in peace.''

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
27. At the end of this verse the LXX. add:

“For the ways on the right God knoweth,

But the ways on the left are crooked.

And He will make straight thy paths,

And thy goings will He conduct in peace.”

Verse 27. - This verse, with which the teacher closes this discourse, is very closely connected with ver. 26, which it more fully explains. The command is the parallel of ver. 25. As in ver. 25, the gaze is to be concentrated. So here the feet are not to deflect nor turn aside to byways. Nothing is to be permitted to draw one off from the right way, neither adversity, nor prosperity, nor anything which can possess the power of temptation (Bayne and Wardlaw). Remove thy foot from evil. A fuller expression than "depart from evil," of Proverbs 3:7. Both the LXX. and the Vulgate add, "For the Lord knows the ways which are on thy right hand; but they are perverse which are on thy left. He shall make thy paths straight, and shall advance thy ways in peace."

Proverbs 4:27In closest connection with the preceding, 27a cautions against by-ways and indirect courses, and 27b continues it in the briefest moral expression, which is here הסר רגלך מרע instead of סוּר מרע, Proverbs 3:7, for the figure is derived from the way. The lxx has other four lines after this verse (27), which we have endeavoured to retranslate into the Hebrew (Introd. p. 47). They are by no means genuine; for while in 27a right and left are equivalent to by-ways, here the right and left side are distinguished as that of truth and its contrary; and while there [in lxx] the ὀρθὰς τροχιὰς ποιεῖν is required of man, here it is promised as the operation of God, which is no contradiction, but in this similarity of expression betrays poverty of style. Hitzig disputes also the genuineness of the Hebrew PRomans 4:27. But it continues explanatorily Proverbs 4:26, and is related to it, yet not as a gloss, and in the general relation of 26 and 27a there comes a word, certainly not unwelcome, such as 27b, which impresses the moral stamp on these thoughts. That with Proverbs 4:27 the admonition of his father, which the poet, placing himself back into the period of his youth, reproduces, is not yet concluded, the resumption of the address בּני, Proverbs 5:1, makes evident; while on the other hand the address בּנים in Proverbs 5:7 shows that at that point there is advance made from the recollections of his father's house to conclusions therefrom, for the circle of young men by whom the poet conceives himself to be surrounded. That in Proverbs 5:7. a subject of the warning with which the seventh address closes is retained and further prosecuted, does not in the connection of all these addresses contradict the opinion that with Proverbs 5:7 a new address begins. But the opinion that the warning against adultery does not agree (Zckler) with the designation רך, Proverbs 4:3, given to him to whom it is addressed, is refuted by 1 Chronicles 22:5; 2 Chronicles 13:7.
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