Proverbs 14:17
He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
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(17) Dealeth foolishly.—Does silly things, and makes himself an object of ridicule, but not of hatred; whereas the “man of (wicked) devices” is hated for his cold-blooded malice.

Proverbs 14:17. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly — His passion hurries him into many rash and foolish speeches and actions; and a man of wicked devices — One who, it may be, suppresses his passion, but designs and meditates revenge, watching for the fittest opportunities of executing it; is hated — Both by God and men; as being most deeply malicious, and like the devil, and most dangerous and pernicious to human society. The LXX. translate this verse, Οξυθυμος πρασσει μετα αβουλιας, ανηρ δε φρονιμος πολλα υποφερει, A hasty man acteth rashly, but a prudent man endureth many things: to which Houbigant’s translation is similar, He who is soon angry will deal inconsiderately; a considerate man will endure patiently.

14:1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. 2. Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. 3. Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. 4. There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. 5. A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. 6. A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. 7. We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. 8. We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. 9. Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. 10. We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. 11. Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. 12. The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. 14. Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. 15. Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. 16. Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. 17. An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful.The contrast lies between two forms of evil. Hasty anger acts foolishly, but the "man of wicked devices," vindictive and insidious, incurs all men's hatred. 17. He … angry—literally, "short of anger" (compare Pr 14:29, opposite idea).

man … hated—that is, the deliberate evildoer is more hated than the rash.

Dealeth foolishly; his passion hurries him into many rash and foolish speeches and actions.

A man of wicked devices, one who suppresseth his passion, but designeth and meditateth revenge, watching for the fittest methods and opportunities of executing it,

is hated, both by God and men, as being most deeply malicious, and like the devil, and most dangerous and pernicious to human society; whereas men that are soon angry give a man warning, and are quickly pacified, and therefore pitied and pardoned.

He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly,.... A man that is quick and short, of a hasty spirit, and presently discovers anger and resentment in his face; he says and does many foolish things, which he afterwards is sorry for, and repents, and is ashamed of; and he is to be pitied and forgiven;

and a man of wicked devices is hated; one that hides his anger, covers his resentment, contrives schemes to revenge himself, and waits an opportunity to put them in execution, is justly hateful to God and men.

He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
17. and] Rather, but. The comparison is between hasty anger leading to folly, and deliberate malice provoking hatred.

Verse 17. - He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly. The contrast to the irascible, passionate man is seen in the man slow to anger (ver. 29; Proverbs 15:18). Such a one, in his haste and passion, does things which in calmer moments he must see are foolish and ridiculous. Says Euripides ('Hyp.,' Fragm.) -

Ἔξω γὰρ ὀργῆς πᾶς ἀνὴρ σοφώτερος

"Wiser is every man from passion freed." Be not angry, says the Talmud, "and you will not sin." Cato, 'Dist.,' 1:37 -

"Ipse tibi moderare tuis ut parcere possis." And a man of wicked devices is hated. The contrast is not between the different ways in which the two characters are regarded, as that one is despised and ridiculed, and the other hated; but two kinds of evil are set forth in contradistinction, viz. hasty anger and deliberate plotting against others. Septuagint, "The irascible man (ὀξύθυμος) acts without deliberation. but the prudent man endureth much." The Hebrew term, "man of devices," being ambiguous, the LXX. takes it in a favourable sense, φρόνιμος; and they have a different reading of the verb. Proverbs 14:17This verse, as if explanatory of מתעבר, connects itself with this interpretation of the contrasts, corresponding to the general usus loquendi, and particularly to the Mishle style.

One who is quick to anger worketh folly,

And a man of intrigues is hated.

Ewald finds here no right contrast. He understands אישׁ מזמּה in a good sense, and accordingly corrects the text, substituting for ישׂנא, ישׁוּא (ישׁוּא), for he translates: but the man of consideration bears (properly smooths, viz., his soul). On the other hand it is also to be remarked, that אישׁ מזמה, when it occurs, is not to be understood necessarily in a good sense, since מזמה is used just like מזמות, at one time in a good and at another in a bad sense, and that we willingly miss the "most complete sense" thus arising, since the proverb, as it stands in the Masoretic text, is good Hebrew, and needs only to be rightly understood to let nothing be missed in completeness. The contrast, as Ewald seeks here to represent it (also Hitzig, who proposes ישׁאן: the man of consideration remains quiet; Syr. ramys, circumspect), we have in Proverbs 14:29, where the μακρόθυμος stands over against the ὀξύθυμος (אף or אפּים of the breathing of anger through the nose, cf. Theocritus, i.:18: καὶ οἱ ἀεὶ δριμεῖα χολὰ ποτὶ ῥινὶ κάθηται). Here the contrast is different: to the man who is quick to anger, who suddenly gives expression to his anger and displeasure, stands opposed the man of intrigues, who contrives secret vengeance against those with whom he is angry. Such a deceitful man, who contrives evil with calculating forethought and executes it in cold blood (cf. Psalm 37:7), is hated; while on the contrary the noisy lets himself rush forward to inconsiderate, mad actions, but is not hated on that account; but if in his folly he injures or disgraces himself, or is derided, or if he even does injury to the body and the life of another, and afterwards with terror sees the evil done in its true light, then he is an object of compassion. Theodotion rightly: (ἀνὴρ δὲ) διαβουλιῶν μισηθήσεται, and Jerome: vir versutus odiosus est (not the Venet. ἀνὴρ βδελυγμῶν, for this signification has only זמּה, and that in the sing.); on the contrary, the lxx, Syr., Targum, and Symmachus incorrectly understand איש מזמות in bonam partem.

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