65 Out of context? Proverbs 23:7.

Proverbs 23:7.

I have often heard people quote Proverbs 23:7: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Then the quote was usually followed by an encouragement or reprimand that what you are thinking of yourself is a self fulfilling prophecy, directly from the Bible.

Because I normally use the NIV, I was a bit upset to find something quite different in it. How could this be? Which Version is right?

When I compared a few Bibles, something interesting emerged.

KJV: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

NIV: “for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”

The German Bible “nach der Ubersetzung Martin Luthers “ also agrees with the NIV: “…denn in seinem Herzen ist er berechnend: er spricht zu dir: Iss und trink! und sein Hertz ist doch nicht mit dir.”

But look at the interesting rendering of the 2011 Common English Bible: “…Because they are like a hair in the throat. They say to you, “eat and drink!” but they don’t mean it.” (Translation of the Septuagint. Hebrew uncertain.) This immediately opened my eyes to where the problem might be! These translators gave up on the Hebrew text and rather translated the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, made during 250-125 B.C. The problem is caused by an unintelligible Hebrew text!

But what should an honest translator do when confronted with such a problem. Should he just translate and render the difficult part in some gibberish, in order that every one would know that it is not clear? Or should he look at the context in which this phrase is found and give a rendering that would agree with the context and make sense?

Most probably verses 6-8 form an elaborate proverb with seven unequally measured lines, called a heptastich. In this case our phrase would directly have to do with this stingy man inviting you to dinner. Then the “he” of the KJV is not applicable to any man, but to this specific person. And what he “thinketh in his heart” has all to do concerning the meal he has invited you to!

The second problem I have with the quote and applying it as a self fulfilling prophecy, is that it takes this phrase completely out of its context. If one does that, he becomes a ventriloquist, forcing Scripture to say what he would like it to say! Verse 7 is an integral part of the phrase 6-8, be it a proverb or not. This verse is not an isolated phrase standing on its own, but an integral part of verses 6-8. It is not legitimate to snatch it from the context it is embedded and misuse it to incorporate a complete new meaning.


When one discovers that any verse or phrase is translated differently in different versions of the Bible, one should be cautioned. Bible translators are highly skilled devout academics with a thorough knowledge not only of the ancient languages, but also of their culture and customs. If the difference cannot forthright be explained by obvious causes like archaic language; or interpretation of capacity, linear or monetary measures; or even explanatory translation verses direct translation, take care. It is possible that the source texts differ in an important aspect. Rather use some other Scripture, but do not become a Scripture ventriloquist.

But is there something wrong with the statement that the Bible teaches us to take care what we are thinking, since it might in fact be a self fulfilling prophecy! No! This principle is clearly stated in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

This is the verse that should have been quoted.

God bless,


Comments are welcome at the bottom of this page.

About Herman of bibledifferences.net

The reasons for the differences between older Bibles like the King James Version and newer Bibles like the New International Version have fascinated me ever since my studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria in the seventies. I have great respect for scribes through the ages as well as Bible translators, so there must be good reasons for the differences. With more than 5600 Greek manuscripts and more than 19000 manuscripts of ancient translations to our disposal, the original autographs of the New Testament can be established without doubt. I investigate the reasons behind the differences and publish the facts in a post on my blogs www.bibledifferences.net (Afrikaans: www.bybelverskille.wordpress.com) to enable my readers to judge for themselves. Personally I love to make an informed decision based of facts. That is why I endeavor to provide that same privilege to the readers of my blogs. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page, founder director of Act-Up Support (www.actup.co.za) a prayer ministry for families struggling with drug-, occult- and other dependencies. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, four grand sons and two grand daughters. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman Grobler.
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184 Responses to 65 Out of context? Proverbs 23:7.

  1. Jeanette Carlisle says:

    Hi Herman, I must say, I too was very confused when I couldn’t find the traditional rendering of Prov 23:7 in my NIV. I have therefore turned to the Hebrew. The words mistranslated are ‘sh’ar benafsho’. benafsho means in his soul (nefesh). Sh’ar שער Strongs 8176. In my Brown-Driver Briggs says to calculate,reckon. It translates Pr23:7 ‘as he has calculated in his soul, so is he’. I do have huge respect for translators, I am just a beginner, but I don’t understand why we feel the need to defend the text, instead of saying what it says ( even if seems obscure) and let the text, together with the Holy Spirit ( who will guide us into all truth) defend itself.

