Proverbs 30:33
Surely the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood: so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife.
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(33) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter. . . .—The same word is used in the Hebrew for the three which appear in the Authorised Version, “churning,” “wringing,” and “forcing.” The sense will be, “For (as) pressure on milk produces butter, and pressure on the nose produces blood, (so) pressure on wrath (violence towards a hot-tempered person) produces anger.” (Comp. Proverbs 15:1.)

Proverbs 30:33. Surely the churning of milk — This verse, which is connected with that preceding, is thus paraphrased by the last-mentioned author: “For from little things there is an easy progress unto greater. And just as you see milk is first pressed out of the cow’s udders, and then, being shaken in the churn, is forced into butter; and as the nose, being wrung, though at first it only purge itself, yet, if it be harder pressed, there comes out blood; even so words, passing to and fro, raise a heat, and that, if continued, stirs up anger, which frequently ends in broils and irreconcileable quarrels.” 30:24-28. Four things that are little, are yet to be admired. There are those who are poor in the world, and of small account, yet wise for their souls and another world. 29-33. We may learn from animals to go well; also to keep our temper under all provocations. We must keep the evil thought in our minds from breaking out into evil speeches. We must not stir up the passions of others. Let nothing be said or done with violence, but every thing with softness and calmness. Alas, how often have we done foolishly in rising up against the Lord our King! Let us humble ourselves before him. And having found peace with Him, let us follow peace with all men.Churning ... wringing ... forcing - In the Hebrew text it is one and the same word. "The pressure of milk produces curds, the pressure of the nose produces blood, the pressure of wrath (i. e., brooding over and, as it were, condensing it) produces strife." 33. That is, strife—or other ills, as surely arise from devising evil as natural effects from natural causes. The forcing of wrath; the stirring up of wrath, either,

1. In a man’s self towards others, by giving way to passion, or by fixing his thoughts upon those things which may inflame it. Or,

2. In others by reproaches, injuries, or any other provocations.

Bringeth forth strife; is the cause of many quarrels, and much mischief among men. Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter,.... Or the pressing of it. This is a thing well known and certain, that of milk, when pressed out of the udder, and put into a churn, and there is shook together, by a constant violent agitation or motion, called churning, butter is produced; and cheese is sometimes called pressed milk (y), and is pressed with the runnet, and by the hand also (z);

and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: a too violent compression of it, or forcible blowing of it, in order to purge it from any impurity in it; instead of doing which it may break the tender skin, and bring forth blood, which may be of bad consequence;

so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife; irritating the passions of men, and provoking them by scurrilous and reproachful words to wrath and anger, produce contentions, feuds, and lawsuits, which are not soon and easily ended; and therefore such a conduct should be carefully avoided. The same word is used in the three clauses, and signifies pressing, squeezing, forcing.

(y) "Pressi copia lactis", Virgil. Bucolic. eclog. 1. v. 82. "Et lactia massa coacti", Ovid. Metamorph. l. 8. v. 666. (z) "Causem bubulum manu presssum", Sueton. in Octav. c. 76.

Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
33. churning … wringing … forcing] The Heb. word, pressing, is the same in each case, but its shade of meaning varies with the process described.Verse 33. - Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter. The same word, mits, is used for "churning," "wringing," and "forcing;" it means "pressure" in all the cases, though with a different application. At the present day milk is churned in the East by enclosing it in a leathern bottle, which is then suspended in the air and jerked to and fro till the butter is produced. This process could scarcely be called "pressure," though, possibly, the squeezing of the udder is meant, as the Septuagint and Vulgate take it. But most probably the reference is to cheese, the term used, chemah, being applied indifferently to curdled milk and cheese. To produce this substance, the curdled milk is put into little baskets of rush or palm leaves, tied closely, and then pressed under heavy stones. What the proverb says is that, as the pressure applied to milk produces cheese, and as pressure applied to the nose brings blood, so the pressure of wrath bringeth forth strife; the irritation and provocation of anger occasion quarrels and contentions. They say in Malabar, remarks Lane, "Anger is a stone cast into a wasp's nest." Septuagint, "Press out milk, and there shall be butter; and if thou violently squeeze the nostrils, blood will come forth; and if thou draw forth words, there will come forth quarrels and strifes." It is the third clause which is important, and to which the others lead up; and the verse must be taken in connection with the preceding, as enforcing the duty of self-restraint and silence under certain circumstances. Some of the Fathers, commenting on the Vulgate rendering (Qui fortiter premit ubera ad eliciendum lac, exprimit butyrum; et qui vehementer emungit, elicit sanguinem), apply the passage to the handling of the Word of God. Thus St Gregory ('Moral.,' 21:3), "Divine sentences require sometimes to be viewed externally, sometimes to be explored internally. For we 'press the udder strongly' when we weigh with minute understanding the word of sacred revelation, by which way of pressing whilst we seek milk, we find butter, because, whilst we seek to be fed with but a little insight, we are anointed with the abundance of interior richness. Which, nevertheless, we ought neither to do too much, nor at all times, lest, while milk is sought for from the udder, there should follow blood. For very often, persons, whilst they sift the words of sacred revelation more than they ought, fall into a carnal apprehension. For 'he draws forth blood who wringeth violently.' Since that is rendered carnal which is perceived by an overgreat sifting of the spirit" (Oxford transl.).

Thirdly, the locusts belong to the class of the wise little folk: these have no king, but notwithstanding that, there is not wanting to them guidance; by the power and foresight of one sovereign will they march out as a body, חצץ, dividing, viz., themselves, not the booty (Schultens); thus: dividing themselves into companies, ordine dispositae, from חצץ, to divide, to fall into two (cogn. חצה, e.g., Genesis 32:7) or more parts; Mhlau, p. 59-64, has thoroughly investigated this whole wide range of roots. What this חצץ denotes is described in Joel 2:7 : "Like mighty men they hunt; like men of war they climb the walls; they march forward every one on his appointed way, and change not their paths." Jerome narrates from his own observation: tanto ordine ex dispositione jubentis (lxx at this passage before us: ἀφ ̓ ἑνὸς κελεύσματος εὐτάκτως) volitant, ut instar tesserularum, quae in pavimentis artificis figuntur manu, suum locum teneant et ne puncto quidem et ut ita dicam ungue transverso declinent ad alterum. Aben Ezra and others find in חצץ the idea of gathering together in a body, and in troops, according to which also the Syr., Targ., Jerome, and Luther translate; Kimchi and Meri gloss חצץ by חותך and כורת, and understand it of the cutting off, i.e., the eating up, of plants and trees, which the Venet. renders by ἐκτέμνουσα.
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