What does Proverbs 14:12 mean?


Proverbs 14:12

ESV - 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 19 2014 1608328280.3226352 Sharon Ray

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Me Steve Nearman A sinner saved by grace. Fredericksburg, VA
Proverbs 14:12 and repeated in Proverbs 16:25, is referring to man’s propensity to rely on his own thoughts and ideas. Putting what we think is best over what God tells us is the way to go in any given situation.

This trait of humanity was first demonstrated in the garden with Eve. She knew what God had said but Satan deceived her by getting her to focus on her own reasoning rather than what God said was best for her. (Gen. 3:1-7)

There are many other scriptures that bring this out.

Judg. 21:25, Pro. 9:17, Pro. 12:15, Pro. 30:12, Psa. 14:2-3, Isa. 58:9, Gal. 6:3, Eph. 5:6, Phil. 3:19, James 1:14-22, and many others.

Unfortunately the path that most take is trusting self rather than God’s word.

Matt. 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

The answer to this problem is: Is. 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon." 

We are warned to not trust our way of think in many portions of Scripture but I think it is summarized nicely in Isa. 55:8-11:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Are you one that trusts in self or do you compare your thoughts to God’s revealed word to mankind for direction?

2 Cor. 10:4-6 "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."

October 20 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Melva Ennis
To me, the most common way that seems right to man, but leads to destruction, is the idea that if one leads a good moral life, loves others, etc. He will go to heaven. Not so, God's Holy Word tells us: we must be born again ---- through repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. There is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved!

Melva Ennis

October 20 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Doreen Lovell Evangelist and Prayer Intercessor
Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man: but the end thereof are the ways of death" (cc Prov.:25)

Romans 7:5 states that when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin did work in us to bring forth death. Again Romans 1:29-32 Shows that those who chose their own path, God lets them do what they want to do; He withdraws His gracious help.They are blinded not because God withdrew His light, but because of the Judicial acts of God whereby He delivered them over to the natural result of their actions.

Thus Proverbs 14:12 is saying that the way which seemeth right to us may not be the best way. The way chose should be one directed by God and lead by the Holy Spirit. Has humans we are not in a position to know the way unless we accept Yeshua (Jesus) who is the way.

October 20 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Super question, Sharon!

"A shortcut to success may be a false trail leading to destruction." (Ryrie).

"Destruction" in Proverbs 14:12 is translated as "the ways of 
death" (דרכי מות׃). The 2 Hebrew words should be read right to left, not left to right as we do in English. Also, begin reading the letters of the 2 Hebrew words at (or from) the far right. The first word may be translated "ways of" and the second Hebrew word may be translated "death." 

"You are your own worst enemy. You will cause yourself more pain and trouble than any ten foes. Your own soul is the deadliest danger in your life. With such warnings, men would never trust their own thoughts, right? Wrong! While you are destroying your own life, you will think what you are doing is perfectly right. You will never see the danger. Other proverbs also teach this warning. 'There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death' (Pr 16:25)." --https://letgodbetrue.com/proverbs/index/chapter-14/proverbs-14-12/

December 31 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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