  2. Linda says:

    The way I see it and am learning: It is actually about creation. We are spiritual beings and are perfect in God’s eyes. But over our lives we forget that and learn and take on so many false beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Like I’m not good enough for God’s Love. I don’t deserve good in my life etc. None of which are true. There are natural Laws in our universe and Law of Attraction is one of them. We are are co-creators with God. What you focus your mind on and all those false beliefs that have been stored in your subconcious mind are creating your life and your reality Hence “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” What you believe creates your reality.

    Imagine 2 people One believes that God Love’s him, The other believes that God hates him and is scary. Now imagine how their lives are playing out.

    We are all Divine beings and we are all connected to that Divine Source of all creation, all wisdom whether you are religious, spiritual athiest doesn’t matter we are all connected. If you are breathing you are connected. But even more so when you go within to connect on a higher level.

    Most importantly the Universe (God to me) supports and guides us through our live, if we get quiet enough to hear.

    Just some things to ponder.

    Love Linda

    If you wanted to take a look at that. you could go to YouTube pinchmeliving. I really recommend it

    • Linda, Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      I agree with the content of what you are saying, however, using this verse from the King James Version in this way, is misquoting it and applying it out of context.
      The correct verse to quote, as I mentioned, is in fact Proverbs 4:23.

      God bless,

  3. Annette Radvansky says:

    Thank you for your writing. I was confused also, since I use the NIV. After reading the first paragraph of Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind, this is the reference quoted in KJV: “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” What might have been a better choice could have been Rom 8:5, which she references later on the page,”Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance to the spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires.”

    • I agree with you, Annette. I believe Rom 8:5 (above) is the summary of the REAL meaning of Proverbs 23:7 AND Proverbs 4:23 – regardless of the rest of the sentence. I believe “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” is much more meaningful to a Christian life. Just as food determines the health of your body, so does ‘clean, godly thinking’ – or conscience – determine how you live your life. That’s why we are told not to think on evil things – that’s what leads to premeditated murder or adultery or stealing. Don’t think it & you won’t do it! ^_^
      (There may be some reason unbeknownst to us for the rest of the sentence – like, maybe out of place or something. Or maybe it fits both ways. Anyway, it’s good advice & we know it’s true!)


        The renderings of Prov 23:7a by a number of English versions are as follows:

        KJV: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
        NKJV: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
        ASV: “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he.”
        NASB: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
        RSV: “for he is like one who is inwardly reckoning.”
        Berkeley: “for as one who inwardly figures the cost, so is he.”
        Amplified: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
        JPS: “He is like one keeping accounts.”
        GNB: “What he thinks is what he really is.”
        JB: “It would be like a tempest in his throat.”
        NAB: “For in his greed he is like a storm.”
        NEB: “for they will stick in your throat like a hair.”
        NIV: “for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost.”

      • Laura, this post is not on which translation is the best. It is about quoting Scripture and then applying it in a wrong way to prove what you want it to prove. Proverbs 23:7 is not a self-fulfilling prophecy at all. It is about the character of the person inviting you to a meal on false pretences.
        God bless, Herman.

  4. Sharon Worth says:

    Thank u for that insight!

  5. Amy says:

    Thanks for this.

  6. Jesse Pruett says:

    Thank you Herman for your wonderful post and your attention to the context of the passage! “Context determines meaning” is a crucial component of exegesis and here can shed light on an incredibly confusing text.

    In my opinion, the CEB (as well as the NRSV) actually renders the verse rather well. The primary issue is the translation of šˤr in the Masoretic Text. As it stands the term is a rare word (only appearing here) that based on potential cognate data from Aramaic might indicate an economic term indicative of a measure (thus the KJV and the NIV). It should be noted that this cognate data is from later Jewish Aramaic, but given that the date of the Proverbs is largely unknown, it could be useful.

    The CEB, howver, (following data from the Septuagint) reads the root as śˤr which translates as “hair.” The difference here is between two letters that are graphically the same in all stages of biblical Hebrew (Sin and Shin) and only really distinguished in the Masoretic pointing system. The reading of the root as “hair” also fits a parallel proverb from an Egyptian wisdom collection on the similar issue of generosity. Further the term nepesh should be read as throat/gullet rather than heart (a different term in Hebrew). This is a common use of the term throughout the biblical text and cognate languages. In this case, it seems the help from the Septuagint has made a rather tricky text understandable and better support the larger meaning of caution when dealing with stingy people.

