The Wanderer's Gloomy State
Proverbs 21:16
The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY "WANDERING OUT OF THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDING"? The book of nature and of providence is the way of understanding. This book was opened to all the heathen world, but from it they most shamefully wandered. Their philosophers erred most grossly. They wandered in following the vile affections of their own depraved hearts. Another way of understanding is the book of revelation. This was committed to the Jews as a separate and distinct people. But how much they wandered from it! Their teachers wandered from the doctrines and duties which they knew. We have the book of revelation complete, but there are those who never read the Scriptures, and there are many who wander from their precepts, preferring their own flattering conceits to the truth of God. The Bible may properly be called "the way of understanding," because it contains all we need to know of God our maker, of Jesus Christ our Saviour, and of the Holy Ghost our teacher, sanctifier, guide, and comforter. Where pure and public worship is performed, there is the way of understanding.

II. THE WANDERER'S GLOOMY STATE. "The congregation of the dead" means that vast assembly which is made up of all who are dead in trespasses and sins. This is called "spiritual death." It implies the prevalence of sin in the soul. Eternal death is the separation of soul and body, the whole man, from all heavenly possessions and enjoyments for ever; and the sensation of all misery in hell — misery in full measure, without mixture, intermission, or end.

(Edward Phillips.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

WEB: The man who wanders out of the way of understanding shall rest in the assembly of the dead.

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