Proverbs 31:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

King James Bible
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

American Standard Version
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, And minister justice to the poor and needy.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Open thy mouth, decree that which is just, and do justice to the needy and poor.

English Revised Version
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and minister judgment to the poor and needy.

Webster's Bible Translation
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The first admonition is a warning against effeminating sensuality:

Give not thy strength to women,

Nor thy ways to them that destroy kings.

The punctuation למחות sees in this form a syncopated inf. Hiph. equals להמחות (vid., at Proverbs 24:17), according to which we are to translate: viasque tuas ad perdendos reges (ne dirige), by which, as Fleischer formulates the twofold possibility, it may either be said: direct not thy effort to this result, to destroy neighbouring kings - viz. by wars of invasion (properly, to wipe them away from the table of existence, as the Arabs say) - or: do not that by which kings are overthrown; i.e., with special reference to Lemuel, act not so that thou thyself must thereby be brought to ruin. But the warning against vengeful, rapacious, and covetous propensity to war (thus Jerome, so that Venet. after Kimchi: ἀπομάττειν βασιλέας, C. B. Michaelis, and earlier, Gesenius) does not stand well as parallel with the warning against giving his bodily and mental strength to women, i.e., expending it on them. But another explanation: direct not thy ways to the destruction of kings, i.e., toward that which destroys kings (Elster); or, as Luther translates: go not in the way wherein kings destroy themselves - puts into the words a sense which the author cannot have had in view; for the individualizing expression would then be generalized in the most ambiguous way. Thus למחות מלכין will be a name for women, parallel to לנּשׁים. So far the translation of the Targum: לבנת מלכין, filiabus (לאמהת?) regum, lies under a right supposition. But the designation is not thus general. Schultens explains catapultis regum after Ezekiel 26:9; but, inasmuch as he takes this as a figure of those who lay siege to the hearts of men, he translates: expugnatricibus regum, for he regards מחות as the plur. of מחה, a particip. noun, which he translates by deletor. The connecting form of the fem. plur. of this מחה might certainly be מחות (cf. מזי, from מזה), but למחות מלכין ought to be changed into 'וגו 'לם; for one will not appeal to anomalies, such as 'לם, Proverbs 16:4; 'כּג, Isaiah 24:2; 'לם, Lamentations 1:19; or 'וגו 'הת, 1 Kings 14:24, to save the Pathach of למחות, which, as we saw, proceeds from an altogether different understanding of the word. But if 'לם is to be changed into 'לם, then one must go further, since for מחה not an active but a conditional meaning is to be assumed, and we must write למחות, in favour of which Fleischer as well as Gesenius decides: et ne committe consilia factaque tua iis quae reges perdunt, regum pestibus. Ewald also favours the change למחות, for he renders מחה as a denom. of מח, marrow: those who enfeeble kings, in which Kamphausen follows him. Mhlau goes further; he gives the privative signification, to enfeeble, to the Piel מחה equals makhakha (cf. Herzog's Real-Wrterb. xiv. 712), which is much more probable, and proposes לממחות: iis quae vires enervant regum. But we can appropriately, with Nldeke, adhere to למחות, deletricibus (perditricibus), for by this change the parallelism is satisfied; and that מחה may be used, with immediate reference to men, of entire and total destruction, is sufficiently established by such passages as Genesis 6:7; Judges 21:17, if any proof is at all needed for it. Regarding the lxx and those misled by it, who, by מלכין and מלכים, 4a, think on the Aram. מלכּין, βουλαί, vid., Mhlau, p. 53.

(Note: Also Hitzig's Blinzlerinnen [women who ogle or leer equals seductive courtesans] and Bttcher's Streichlerinnen [caressers, viz., of kings] are there rejected, as they deserve to be.)

But the Syr. has an idea worthy of the discourse, who translates epulis regum without our needing, with Mhlau, to charge him with dreaming of לחם in למחות. Perhaps that is true; but perhaps by למחות he thought of למחות (from מה, the particip. adj. of מחח): do not direct thy ways to rich food (morsels), such as kings love and can have. By this reading, 3b would mediate the transition to Proverbs 31:4; and that the mother refers to the immorality, the unseemliness, and the dangers of a large harem, only in one brief word (3a), cannot seem strange, much rather it may be regarded as a sign of delicacy. But so much the more badly does וּדרכיך accord with למחות. Certainly one goes to a banquet, for one finds leisure for it; but of one who himself is a king, it is not said that he should not direct his ways to a king's dainties. But if למחות refers to the whole conduct of the king, the warning is, that he should not regulate his conduct in dependence on the love and the government of women. But whoever will place himself amid the revelry of lust, is wont to intoxicate himself with ardent spirits; and he who is thus intoxicated, is in danger of giving reins to the beast within him.

Proverbs 31:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 16:12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

Proverbs 20:8 A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: you shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty...

Deuteronomy 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brothers...

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, throughout your tribes...

2 Samuel 8:15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice to all his people.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do you judge uprightly, O you sons of men...

Psalm 72:1,2 Give the king your judgments, O God, and your righteousness to the king's son...

Job 29:12,15,16 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him...

Isaiah 1:17,23 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow...

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth...

Isaiah 32:1,2 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment...

Jeremiah 5:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yes, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless...

Jeremiah 22:3,15,16 Thus said the LORD; Execute you judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong...

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper...

Daniel 4:27 Why, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness...

Amos 5:11,12 For as much therefore as your treading is on the poor, and you take from him burdens of wheat: you have built houses of hewn stone...

Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just...

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God...

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True...

Cross References
Leviticus 19:15
"You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.

Deuteronomy 1:16
And I charged your judges at that time, 'Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.

1 Samuel 19:4
And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, "Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you.

1 Samuel 20:32
Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?"

Proverbs 29:7
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

Isaiah 1:17
learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.

Jeremiah 22:16
He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD.

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