Proverbs 17:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.

King James Bible
He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

American Standard Version
He that hath a wayward heart findeth no good; And he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that is of a perverse heart, shall not find good: and he that perverteth his tongue, shall fall into evil.

English Revised Version
He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

Proverbs 17:20 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

14 As one letteth out water is the beginning of a strife;

     But cease thou from such strife ere it comes to showing teeth.

The meaning of this verb פּטר is certain: it means to break forth; and transitively, like Arab. faṭr, to bring forth from a cleft, to make to break forth, to let go free (Theodotion, ἀπολύων; Jerome, dimittit; Venet. ἀφιείς). The lxx, since it translates by ἐξουσίαν δίδωσι, thinks on the juristic signification, which occurs in the Chronicles: to make free, or to declare so; but here פּוטר מים (vid., regarding the Metheg at Proverbs 14:31) is, as Luther translates, one who tears away the dam from the waters. And ראשׁית מדון is not accus. dependent on פוטר, to be supplied (Hitzig: he unfetters water who the beginning of strife, viz., unfetters); but the part. is used as at Proverbs 10:17 : one who unfetters the water is the beginning of strife, i.e., he is thus related to it as when one... This is an addition to the free use of the part. in the language of the Mishna, where one would expect the infin., e.g., בּזורע ( equals בּזרע), if one sows, בּמזיד ( equals בּזדון), of wantonness. It is thus unnecessary, with Ewald, to interpret פוטר as neut., which lets water go equals a water-outbreak; פוטר is meant personally; it represents one who breaks through a water-dam, withdraws the restraint of the water, opens a sluice, and then emblematically the proverb says: thus conditioned is the beginning of a strife. Then follows the warning to let go such strife (הריב, with the article used in the more elevated style, not without emphasis), to break from it, to separate it from oneself ere it reach a dangerous height. This is expressed by לפני התגּלּע, a verb occurring only here and at Proverbs 18:1; Proverbs 20:3, always in the Hithpa. The Targum (misunderstood by Gesenius after Buxtorf; vid., to the contrary, Levy, under the word צדי II) translates it at Proverbs 18:1; Proverbs 20:3, as the Syr., by "to mock," also Aquila, who has at Proverbs 20:3, ἐξυβρισθήσεται, and the lxx at Proverbs 18:1, ἐπονείδιστος ἔσται, and Jerome, who has this in all the three passages, render the Hithpa. in this sense, passively. In this passage before us, the Targ., as Hitzig gives it, translates, "before it heats itself," but that is an error occasioned by Buxtorf; vid., on the contrary, Levy, under the word קריא (κύριος); this translation, however, has a representative in Haja Gaon, who appeals for גלע, to glow, to Nidda viii. 2.

(Note: Vid., Simon Nascher's Der Gaon Haja u. seine giest. Thtig. p. 15.)

Elsewhere the lxx, at Proverbs 20:3, συμπλέκεται (where Jerome, with the amalgamation of the two significations, miscentur contumeliis); Kimchi and others gloss it by התערב, and, according to this, the Venet. translates, πρὸ τοῦ συνχυθῆναι (τὴν ἔριν); Luther, "before thou art mingled therein." But all these explanations of the word: insultare, excandescere, and commisceri, are etymologically inadmissible. Bertheau's and Zckler's "roll itself forth" is connected at least with a meaning rightly belonging to the R. גל. But the Arab. shows, that not the meaning volvere, but that of retegere is to be adopted. Aruch

(Note: Vid., p. 109, note.)

for Nidda viii. 2 refers to the Arab., where a wound is designated as יכולה להגּלע ולהוציא דם, i.e., as breaking up, as it were, when the crust of that which is nearly healed is broken off (Maimuni glosses the word by להתקלף, were uncrusted), and blood again comes forth. The meaning retegere requires here, however, another distinction. The explanation mentioned there by Aruch: before the strife becomes public to thee, i.e., approaches thee, is not sufficient. The verbal stem גלע is the stronger power of גלה, and means laying bare; but here, not as there, in the Mishna of a wound covered with a crust. The Arab. jal' means to quarrel with another, properly to show him the teeth, the Pol or the tendency-stem from jali'a, to have the mouth standing open, so that one shows his teeth; and the Syr. glaṣ, with its offshoots and derivatives, has also this meaning of ringi, opening the mouth to show, i.e., to make bare the teeth. Schultens has established this explanation of the words, and Gesenius further establishes it in the Thesaurus, according to which Fleischer also remarks, "גלע, of showing the teeth, the exposing of the teeth by the wide opening of the mouth, as happens in bitter quarrels." But הריב does not agree with this. Hitzig's translation, "before the strife shows its teeth," is as modern as in Proverbs 17:11 is the passion of the unfettered demon, and Fleischer's prius vero quam exacerbetur rixa renders the Hithpa. in a sense unnecessarily generalized for Proverbs 18:1 and Proverbs 20:3. The accentuation, which separates להתגלע from הריב by Rebia Mugrash, is correct. One may translate, as Schultens, antequam dentes stringantur, or, since the Hithpa. has sometimes a reciprocal signification, e.g., Genesis 42:1; Psalm 41:8 : ere one reciprocally shows his teeth, Hitzig unjustly takes exception to the inversion הריב נטושׁ. Why should not the object precede, as at Hosea 12:1-14 :15, the נטוש, placed with emphasis at the end? The same inversion for a like reason occurs at Ecclesiastes 5:6.

Proverbs 17:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he that hath a froward heart

Proverbs 3:32 For the fraudulent is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

Proverbs 6:12-15 A naughty person, a wicked man, walks with a fraudulent mouth...

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the fraudulent mouth, do I hate.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure you will show yourself pure; and with the fraudulent you will show yourself devious.

and he

Proverbs 10:10,14,31 He that winks with the eye causes sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall...

Proverbs 18:6,7 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes...

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

James 3:6-8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body...

Cross References
James 3:8
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Proverbs 6:14
with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;

Proverbs 10:31
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

Proverbs 24:20
for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

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