Proverbs 21:1

NET ©

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water; he turns it wherever he wants.

NIV ©

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

NASB ©

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

NLT ©

The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he turns it wherever he pleases.

MSG ©

Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.

BBE ©

The king’s heart in the hands of the Lord is like the water streams, and by him it is turned in any direction at his pleasure.

NRSV ©

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

NKJV ©

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

KJV
The king's
<04428>
heart
<03820>
[is] in the hand
<03027>
of the LORD
<03068>_,
[as] the rivers
<06388>
of water
<04325>_:
he turneth
<05186> (8686)
it whithersoever he will
<02654> (8799)_.
HEBREW
wnjy
<05186>
Upxy
<02654>
rsa
<0834>
lk
<03605>
le
<05921>
hwhy
<03068>
dyb
<03027>
Klm
<04428>
bl
<03820>
Mym
<04325>
yglp (21:1)
<06388>
LXXM
wsper
<3746>  
ADV
ormh
<3730>  
N-NSF
udatov
<5204>  
N-GSN
outwv
<3778>  
ADV
kardia
<2588>  
N-NSF
basilewv
<935>  
N-GSM
en
<1722>  
PREP
ceiri
<5495>  
N-DSF
yeou
<2316>  
N-GSM
ou
<3739>  
R-GSM
ean
<1437>  
CONJ
yelwn
 
V-PAPNS
neush
<3506>  
V-FMI-2S
ekei
<1563>  
ADV
eklinen
<2827>  
V-IAI-3S
authn
<846>  
D-ASF
NET © [draft] ITL
The king’s
<04428>
heart
<03820>
is in the hand
<03027>
of the Lord
<03068>
like channels
<06388>
of water
<04325>
; he turns it wherever
<0834>

<03605>
he wants
<05186>

<02654>
.
NET © Notes

sn “Heart” is a metonymy of subject; it signifies the ability to make decisions, if not the decisions themselves.

sn “Hand” in this passage is a personification; the word is frequently used idiomatically for “power,” and that is the sense intended here.

tn “Channels of water” (פַּלְגֵי, palge) is an adverbial accusative, functioning as a figure of comparison – “like channels of water.” Cf. NAB “Like a stream”; NIV “watercourse”; NRSV, NLT “a stream of water.”

sn The farmer channels irrigation ditches where he wants them, where they will do the most good; so does the Lord with the king. No king is supreme; the Lord rules.