Proverbs 21:14
A gift in secret pacifies anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(14) A gift in secret.—Comp. Abigail and David (1Samuel 25:18).

Proverbs 21:14. A gift — Bestowed on a person offended and angry with us, as the following words show; in secret — That is, given in secret, which makes it more acceptable; for gifts openly given savour of ostentation in the giver: and cause some shame to the receiver; pacifieth anger — Removes all resentment, and conciliates love; and a reward in the bosom — Secretly conveyed into the bosom; strong wrath — Will extinguish that wrath which was thought implacable.21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Or, The Righteous One (Yahweh) regardeth well the house of the wicked, and maketh the wicked fall into mischief. 14. The effect of bribery (Pr 17:23) is enhanced by secrecy, as the bribed person does not wish his motives made known. A gift, to a person offended and angry with us, as the following words show.

In secret; which makes it more acceptable; for gifts openly given savour of ostentation in the giver, and cause some shame or contempt to the receiver.

In the bosom; secretly conveyed into his bosom. See Poole "Proverbs 17:8", See Poole "Proverbs 18:16". A gift in secret pacifieth anger,.... Appeases an angry man; humbles and "brings his anger down" (y), as Aben Ezra and Gersom observe the word signifies; which before rose very high, and showed itself in big words and disdainful looks, as proud wrath does; or extinguishes it, as the Targum and Vulgate Latin version render it, and very fitly. Anger is a fire in the breast; and a restraining or causing it to cease is properly expressed by an extinguishing of it: this a gift or present does, as it did in Esau from Jacob, in David from Abigail; but then it must be secretly given, otherwise it may more provoke; since it may show vanity in the giver, and covetousness in the receiver; and the former may have more honour than the latter. Some understand this of a gift for a bribe to a judge, to abate the severity of the sentence; and others of alms deeds to the poor, to pacify the anger of God (z): Jarchi interprets it of alms; and the Jews write this sentence upon the poor's box, understanding it in this sense; but the first sense is best;

and a reward in the bosom strong wrath: the same thing in different words; the meaning is, that a reward or gift, secretly conveyed into the bosom of an angry man, pacifies his wrath, when at the greatest height. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, understand it in a quite different sense, of a gift retained in the bosom, and not given, and render it thus, "he that spareth gifts stirreth up strong wrath".

(y) "deprimit", Piscator; so some in Mercerus; "subigit", Cocceius; "pensat nasum", Schultens. (z) "Munera (crede mihi) placant hominesque deosque", Ovid. de Arte Amandi, l. 3.

A {g} gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

(g) To do a pleasure to the angry man pacifies him.

14. pacifieth] The Heb. word occurs only here, and scholars, both ancient and modern, are divided between pacifieth (A.V. and R.V. text), turneth away, or bendeth (ἀνατρέπει, LXX.; frangit, Syr.; bendeth, R.V. marg.), and extinguisheth (extinguit, Vulg.); the word in this last case being regarded as synonymous with the similar word rendered quenched (of God’s anger), Jeremiah 7:20. Both renderings are admissible, but the former is to be preferred.

a reward] Rather, a present, R.V., as the same Heb. word is rendered in Proverbs 6:35, Proverbs 17:8, A.V.

in the bosom] brought in the folds of the garment from which it is drawn out stealthily and presented, see Proverbs 17:23.Verse 14. - A gift in secret pacifieth anger. We have had above various maxims about bribes and presents; e.g. Proverbs 17:8, 23; Proverbs 18:16. The word translated "pacifieth" is from the ἅπαξ λεγόμενον verb כֵפָה, "to turn away," "avert." Septuagint, ἀνατρέπει; Vulgate, extinguit; Venetian, κάμψει. A gift offered secretly to one incensed, whether personal enemy, judge, or prince, averts the consequences of the offence. The next hemistich is parallel in meaning. And a reward (present) in the bosom strong wrath. A present kept handy in the bosom of the petitioner's garment, ready to be transferred at a fitting moment, as experience proves, calms the most violent wrath. Septuagint, "He that is sparing of gifts amuses strong wrath." 8 Winding is the way of a man laden with guilt;

   But the pure - his conduct is right.

