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Proverbs 29:18  (King James Version)
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<< Proverbs 29:17   Proverbs 29:19 >>


Proverbs 29:18

Modern versions replace "vision" with "revelation," but the choice is negligible because God's revelation is the true and most important vision (foresight, discernment, insight) for our lives. The Living Bible paraphrases this verse as, "Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild, but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep His laws!" An old English version based on the Latin Vulgate provides a fascinating rendering in light of what has happened recently in the church: "When prophecy shall fail, the people shall be scattered." Adam Clarke comments, "Where divine revelation, and the faithful preaching of the sacred testimonies, are neither reverenced nor attended, the ruin of that land [or church] is at no great distance."

All these renderings show a measure of cause and effect. The vision a person has is the cause, and the effect is the way he then conducts his life. Where there is a true vision, or revelation of God, it motivates those who have reverence for it to conduct their lives in a way that produces good fruit - happiness. If the vision that guides is not from God, the people are motivated to "run wild" or "cast off restraint." That is, they will not discipline themselves to take proper responsibility, and the result is they perish - quite a contrast to the satisfying result of keeping God's laws!

There can be no doubt about what vision produces. It enhances our perception of what will occur or be produced if a certain course is followed. Thus, it increases our discernment and sharpens our judgment about which way we should go. If the vision, the foreseen result, seems good to a person, he is motivated to proceed in that direction. When vision and the fear of God combine, they produce a strong stimulus to obey Him. Vision gives a mental picture of results, and the deep and abiding respect for God produces a compelling inclination to please Him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Two): Vision



Proverbs 29:18

Vision - having well-formed goals - is an absolute necessity to anybody who is going anywhere. Vision in this verse can be translated "revelation," which in turn means "divine guidance." If one would recast this proverb into modern English, it would read something like this: "Without divine guidance, people cast off restraint."

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sanctification and the Teens



Proverbs 29:18

The New King James Version says, "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law."

Normally, people do not want to perish. We are in the church because we do not want to perish either. This assumed that we have a vision, there has been a revelation to us, of a purpose to life. If the revelation or the vision is not there, what do people do? They cast off restraint. The vision, the revelation of God, makes a person walk a certain path. If it were not for that revelation or vision, we would at the very least passively wander off the path.

The Living Bible translates this verse, "Where there is no revelation, the people run wild"! It is a bit more active and a harsher interpretation, and perhaps this paraphrase is actually more descriptive of what is happening in the world. If people do not have the vision of what God is going to accomplish through the resurrection of the dead, they cast off all restraint, run wild - they do whatever comes to mind, whatever hope, whatever desire, whatever longing strikes them. Does that make them stick to the straight and narrow path that leads to the Kingdom of God? Of course not. They are constantly going contrary to the true direction, off the path.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Resurrection From the Dead



Proverbs 29:18

Proverbs 29:18 in the New Living Bible says, "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild." It does not mean that those without vision were "screaming Mimi's" running around tearing their hair out or something of that nature. It simply means that those without the revelation of God, those without godly vision, live purposeless lives. Their lives are lived lawlessly and in vanity - without direction. Therefore, for a group to be unified, all must have the same vision of where to go in life. We cannot do that until we all believe the same things.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 5): Ephesians 4 (B)



Proverbs 29:18

A direct link exists between ignorance of God - either willful or unintentional - and societal breakdown. This is the result of evolution: not a more advanced society with answers to all of life's problems, not a utopia of peaceful coexistence, not a world of highly refined beings who have ascended to the next "plane" of existence, but degeneration. The ultimate result of the theory of evolution - and Satan's intention - is the destruction of humanity and all semblance of order. We are increasingly seeing this breakdown within our schools and universities, on our highways, and in our neighborhoods. Mankind is certainly not evolving into anything better.

David C. Grabbe
What Evolution Really Means




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Proverbs 29:18:

1 Samuel 3:1
1 Samuel 3:1
Proverbs 22:3
Proverbs :
Proverbs :
Proverbs :
Ecclesiastes 3:11
1 Corinthians 7:14
1 Peter :

 

<< Proverbs 29:17   Proverbs 29:19 >>
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