Guard Your Heart - Proverbs 4:23-27                                                         

Guard Your Heart

By Lance Howard

Proverbs 4:23-27 THV Version

23) With highly developed and sharp focus, watch over, protect, and maintain your heart- the core of your being, your sense of self, deep-seated primordial intelligence, consciousness, and purpose; the centers where thought and emotion create feeling. Guard it in the way a watchman defends the gates and takes no risks. Take care of it like a farmer keeps the vineyard and a shepherd cares for the flock, watching carefully. Do this because from the heart centers flow all the issues of your life. It is the source from which all your experiences come forth. It is also the place from which your Life-energy flows.

24) Withdraw from deceitful speech. Stop twisting, harming, scattering, and destroying things, people, and yourself with the words you speak. Remove yourself from this type of speech because it puts you far off Track.

25) Intently use the mind, that is your spiritual faculties, to address the things of your life. Let the morning rays of The Dawn shine upon you and enlighten the way to balanced living (enlightenment).

26) Intuitively weigh, roll flat, and prepare the path you are on. Let the road you travel, the mode of living you are in, and the way you journey along, be set up, properly fitted and right.

27) Don’t get off Track to the right nor the left. Don’t deviate from the proper Way. Keep yourself off the path of spiritual immaturity, which leads to a spoiled, unripe life of displeasure and misery, physically, socially, and morally.

Typical Translation

23 Keep[1] thy heart[2] with all diligence[3]; for out[4] of it are the issues of life[5].

24 Put away[6] from thee a froward[7] mouth[8], and perverse[9] lips[10] put far[11] from thee.

25 Let thine eyes[12] look[13] right on[14], and let thine eyelids[15] look straight[16] before thee.

26 Ponder[17] the path[18] of thy feet[19], and let all thy ways[20] be established[21].

27 Turn[22] not to the right hand nor to the left: remove[23] thy foot from evil[24].”

- Proverbs 4:23-27 (KJV)

Commentary

The immediate, unconscious, habit of humans is to anesthetize discomfort. We look for ways to protect ourselves from things and people who intimidate us. We do this with things like food, relationships, alcohol, sex, shopping, gossip, anger, and drugs.  But we are being told there is a much more intelligent way to “guard” our hearts.

Verse 23 begins by immediately telling us that this is something that takes training and practice. It is a “highly developed” focus. This is an education that is very difficult to find today and it is more important than any subject we are forced to learn in school: spiritual and emotional intelligence.

The word for “Life” in verse 23 is the same used in Genesis 2:7 referring to the “breath of life”, Nashama Chay (H5397 (nᵉshâmâh, nesh-aw-maw') + H2416(chay, khah'-ee), breath of conscious-intelligent energy. “Chay” is the same ancient word as Ki (Japanese); synonymous with “life”. Chi (Chineses); Prana (Indian yogic philosophy; hindu).  “Chay” is the primary substance of the universe from which all things are formed. Each variety of physical existence is characterized by its own Chay.

The promise of Life is a full flow of Life-energy for our personal experience. You must, then, guard your heart or else consequential suffering will block that flow.

The words we speak flow from and through the breath. Breath is connected, biologically and metaphysically, to the heart and, so, the Life Force-Energy. To speak harmfully is to misuse the Life Force, which is originally purposed to create and support life. What you say is a reflection of who you are in that moment. You become an agent of harm and destruction to yourself and others by the negative words you use, narratives you tell, and thoughts you think. You become an agent of health and healing when your words are composed of love and life. Our words are healing or harming.

Thoughts can do nothing without energy behind them. That energy is emotion. Thought and emotion combine to produce a feeling, the expression, the action, the reality. This is related to the triune nature of Being. It is our triune nature that allows us to create in our lives, for better or worse, whether “good” or “bad”- ripe or unripe, mature or immature. Feeling is centered in the heart and wires the brain. Habitual feeling is equal to or synonymous with habitual brain patterns. Neuroscience has long determined that brain synapses wire and fire together as mental pathways that become default (subconscious). This means we must take serious responsibility for our thoughts and the results that negativity and fear will bring to our lives. Wise monitoring of our thoughts and emotions, and knowing how to heal the dark energies of the way we perceive ourselves and the impact of the world around us, is “guarding the heart”.

