Proverbs 24:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.

King James Bible
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

American Standard Version
My son, eat thou honey, for it is good; And the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to thy taste:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Fat honey, my son, because it is good, and the honeycomb most sweet to thy throat:

English Revised Version
My son, eat thou honey, for it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

Webster's Bible Translation
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honey-comb, which is sweet to thy taste:

Proverbs 24:13 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Till now in this appendix we have found only two distichs (vid., vol. i. p. 17); now several of them follow. From this, that wisdom is a power which accomplishes great things, it follows that it is of high value, though to the fool it appears all too costly.

7 Wisdom seems to the fool to be an ornamental commodity;

   He openeth not his mouth in the gate.

Most interpreters take ראמות for רמות (written as at 1 Chronicles 6:58; cf. Zechariah 14:10; ראשׁ, Proverbs 10:4; קאם, Hosea 10:14), and translate, as Jerome and Luther: "Wisdom is to the fool too high;" the way to wisdom is to him too long and too steep, the price too costly, and not to be afforded. Certainly this thought does not lie far distant from what the poet would say; but why does he say חכמות, and not חכמה? This חכמות is not a numerical plur., so as to be translated with the Venet.: μετέωροι τῷ ἄφρονι αἱ ἐπιστῆμαι; it is a plur., as Psalm 49:4 shows; but, as is evident from the personification and the construction, Proverbs 1:20, one inwardly multiplying and heightening, which is related to חכמה as science or the contents of knowledge is to knowledge. That this plur. comes here into view as in chap. 1-9 (vid., vol. i. p. 34), is definitely accounted for in these chapters by the circumstance that wisdom was to be designated, which is the mediatrix of all wisdom; here, to be designated in intentional symphony with ראמות, whose plur. ending th shall be for that very reason, however, inalienable. Thus ראמות will be the name of a costly foreign bijouterie, which is mentioned in the Book of Job, where the unfathomableness and inestimableness of wisdom is celebrated; vid., Job 27:18, where we have recorded what we had to say at the time regarding this word. But what is now the meaning of the saying that wisdom is to the fool a pearl or precious coral? Jol Bril explains: "The fool uses the sciences like a precious stone, only for ornament, but he knows not how to utter a word publicly," This is to be rejected, because ראמות is not so usual a trinket or ornament as to serve as an expression of this thought. The third of the comparison lies in the rarity, costliness, unattainableness; the fool despises wisdom, because the expenditure of strength and the sacrifices of all kinds which are necessary to put one into the possession of wisdom deter him from it (Rashi). This is also the sense which the expression has when ראמות equals רמות; and probably for the sake of this double meaning the poet chose just this word, and not פנינים, גבישׁ, or any other name, for articles of ornament (Hitzig). The Syr. has incorrectly interpreted this play upon words: sapientia abjecta stulto; and the Targumist: the fool grumbles (מתרעם) against wisdom.

(Note: This explanation is more correct than Levy's: he lifts himself up (boasts) with wisdom.)

He may also find the grapes to be sour because they hang too high for him; here it is only said that wisdom remains at a distance from him because he cannot soar up to its attainment; for that very reason he does not open his mouth in the gate, where the council and the representatives of the people have their seats: he has not the knowledge necessary for being associated in counselling, and thus must keep silent; and this is indeed the most prudent thing he can do.

Proverbs 24:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 25:16,27 Have you found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled therewith, and vomit it...

Songs 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey...

Isaiah 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

to the taste or upon thy palate

Cross References
Psalm 19:10
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 25:16
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

Proverbs 27:7
One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.

Song of Solomon 4:11
Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

Song of Solomon 5:1
I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk. Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!

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