A reproof enters more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 17:10. A reproof entereth more into a wise man — Penetrates deeper into the mind of an ingenuous person, and produces a greater reformation in him, than a hundred stripes will do for the amendment of an obstinate fool.
He that repeateth a matter - The warning is directed against that which leads a man to dwell with irritating iteration on a past offence instead of burying it in oblivion.
than an hundred stripes into a fool; or, "than smiting a fool a hundred times" (l): a word to a wise man is more than a hundred blows to a fool, will sooner correct and amend him; a word will enter where a blow will not; stripes only reach the back, but not the heart of a fool; he is never the better for all the corrections given him; his heart is not affected, is not humbled, nor brought to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; nor is he in the least reformed: or a single reproof to a wise man is of more service than a hundred reproofs to a fool; which are sometimes expressed by smiting, "let the righteous smite me", &c. Psalm 141:5.A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. more] Rather, deeper, R.V.; as we say, makes a deeper impression. See Proverbs 18:8, Proverbs 26:22. Maurer compares “altius in pectus descendit” (Sall. Jug. 11), “curam in animos descensuram” (Liv. 2. 52); and for the sentiment, “nobilis equus umbra quoque virgæ regitur, ignavus ne calcari quidem concitari potest” (Curt. 7. 4): “a noble steed is ruled even by the shadow of the whip; a sluggish one cannot be roused even by the spur.”Verse 10. - A reproof entereth more (deeper) into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. A deserved rebuke makes a deeper impression upon a man of understanding than the severest chastisement upon a fool. Hitzig quotes Sallust, 'Jug.,' 11, "Verbum in pectus Jugurthae altius, quam quisquam ratus est, descendit." Quint. Curt., 54:7, "Nobilis equus umbra quoque virgae regitur, ignavus ne calcari quidem concitari potest." The antithesis is put more forcibly in the Septuagint, "A threat breaks the heart of a prudent man; a fool even scourged feels it not."
Falsehood listeneth to a destructive tongue.
The meaning, at all events, is, that whoever gives ear with delight to words which are morally reprobate, and aimed at the destruction of neighbours, thereby characterizes himself as a profligate. Though מרע is probably not pred. but subj., yet so that what follows does not describe the מרע (the profligate hearkens...), but stamps him who does this as a מרע (a profligate, or, as we say: only a profligate...). מרע, for מרע, is warranted by Isaiah 9:16, where מרע (not מרע ton, according to which the Venet. here translates ἀπὸ κακοῦ) is testified to not only by correct codd. and editions, but also by the Masora (cf. Michlol 116b). הקשׁיב (from קשׁב, R. קש, to stiffen, or, as we say, to prick, viz., the ear) is generally united with ל or אל, but, as here and at Proverbs 29:12; Jeremiah 6:19, also with על. און, wickedness, is the absolute contrast of a pious and philanthropic mind; הוּת, from הוּה, not in the sense of eagerness, as Proverbs 10:3; Proverbs 11:6, but of yawning depth, abyss, catastrophe (vid., at Psalm 5:10), is equivalent to entire destruction - the two genitives denote the property of the lips and the tongue (labium nequam, lingua perniciosa), on the side of that which it instrumentally aims at (cf. Psalm 36:4; Psalm 52:4): practising mischief, destructive plans. שׁקר beginning the second line is generally regarded as the subj. parallel with מרע, as Luther, after Jerome, "A wicked man gives heed to wicked mouths, and a false man listens willingly to scandalous tongues." It is possible that שׁקר denotes incarnate falsehood, as רמיּה, Proverbs 12:27, incarnate slothfulness, cf. מרמה, Proverbs 14:25, and perhaps also Proverbs 12:17; צדק, Psalm 58:2, תּוּשׁיּה, Micah 6:9; יצר סמוּך, Isaiah 26:13, etc., where, without supplying אישׁ (אנשׁי), the property stands instead of the person possession that property. The clause, that falsehood listeneth to a deceitful tongue, means that he who listens to it characterizes himself thereby, according to the proverb, simile simili gaudet, as a liar. But only as a liar? The punctuation before us, which represents מרע by Dechi as subj., or also pred., takes שׁקר מזין as obj. with מזין as its governing word, and why should not that be the view intended? The representation of the obj. is an inversion less bold than Isaiah 22:2; Isaiah 8:22, and that על here should not be so closely connected with the verb of hearing, as 4a lies near by this, that הקשׁיב על is elsewhere found, but not האזין על. Jewish interpreters, taking שׁקר as obj., try some other meaning of מזין than auscultans; but neither זון, to approach, nor זין, to arm (Venet. ψεῦδος ὁπλίζει), gives a meaning suitable to this place. מזין is equivalent to מאזין. As אאזין, Job 32:11, is contracted into אזין, so must מאזין, if the character of the part. shall be preserved, become מזין, mediated by מיזין.
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