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APPENDIX T 2

Chapter 12:13. And make straight paths, etc. If this be a quotation, and not an appropriation of certain words, it is taken from Proverbs 4:26, where the Hebrew is, “Make direct the path of thy feet;” and the Sept., “Make straight the paths for thy feet,” the very words of this passage. That the verb in Hebrew means to “make direct,” and not to “ponder,” as in our version, is evident from a similar phrase in Psalm 78:50, “He made (or made direct) a way to his anger.” The verb is the same as in Proverbs. The noun means a balance, or rather the beam of a balance, (see Proverbs 16:11,) which is straight, and is used to equalize what is weighed. The verb may therefore include the idea of making straight or of making even. The verse that follows in Proverbs 4:26, favors this idea of a straight path, “Turn not to the right hand nor to the left,” which implies that it is a straight course that is to be taken. See verse 25

“Make direct the path of thy feet,” or “Make straight the paths for thy feet,” evidently means, “Let the path or paths along which you go, be direct or straight.” The ways of error and sin are called crooked paths: see Proverbs 2:15; Isaiah 59:8. So the way of truth and holiness is compared to a straight line, from which we are not to deviate either to the right hand or to the left.

It is remarkable what the Apostle says in Galatians 2:14, of Peter and those who dissembled with him, that they “did not walk uprightly (or literally, did not foot straightly, οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσι) according to the truth of the Gospel;” they deviated from the straight line prescribed by the Gospel. The idea, therefore, of removing impediments, of making their paths plain or smooth, as Macknight and others render it, seems not to be here intended; nor does it comport with what follows, “that the lame,” or the feeble, “may not turn aside, but rather be healed,” that is, of his lameness, or his weakness. For were those reputed strong in the faith not to walk straightly, but to turn into the crooked ways of dissimulation, like Peter and others at Antioch, the lame, the weak in faith, would be tempted to do the same, instead of having their lameness healed, or their weakness strengthened by the example of others walking in a straight course.

The idea of dislocation given to ἐκτραπὣ by Schleusner, Macknight, and others, is one invented for the purpose of suiting what they conceived to be the meaning of this passage, which is by no means necessary, and is indeed inappropriate to the context when rightly understood. “That which is lame,” τὸ χωλὸν, is a neuter instead of a masculine, an idiom we often meet with in the New Testament.

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