All a person’s waysa are pure in his own eyes,
but Yahweh examines the motives.b Bible other translations
Lit. “roads”
Lit. “spirits,” but here referring to the activities of the mind, including thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and motives.

“person.” The Hebrew text literally reads, “man,” iysh (#0376 אִישׁ pronounced “eesh”), which most literally refers to a man, a male in contrast to woman, a husband, or a man opposed to an animal or God. However, iysh can also refer more generally to a person or human being, inclusive of both men and women. [For more on the meaning of iysh, see commentary on Proverbs 2:12, “the one”].

“motives.” The Hebrew text reads “spirits,” and this is one of the good examples of when “spirit” can mean thoughts, attitudes, or emotions. The NASB has “motives,” which is certainly one of the meanings, but it is important that the student of the Bible learn about the flexible use of “spirit” and begin to think of it that way, because Yahweh also weighs whether a person has holy spirit or demon spirits that work in him.

Commentary for: Proverbs 16:2