See:

Voice In The Wilderness: Isaiah 40:3-5 Summary: The path to fulfillment requires personal excavation and cultivation. Life will bloom in the desert. Keywords: healing, calling, Sacred Way, powerless, balance, prosperity, emotional intelligence.

Deceitful Heart: Jeremiah 17

THV, Copyright 2020


[1] H5341 nâtsar, naw-tsar'; a primitive root; to guard, in a good sense (to protect, maintain, obey, etc.) or a bad one (to conceal, etc.):—besieged, hidden thing, keep(-er, -ing), monument, observe, preserve(-r), subtil, watcher(-man); to watch, to keep (e.g. a vineyard); to defend, to preserve

[2] H3820 lêb, labe; a form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything:—care for, comfortably, consent, × considered, courag(-eous), friend(-ly), ((broken-), (hard-), (merry-), (stiff-), (stout-), double) heart(-ed), × heed, × I, kindly, midst, mind(-ed), × regard(-ed), × themselves, × unawares, understanding, × well, willingly, wisdom.

H3824 lêbâb, lay-bawb'; the heart (as the most interior organ);:— bethink themselves, breast, comfortably, courage, (faint), (tender-) heart(-ed), midst, mind, × unawares, understanding; the soul, life; the seat of the senses, affections, and emotions of the mind; the seat of will and purpose; intellect and wisdom; the faculty of thinking

[3] H4929 mishmâr, mish-mawr'; from H8104; a guard (the man, the post or the prison); a deposit (figuratively); also (as observed) a usage (abstractly), or an example (concretely):—diligence, guard, office, prison, ward, watch; observance, that which is observed.

H8104 shâmar, shaw-mar'; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.:—beward, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep(-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch(-man); to keep, to watch, to guard; to keep safe, to preserve; to attend to; to abstain oneself from anything; to take heed to oneself.

[4] H8444 tôwtsâʼâh, to-tsaw-aw'; or תֹּצָאָה tôtsâʼâh; (only in plural collective) exit, i.e. (geographical) boundary, or (figuratively) deliverance, (actively) source:—border(-s), going(-s) forth (out), issues, outgoings; a going out; the place from which any person or thing goes forth, hence a gate, a fountain.

[5] H2416 chay, khah'-ee; from H2421; alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively:— age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life(-time), live(-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, merry, multitude, (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.

H2421 châyâh, khaw-yaw'; a primitive root (compare H2331, H2421); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive:—keep (leave, make) alive, × certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (× God) save (alive, life, lives), × surely, be whole. The original idea of this word is that of breathing.

[6] H5493 çûwr, soor; or שׂוּר sûwr; (Hosea 9:12), a primitive root; to turn off (literally or figuratively):—be(-head), bring, call back, decline, depart, eschew, get (you), go (aside), × grievous, lay away (by), leave undone, be past, pluck away, put (away, down), rebel, remove (to and fro), revolt, × be sour, take (away, off), turn (aside, away, in), withdraw, be without.

[7] H6143 ʻiqqᵉshûwth, ik-kesh-ooth'; from H6141; perversity:—× froward; perverseness of mouth, i.e. fraudulent, deceitful speech

H6141 ʻiqqêsh, ik-kashe'; from H6140; distorted; hence, false:—crooked, froward, perverse; deceitful, false.

H6140 ʻâqash, aw-kash'; a primitive root; to knot or distort; figuratively, to pervert (act or declare perverse):—make crooked, (prove, that is) perverse(-rt); to twist.

