A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
In the early life of men and communities, the power most admired is physical power. Those who can conquer in the material world are the heroes of the young. Later, men think more of intellectual achievements. The greatest in the schools is the greatest in the world. In the maturest stage of life we are content with less conspicuous feats; for we see that the less may be greater. We deem it greater to conquer in the realm of moral life than in the field of nature or the area of intellect. The conqueror in the field of battle may be great, but the conqueror of the hearts of men is greater. A brother offended may be harder to win than the bars of a castle, but so much the nobler is the victory. To win men is a nobler achievement than the defeat of men's bodies or the confounding of their minds.
(Bp. Boyd Carpenter.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.