    Hope this helps! Grace and peace!!!

  7. Wisdomkid says:

    I love this. It is so refreshing to see a clear perspective on such a widely used content.
    I was search for a verse encouraging one to thinks about the word of God and came across this.
    Keep up the good works.

  8. Rick Vincent says:

    What a breath of fresh air. I believe we are to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and search the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so!
    Thanks for the insight. I will be subscribing to your blog.

  9. Glen g. Canlas says:

    Great morning.
    Your preposition about prov.23.7 was well explained and very enlightening.
    But i just want to ask if its wrong to think about what you would you like to become and claim it to yourself that you are already that person you would like to become
    Eventhough in reality your not yet that person…
    Its like practicing a law of attraction.
    How is it related to the idea that YOU BECOME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT?

    • Good day Glen,
      Thank you for your comments.
      I do agree with you that it is important to visualize yourself in the role you are striving for. And I believe that is in accordance with Proverbs 4:23. Having clear goals and striving to realize them in our lives is in accordance with our walk through life!
      God bless,

  10. Terry says:

    I’m glad you pointed out the “context” of this verse. I’ve heard people using it and then following it with a statement about putting garbage in you get garbage out. I’m glad you tied it to Proverbs 4:23. I was studying Proverbs 23:7 years ago and when I read it in context I was stumped by what it was actually saying. After searching through a bunch of information with regard to word meaning, I discovered that the word “thinketh” carried a meaning that in today’s society is lost. When it was originally used it had something to do with allowing in and out like the gatekeepers of old.

    With this understanding I realized that what this passage was saying not only had to do with the immediate situation, but it also points back to 4:23. A man is the gatekeeper of his heart allowing in and out what he chooses, however I also realized that this only applies to the conscious mind, for the subconscious mind, which controls much of what we do and how we react flows from the wellspring. As a general warning the Proverb 23:6-8 is warning all of us to be aware of the fact that we as humans allow in and out what we choose during those conscious decisions however if we look at the whole of the person we see more of what they really are than what they might be consciously presenting to us.

    I think Proverbs 23:6-8 has to be seen as it relates to Proverbs 4:23, however it seems equally prudent to view Proverbs 4:23 in the context of all the other things God has to say about the heart. I asked a pastor friend of mine if he thought we had the ability to change our heart; his answer was “No only God can do that”. This business of the heart is probably one of the reasons we are told not to judge for from the heart springs all manner of things most of which you and I do not understand. I have a friend who lashes out at people who opposes him, he seems like a cruel person who is so self absorbed that he cannot see another persons point of view, not only so but he will not take criticism. While speaking with him one day he, in a rare moment let down his guard and told me of his childhood and the abuse he suffered. Suddenly the light went on in my head, his reactions to things are classic examples of an abused child. This caused me to look at his actions in an entirely different light.

    We like to use the phrase “your actions speak louder than your words” sadly what we do not say is “I am terrible about translating the actions flowing from your heart” hence the caution about judging.

    Thanks for your insights

  11. Harv Daul says:

    The Bible comes alive when you read it in the spirit of the Holy Ghost . Holy Ghost will give you revelations and interpret the word of God . Holy Ghost will lead and guide you into all truth . And it is spiritually discerned And neither can you understand it in the flash. If you read in the flash or Cardinal you’ll get man’s interpretation . The Bible says if you have not the spirit you are none of his that’s GOD . It’s Supernatural it’s born again of water and spirit baptized in Jesus Name .

  12. Stephanie McCullar says:

    I love your word picture of “scripture ventriloquist.” Thank you for the proper verse also of Prov. 4:23,

  13. James Bowerrs says:

    Matthew 12 “34 out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh kjv

  14. Mike Scott says:

    Oh my gosh, how right you are! And how disappointed I am now. I have heard that verse my whole Christian life, misquoted just as you pointed out. Thank you for the last bit of you artical about Proverbs 4:23. So often people will point out the error but not give a better better verse to go to. The fact that you did tells me you really do love God’s word and not just poking holes in it as others often try to do. Thank you.

