Proverbs 14:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

New Living Translation
Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.

English Standard Version
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

New American Standard Bible
Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.

King James Bible
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty, but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox.

International Standard Version
Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean, but profits come through the strength of the ox.

NET Bible
Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean, but an abundant harvest is produced by strong oxen.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean, and the abundance of crops is by the power of the ox.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Where there are no cattle, the feeding trough is empty, but the strength of an ox produces plentiful harvests.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Without oxen, the storehouse is clean, but by the strength of the ox there is abundance of bread.

King James 2000 Bible
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

American King James Version
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

American Standard Version
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; But much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest.

Darby Bible Translation
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

English Revised Version
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Webster's Bible Translation
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

World English Bible
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Young's Literal Translation
Without oxen a stall is clean, And great is the increase by the power of the ox.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

14:1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. 2. Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. 3. Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. 4. There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. 5. A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. 6. A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. 7. We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. 8. We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. 9. Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. 10. We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. 11. Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. 12. The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. 14. Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. 15. Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. 16. Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. 17. An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Where no oxen (cattle) are, the crib is clean. This does not mean, as some take it, that labour has its rough, disagreeable side, yet in the end brings profit; but rather that without bullocks to labour in the fields, or cows to supply milk - that is, without toil and industry, and necessary instruments - the crib is empty, there is nothing to put in the granary, there are no beasts to fatten. The means must be adapted to the end. Much increase is by the strength of the ox. This, again, is not an exhortation to kindness towards animals, which makes no antithesis to the first clause; but it is parallel with Proverbs 12:11, and means that where agricultural works are diligently carried on (the "ploughing ox" being taken as the type of industry), large returns are secured. Septuagint, "Where fruits are plentiful the strength of the ox is manifest."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Where no oxen are the crib is clean,.... Or "empty" (z), so Jarchi and Aben Ezra. Oxen were used in Judea in several parts of husbandry; in ploughing the land, bringing home the corn, and in threshing or treading it out, Deuteronomy 22:10. Now where these are not, or not used, where husbandry is neglected, there is no straw in the crib for beasts, and much less food for men; or rather, no corn or "wheat" (a) on the "threshingfloor" (b), or in the barn, granary, or storehouse; for so the same word is rendered, Jeremiah 50:26; and in this manner it is interpreted by Gersom here, as also by Kimchi (c): the word translated "clean" is used for "wheat", Amos 8:5. By supplying the negative particle, the whole may be rendered thus; "where no oxen are, the threshingfloor", "granary", or storehouse, "is without wheat"; or there is no wheat "on the floor", or "in the barn", &c. the note of Jarchi on the text is,

"where there are no scholars of the wise men, there is no instruction in the constitutions.''

But much better is the mystical sense, thus; that where there are no ministers of the Gospel, there is no food for souls. Oxen are an emblem of faithful and laborious ministers. The ox was one of the emblems in the cherubim, which design Gospel ministers; the names by which oxen are called agree with them. Here are two words used of them in the text; the one comes from a root which signifies to "teach", "lead", "guide", and "govern"; and the same word for "oxen" signifies "teachers", "leaders", "guides", and "governors"; names which most properly belong to ministers of the word: the other word comes from a root which signifies to "see", to "look"; because these creatures are sharp sighted. Ministers are seers, overseers, and as John's living creatures in Revelation 4:6; one of which was an ox, were full of eyes, within, and before, and behind. So ministers of the word had need to have good sight, to look into the Scriptures, and search them; to look to themselves and to their flock, and to look out to discover enemies, and danger by them; and to look into their own experience, and into things both past and to come. There is a likeness in ministers to these creatures, as to the nature of them; they are clean, creatures, as such should be that minister in holy things; and chew the cud, as such should revolve in their minds and constantly meditate upon divine things; and, like them, are patient and quiet under the yoke; and are not only strong to labour, but very laborious in the word and doctrine; submit to the yoke, draw the plough of the Gospel; bring home souls to Christ, to his church, and to heaven; and tread out the corn, the mysteries of grace, out of the sacred writings. Now where there are no such laborious and diligent ministers of the word, as there are none in the apostate church of Rome, there is no spiritual food for the souls of men; but a famine of the word, and men perish for lack of knowledge;

but much increase is by the strength of the ox; as there is a large increase of the fruits of the earth, through the tillage of it by proper instruments; as by the strong and laborious ox, whose strength is employed in ploughing the ground (d) and treading the corn; which is put for all means of husbandry, where that is used or not: so through the unwearied labours of Gospel ministers, the blessing of God attending them, there is much spiritual food; see Proverbs 13:23. There is an increase of converts, a harvest of souls is brought in; and an increase of gifts and of grace, and of spiritual light and knowledge, and plenty of provisions; which spiritual increase, through the ministry of the word, is owing to God, 1 Corinthians 3:6.

(z) "vacuum", V. L. Munster, Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Amama; so the Syriac version. (a) "Triticum", Baynus. (b) "area", Gussetius, p. 14. Michaelis, Schultens. (c) Sepher Shorash. rad & R. Joseph Kimchi in Abendana in loc. (d) "Fortis arat valido rusticus arva bove", Tibullus, l. 2. Eleg. 2. v. 14.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. crib is clean—empty; so "cleanness of teeth" denotes want of food (compare Am 4:6). Men get the proper fruit of their doings (Ga 6:7).

Proverbs 14:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Every Wise Woman Builds Her House
3In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them. 4Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. 5A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies.…
Cross References
Psalm 144:14
our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets.

Proverbs 14:3
A fool's mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.

Proverbs 14:5
An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
Treasury of Scripture

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

clean

Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, …

but

Proverbs 13:23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed …

1 Corinthians 9:9-11 For it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth …

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