Psalm 32:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

New Living Translation
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

English Standard Version
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

New American Standard Bible
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

King James Bible
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.

International Standard Version
Don't be like a horse or mule, without understanding. They are held in check by a bit and bridle in their mouths; otherwise they will not remain near you.

NET Bible
Do not be like an unintelligent horse or mule, which will not obey you unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You shall not be like a horse or like a mule which are not wise, which are tamed with a bit from their youth, and they do not go near it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be stubborn like a horse or mule. [They need] a bit and bridle in their mouth to restrain them, or they will not come near you."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Be ye not as the horse or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in subjection with bit and bridle, or they will not come near unto thee.

King James 2000 Bible
Be you not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, else they come not near unto you.

American King James Version
Be you not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near to you.

American Standard Version
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding; Whose trappings must be bit and bridle to hold them in, Else they will not come near unto thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Do not become like the horse and the mule, who have no understanding. With bit and bridle bind fast their jaws, who come not near unto thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Be ye not as a horse, as a mule, which have no understanding: whose trappings must be bit and bridle, for restraint, or they will not come unto thee.

English Revised Version
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose trappings must be bit and bridle to hold them in, else they will not come near unto thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near to thee.

World English Bible
Don't be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding, who are controlled by bit and bridle, or else they will not come near to you.

Young's Literal Translation
Be ye not as a horse -- as a mule, Without understanding, With bridle and bit, its ornaments, to curb, Not to come near unto thee.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

32:8-11 God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding. The singular is exchanged for the plural, since the "instruction" is now intended, not for the godly man only, but for all. Israel had been always stiff-necked (Exodus 32:9; Exodus 33:3, 5; Exodus 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6, 13; Deuteronomy 10:16; 2 Chronicles 30:8; Acts 7:51), like a restive horse or mule. David exhorts them to be so no more. The horse and mule are excusable, since they "have no understanding " - or, "no discernment" - Israel would be inexcusable, since it had the gift of reason. Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle; rather, whose adornings are with bit and bridle to hold them in (compare the Revised Version). Lest they come near unto thee. This clause is obscure. It may mean, "Lest they come too near to thee," so as to do thee damage, as when a riding horse tosses his head and strikes the rider in the face, or when a chariot horse rears and falls back upon the driver; or it may mean, "Else they will not come near to thee," i.e. until they are trapped with bit and bridle, they will refuse to come near to thee.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding,.... The design of this exhortation is to direct men how to behave under the instructions given; not as brutes, which have no rational faculties, but as men; that they should not show themselves thoughtless, stupid, and unteachable, as these animals, or worse than they; nor stubborn and obstinate, refractory and untractable, resolving not to be taught, stopping the ear, and pulling away the shoulder; nor ill natured and mischievous; not only hating instruction, casting away the law of the Lord, but kicking and spurning at, and persecuting such who undertake to instruct them; as these creatures sometimes attempt to throw their riders, and, when down, kick at them;

whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee; to do mischief, bite or kick; or "because they do not come near to thee" (t); and that they may come near, and be brought into subjection, and become obedient; therefore such methods are used; see James 3:3; there is in the words a tacit intimation, that men are commonly, and for the most part, like these creatures, stupid, stubborn, and mischievous; and therefore severe methods are used by the Lord, sore chastenings, to humble and instruct them; see Jeremiah 31:18; the mule, more especially, is remarkable for its stupidity (u); and though the horse is docile, yet he is sometimes stubborn and refractory.

(t) "quia non accedunt ad te", Grotius. (u) "Mule, nihil sentis----", Catullus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. The latter clause, more literally, "in that they come not near thee"; that is, because they will not come, &c., unless forced by bit and bridle.

Psalm 32:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Blessed is He who is Forgiven
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. 9Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you. 10Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.…
Cross References
James 3:3
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

Job 30:11
Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.

Proverbs 26:3
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!
Treasury of Scripture

Be you not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near to you.

Be ye

Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the fool's back.

Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised …

James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; …

James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will …

no

Job 35:11 Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser …

Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly …

Jeremiah 8:6,7 I listened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented …

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