  15. Daniel says:

    Hello sir, I do agree that we need to read the text in context. There are so many misappropriation of the bible’s verses.

    For your information: In La Bible, traduction oecuménique, édition intégrale TOB, (in French)
    verse 23:7 says:
    car il est comme quelqu’un qui a déjà pris sa décision;
    “mange et bois”, te dit-il,
    mais son coeur n’est pas avec toi!

    My translation is:
    because he is like someone who has already taken his decision;
    “eat and drink”, does he say to you,
    but his heart is not with you.

    Of course to understand the verse 7 you need to put it in context with verse 6
    Ne mange pas le pain de l’homme au regard mauvais
    et ne convoite pas ses bons plats;

    My translation is:
    Do not eat the bread the man with the bad reagard
    and do not covet his good food;

    So in a way it does relate to “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” but it is definitely not the same, definitely not the same context as the esoteric claim. I could not use part of the verse “because he is like someone who has already taken his decision” to make an esoteric teaching; I’m not smart enough hihihi.

    Thank you for your enlightening article

  16. Great insights! I really don’t want to take Scripture out of context. Posts like this help me to know the Bible better.

  17. Twiggs Fernandez says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this! I was told it as the self-fulfilling prophecy interpretation, and was feeling terribly bound up and doomed. You have given me hope!

    • Thank you Twiggs,
      One can easily misunderstand Scripture when one does not take the whole context into consideration. Since I had the opportunity to study Hebrew and Greek at the University of Pretoria, it really is wonderful to study the verses in the original languages. That helps me a lot.

  18. Marcia Godinho says:

    Dear Herman,
    Thank you for the light you’ve brought on this verse. I liked very much the translation that indicates a self fulfilling prophesy, however wandering about the rest of the verse and the previous one. You’ve put it into context!
    God bless you and your family richly!
    P.S: could you coment on the man as a spirit and as a living soul? I would appreciate it!

    • Thank you Marcia for the kind words. I am glad that I could be of assistance.
      I just love God and His Word. Therefore I love to help others who did not have the privilege to study the original languages of the Bible to understand the Word better.
      The self fulfilling principle, as I have indicated, is found in Proverbs 4:23.
      God bless.

  19. Suzanne T Adkins says:

    How true! I’ve also heard people use Mt 18:20 in the same way in reference to a prayer meeting…”For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” In context it is referring to the protocol of restoring a brother/sister who sins and if they refuse to repent, then they are to be treated as a gentile or tax collector, (shunned if you will) and that is when Jesus is in the midst of them agreeing to ‘ bind the sin.’ Much like what happened to Ananais & Sapphira, the apostles judgment was a righteous one & Jesus through the Holy Spirit was there in their midst. If it referred to a prayer group, then does that mean He is not in my midst when I go into my prayer closet alone? I don’t think so.

    • Suzanne,
      Thank you for sharing this insight. You are absolutely true with your observation that we often misuse Matthew 18:20 out of context. Often with the idea that getting many people to agree on a certain petition, God would rather grant the request.
      This promise of being in their midst is such an important promise that we really shouldn’t use it out of context. And yes, God is with us when we are alone before Him in our closet!
      Thank you,
      God bless

  20. Richard Chavula says:

    This post has opened my eyes. That not all verses in the Bible can be quoted in isolation. It is always prudent to examine the verses before and after the verse of interest. For example Proverbs 4:8,15,21, 22.

  21. Jayson Leong says:

    Well said indeed on Proverbs 4:23 , it reminds me where this is the origin root leading us to take into every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
    Thank you

  22. Thomas Little says:

    Any thoughts on how that verse is used by James Allen in the title of his short book, “As a Man Thinketh”? The New thought movement, the 12 step movement are borrow from the idea that we alone are responsible for our lives 100%, that all suffering is a direct result of our own actions.

  23. BImbo says:

    Thanks for sharing this. These lines came to me as I was thinking of something to encourage my son with but when I looked it up in the Bible it was completely different from how I had heard people used it. We really need to be careful on the interpretation of the Bible to soothe our needs.

    • Thank you, I really believe we should be very cautious when quoting Scripture. We might easily be led astray when we want to use Scripture to confirm what we would like to bring across. Then we are using Scripture, and not Scripture addressing us!

