Proverbs 19:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

King James Bible
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

American Standard Version
A foolish son is the calamity of his father; And the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A foolish son is the grief of his father: and a wrangling wife is like a roof continually dropping through.

English Revised Version
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

Webster's Bible Translation
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

Proverbs 19:13 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

7ab. We thus first confine our attention to these two lines -

All the brethren of the poor hate him;

How much more do his friends withdraw themselves from him?

Regarding אף כּי, quanto magis, vid., at Proverbs 11:31; Proverbs 15:11; Proverbs 17:7. In a similar connection Proverbs 14:20 spake of hatred, i.e., the cooling of love, and the manifesting of this coldness. The brethren who thus show themselves here, unlike the friend who has become a brother, according to Proverbs 17:17, are brothers-german, including kindred by blood relation. כּל has Mercha, and is thus without the Makkeph, as at Psalm 35:10 (vid., the Masora in Baer's Liber Psalmorum, 1861, p. 133). Kimchi (Michlol 205a), Norzi, and others think that cāl (with קמץ רחב) is to be read as at Isaiah 40:12, where כּלו is a verb. But that is incorrect. The case is the same as with את, Proverbs 3:12; Psalm 47:5; Psalm 60:2. As here ě with Mercha remains, so ǒ with Mercha in that twice occurring כּלו; that which is exceptional is this, that the accentuated כל is written thus twice, not as the usual כּל, but as כּל with the Makkeph. The ground of the exception lies, as with other peculiarities, in the special character of metrical accentuation; the Mercha represents the place of the Makkeph, and ā thus remains in the unchanged force of a Kametz-Chatuph. The plur. רחקוּ does not stamp מרעהוּ as the defectively written plur.; the suffix ēhu is always sing., and the sing. is thus, like הרע, 6b, meant collectively, or better: generally (in the sense of kind), which is the linguistic usage of these two words, 1 Samuel 30:26; Job 42:10. But it is worthy of notice that the Masoretic form here is not מרעהוּ, but mמרעהוּ, with Sheva. The Masora adds to it the remark לית, and accordingly the word is thus written with Sheva by Kimchi (Michlol 202a and Lex. under the word רעה), in Codd., and older editions. The Venet., translating by ἀπὸ τοῦ φίλου αὐτοῦ, has not noticed that. But how? Does the punctuation מרעהו mean that the word is here to be derived from מרע, maleficus? Thus understood, it does not harmonize with the line of thought. From this it is much more seen that the punctuation of the inflected מרע, amicus, fluctuates. This word מרע is a formation so difficult of comprehension, that one might almost, with Olshausen, 210; Bttcher, 794; and Lagarde, regard the מ as the partitive מן, like the French des amis (cf. Eurip. Med. 560: πένητα φεύγει πᾶς τις ἐκποδὼν φίλος), or: something of friend, a piece of friend, while Ewald and others regard it as possible that מרע is abbreviated from מרעה. The punctuation, since it treats the Tsere in מרעהו, 4b

(Note: In vol. i. p. 266, we have acknowledged מרעהו, from מרע, friend, only for Proverbs 19:7, but at Proverbs 19:4 we have also found amicus ejus more probable than ab amico suo ( equals מן רעהו).) and elsewhere, as unchangeable, and here in מרעהו as changeable, affords proof that in it also the manner of the formation of the word was incomprehensible.

Seeking after words which are vain.

7c. If now this line belongs to this proverb, then מרדּף must be used of the poor, and לא־המּה, or לו־המּה (vid., regarding the 15 Kers, לּו for לא, at Psalm 100:3), must be the attributively nearer designation of the אמרים. The meaning of the Kerı̂ would be: he (the poor man) hunts after mere words, which - but no actions corresponding to them - are for a portion to him. This is doubtful, for the principal matter, that which is not a portion to him, remains unexpressed, and the לו־המּה eht [to him they belong] affords only the service of guarding one against understanding by the אמרים the proper words of the poor. This service is not in the same way afforded by לא המּה they are not; but this expression characterizes the words as vain, so that it is to be interpreted according to such parallels as Hosea 12:2 : words which are not, i.e., which have nothing in reality corresponding to them, verba nihili, i.e., the empty assurances and promises of his brethren and friends (Fl.). The old translators all

(Note: Lagarde erroneously calls Theodotion's ῥήσεις οὐκ αὐτῷ a translation of the Kerı̂; οὐκ is, however, לא, and instead of αὐτῷ the expression αὐτῶν, which is the translation of המה, is also found.)

read לא, and the Syr. and Targ. translate not badly: מלּוי לא שׁריר; Symmachus, ῥήσεσιν ἀνυπάρκτοις. The expression is not to be rejected: לא היה sometimes means to come to לא, i.e., to nothing, Job 6:21; Ezekiel 21:32, cf. Isaiah 15:6; and לא הוּא, he is not equals has no reality, Jeremiah 5:12, אמרים לא־המה, may thus mean words which are nothing (vain). But how can it be said of the poor whom everything forsakes, that one dismisses him with words behind which there is nothing, and now also that he pursues such words? The former supposes always a sympathy, though it be a feigned one, which is excluded by שׂנאהוּ [they hate him] and רחקוּ [withdraw themselves]; and the latter, spoken of the poor, would be unnatural, for his purposed endeavour goes not out after empty talk, but after real assistance. So 7c: pursuing after words which (are) nothing, although in itself not falling under critical suspicion, yet only of necessity is connected with this proverb regarding the poor. The lxx, however, has not merely one, but even four lines, and thus two proverbs following 7b. The former of these distichs is: Ἔννοια ἀγαθὴ τοῖς εἰδόσιν αὐτὴν ἐγγιεῖ, ἀνὴρ δὲ φρόνιμος εὑρήσει αὐτήν; it is translated from the Hebr. (ἔννοια ἀγαθή, Proverbs 5:2 equals מזמּות), but it has a meaning complete in itself, and thus has nothing to do with the fragment 7c. The second distich is: Ὁ πολλὰ κακοποιῶν τελεσιουργεῖ κακίαν, ὃ δὲ ἐρεθίζει λόγους οὐ σωθήσεται. This ὃς δὲ ἐρεθίζει λόγους is, without doubt, a translation of מרדף אמרים (7c); λόγους is probably a corruption of λόγοις (thus the Complut.), not, he who pursueth words, but he who incites by words, as Homer (Il. iv. 5f.) uses the expression ἐρεθιζέμεν ἐπέεσσι. The concluding words, οὐ σωθήσεται, are a repetition of the Heb. לא ימלט (cf. lxx 19:5 with 28:26), perhaps only a conjectural emendation of the unintelligible לא המה. Thus we have before us in that ὁ πολλὰ κακοποιῶν, κ.τ.λ., the line lost from the Heb. text; but it is difficult to restore it to the Heb. We have attempted it, vol. i, p. 15. Supposing that the lxx had before them לא המה, then the proverb is -

"He that hath many friends is rewarded with evil,

Hunting after words which are nothing;"

i.e., since this his courting the friendship of as many as possible is a hunting after words which have nothing after them and come to nothing.

Proverbs 19:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish man despises his mother.

Proverbs 17:21,25 He that begets a fool does it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool has no joy...

2 Samuel 13:13-18 And I, where shall I cause my shame to go? and as for you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you...

Ecclesiastes 2:18,19 Yes, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it to the man that shall be after me...

the contentions

Proverbs 21:9,19 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house...

Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

Proverbs 27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

Job 14:19 The waters wear the stones: you wash away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and you destroy the hope of man.

Cross References
Proverbs 17:21
He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.

Proverbs 17:25
A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.

Proverbs 21:9
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 21:19
It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Proverbs 27:15
A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;

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