Proverbs 30:28
Parallel Verses
New International Version
a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.

New Living Translation
Lizards--they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.

English Standard Version
the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.

New American Standard Bible
The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings' palaces.

King James Bible
The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
a lizard can be caught in your hands, yet it lives in kings' palaces.

International Standard Version
Spiders can be caught by the hand, yet they're found in kings' palaces.

NET Bible
a lizard you can catch with the hand, but it gets into the palaces of the king.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the lizard that clings with its hands and dwells in Kings' houses.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A lizard you can hold in your hands, yet it can even be found in royal palaces.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The spider thou canst take with the hands, Yet is she in kings' palaces.

New American Standard 1977
The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
            Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

Jubilee Bible 2000
the spider takes hold with her hands and is in kings' palaces.

King James 2000 Bible
The spider takes hold with its hands, and is in kings' palaces.

American King James Version
The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

American Standard Version
The lizard taketh hold with her hands, Yet is she in kings palaces.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The stellio supporteth itself on hands, and dwelleth in kings' houses.

Darby Bible Translation
thou takest hold of the lizard with the hands, yet is she in kings' palaces.

English Revised Version
The lizard taketh hold with her hands, yet is she in kings' palaces,

Webster's Bible Translation
The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's palaces.

World English Bible
You can catch a lizard with your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.

Young's Literal Translation
A spider with two hands taketh hold, And is in the palaces of a king.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 28. - The spider taketh hold with her hands. Semamith or shemamith is some sort of lizard, probably the gecko. Καλαβώτης, Septuagint; stellio, Vulgate. The Authorized Version alludes either to its fanlike foot, which enables it to run up walls and to cling to ceilings, or to its power of exuding from its feet a certain poisonous humour by which it catches flies and other insects. But the above translation, as well as that of the Septuagint and the Vulgate manibus nititur, is incorrect, The first line, in accordance with the method pursued in the three cases previously, ought to give some expression denoting weakness or littleness, whereas by the above rendering it is rather strength and activity that are signified. The translation therefore should run, as in the Revised Version margin, "The lizard thou canst seize with thy hand," and yet it is in king's palaces. Small as it is, and easy to catch and crush, it is agile and clever enough to make its way into the very palace of the king, and to dwell there. Septuagint, "And the lizard, supporting itself by its hands, and being easy to catch (εὐάλωτος), dwelleth in kings' strongholds." This combines the two interpretations given above. St. Gregory takes the lizard as the type of the simple, earnest man, who often succeeds better than the clever. "Many that are quick-witted, while they grow slack from carelessness, continue in bad practices, and the simple folk, which have no wing of ability to stand them in stead, the excellency of their practice bears up to attain to the walls of the eternal kingdom. Whereas, then, 'the lizard climbeth with his hands,' he 'is in kings' palaces;' in that the plain man, by earnestness of right practice, reaches that point whereunto the man of ability never mounts" ('Moral.,' 6:12, Oxford transl.). The ancient expositors see in these verses a presentation of the Church of God, weak on its human side and despised by men, yet exceeding wise (1 Corinthians 1:27) - like the ant, laying up treasure in heaven, providing for death and eternity; like the coney, making the Rock her refuge; like the locusts, moving forward a mighty army in battle array; like the lizard, active in movement, holding the truth tenaciously, and dwelling in the palace of the great King.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The spider taketh hold with her hands,.... On the thread she spins, or on the flies and bees she catches in her web. This is a small creature, yet very wise; what a curious thread does she spin! what a fine web does she weave! with what exactness and proportion is it framed! as if she understood the rules of mathematics and architecture;

and is in kings' palaces; as well as in the houses of poor people, and in temples also; we read (y) of one in the temple of Ceres, which drew its web over the face of the image: and though her webs are oftentimes destroyed, especially in kings' palaces; yet such is her constancy and assiduity, and her unwearied application to business, that, as fast as they are destroyed, she attempts to restore them. This creature is an emblem of diligence in things temporal and spiritual; which those that use in the former sense shall stand before kings, and not before mean men; and in the latter sense shall have the presence of the King of kings, and dwell in his palace here and hereafter: also of worldly minded men, who labour to be rich; spend their time, and take a great deal of pains for mere trifles; weave curious webs, and, after all, only catch flies; and those they cannot hold, uncertain riches, which make themselves wings and fly away. Likewise this creature may resemble hypocrites, whose hope and trust are as the spider's web, built upon their own righteousness, spun out of their own hearts; a fine, thin, slender thread, which cannot bear one stroke of the besom of divine justice; such as these are in the palaces of Christ the King, are in his churches, hypocrites in Zion; see Job 8:13. Aben Ezra interprets it of the ape: the same David de Pomis (z) observes, and Mr. Weemse (a), who seems to incline to this sense; and this creature King Solomon, no doubt, had in his palace, since his navy brought many of these, every three years, from those parts to which it was sent, 1 Kings 10:22; and to these hands more properly belong than to spiders, and are taken into king's palaces for their pleasure and diversion; but to these there is one objection, that this creature is not a little one. Others understand it of the "lizard", that sort which is called "stellio"; but it is a question whether this is to be found in king's palaces. Bellonius (b) makes mention of a kind of lizard, which creeps into walls and catches flies, and is called by the Greeks "samiamiton", a name very near the Hebrew word here used: and Pliny (c) speaks of the "stellio", or lizard, as being in doors, windows, and chambers; and as a very fraudulent and deceitful creature to men, none more so; and also as poisonous, as this creature in the text by its name seems to be: and Austin (d) makes mention of the lizard as a domestic animal; which catches flies as the spider, with whom he joins it. The Targum, Jarchi, and Gersom, take it to be the spider, as we do; which may be thought most likely, since the creature here meant seems to have its name from the Arabic word "sam", which signifies poison (e); though it is affirmed (f) the spider is not poisonous; as is well known by persons who have frequently swallowed them, without any more harm than happens to hens, robin red breasts, and other birds, who make them their daily food; and so men have been bit by them, without any ill consequence: wherefore it is still thought by some that the lizard is more probably meant; since some sorts of them are poisonous (g), though not all, for some are eatable; See Gill on Leviticus 11:30.

(y) Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 57. (z) Lexic. fol. 216. 1.((a) Exercitat. l. 1. exercitat. 4. p. 31. (b) Apud Dieteric. Antiqu. Biblio. p. 470. (c) Nat. Hist. l. 3o. c. 10. (d) Confess. l. 10. c. 35. (e) Golius, col. 1208. Hottinger. Smegin Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 199. (f) Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 800. and vol. 5. part. 1. p. 24. (g) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 22. c. 25. & l. 29. c. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

28. spider—tolerated, even in palaces, to destroy flies.

taketh … hands—or, uses with activity the limbs provided for taking prey.

Proverbs 30:28 Additional Commentaries
The Words of Agur
27The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks; 28The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings' palaces. 29There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk:…
Cross References
Proverbs 30:27
locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;

Proverbs 30:29
"There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:
Treasury of Scripture

The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

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