Proverbs 4:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 4:25, NIV: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Proverbs 4:25, ESV: Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

Proverbs 4:25, KJV: Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Proverbs 4:25, NASB: Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

Proverbs 4:25, NLT: Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Proverbs 4:25, CSB: Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.

What does Proverbs 4:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier verses used the common imagery of a "path" to explain the value of wisdom. Evil and wickedness are likened to a dark, jagged, rocky path, prone to causing falls and despair (Proverbs 4:19). Wisdom and godliness create a brighter, safer path (Proverbs 4:18). In harmony with that imagery, Solomon advises his son to look directly forward and to keep his gaze straight ahead.

The wise person refuses to be distracted from his goal. This keeps him on task. It also avoids temptations from the example of evil people (Proverbs 4:14–15). For the Christian, the goal is to finish the race well by doing the will of God (1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 2 Timothy 4:7). The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1–2).

In the early days of human history, Eve sinned when her eyes were diverted from what God had said. She saw that the tree God had placed off-limits was "good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise" (Genesis 3:6), and she took some of its fruit and ate it. Looking with desire at wrong things can distract us and keeps us from doing God's will. The apostle John classified the desires of the eyes as worldly, and assured us that the world is passing away, "but whoever does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:16–17).