[8] H6310 peh, peh; from H6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), whether literal or figurative (particularly speech); specifically edge, portion or side; adverbially (with preposition) according to:—accord(-ing as, -ing to), after, appointment, assent, collar, command(-ment), × eat, edge, end, entry, file, hole, × in, mind, mouth, part, portion, × (should) say(-ing), sentence, skirt, sound, speech, × spoken, talk, tenor, × to, two-edged, wish, word; an edge (a figure taken from the teeth, the idea of biting); border (similarity to a lip)

H6284 pâʼâh, paw-aw'; a primitive root; to puff, i.e. blow away:—scatter into corners. Onomatopoetic imitating the sound of blowing

[9] H3891 lᵉzûwth, lez-ooth'; from H3868; perverseness:—perverse.

H3868 lûwz, looz; a primitive root; to turn aside, i.e. (literally) to depart, (figuratively) be perverse:—depart, froward, perverse(-ness); to bend (aside); to turn away, to go back, to go away.

[10] H8193 sâphâh, saw-faw'; or (in dual and plural) שֶׂפֶת sepheth; probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication, language; by analogy, a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.):—band, bank, binding, border, brim, brink, edge, language, lip, prating, (sea-)shore, side, speech, talk, (vain) words.

H5595 çâphâh, saw-faw'; a primitive root; properly, to scrape (literally, to shave; but usually figuratively) together (i.e. to accumulate or increase) or away (i.e. to scatter, remove, or ruin; intransitively, to perish):—add, augment, consume, destroy, heap, join, perish, put; to destroy, to take away life.

[11] H7368 râchaq, raw-khak'; a primitive root; to widen (in any direction), i.e. (intransitively) recede or (transitively) remove (literally or figuratively, of place or relation):—(a-, be, cast, drive, get, go, keep (self), put, remove, be too, (wander), withdraw) far (away, off), loose, × refrain, very, (be) a good way (off); to go far away, to recede from anyone; to thrust away; to repel; to be distant, far off, remote.

[12] H5869 ʻayin, ah'-yin; probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy, a fountain (as the eye of the landscape):—affliction, outward appearance, before, think best, colour, conceit, be content, countenance, displease, eye((-brow), (-d), -sight), face, favour, fountain, furrow (from the margin), × him, humble, knowledge, look, (+ well), × me, open(-ly), + (not) please, presence, regard, resemblance, sight, × thee, × them, + think, × us, well, × you(-rselves).

[13] H5027 nâbaṭ, naw-bat'; a primitive root; to scan, i.e. look intently at; by implication, to regard with pleasure, favor or care:—(cause to) behold, consider, look (down), regard, have respect, see.

[14] H5227 nôkach, no'-kakh; from the same as H5226; properly, the front part; used adverbially (especially with preposition), opposite, in front of, forward, in behalf of:—(over) against, before, direct(-ly), for, right (on); what is over against in sight; opposite; before (one’s face).

H5226 nêkach, nay'-kakh; from an unused root meaning to be straightforward; properly, the fore part; used adverbially, opposite:—before, over against.

[15] H6079 ʻaphʻaph, af-af'; from H5774; an eyelash (as fluttering); figuratively, morning ray:—dawning, eye-lid.

H5774 ʻûwph, oof; a primitive root; to cover (with wings or obscurity); hence to fly; also (by implication of dimness) to faint (from the darkness of swooning):—brandish, be (wax) faint, flee away, fly (away), × set, shine forth, weary.

[16] H3474 yâshar, yaw-shar'; a primitive root; to be straight or even; figuratively, to be (causatively, to make) right, pleasant, prosperous:—direct, fit, seem good (meet), please (will), be (esteem, go) right (on), bring (look, make, take the) straight (way), be upright(-ly); to be even, level; to make a way straight.

