|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:24-28. Four things that are little, are yet to be admired. There are those who are poor in the world, and of small account, yet wise for their souls and another world. 29-33. We may learn from animals to go well; also to keep our temper under all provocations. We must keep the evil thought in our minds from breaking out into evil speeches. We must not stir up the passions of others. Let nothing be said or done with violence, but every thing with softness and calmness. Alas, how often have we done foolishly in rising up against the Lord our King! Let us humble ourselves before him. And having found peace with Him, let us follow peace with all men.
Verses 24-28. - Four things small and weak, and yet wise. Verse 24. - There be four things which are little upon the earth, in contrast with the intolerable pretensions of the last group. The Vulgate has minima; but the original is not superlative, which would not be true of some of the creatures named. But they are exceeding wise; "quick of wit, wise," the participle מְחֻכִּמִים meaning "rendered wise, cunning" (Delitzsch). The Septuagint and Vulgate translate in the comparatives. "These are wiser than the wise," the instincts of these animals being more marvellous than human wisdom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There be four things which are little upon the earth,.... Small in bulk, that have little bodies, are the lesser sort of animals;
but they are exceeding wise; show a great deal of art and wisdom in what they do; or "but they are wise, made wise" (e) by the instinct of nature, by the direction of Providence, by which they do things that are surprising. Some versions, that have no regard to the points, read the words, "but their are wiser than the wise" (f); than even wise men; wise men may learn much from the least of creatures; see Job 12:7.
(e) "sapientia, sapientia imbuta"; Heb. "sapientificata", Piscator, Gejerus. (f) "Sapientiora sapientibus", so Sept. V. L. Arabic and Syriac versions; "sapientia superant, vel prudentissimos", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24-31. These verses provide two classes of apt illustrations of various aspects of the moral world, which the reader is left to apply. By the first (Pr 30:25-28), diligence and providence are commended; the success of these insignificant animals being due to their instinctive sagacity and activity, rather than strength. The other class (Pr 30:30, 31) provides similes for whatever is majestic or comely, uniting efficiency with gracefulness.
Proverbs 30:24 Parallel Commentaries
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