Deadly End or Dead End?
There is a proverb in the book of Proverbs, that is of such stature that it is found in two separate places, both as Proverbs 14:12, and Proverbs 16:25. In the Hebrew style, most such repetition occurs immediately, as things are repeated for the sake of emphasis. To have a phrase found in two completely unrelated places is unique. I want to take some time to analyze this twice-stated proverb, but before doing that, let's look at several translations/versions of it first.
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." KING JAMES VERSION
"There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." NEW KING JAMES VERSION
"Sometimes a way seems right to a man, but the end of it leads to death!" NEW AMERICAN BIBLE
Those are some Christian translations, now lets look at a Jewish one:
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but at its end are the ways of death." THE JERUSALEM BIBLE
To me, it seems to imply that if I do what I think is right, I will find death because I was wrong. The above translations seem to say that if you are doing what you think is right, you are in deep trouble. If so, then the translators were looking at people that the translators were convinced were making the wrong decisions. Well, if I am not mistaken, even if I will take the right turns in this life, even if I make the 'right' decisions, I will find death. True, some decisions may bring that death about earlier than other decisions would. Either way, death is at the end of the road, regardless of the decisions..
So what does this really mean? In my opinion, it can
be paraphrased for several reasons:
1. to make more sense by being more spiritual
2. to be more consistent, without looking down at the decision maker.
"You think you are going the right way, but you will find out that it is a dead end.".
Now we're talking. Let's not go over how many times in my life as a driver have I taken the 'wrong road' that turned out to be a 'dead end'? Do we not do this as people in our decisions every day? Here's an example of this involving relationship: I decide to spend time with someone hoping to develop a closer relationship, only to find it a dead end. I have to go back and start over down another road, with another person. Or we take a certain job, hoping it will lead us somewhere, only to find out it doesn't. Or we move to a certain city, with the same hopes. Or a college degree that was easy to get, but no one is hiring the graduates!
Dead ends are not fatal. All we have to do is go back to the last intersection (decision point) and pick a new route, or do that 'stop and ask someone for directions' thing. Either benefit from someone else's knowledge and experience, or go create your own experience from which to learn. While I have reached many of my goals in life, few of them have I reached by the first path that I started to take to get there!