Proverbs 14:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.

King James Bible
Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

American Standard Version
A trespass-offering mocketh fools; But among the upright there is good will.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A fool will laugh at sin, but among the just grace shall abide.

English Revised Version
The foolish make a mock at guilt: but among the upright there is good will.

Webster's Bible Translation
Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor.

Proverbs 14:9 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

3 In the mouth of the fool is a switch of pride;

   But the lips of the wise preserve them.

The noun חטר (Aram. חוּטרא, Arab. khiṭr), which besides here occurs only at Isaiah 11:1, meaning properly a brandishing (from חטר equals Arab. khatr, to brandish, to move up and down or hither and thither, whence âlkhṭtâr, the brandisher, poet. the spear), concretely, the young elastic twig, the switch, i.e., the slender flexible shoot. Luther translates, "fools speak tyrannically," which is the briefer rendering of his earlier translation, "in the mouth of the fool is the sceptre of pride;" but although the Targum uses חוטרא of the king's sceptre and also of the prince's staff, yet here for this the usual Hebr. שׁבט were to be expected. In view of Isaiah 11:1, the nearest idea is, that pride which has its roots in the heart of the fool, grows up to his mouth. But yet it is not thus explained why the representation of this proceeding from within stops with חטר cf. Proverbs 11:30). The βακτηρία ὕβρεως (lxx, and similarly the other Greek versions) is either meant as the rod of correction of his own pride (as e.g., Abulwald, and, among the moderns, Bertheau and Zckler) or as chastisement for others (Syr., Targum: the staff of reviling). Hitzig is in favour of the former idea, and thinks himself warranted in translating: a rod for his back; but while גּוה is found for גּאוה, we do not (cf. under Job 41:7 : a pride are the, etc.) find גאוה for גוה, the body, or גּו, the back. But in general it is to be assumed, that if the poet had meant חטר as the means of correction, he would have written גּאותו. Rightly Fleischer: "The tongue is often compared to a staff, a sword, etc., in so far as their effects are ascribed to it; we have here the figure which in Revelation 1:16 passes over into plastic reality." Self-exaltation (R. גא, to strive to be above) to the delusion of greatness is characteristic of the fool, the אויל [godless], not the כּסיל [stupid, dull] - Hitzig altogether confounds these two conceptions. With such self-exaltation, in which the mind, morally if not pathologically diseased, says, like Nineveh and Babylon in the prophets, I am alone, and there is no one with me, there is always united the scourge of pride and of disgrace; and the meaning of 3b may now be that the lips of the wise protect those who are exposed to this injury (Ewald), or that they protect the wise themselves against such assaults (thus most interpreters). But this reference of the eos to others lies much more remote than at Proverbs 12:6; and that the protection of the wise against injury inflicted on them by words is due to their own lips is unsatisfactory, as in this case, instead of Bewahrung [custodia], we would rather expect Vertheidigung [defensio], Dmpfung [damping, extinguishing], Niederduckung [stooping down, accommodating oneself to circumstances]. But also it cannot be meant that the lips of the wise preserve them from the pride of fools, for the thought that the mouth preserves the wise from the sins of the mouth is without meaning and truth (cf. the contrary, Proverbs 13:3). Therefore Arama interprets the verb as jussive: the lips equals words of the wise mayest thou keep i.e., take to heart. And the Venet. translates: χείλη δὲ σοφῶν φυλάξεις αὐτά, which perhaps means: the lips of the wise mayest thou consider, and that not as a prayer, which is foreign to the gnome, but as an address to the hearer, which e.g., Proverbs 20:19 shows to be admissible. but although in a certain degree of similar contents, yet 3a and 3b clash. Therefore it appears to us more probable that the subject of 3b is the חכמה contained in חכמים; in Proverbs 6:22 wisdom is also the subject to תשׁמר עליך without its being named. Thus: while hurtful pride grows up to the throat of the fool, that, viz., wisdom, keeps the lips of the wise, so that no word of self-reflection, especially none that can wound a neighbour, escapes from them. The form תּשׁמוּרם is much more peculiar than ישׁפּוּטוּ, Exodus 18:26, and תעבוּרי, Ruth 2:8, for the latter are obscured forms of ישׁפּטוּ and תעברי, while on the contrary the former arises from תּשׁמרם.

(Note: Vid., regarding these forms with ǒ instead of the simple Sheva, Kimchi, Michlol 20ab. He also remarks that these three forms with û are all Milra; this is the case also in a remarkable manner with ישׁפּוּטוּ, vid., Michlol 21b; Livjath Chen ii. 9; and particularly Heidenheim, in his edition of the Pentateuch entitled Mer Enajim, under Exodus 18:26.)

If, according to the usual interpretation, we make שׂפתי the subject, then the construction follows the rule, Gesen. 146, 2. The lxx transfers it into Greek: χείλη δὲ σοφῶν φυλάσσει αὐτούς. The probable conjecture, that תשׁמורם is an error in transcription for תּשׁמרוּם equals תּשׁמרנה אתם (this is found also in Luzzatto's Gramm. 776; and Hitzig adduces as other examples of such transpositions of the ו Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 17:23; Job 26:12, and Joshua 2:4, ותצפנו for ותצפון), we do not acknowledge, because it makes the lips the subject with an exclusiveness the justification of which is doubtful to us.

Proverbs 14:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 1:22 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Proverbs 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom.

Proverbs 26:18,19 As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death...

Proverbs 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, and said, I have done no wickedness.

Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?

Job 34:7-9 What man is like Job, who drinks up scorning like water...

Jude 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.


Proverbs 3:4 So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.

Proverbs 12:2 A good man obtains favor of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding gives favor: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Romans 14:17,18 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost...

Cross References
Leviticus 5:7
"But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation for the sin that he has committed two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

Proverbs 3:34
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.

Proverbs 11:20
Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight.

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