Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 26:20-22. Where no wood is, the fire goeth out: &c. — As the fire will soon be extinguished if you take away the fuel that feeds it; so, where there is no tale-bearer — To carry such reports from one to another as may provoke them to mutual anger, enmity, and contention; the strife ceaseth — Animosity, hatred, and quarrels will die away. As coals to burning coals, &c. — As dead coals laid on burning coals, and wood on fire, increase the heat and flame; so is a contentious man — Hebrew, אישׁ מדונים, a man of contentions, that is, who loveth and giveth himself up to contentions; or, who is hard to please, and apt to find fault with every person and thing; to kindle strife — For unkind tempers and provoking words quickly produce quarrels and enmities, which destroy all peace, unanimity, and concord, and embroil people in endless hostilities against one another. The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds — This was observed before, Proverbs 18:8, (on which see the note,) and is here repeated, as being a point of great importance to the peace and welfare of all societies, and proper to be often and earnestly pressed upon the consciences of men, because of their great and general proneness to this sin.Tale-bearer, to carry such reports from one to another as may provoke them to mutual rage and strife.
So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth; or is silent (i): men cease to quarrel one with another; they hold their peace and are silent, when there are none to bring tales from one to another, or any whisperer or backbiter to suggest evil things of each other; or when such are discouraged on both sides, and their tales are not listened to; or when they are detected and thrust out of doors, as they deserve, then strife subsides, and peace ensues. Contention is like a fire, the flame of which is blown up by talebearers and whisperers, who are as incendiaries, and as such are to be treated.
(h) "deficientibus lignis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in deficientia lignorum", Michaelis; "quum expirarunt ligna", Schultens. (i) "silebit", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "silet", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "consilescit", Cocceius, Schultens.Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. talebearer] Rather, whisperer, as the word is rendered in Proverbs 16:28. The Vulg. has susurro here and in Proverbs 26:22 below, but verbosus in Proverbs 16:28, and bilinguis in Proverbs 18:8. The LXX. have here δίθυμος, a man of strife or discord, but in Proverbs 26:22, κέρκωψ, a jackanapes.Verse 20. - Some proverbs follow concerning the slanderer. Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out. Where the wood fails, and that was the only fuel then used, the fire must go out. So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth; comes to silence (Proverbs 22:10). (For nirgan," whisper," see on Proverbs 16:28.) Septuagint, "With much wood fire groweth, but where there is not one discordant (δίθυμος), strife is at rest."
And the sluggard on his bed.
The comparison is clear. The door turns itself on its hinges, on which it hangs, in and out, without passing beyond the narrow space of its motion; so is the fool on his bed, where he turns himself from the one side to the other. He is called עצל, because he is fast glued to the place where he is (Arab. 'azila), and cannot be free (contrast of the active, cf. Arab. ḥafyf, moving nimbly, agilis). But the door offers itself as a comparison, because the diligent goes out by it to begin his work without (Proverbs 24:27; Psalm 104:23), while the sluggard rolls himself about on his bed. The hook, the hinge, on which the door is moved, called ציר, from צוּר, to turn,
(Note: The Arab. verb signifies radically: to turn, like the Persian verbs kashatn and kardydan, and like our "werden" to grow, turn, accords with vertere (Fleischer).)
has thus the name of הסּוב.
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