Proverbs 20:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.

King James Bible
The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

American Standard Version
The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion: He that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As the roaring of a lion, so also is the dread of a king: he that provoketh him, sinneth against his own soul.

English Revised Version
The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion: he that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life.

Webster's Bible Translation
The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoever provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

Proverbs 20:2 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

25 The scorner thou smitest, and the simple is prudent;

     And if one reprove the man of understanding, he gaineth knowledge

Hitzig translates in a way that is syntactically inexact: smite the scorner, so the simple becomes prudent; that would have required at least the word ויערם: fut. and fut. connected by ו is one of many modes of expression for the simultaneous, discussed by me at Habakkuk 3:10. The meaning of the proverb has a complete commentary at Proverbs 21:11, where its two parts are otherwise expressed with perfect identity of thought. In regard to the לץ, with whom denunciation and threatening bear no fruit (Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 15:12), and perhaps even produce the contrary effect to that intended (Proverbs 9:7), there remains nothing else than to vindicate the injured truths by means of the private justice of corporal punishment. Such words, if spoken to the right man, in the right spirit, at the right time, may affect him with wholesome terrors; but even though he is not made better thereby, yet the simple, who listens to the mockeries of such not without injury, will thereby become prudent (gain הערים equals ערמה, prudence, as at Proverbs 15:5), i.e., either arrive at the knowledge that the mockery of religion is wicked, or guard himself against incurring the same repressive measures. In 25b והוכח is neither inf. (Umbreit), which after Proverbs 21:11 must be וּבהוכח, nor impr. (Targ., Ewald), which according to rule is הוכח, but the hypothetic perf. (Syr.) with the most general subject (Merc., Hitzig): if one impart instruction to the (dat. obj. as Proverbs 9:7; Proverbs 15:2) man of understanding (vid., Proverbs 16:21), then he acquires knowledge, i.e., gains an insight into the nature and value of that which one wishes to bring him to the knowledge of (הבין דּעת, as Proverbs 29:7; cf. Proverbs 8:5). That which the deterring lesson of exemplary punishment approximately effects with the wavering, is, in the case of the man of understanding, perfectly attained by an instructive word.

We have now reached the close of the third chief section of the older Book of Proverbs. All the three sections begin with בּן חכם, Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 15:20. The Introduction, chap. 1-9, dedicates this collection of Solomonic proverbs to youth, and the three beginnings accordingly relate to the relative duties of a son to his father and mother. We are now no longer far from the end, for Proverbs 22:17 resumes the tone of the Introduction. The third principal part would be disproportionately large if it extended from Proverbs 15:1 to Proverbs 22:15. But there does not again occur a proverb beginning with the words "son of man." We can therefore scarcely go wrong if we take Proverbs 19:26 as the commencement of a fourth principal part. The Masora divides the whole Mishle into eight sedarim, which exhibit so little knowledge of the true division, that the parashas (sections) Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 22:17 do not at all find their right place.

(Note: The 915 verses of the Mishle, according to the Masora, fall into eight sedarim, beginning as follows: Proverbs 1:1; Proverbs 5:18; Proverbs 9:12; Proverbs 14:4; Proverbs 18:10; Proverbs 22:22; Proverbs 25:13; Proverbs 28:16.)

The MSS, however, contain evidences that this Hagiograph was also anciently divided into parashas, which were designated partly by spaces between the lines (sethumoth) and partly by breaks in the lines (phethucoth). In Baer's Cod. Jamanensis,

(Note: Vid., the Prefatio to the Masoretico-Critical Edition of Isaiah by Baer and myself; Leipzig, 1872.)

after Proverbs 6:19, there is the letter פ written on the margin as the mark of such a break. With Proverbs 6:20 (vid., l.c.) there indeed commences a new part of the introductory Mashal discourses. But, besides, we only seldom meet with

(Note: There are spaces within the lines after Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:9, Proverbs 1:33; Proverbs 2:22; Proverbs 3:18, Proverbs 3:35; Proverbs 5:17, Proverbs 5:23; Proverbs 6:4, Proverbs 6:11, Proverbs 6:15, Proverbs 6:19 (here a פ), Proverbs 6:35, Proverbs 8:21, Proverbs 8:31, Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 18:9; Proverbs 22:19, Proverbs 22:27; Proverbs 23:14; Proverbs 24:22, Proverbs 24:33; Proverbs 26:21; Proverbs 28:10, Proverbs 28:16; Proverbs 29:17, Proverbs 29:27; Proverbs 30:6, Proverbs 30:9, Proverbs 30:14, Proverbs 30:17, Proverbs 30:20, Proverbs 30:24, Proverbs 30:28, Proverbs 30:33; Proverbs 31:9.)

coincidences with the division and grouping which have commended themselves to us. In the MS of the Graecus Venetus, Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 19:16, and Proverbs 19:19 have their initial letters coloured red; but why only these verses, is not manifest. A comparison of the series of proverbs distinguished by such initials with the Cod. Jaman. and Cod. II of the Leipzig City Library, makes it more than probable that it gives a traditional division of the Mishle, which may perhaps yet be discovered by a comparison of MSS.

(Note: Vid., Gebhardt's Prolegomena to his new edition of the Versio Veneta.)

But this much is clear, that a historico-literary reconstruction of the Mishle, and of its several parts, can derive no help from this comparison.

Proverbs 20:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 16:14,15 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it...

Proverbs 19:12 The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as dew on the grass.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; for yielding pacifies great offenses.

Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.

Amos 3:8 The lion has roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD has spoken, who can but prophesy?


Proverbs 8:36 But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

1 Kings 2:23 Then king Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also...

Cross References
Numbers 16:38
As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the LORD, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel."

1 Kings 2:23
Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, "God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life!

Proverbs 8:36
but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death."

Habakkuk 2:10
You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life.

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