Proverbs 20:26
A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
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(26) A wise king scattereth the wicked.—Rather, winnows them.

And bringeth the wheel over them.—Comp. Isaiah 28:27. A sort of sledge or cart was driven over the stalks of corn spread upon the threshing-floor, by means of which the grain was separated from the husk. A wise king winnows out evil persons from among his people, thus putting an end to their corrupting influence. (Comp. Matthew 3:12.)

Proverbs 20:26. A wise king — Who seriously minds his duty, and his true interest; scattereth the wicked — Breaks their companies and confederacies, and forces them to flee several ways for their own safety; or drives them from his presence, and from the society of good men, as the chaff is separated from the corn, by the husbandmen, and driven away by the wind; as the word מזרה, here used, commonly signifies; and to which the next clause hath some reference. And bringeth the wheel over them — Punishes them as their offences deserve, alluding to the cart-wheel, which was anciently turned over the sheaves, to beat the corn out of them. In other words, expressive of the plain meaning, “A good king separates the bad from the good, by a due execution of his laws; which is like winnowing the corn, after the chaff is separated from it, by drawing the wheel over it.”

20:23. A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. 24. How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? 25. The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. 26. Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. 27. The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. 28. Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. 29. Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other.The wheel - The threshing wheel Isaiah 28:27-28, which passes over the grain and separates the grain from the chaff. The proverb involves therefore the idea of the division of the good from the evil, no less than that of the punishment of the latter. 26. (Compare Pr 20:8).

bringeth … over them—The wheel was used for threshing grain. The figure denotes severity (compare Am 1:3).

A wise king, who seriously minds his duty and his true interest,

scattereth the wicked; breaks their companies and confederacies, and forceth them to flee several ways for their own safety; driveth them from his presence, and from the society of honest men, as the chaff is by the husbandman separated from the corn, and driven away by the wind, of which this Hebrew word is commonly used, and to which the next clause hath some reference.

Bringeth the wheel over them, as the cart-wheel was anciently turned over the sheaves to beat the corn out of them, Isaiah 28:27,28. He punisheth them severely, as their offences deserve. This or such-like punishments were not unusual among the Eastern nations, as we may gather from 2 Samuel 8:2 12:31 Amos 1:3.

A wise king scattereth the wicked,.... Or "fans them away" (i); separates them from his good counsellors, courtiers, and subjects; scatters them from his presence and court, and breaks their counsels and confederacies one with another; he discovers, discountenances, and discourages them; See Gill on Proverbs 20:8;

and bringeth the wheel over them; alluding to the custom of the eastern nations turning a cart wheel over the grain in threshing it out, and agreeably to the metaphor in the preceding clause; see Isaiah 28:27. Though some think it refers to a sort of punishment inflicted on malefactors in those times and countries, by putting them under harrows drawn on wheels, as breaking upon the wheel has been since used; see 2 Samuel 12:31. The Arabic version understands it of exile. Jarchi interprets the wise king of the Lord, and the wicked of Pharaoh and his host, on whom he brought the wheel, or gave measure for measure, and punished in a way of retaliation; and to this sense it is by some (k) interpreted,

"as the wheel turns over, just in the same place, so as the wicked hath done, it shall be done to them.''

It may be applied to Christ, the wise King, who scatters all his and our enemies; whose fan is in his hand, and he wilt thoroughly purge his floor, Matthew 3:12.

(i) "ventilat", Junius & Tremellius, Schultens. (k) Vid. Schindler. Lexic. Colossians 109. & Weemse's Christ. Synagog. l. 1. c. 6. s. 8. p. 187.

A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the {h} wheel over them.

(h) Which was a kind of punishment then used.

26. scattereth] Rather, winnoweth. λικμήτωρ ἀσεβῶν βασιλεὺς σοφὸς, LXX.

the wheel] sc. of his threshing wain. Comp. Isaiah 28:27. He executes righteous judgement upon them, Psalm 62:4; Romans 13:4.

Verse 26. - A wise king scattereth the wicked (ver. 8). The verb is zarah, which means "to winnow, or sift." The king separates the wicked and the good, as the winnowing fan or shovel divides the chaff from the wheat. The same metaphor is used of Christ (Matthew 3:12), "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (comp. Jeremiah 15:7). Septuagint, "A winnower (λικμήτωρ) of the ungodly is a wise king." And bringeth the wheel over them. The threshing wheel is meant (see Isaiah 28:27; Amos 1:3). This was a wooden frame with three or four rollers under it armed with iron teeth. It was drawn by two oxen, and, aided by the weight of the driver, who had his seat upon it, it crushed out the grain, and cut up the straw into fodder. Another machine much used in Palestine was made of two thick planks fastened together side by side, and having sharp stones fixed in rows on the lower surface. It is not implied that the king employed the corn drag as an instrument of punishment, which was sometimes so used in war, as possibly may be inferred from 2 Samuel 12:31; 1 Chronicles 20:3; and Amos 1:3. The idea of threshing is carried on, and the notion is rather of separation than of punishment, though the latter is not wholly excluded. The wise ruler will not only distinguish between the godless and the good, but will show his discrimination by visiting the evil with condign puuishment. Septuagint, "He will bring the wheel upon them;" the Vulgate has curiously, Incurvat super eos fornicem, "He bends an arch over them," which Latin commentators explain as a triumphal arch, meaning that the king conquers and subdues the wicked, and celebrates his victory over them. A patent anachronism which needs no comment! Proverbs 20:2626 A wise king winnoweth the godless,

     And bringeth over them the wheel.

A variant to Proverbs 20:8, but here with the following out of the figure of the winnowing. For אופן with מזרה is, without doubt, the wheel of the threshing-cart, עגלה, Isaiah 28:27.; and thus with מזרה, the winnowing fork, מזרה is to be thought of; vid., a description of them along with that of the winnowing shovel, רחת, in Wetzstein's Excursus to Isa., p. 707ff. We are not to think of the punishment of the wheel, which occurs only as a terrible custom of war (e.g., Amos 1:3). It is only meant that a wise king, by sharp and vigorous procedure, separates the godless, and immediately visits them with merited punishment, as he who works with the winnowing shovel gives the chaff to the wind. Most ancient interpreters think on אופן (from אפן, vertere) in its metaphorical meaning: τρόπος (thus also Lwenstein, he deals with them according to merit), or the wheel of fortune, with reference to the constellations; thus, misfortune (Immanuel, Meri). Arama, Oetinger, and others are, however, on the right track.

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