Proverbs 21:8

The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

The way of man is froward and strange,.... Not the way of any and every man; not the way of righteous and good men, of believers in Christ; who know him, the way, and walk in him and after him, and being led by him; who have his spirit to be their guide, and do walk in his ways, and find pleasure in them; the way of such is not froward or perverse, but upright and even, and is not strange, for the Lord knows and approves of it: but the way of wicked and impure men, as may be learned from the opposition in the next clause; the way of unregenerate men, who are gone out of the good way, and turned to their own way, which is according to the course of the world, and after the prince of it, and according to the flesh, and dictates of corrupt nature, which is the common and broad road that leads to destruction. This is a "froward" or perverse way, a way contrary to reason and truth; contrary to the word of God, and the directions of it; it is a crooked distorted path; it is not according to rule; it is a deviation from the way of God's commandment, and is a "strange" one; the Scriptures know nothing of it, and do not point and direct unto it; it estranges a man from God, and carries him further and further off from him. It may be rendered, "perverse is the way of a man, even of a stranger" {t}; of one that is a stranger to God and godliness; to Christ and his Gospel; to the Spirit, and the operations of his grace on the heart; to his own heart, and his state and condition by nature; and to all good men, and all that is good;

but as for the pure, his work is right. God is pure, purity itself, in comparison of whom nothing is pure; and his work in creation, providence, and grace, is right; there is no unrighteousness in him; and this sense is favoured by the Septuagint and Arabic versions: or rather every good man, who, through the pure righteousness of Christ imputed to him, and through his precious blood being sprinkled on him, or rather through being washed in it, and through the grace of God bestowed on him, is pure, wholly cleansed from sin; has a pure heart, speaks a pure language, and holds the mystery of faith in a pure conscience or conversation: and his work, or the work of God upon him, is right and good; or his work of faith, which he exercises on God, is hearty and genuine: and even his works, as the Targum, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, have it in the plural number; all his good works are right; being done from love, in faith, in the name and strength of Christ, and to the glory of God.

{t} rzw "et alieni", Pagninus, Montanus; "et extranei", Vatablus; so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech.