Proverbs 14:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

King James Bible
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

American Standard Version
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; But much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest.

English Revised Version
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Webster's Bible Translation
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Proverbs 14:4 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Connected with Proverbs 13:22 there now follow two proverbs regarding sustenance, with one intervening regarding education.

23 The poor man's fresh land gives food in abundance,

     And many are destroyed by iniquity.

The Targ. and Theodotion (μέγας) translate רב, but the Masora has רב־ with short Kametz, as Proverbs 20:6; Ecclesiastes 1:8 (cf. Kimchi under רבב). The rendering: multitudo cibi est ager pauperum, makes the produce the property of the field ( equals frugum fertilis). ניר .)s is the new field (novale or novalis, viz., ager), from ניר, to make arable, fruitful; properly to raise up, viz., by grubbing and freeing of stones (סקּל). But why, asks Hitzig, just the new field? As if no answer could be given to this question, he changes ניר into ניב, and finds in 23a the description of a rentier, "a great man who consumes the income of his capital." But how much more intelligible is the new field of the poor man than these capitals (ראשׁים) with their per cents (ניב)! A new field represents to us severe labour, and as belonging to a poor man, a moderate field, of which it is here said, that notwithstanding its freshly broken up fallow, it yet yields a rich produce, viz., by virtue of the divine blessing, for the proverb supposes the ora et labora. Regarding ראשׁים equals רשׁים, vid., at Proverbs 10:4. Jerome's translation, patrum (properly, heads), follows a false Jewish tradition. In the antithesis, 23b, one is tempted to interpret ישׁ in the sense of Proverbs 8:21 [substance, wealth], as Schultens, opulentia ipsa raditur quum non est moderamen, and Euchel: that which is essentially good, badly managed, goes to ruin. But ישׁ and וישׁ at the beginning of a proverb, or of a line of a proverb, in every case means est qui. That a wealthy person is meant, the contrast shows. נספּה, which denotes anything taken away or gathered up, has the same meaning here as at 1 Samuel 27:1 : est qui (Fl. quod, but the parallel does not demand this) abripiatur, i.e., quasi turbine auferatur et perdatur; the word reminds us of סופה, whirlwind, but in itself it means only something smooth and altogether carried off. The בּ is here as at Genesis 19:15; elsewhere בּלא משׁפּט means with injustice (properly, not-right), Proverbs 16:8, Jeremiah 22:13; Ezekiel 22:29; here it is not the ב of the means, but of the mediate cause. While the (industrious and God-fearing) poor man is richly nourished from the piece of ground which he cultivates, many a one who has incomparably more than he comes by his unrighteousness down to a state of beggary, or even lower: he is not only in poverty, but along with this his honour, his freedom, and the very life of his person perish.

Proverbs 14:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have you not returned to me...


Proverbs 13:23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

1 Corinthians 9:9-11 For it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn. Does God take care for oxen...

Cross References
Psalm 144:14
may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets!

Proverbs 14:3
By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

Proverbs 14:5
A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.

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