Rightly the accentuation places together "the way of a man" as subject, and "winding" as predicate: if the poet had wished to say (Schultens, Bertheau) "one crooked in his way" (quoad viam), he would have contented himself with the phrase נחפּך דּרך. But, on the other hand, the accentuation is scarcely correct (the second Munach is a transformed Mugrash), for it interprets וזר as a second pred.; but וזר is adj. to אישׁ. As הפכפּך (synon. פּתלתּל, עקלקל) is a hapax leg., so also vazar, which is equivalent to (Arab.) mawzwr, crimine onustus, from wazria, crimen committere, properly to charge oneself with a crime. The ancient interpreters have, indeed, no apprehension of this meaning before them; the lxx obtain from the proverb a thought reminding us of Psalm 18:27, in which vazar does not at all appear; the Syr. and Targ. translate as if the vav of vazar introduces the conclusion: he is a barbarian (nuchrojo); Luther: he is crooked; Jerome also sets aside the syntax: perversa via viri aliena est; but, syntactically admissible, the Venet. and Kimchi, as the Jewish interpreters generally, διαστροφωτάτη ὁδὸς ἀνδρὸς καὶ ἀλλόκοτος. Fleischer here even renounces the help of the Arab., for he translates: Tortuosa est via viri criminibus onusti, qui autem sancte vivit, is recte facit; but he adds thereto the remark that "vazar thus explained, with Cappellus, Schultens, and Gesenius, would, it is true, corresponding to the Arab. wazar, have first the abstract meaning of a verbal noun from wazira;

(Note: The n. act formed from wazara is wazr, wizr, wizat. These three forms would correspond to the Heb. vězěr, vēzěr, and zěrěth (z'rāh, cf. rěděth, r'dah, Genesis 46:3).)

the old explanation is therefore perhaps better: tortuosa est via viri et deflectens (scil. a recta linea, thus devia est), when the 'viri' is to be taken in the general sense of 'many, this and that one;' the closer definition is reflected from the זך of the second clause." But (1) זר as an adj. signifies peregrinus; one ought thus rather to expect סר, degenerated, corrupt, although that also does not rightly accord; (2) the verbal noun also, e.g., 'all, passes over into a subst. and adj. signification (the latter without distinction of number and gender); (3) וזר, after its adj. signification, is related to (Arab.) wazyr, as חכם is to ḥakym, רזב to rahyb; it is of the same form as ענו, with which it has in common its derivation from a root of similar meaning, and its ethical signification. In 8b, וזך is rightly accented as subj. of the complex pred. זך is the pure in heart and of a good conscience. The laden with guilt (guilty) strikes out all kinds of crooked ways; but the pure needs not stealthy ways, he does not stand under the pressure of the bondage of sin, the ban of the guilt of sin; his conduct is straightforward, directed by the will of God, and not by cunning policy. Schultens: Integer vitae scelerisque purus non habet cur vacillet, cur titubet, cur sese contorqueat. The choice of the designation וזך [and the pure] may be occasioned by וזר (Hitzig); the expression 8b reminds us of Proverbs 20:11.

Proverbs 21:14 Interlinear
Proverbs 21:14 Parallel Texts

Proverbs 21:14 NIV
Proverbs 21:14 NLT
Proverbs 21:14 ESV
Proverbs 21:14 NASB
Proverbs 21:14 KJV

Proverbs 21:14 Bible Apps
Proverbs 21:14 Parallel
Proverbs 21:14 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 21:14 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 21:14 French Bible
Proverbs 21:14 German Bible

Bible Hub

Proverbs 21:13
Top of Page
Top of Page