Proverbs 18:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

King James Bible
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

American Standard Version
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is as a flowing brook.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Words from the mouth of a men are as deep water: and the fountain of wisdom as an overflowing stream.

English Revised Version
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is as a flowing brook.

Webster's Bible Translation
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Proverbs 18:4 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

26 Also to inflict punishment on the righteous is not good;

     This, that one overthrows the noble on account of his rectitude.

Does the גּם [also] refer to a connection from which the proverb is separated? or is it tacitly supposed that there are many kinds of worthless men in the world, and that one from among them is brought forward? or is it meant, that to lay upon the righteous a pecuniary punishment is also not good? None of all these. The proverb must have a meaning complete in itself; and if pecuniary punishment and corporeal punishment were regarded as opposed to one another, 26b would then have begun with אף כּי (quanto magis percutere ingenuos). Here it is with גם as at Proverbs 20:11, and as with אך at 11a, and רק at Proverbs 13:10 : according to the sense, it belongs not to the word next following, but to לצּדּיק; and ענשׁ (whence inf. ענושׁ, as Proverbs 21:11, with the ǎ in ע, cf. also עבד, Proverbs 11:10, for אבד) means here not specially to inflict a pecuniary fine, but generally to punish, for, as in mulctare, the meaning is generalized, elsewhere with the accus., Deuteronomy 22:19, here to give to any one to undergo punishment. The ruler is the servant of God, who has to preserve rectitude, εἰς ὀργὴν τῷ τὸ κακὸν πράσσοντι (Romans 13:14). It is not good when he makes his power to punish to be felt by the innocent as well as by the guilty.

In 26b, instead of הכּות, the proverb is continued with להכּות; לא־טוב, which is to be supplied, takes the inf. alone when it precedes, and the inf. with ל when it follows, Proverbs 18:5; Proverbs 28:21; Proverbs 21:9 (but cf. Proverbs 21:19). הכּות is the usual word for punishment by scourging, Deuteronomy 25:1-3, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:24, N.T. μαστιγοῦν, δίρειν, Rabb. מכּות, strokes, or מלקוּת from לקה, vapulare, to receive stripes. נדיבים are here those noble in disposition. The idea of נדיב fluctuates between generosus in an outward and in a moral sense, wherefore על־ישׁר, or rather עלי־ישׁר, is added; for the old editions, correct MSS, and e.g., also Soncin. 1488, present עלי (vid., Norzi). Hitzig incorrectly explains this, "against what is due" (ישׁר, as Proverbs 11:24); also Psalm 94:20, עלי־חק does not mean κατὰ προστάγματος (Symmachus), but ἐπὶ προστάγματι (lxx and Theod.), on the ground of right equals praetextu juris (Vatabl.). Thus עלי־ישׁר means here neither against nor beyond what is due, but: on the ground of honourable conduct, making this (of course mistakenly) a lawful title to punishment; Aquila, ἐπὶ εὐθύτητι, cf. Matthew 5:10, ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης. Besides, for על after הכּה, the causal signification lies nearest Numbers 22:32, cf. Isaiah 1:5 (על־מה, on account of anything). If the power of punishment is abused to the punishing of the righteous, yea, even to the corporeal chastisement of the noble, and their straight, i.e., conscientious, firm, open conduct, is made a crime against them, that is not good - it is perversion of the idea of justice, and an iniquity which challenges the penal rectitude of the Most High (Ecclesiastes 5:7 [8]).

Proverbs 18:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 13:14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Proverbs 16:22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him that has it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst...

John 7:38,39 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water...

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs...

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

*the wellspring

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

Cross References
Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Proverbs 18:3
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace.

Proverbs 20:5
The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

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