Proverbs 30:30
A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turns not away for any;
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30:24-28. Four things that are little, are yet to be admired. There are those who are poor in the world, and of small account, yet wise for their souls and another world. 29-33. We may learn from animals to go well; also to keep our temper under all provocations. We must keep the evil thought in our minds from breaking out into evil speeches. We must not stir up the passions of others. Let nothing be said or done with violence, but every thing with softness and calmness. Alas, how often have we done foolishly in rising up against the Lord our King! Let us humble ourselves before him. And having found peace with Him, let us follow peace with all men.Spider - Rather, the Gecko (or Stellio), a genus of the lizard tribe, many species of which haunt houses, make their way through crevices in the walls, and with feet that secrete a venomous exudation catch the spiders or the flies they find there. 28. spider—tolerated, even in palaces, to destroy flies.

taketh … hands—or, uses with activity the limbs provided for taking prey.

He doth not flee from his pursuers, whether men or beasts, but walketh away with a slow and majestic pace, as is observed by Aristotle, and many others. A lion, which is strongest among beasts,.... For what is stronger than a lion, or more courageous and undaunted? it walks with great majesty, very slowly, step by step, the left foot first; shaking its shoulders as it goes, as the philosopher (h) describes its going, and as here intended, and this without fear;

and turneth not away for any; it does not go out of its way for any creature it meets with; nor does it hasten its pace when pursued, nor show the lest sign of fear; nor does it turn its back to any; which is observed and confirmed by Aristotle (i), Aelianus (k), Pliny (l), and other naturalists; particularly what Homer (m) and Virgil (n) say of this animal agrees with this account of Solomon. This creature is an emblem of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is stronger than the strong man armed; who never turned his back to any of his enemies; nor turned aside from the way of his duty, or the work of his office, on account of any; not Herod the fox, who threatened to kill him; nor Satan, the roaring lion, when he knew he was on the march to meet him; nor any of those, who, though they had a band of soldiers, that came to take him; see Luke 13:31; and also it is an emblem of righteous men, who are as bold as a lion; and cannot be moved from their duty by anything they meet with, but remain steadfast and constant in it; see Proverbs 28:1.

(h) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 2. c. 1. & Physog. c. 5. (i) Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 44. (k) De Animal. l. 4. c. 34. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16. (m) , &c. Iliad. 12. v. 299. (n) "Ceu saevum turba leonem", &c. Aeneid. l. 9. prope finem.

A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
Verse 30. - A lion which is strongest among beasts. The word here used for "lion," laish, occurs elsewhere only in Job 4:11 and Isaiah 30:6. The LXX. renders it, "a lion's whelp." "Strongest" is gibbor, a mighty one, a hero. Turneth not away for any; Septuagint, "turneth not away, nor feareth any beast." So Job describes the war horse, "He mocketh at fear, and is not dismayed, neither turneth he back from the sword" (Job 39:22). Another proverb with the cipher 4, its first line terminating in ארץ:

24 Four are the little things of the earth,

     And yet they are quick of wit - wise:

25 The ants - a people not strong,

     And yet they prepare in summer their food;

26 Conies - a people not mighty,

     And yet set their dwelling on the rocks;

27 No king have the locusts,

     And yet they go forth in rank and file, all of them together;

28 The lizard thou canst catch with the hands,

     And yet it is in the king's palaces.

By the disjunctive accent, ארבּעה, in spite of the following word toned on the beginning, retains its ultima-toning, 18a; but here, by the conjunctive accent, the tone retrogrades to the penult., which does not elsewhere occur with this word. The connection קטנּי־ארץ is not superlat. (for it is impossible that the author could reckon the שׁפנים, conies, among the smallest of beasts), but, as in the expression נכבּדּי־ארץ, the honoured of the earth, Isaiah 23:8. In 24b, the lxx, Syr., Jerome, and Luther see in מ the comparative: σοφώτερα τῶν σοφῶν (מחכמים), but in this connection of words it could only be partitive (wise, reckoning among the wise); the part. Pual מחכּמים (Theodotion, the Venet. σεσοφισμένα) was in use after Psalm 88:6, and signified, like בּשׁל מבשּׁל, Exodus 12:9, boiled well; thus חכמים מחכמים, taught wit, wise, cunning, prudent (cf. Psalm 64:7, a planned plan equals a cunningly wrought out plan; Isaiah 28:16, and Vitringa thereto: grounded equals firm, grounding), Ewald, 313c. The reckoning moves in the contrasts of littleness to power, and of greatness to prudence. The unfolding of the ארבעה [four] begins with the הנּמלים [the ants] and שׁפנּים [conies], subject conceptions with apposit. joined; 26a, at least in the indetermination of the subject, cannot be a declaration. Regarding the fut. consec. as the expression, not of a causal, but of a contrasted connection, vid., Ewald, 342, 1a. The ants are called עם, and they deserve this name, for they truly form communities with well-ordered economy; but, besides, the ancients took delight in speaking of the various classes of animals as peoples and states.

(Note: Vid., Walter von der Vogelweide, edited by Lachmann, p. 8f.)

That which is said, 25b, as also Proverbs 6:8, is not to be understood of stores laid up for the winter. For the ants are torpid for the most part in winter; but certainly the summer is their time for labour, when the labourers gather together food, and feed in a truly motherly way the helpless. שׁפן, translated arbitrarily in the Venet. by ἐχῖνοι, in the lxx by χοιρογρύλλιοι, by the Syr. and Targ. here and at Psalm 104 by חגס, and by Jerome by lepusculus (cf. λαγίδιον), both of which names, here to be understood after a prevailing Jewish opinion, denote the Caninichen


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