Proverbs 26:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death

New Living Translation
Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon

English Standard Version
Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death

New American Standard Bible
Like a madman who throws Firebrands, arrows and death,

King James Bible
As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows,

International Standard Version
Like the maniac who shoots fiery darts and deadly arrows—

NET Bible
Like a madman who shoots firebrands and deadly arrows,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Just as a braggart casts words like sharp arrows of death

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Like a madman who shoots flaming arrows, arrows, and death,

Jubilee Bible 2000
As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death,

King James 2000 Bible
As a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,

American King James Version
As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death,

American Standard Version
As a madman who casteth firebrands, Arrows, and death,

Douay-Rheims Bible
As he is guilty that shooteth arrows, and lances unto death :

Darby Bible Translation
As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

English Revised Version
As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death;

Webster's Bible Translation
As a mad man who casteth fire-brands, arrows, and death,

World English Bible
Like a madman who shoots torches, arrows, and death,

Young's Literal Translation
As one pretending to be feeble, Who is casting sparks, arrows, and death,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

26:2. He that is cursed without cause, the curse shall do him no more harm than the bird that flies over his head. 3. Every creature must be dealt with according to its nature, but careless and profligate sinners never will be ruled by reason and persuasion. Man indeed is born like the wild ass's colt; but some, by the grace of God, are changed. 4,5. We are to fit our remarks to the man, and address them to his conscience, so as may best end the debate. 6-9. Fools are not fit to be trusted, nor to have any honour. Wise sayings, as a foolish man delivers and applies them, lose their usefulness. 10. This verse may either declare how the Lord, the Creator of all men, will deal with sinners according to their guilt, or, how the powerful among men should disgrace and punish the wicked. 11. The dog is a loathsome emblem of those sinners who return to their vices, 2Pe 2:22. 12. We see many a one who has some little sense, but is proud of it. This describes those who think their spiritual state to be good, when really it is very bad. 13. The slothful man hates every thing that requires care and labour. But it is foolish to frighten ourselves from real duties by fancied difficulties. This may be applied to a man slothful in the duties of religion. 14. Having seen the slothful man in fear of his work, here we find him in love with his ease. Bodily ease is the sad occasion of many spiritual diseases. He does not care to get forward with his business. Slothful professors turn thus. The world and the flesh are hinges on which they are hung; and though they move in a course of outward services, yet they are not the nearer to heaven. 15. The sluggard is now out of his bed, but he might have lain there, for any thing he is likely to bring to pass in his work. It is common for men who will not do their duty, to pretend they cannot. Those that are slothful in religion, will not be at the pains to feed their souls with the bread of life, nor to fetch in promised blessings by prayer. 16. He that takes pains in religion, knows he is working for a good Master, and that his labour shall not be in vain. 17. To make ourselves busy in other men's matters, is to thrust ourselves into temptation. 18,19. He that sins in jest, must repent in earnest, or his sin will be his ruin. 20-22. Contention heats the spirit, and puts families and societies into a flame. And that fire is commonly kindled and kept burning by whisperers and backbiters. 23. A wicked heart disguising itself, is like a potsherd covered with the dross of silver.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 18, 19 - A tetrastich, but without parallelisms. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death. The word rendered "madman" is an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, and has been variously explained; but the Authorized Version is probably correct. "Firebrands" are darts with some blazing material attached to them. "Death "forms a climax with the other dangers mentioned, which the madman deals forth recklessly and indiscriminately. So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? When a man has injured his neighbour by lies or malice, the plea that he was only in joke is not allowed; the injury is not less real because he excuses it by alleging it was done not seriously, but playfully; no more than the fatal effects of the use of murderous weapons are lessened by their being employed by the hands of a maniac. Practical joking is often a most serious matter. A mediaeval adage says wisely -

"Cum jocus est verus, jocus est malus atque severus," Septuagint, "Even as those who are under medical treatment (ἱώμενοι) throw words at men, and he who first meets the word will be overthrown; so are all they that lay wait for their own friends, and when they are seen, say, I did it in jest." As insane persons who abuse and ill treat their physicians are excused by reason of their infirmity, so those who injure friends in secret try to excuse themselves when found out by alleging that they were only joking.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As a mad man, who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death. Or the instruments of death, as Aben Ezra; or the sharp arrows of death, as the Targum and Syriac version; who casts firebrands into the houses and barns of his neighbours, to consume them; or arrows at their persons and cattle, to destroy them; or any other instruments of death, which none but a mad man, or one wickedly mad, would do. Or, "as one that makes himself mad" (e); that feigns himself mad, and, under colour of this, does mischief to his neighbour's person and property: or, "as one that hides himself" (f); that casts firebrands, arrows, and other deadly things, in a private way, so as not to be seen, and that it may not be known from whence they come: or, "as one that wearies himself" (g), so Jarchi; in doing mischief in such a way. The word in the Arabic language signifies to play and be in sport; and so it means one that does these things in sport, as it is a sport to a fool to do mischief; which sense agrees with what follows.

(e) "ut se habet qui iunsanum ne simulat", Piscator; "ut qui se insanire fingit", Cocceius. (f) "Sicut abscondit se", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (g) "Ut sese fatigat", Tigurine version.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18, 19. Such are reckless of results.

Proverbs 26:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Similitudes and Instructions
17Like one who takes a dog by the ears Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him. 18Like a madman who throws Firebrands, arrows and death, 19So is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, "Was I not joking?"…
Cross References
Judges 15:4
So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails,

Isaiah 50:11
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.
Treasury of Scripture

As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death,

firebrands is flames or sparks

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