*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
The way of a fool [is] (g) right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth to counsel [is] wise.
(g) He stands in his own conceit, and condemns all others in respect to himself.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,.... Whether it be the way of open profaneness, or self-righteousness, it appears to him to be the right way; it seems to him a very plain one, and he finds it pleasant; and, trusting to carnal sense, corrupt reason, and a false judgment, and having a high opinion of himself and his own knowledge, never asks after the right way, nor takes the advice of others;
but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise; that asks advice and takes it of such who are men of age and experience, men of longer standing, and are wiser than himself; who consults the word of God about the right way of walk, worship, and salvation, and makes the testimonies of God the men of his counsel, which are able to make him wise unto salvation; who hearkens to the counsel of Gospel ministers, and obeys it; and especially to Jesus Christ the wonderful Counsellor, and to the advice he gives, Revelation 3:18; and who not only hears his words, but does them; such an one is a wise man, Matthew 7:24.
A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes.
15 The way of the fool is right in his own eyes,
But the wise listeneth to counsel.
Other proverbs, like Proverbs 16:2, say that generally the judgment of a man regarding his character does not go beyond a narrow subjectivity; but there are objective criteria according to which a man can prove whether the way in which he walks is right; but the fool knows not other standard than his own opinion, and however clearly and truly one may warn him that the way which he has chosen is the wrong way and leads to a false end, yet he obstinately persists;
(Note: Vid., kindred proverbs by Carl Schulze, Die bibl. Sprichwrter der deutschen Sprache (1860), p. 50, and M. C. Wahl's Das Sprichwort in der heb.-aram. Literatur, u.s.w. (1871), p. 31.)
while a wise man is not so wise in his own eyes (Proverbs 3:7) as not to be willing to listen to well-meant counsel, because, however careful he may be regarding his conduct, yet he does not regard his own judgment so unerring as not to be inclined ever anew to try it and let it stand the test. Ewald has falsely construed: yet whoever hears counsel is wise. In consequence of the contrast, אויל and חכם are the subject ideas, and with ושׁמע לעצה is brought forward that which is in contrast to the self-complacency of the fool, the conduct of the wise man.
Hearkeneth - That distrusts his own judgments, and seeks counsel from others.
*More commentary available at chapter level.