      God bless,
      Herman Grobler,
      Pretoria, South Africa.

  24. Julia Therese says:

    Not a scholar however, though I agree with the concept of self fulfilling prophecy because of the power of thought speech & especially prayer….looking at this often quoted verse & wanting it to fit into my understanding I found it would be to use these words out of context…

  25. Tari Carson says:

    Thank you for covering so well and staying on point to the various replies for this particular scripture. As stated, this is a widely used and taken out of context scripture. It was only a couple of years ago that I head a teaching from Gordon Robertson on the full context. As a discerner, the full understanding it hit home when you can sense what they are saying is not congruent with what is going on underneath. Since there is a link, I am going to take the liberty to share your post on Facebook.

  26. Senseioftruth says:

    Just another example of why there can be only one true version of the Bible out there today. Since they don’t all agree they cause confusion and God is not the author of confusion. There can be only one that is absolute truth.

    • Sensei of Truth,
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      It is absolutely true what you are saying. That is why I started to make an in depth study of the differences found in the New Testament and especially their causes. Each difference has a logical explanation and in facing the truth, one can discern which rendering has the greatest possibility to be in harmony with the original autograph. I use three criteria as objectively as possible.
      1) External Criteria. The manuscripts themselves give a good indication of what could be the original. If all available manuscripts before say 500 A.D. have one rendering, and a variation is only found after that date, the later form would most probably be a deviation from the original, and should be discarded. This even when more copies, especially of much later date could exist.
      2) Internal Criteria. A thorough investigation of how a variation could originate, can also be a good indication. The authors of Matthew and Luke did use Mark as source for their gospels, but also added their own investigations. If now we find the same words in later copies of Mark that are found in Matthew or Luke, but lacking in earlier copies of Mark, it is almost certain that someone harmonised Mark with the other gospel by “completing” his gospel and adding from the other.
      3) Intrinsic Criteria. Looking at the typical words or expressions used elsewhere by the author, or the context where the variation exists, can give a clear indication. An eagle is nowhere in the Bible or in Revelation used out of line with its natural behaviour. But in Revelation 8:13, in some manuscripts it makes an announcement similar to those made elsewhere by an angel. The difference between an eagle and an angel in Greek is just one letter that could easily be confused with one another. This is a logic explanation for the variation, and the choice for the angel instead of the eagle is easily made.
      Using these three criteria in a responsible manner, one can be sure of almost every variation that do exist.
      God bless,
      Pretoria, South Africa.

  27. moj says:

    It leads to the greater value of “create in me a clean heart oh God”.

  28. Moj, I agree.
    This supplication to God is really sound and powerful.
    Thank you.

  29. Leslie says:

    Thank you for clarifying that for me. I read the scripture in another book and decided to look it up. It wasn’t in my proverbs 23:7. Totally confused me. Thank you again

  30. Rich Brodeur says:

    Well said. Keep the faithful, faithful.
    Thank you.

  31. Maureen Fragnito says:

    Yes it is much quoted & it is a true statement,but thank you for clarifying.We must be faithful & not take & make part of Scripture out of context to suit ourselves.
    Thank you for the alternative Scripture 😊

  32. Lia says:

    Thank you. I”ve had trouble swallowing the out of context explanation of this verse so I came looking online. Yours is the most thoughtful explanation I have found. And, thank you for the alternative verse, Prov. 4:23.

  33. Krystle Laughter says:

    Very well stated.Thank you for the very. detailed and articulate elaboration of this scripture.

  34. Steve Miller says:

    Psalm 119:160 The Passion Translation (TPT)

    160 The sum total of all your words adds up to absolute truth,
    and every one of your righteous decrees is everlasting.

    • Thank you Steve for visiting my blog and commenting.
      The verse you bring under our attention is beautiful, especially in the Passion Translation. But this verse is talking of the words of the Lord.
      The problem I have with quoting Proverbs 23:7 as a self fulfilling prophecy, is that that use is making the words of a person into a prophecy. The words of man, not the words of the Lord
      God bless,
      Herman Grobler
      Pretoria, South Africa.

  35. Kate Fraiser says:

    This article was much needed insight for me today as I am reading a book that uses SEVERAL “out of context” biblical quotes (Proverb 23:7 is one of them). It’s unfortunate when the Bible has so many wonderful and true things to say – why waste time trying to make it say something it doesn’t?

