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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

14 May 2009

Straightening out a Scripture Search

Q: Where in the Bible is this verse: “Man looketh a pond the outward appearence, but God looketh a pond the heart”? I have looked every word in my Bible for this verse.

A: Obviously, you’re using a King James Bible. Perhaps some of the old fashioned language makes hearing and remembering the right words a bit more difficult. Whatever the reason, this question points out how important accuracy is in studying Scripture. In this case, your problem with finding the verse stems mainly from misspelling and mis-remembering a few key words.

David ChosenYour citation comes from 1 Samuel 16:7. Samuel couldn’t believe that the Lord was passing over David’s eldest brother Eliab to be the next king of Israel. In this verse, God corrects the prophet. The KJV reads, “The Lord said unto Samuel, ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’” The more modern ESV says, “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”

Merely replacing “God” with “the Lord” may have been enough to find it. Certainly also having “upon” instead of “a pond” should have done the trick. God bless your continued Bible study.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author of the book What Do Lutherans Believe, and writer of numerous published devotions, prayers, and sermons.

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