New International Version
A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
New Living Translation
A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
English Standard Version
A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
New American Standard Bible
A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
King James Bible
A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
A secret gift soothes anger, and a covert bribe, fierce rage.
International Standard Version
Privately given gifts pacify wrath, and payments made secretly appease great anger.
A gift given in secret subdues anger, and a bribe given secretly subdues strong wrath.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
A gift in secret removes wrath and he that spares giving arouses anger.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
A gift [given] in secret calms anger, and a secret bribe calms great fury.
Jubilee Bible 2000
A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a bribe in the bosom strong wrath.
King James 2000 Bible
A gift in secret averts anger: and a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
American King James Version
A gift in secret pacifies anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
American Standard Version
A gift in secret pacifieth anger; And a present in the bosom, strong wrath.
A secret present quencheth anger: and a gift in the bosom the greatest wrath.
Darby Bible Translation
A gift in secret pacifieth anger; and a present in the bosom, vehement fury.
English Revised Version
A gift in secret pacifieth anger, and a present in the bosom strong wrath.
Webster's Bible Translation
A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom, strong wrath.
World English Bible
A gift in secret pacifies anger; and a bribe in the cloak, strong wrath.
Young's Literal Translation
A gift in secret pacifieth anger, And a bribe in the bosom strong fury.
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Verse 14. - A gift in secret pacifieth anger. We have had above various maxims about bribes and presents; e.g. Proverbs 17:8, 23; Proverbs 18:16. The word translated "pacifieth" is from the ἅπαξ λεγόμενον verb כֵפָה, "to turn away," "avert." Septuagint, ἀνατρέπει; Vulgate, extinguit; Venetian, κάμψει. A gift offered secretly to one incensed, whether personal enemy, judge, or prince, averts the consequences of the offence. The next hemistich is parallel in meaning. And a reward (present) in the bosom strong wrath. A present kept handy in the bosom of the petitioner's garment, ready to be transferred at a fitting moment, as experience proves, calms the most violent wrath. Septuagint, "He that is sparing of gifts amuses strong wrath."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A gift in secret pacifieth anger,.... Appeases an angry man; humbles and "brings his anger down" (y), as Aben Ezra and Gersom observe the word signifies; which before rose very high, and showed itself in big words and disdainful looks, as proud wrath does; or extinguishes it, as the Targum and Vulgate Latin version render it, and very fitly. Anger is a fire in the breast; and a restraining or causing it to cease is properly expressed by an extinguishing of it: this a gift or present does, as it did in Esau from Jacob, in David from Abigail; but then it must be secretly given, otherwise it may more provoke; since it may show vanity in the giver, and covetousness in the receiver; and the former may have more honour than the latter. Some understand this of a gift for a bribe to a judge, to abate the severity of the sentence; and others of alms deeds to the poor, to pacify the anger of God (z): Jarchi interprets it of alms; and the Jews write this sentence upon the poor's box, understanding it in this sense; but the first sense is best;
and a reward in the bosom strong wrath: the same thing in different words; the meaning is, that a reward or gift, secretly conveyed into the bosom of an angry man, pacifies his wrath, when at the greatest height. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, understand it in a quite different sense, of a gift retained in the bosom, and not given, and render it thus, "he that spareth gifts stirreth up strong wrath".
(y) "deprimit", Piscator; so some in Mercerus; "subigit", Cocceius; "pensat nasum", Schultens. (z) "Munera (crede mihi) placant hominesque deosque", Ovid. de Arte Amandi, l. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. The effect of bribery (Pr 17:23) is enhanced by secrecy, as the bribed person does not wish his motives made known.
Proverbs 21:14 Additional Commentaries
The King's Heart is in the Lord's Hand
…13He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. 14A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath. 15The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.…
A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.
Treasury of Scripture
A gift in secret pacifies anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
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