  36. Richard says:

    Point taken, bro Herman. But I wouldn’t put down anyone who quotes it to mean “What you think in your heart is what you are”, which is actually a profound truth, like it is said that our mind is like a garden; whether you have flowers or weeds depends on what you have sown.

    So I think it’s really not wrong or out of context nor are we Scripture ventriloquists when we quote it to mean we need to focus on positive thoughts and think only on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”(Philippians 4:8 NIV)

    The important thing to note is that the stingy man in Proverbs 23:7 is what he is, is BECAUSE of what he thinks in his heart that has made him a stingy person, insincere in his invitation to eat and drink, either because he’s not going to follow through on his invitation (like someone saying to you, “Buy you lunch one day!” but was never fulfilled), or, they indeed buy you lunch but later want you to reciprocate with a lunch or favour in return that makes that lunch-invitation hard to swallow or the “morsel” that you’ve eaten … makes you want to vomit (Proverbs 23:8).

    So teaching on this principle, or truth, that “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” CANNOT be wrong or out of context. I hope this clarification helps. God bless!

  37. Lin Cochran Burgin says:

    Herman, The Holy Spirit led me to you today because I am doing Caroline Leaf’s 21-Day Mind Detox program for about the 7th time (during the past several years). This has helped me tremendously to “bring every thought into captivity.” The result so far has led to uncovering lies I have believed deep down. These lies have badly affected my life. The details would be too much to go into here, but today I was shown the truth about Proverbs 23:7. I have read every comment to this post from 2 years ago. I am writing to thank you for this and for showing us Proverbs 4:23. I’ll follow you from now on and look forward to learning what all the Holy Spirit would have me know. God bless you. Lin

    • Lin,
      Thank you for sharing your testimony. I am grateful that my post could be of value to you.
      On this blog I have posted my studies on the differences of more than 150 Scriptures found in translations, mainly on the New Testament. All of them have bona fide origins. The only difference that really brings a biblical principle in dispute is Revelation 22:14.
      God bless.

  38. Naomi says:

    Recently I’ve been focussing on scriptures to do with the mind, thought, thinking etc. Today the 13/11/19, I read proverbs 23:7 in the KJV as I examine it I realised it ue actually talking about being invited for a meal by a stingy person! Not really about what we are thinking as I’ve heard preached and taught over the years. If you read from verse 6-8 this put the whole thing into context. I then checked the NIV version and was completely floored! Then I checked to see commentary on verse 7 and I came across yours which completely sums up what I was thinking.

    Thank you! I’m not going crazy after all.!!

    • Naomi,
      Thanks for commenting on this interesting verse. I am glad my research and conclusion had been of assistance to you.
      I trust that you have looked at Proverbs 4:23 which is exactly what you are busy with. You may also consider Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 4:23; and Philippians 4:7
      God bless,
      Pretoria, South Africa.

  39. Martha Ray says:

    Proof Texting is not in my opinion ideal but rather than a hair caught in the throat, splitting hairs may not be profitable either. Motivation matters. About this thought that as a man thinks I’ve found that the entire Word of God teaches that what we think matters to our lives. It creates and helps us walk in faith and walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. The world, the flesh and the devil all use half truths (which is no truth at all) and generally credit is not given to truth an attribute of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. If a scripture is used to promote a principle that is recorded consistently throughout the Bible and it does not directly conflict with other scripture I’m ok with someone using it to make a point. But who am I to judge another anyway. I am pretty much of a stickler for exegesis but not for debating for the sake of debating. My pastor teacher taught to do a right thing in a right way, as a right thing done in wrong way is wrong and a wrong thing done in a right way is wrong and of course a wrong thing done in a wrong way is wrong. We all make mistakes, we all misspeak, we all have blinds spots and we all sin. Thankfully, we have I John 1:9 to acknowledge our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    I do believe that the Word of God should be shared because I believe it never returns void even if we do not share it perfectly.

    I am learning that I am to rightly divide the Word of Truth for the value of discernment and for judging myself. Knowledge and both confidence and humility all matter and I pray to use the Word of God with all three. I am remembering so many times The Lord Jesus Christ used the scriptures, of course, with such perfection like when satan was trying to ‘tempt’ Him with scripture and Jesus replied, …it is written…. with the applicable truth in Matthew 4:5-7 .