[17] H6424 pâlaç, paw-las'; a primitive root; properly, to roll flat, i.e. prepare (a road); also to revolve, i.e. weigh (mentally):—make, ponder, weigh; to make level, even, to prepare a way; to weigh (which is done by holding the balance level), to weight out.

[18] H4570 maʻgâl, mah-gawl'; or feminine מַעְגָּלָה maʻgâlâh; from the same as H5696; a track (literally or figuratively); also a rampart (as circular):—going, path, trench, way(-side)’ a track or rut (in which the wheels revolve, a way.

H5696 ʻâgôl, aw-gole'; or עָגוֹל ʻâgôwl; from an unused root meaning to revolve, circular:—round.

[19] H7272 regel, reh'-gel; from H7270; a foot (as used in walking); by implication, a step; by euphemistically the pudenda:—× be able to endure, × according as, × after, × coming, × follow, (broken-)foot(-ed, -stool), × great toe, × haunt, × journey, leg, piss, possession, time.

H7270 râgal, raw-gal'; a primitive root; also as denominative from H7272 to walk along; but only in specifically, applications, to reconnoiter, to be a tale-bearer (i.e. slander); to lead about:—backbite, search, slander, (e-) spy (out), teach to go, view.

[20] H1870 derek, deh'-rek; from H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:—along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, (east-) ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, (high-) (path-) way(-side), whither(-soever); going, walking, a journey; a way, a path; mode, course; a way of living.

H1869 dârak, daw-rak'; a primitive root; to tread; by implication, to walk; also to string a bow (by treading on it in bending):—archer, bend, come, draw, go (over), guide, lead (forth), thresh, tread (down), walk’ to tread with the feet, to trample.

[21] H3559 kûwn, koon; a primitive root; properly, to be erect (i.e. stand perpendicular); hence (causatively) to set up, in a great variety of applications, whether literal (establish, fix, prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous):—certain(-ty), confirm, direct, faithfulness, fashion, fasten, firm, be fitted, be fixed, frame, be meet, ordain, order, perfect, (make) preparation, prepare (self), provide, make provision, (be, make) ready, right, set (aright, fast, forth), be stable, (e-) stablish, stand, tarry, × very deed.

[22] H5186 nâṭâh, naw-taw'; a primitive root; to stretch or spread out; by implication, to bend away (including moral deflection); used in a great variety of application (as follows):— afternoon, apply, bow (down, -ing), carry aside, decline, deliver, extend, go down, be gone, incline, intend, lay, let down, offer, outstretched, overthrown, pervert, pitch, prolong, put away, shew, spread (out), stretch (forth, out), take (aside), turn (aside, away), wrest, cause to yield.

[23] H5493 çûwr, soor; or שׂוּר sûwr; (Hosea 9:12), a primitive root; to turn off (literally or figuratively):—be(-head), bring, call back, decline, depart, eschew, get (you), go (aside), × grievous, lay away (by), leave undone, be past, pluck away, put (away, down), rebel, remove (to and fro), revolt, × be sour, take (away, off), turn (aside, away, in), withdraw, be without.

[24] H7451 raʻ, rah; from H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral):—adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displease(-ure), distress, evil((-favouredness), man, thing), + exceedingly, × great, grief(-vous), harm, heavy, hurt(-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief(-vous), misery, naught(-ty), noisome, + not please, sad(-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked(-ly, -ness, one), worse(-st), wretchedness, wrong. (Including feminine raaah; as adjective or noun.)

H7489 râʻaʻ, raw-ah'; a primitive root; properly, to spoil (literally, by breaking to pieces); figuratively, to make (or be) good for nothing, i.e. bad (physically, socially or morally):—afflict, associate selves (by mistake for 7462), break (down, in pieces), displease, (be, bring, do) evil (doer, entreat, man), show self friendly (by mistake for 7462), do harm, (do) hurt, (behave self, deal) ill, × indeed, do mischief, punish, still, vex, (do) wicked (doer, -ly), be (deal, do) worse.