Proverbs 14:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends.

King James Bible
The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

American Standard Version
The poor is hated even of his own neighbor; But the rich hath many friends.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The poor man shall be hateful even to his own neighbour: but the friends of the rich are many.

English Revised Version
The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

Webster's Bible Translation
The poor is hated even by his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends.

Proverbs 14:20 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

There follows a series of proverbs which treat of the wicked and the good, and of the relation between the foolish and the wise:

14 He that is of a perverse heart is satisfied with his own ways;

     And a good man from himself.

We first determine the subject conception. סוּג לב (one turning aside τῆς καρδίας or τὴν καρδίαν) is one whose heart is perverted, נסוג, turned away, viz., from God, Psalm 44:19. The Book of Proverbs contains besides of this verb only the name of dross (recedanea) derived from it; סוּג, separated, drawn away, is such a half passive as סוּר, Isaiah 49:21, שׁוּב, Micah 2:8, etc. (Olsh. 245a). Regarding אישׁ טוב, vid., at Proverbs 12:2, cf. Proverbs 13:22 : a man is so called whose manner of thought and of action has as its impulse and motive self-sacrificing love. When it is said of the former that he is satisfied with his own ways, viz., those which with heart turned away from God he enters upon, the meaning is not that they give him peace or bring satisfaction to him (Lwenstein), but we see from Proverbs 1:31; Proverbs 18:20, that this is meant recompensatively: he gets, enjoys the reward of his wandering in estrangement from God. It is now without doubt seen that 14b expresses that wherein the benevolent man finds his reward. We will therefore not explain (after Proverbs 4:15, cf. Numbers 16:26; 2 Samuel 19:10): the good man turns himself away from him, or the good man stands over him (as Jerome, Venet., after Ecclesiastes 5:7); - this rendering gives no contrast, or at least a halting one. The מן of מעליו must be parallel with that of מדּרכיו. From the lxx, ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν διανοημάτων αὐτοῦ, the Syr. rightly: from the fruit (religiousness) of his soul; the Targ.: from his fruit. Buxtorf, against Cappellus, has already perceived that here no other phrase but the explanation of מעליו by ex eo quod penes se est lies at the foundation. We could, after Proverbs 7:14, also explain: from that which he perceives as his obligation (duty); yet that other explanation lies proportionally nearer, but yet no so that we refer the suffix to the backslider of 14a: in it (his fate) the good man is satisfied, for this contrast also halts, the thought is not in the spirit of the Book of Proverbs (for Proverbs 29:16 does not justify it); and in how totally different a connection of thought מעליו is used in the Book of Proverbs, is shown by Proverbs 24:17; but generally the Scripture does not use שׂבע of such satisfaction, it has, as in 14a, also in 14b, the recompensative sense, according to the fundamental principle, ὃ ἐὰν σπείρῃ ἄνθρωπος τοῦτο καὶ θερίσει (Galatians 6:7). The suffix refers back to the subject, as we say: רוּחי עלי, נפשׁי עלי (Psychol. p. 152). But considerations of an opposite kind also suggest themselves. Everywhere else מעל refers not to that which a man has within himself, but that which he carries without; and also that מעליו can be used in the sense of משּׁעליו, no evidence can be adduced: it must be admitted to be possible, since the writer of the Chronicles (2 Chronicles 1:4) ventures to use בהכין. Is מעליו thus used substantively: by his leaves (Aben Ezra and others)? If one compares Proverbs 11:28 with Psalm 1:3, this explanation is not absurd; but why then did not the poet rather use מפּריו? We come finally to the result, that ומעליו, although it admits a connected interpretation, is an error of transcription. But the correction is not וּמעלּיו (Elster) nor וּמעלליו (Cappellus), for עלּים and עללים, deeds, are words which do not exist; nor is it וּמפּעליו (Bertheau) nor וּמגּמליו (Ewald), but וּממּעלליו (which Cappellus regarded, but erroneously, as the lxx phrase); for (1) throughout almost the whole O.T., from Judges 2:19 to Zechariah 1:18, דרכים and מעללים are interchangeable words, and indeed almost an inseparable pair, cf. particularly Jeremiah 17:10; and (2) when Isaiah (Isaiah 3:10) says, אמרו צדיק כי־טוב כּי־פרי מעלליהם יאכלוּ, this almost sounds like a prophetical paraphrase of the second line of the proverb, which besides by this emendation gains a more rhythmical sound and a more suitable compass.

(Note: As here an ל too few is written, so at Isaiah 32:1 (ולשׂרים) and Psalm 74:14 (לציים) one too many.)

Proverbs 14:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 10:15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Proverbs 19:7 All the brothers of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursues them with words...

Job 6:21-23 For now you are nothing; you see my casting down, and are afraid...

Job 19:13,14 He has put my brothers far from me, and my acquaintance are truly estranged from me...

Job 30:10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.


Proverbs 19:4,6 Wealth makes many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor...

Esther 3:2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him...

Esther 5:10,11 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife...

the rich hath many friends or many are the lovers of the rich.

Cross References
Proverbs 19:4
Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.

Proverbs 19:7
All a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.

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