    Thank you Herman for sharing the additional scriptures. This has got me considering the value of using more scripture verses when conversing with others about my beliefs.

    • Thank you Martha for stopping by and for your valuable contribution.
      As I said, the principle that what one thinks in his heart does indeed influence his life, is true to the Word of God. But that truth is not confirmed in Proverbs 23:7, but in Proverbs 4:23.
      We have to take the paragraph as a whole into context in order to prevent us from applying any verse out of context and let it proclaim what it is in fact not proclaiming at all.
      God bless,

  40. Tracy says:

    I have a devotional book I read by a well known person and I always go to my Jewish bible to compare what I’ve read. This is the first time I read something completely different and I kept checking the book, chapter and verse thinking I read it wrong. I went searching online then and find that this verse is translated several different ways. I am not a translator or bible scholar but I do agree with you. I read verses 1-8 and it’s talking about the stingy man not about ones own mindset. My Jewish bible is translated by David H. Stern and has been so eye opening from the teachings I learned growing up and much of my adult life. Scripture ventriloquist. I love that! I’m going to have to share that one with my sister. I am on a new path of learning and I am so enjoying the trip. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Ron Nielsen says:

    It’s always useful to see the whole sentence or a passage, not just a part of it.
    “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
    With the interpretation pointed out by Herman, it now makes sense.

  42. H Singh says:

    It is very interesting to read your interpretation of this Bible verse. You are clearly smart to look into different Bible translations for Proverbs 23:7.

    I actually think “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he is” means exactly what it says and applies to every believer. I don’t mean that we should use it to believe in self-fulfilling prophecies. However, science shows that Proverbs 23:7 is true. The power of self-belief is incredible. For example a study was conducted with two groups. Group 1 were people who believed they were sugar insensitive. Group 2 were people who believed they were sugar sensitive. Group 1 had a significantly lower blood sugar spike than group 2 in response to the same amount of sugar. This proves that whatever you believe in your mind, you are. I have also seen other scientific examples which show the power of self-belief. People with Dissociative Identity Disorder have physiological changes when their identity changes. For example, if they changed from a feminine to a more masculine personality, they can have increases in testosterone levels.

    In this case I think the Bible is teaching that even though the stingy man is trying to come across as though he is very generous with his food, he is failing to do so. In his mind (his heart) he doesn’t want the guest to eat his food. This is showing in his behaviour. He is trying to mask the fact that he doesn’t want the guest to eat his food, but it isn’t working.

    You said: “In this case our phrase would directly have to do with this stingy man inviting you to dinner. Then the “he” of the KJV is not applicable to any man, but to this specific person. And what he “thinketh in his heart” has all to do concerning the meal he has invited you to!”

    I disagree with your assessment. If the line “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” only applies to the stingy man inviting you to dinner then this would suggest this man, the stingy man, has a special trait that no other man who ever lived after him ever had. This ‘special trait’ would somehow not apply to anyone else who “thinketh” things in his heart (or mind.) I believe this Bible verse applies to every man and woman.


  43. H Singh says:

    Thank you for replying Herman. I feel like I better understanding of Proverbs 23:7 now.
    I have heard that you can use the ‘power of belief’ as I talked about in my other posts to implement positive beliefs into your life. For example, if you want to be confident, you need to believe you are confident. Or if you believe you are young in your mind, then you will feel younger physically. In the same way negative beliefs in your mind e.g. believing you are old can make you feel older. I have done this in my own life and I believe it works.
    Would Proverbs 4:23 explain how you can implement positive beliefs into your life, or get rid of negative beliefs, and become what you believe?

    God Bless.
    H Singh

  44. Thank you, I am blessed to be of assistance.
    I am positive that Proverbs 4:23 absolutely confirms the effect of one’s thoughts on one’s outlook on life leading to the practical realization in life.
    Thank you for your contribution and the link you included.
    Bod bless.

    • H Singh says:

      No problem.

      So just to be clear. Do you agree that Proverbs 4:23 explains how you can implement positive beliefs into your life, or get rid of negative beliefs, and become what you believe?

      Because you used the word “thoughts”, therefore I am still unsure on whether you would agree with the question above.


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