I found some different translations of Mishlei 16:4. On the chabad.org website it is translated as:

'The Lord made everything for His praise - even the wicked man for the day of evil'

While the mechon-mamre.org website reads:

The Lord hath made every things for His own purpose...

The JPS translation reads:

The Lord made everything for a / it's purpose...

So how should the words כל פעל יהוה למענהו be translated and understand, what does it mean?

  • It seems to me that the root for למענהו is the same as in למען, so I think "purpose" is a better translation, IMO.
    – ezra
    Sep 24, 2017 at 18:11
  • 1
    @ezra His or it's purpose?
    – Levi
    Sep 24, 2017 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


According to Rashi and Metsudat David there, as well as Rabbenu Bahya (Leviticus 5:1), it means that God made everything for His praise.

According to Ralbag (Proverbs 16:1) it means that God created everything for a purpose. Unlike Rashi, he understands למענהו to mean its purpose; not His purpose (or praise). This is also the implication of Rabbenu Avraham ben Sh'lomo (I Samuel 21: p. 272).

  • Thank you so much; so one could say 'for His purpose' is some a kind of combination between these two views. Good to know this.
    – Levi
    Sep 25, 2017 at 6:39

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