This is the way of those who are arrogant, and of their followers, who approve of their words. Like sheep they are headed for Sheol; Death will shepherd them. The upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will waste away in Sheol, far from their lofty abode. – Psalm 49:13-14
One French translation of this passage reads, “Here is the way of those who put their trust in themselves, here is that which awaits the ones who love to hear themselves speak.”
A little different, oui? Maybe not.
Is it not arrogant to trust only in yourself? I could certainly show you my own personal list of troubles created by just heeding my own counsel, but, then again, it would be embarrassing. While it is arrogant to believe that one’s own counsel is all that is needed to make a good decision, it is also unwise.
Another interesting difference between translations is seen in the second part of verse 13. Here we see a retained focus on the speaker rather than a switch to his followers. The French translation continues the focus on arrogance (loving to hear oneself speak), but the English speaks of the error of those who would follow such a person. Again, are not both true? There is no greater danger to a leader than to be his own, most ardent, admirer. To believe in your own opinion is one thing, but to worship it to the exclusion of wise influence is just stupid.
Oh yeah, and to follow such a leader is ignorant and ultimately destructive.
Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. – William Pollard