English Standard Version
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
King James Bible
A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
American Standard Version
As a troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring,'so is a righteous man that giveth way before the wicked.
A just man falling down before the wicked, is as a fountain troubled with the foot, and a corrupted spring.
English Revised Version
As a troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring, so is a righteous man that giveth way before the wicked.
Webster's Bible Translation
A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a turbid fountain, and a corrupt spring.
Proverbs 25:26 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The above proverb, which connects itself with Proverbs 25:18, not only by the sound רע, but also by שׁן, which is assonant with שׁנון, is followed by another with the catchword רע:
20 He that layeth aside his coat on a day of frost, vinegar on nitre,
And he who welcomes with songs a dejected heart.
Is not this intelligible, sensible, ingenious? All these three things are wrong. The first is as wrong as the second, and the third, which the proverb has in view, is morally wrong, for one ought to weep with those that weep, Romans 12:15; he, on the contrary, who laughs among those who weep, is, on the most favourable judgment, a fool. That which is wrong in 20a, according to Bttcher in the Aehrenlese, 1849, consists in this, that one in severe cold puts on a fine garment. As if there were not garments which are at the same time beautiful, and keep warm? In the new Aehrenlese he prefers the reading משׁנּה: if one changes his coat. But that surely he might well enough do, if the one were warmer than the other! Is it then impossible that מעדה, in the connection, means transire faciens equals removens? The Kal עדה, tarnsiit, occurs at Job 28:8. So also, in the poetic style. העדה might be used in the sense of the Aram. אעדּי. Rightly Aquila, Symmachus, περιαιρῶν; the Venet. better, ἀφαιρούμενος (Mid.). בּגד is an overcoat or mantle, so called from covering, as לבוּשׁ (R. לב, to fasten, fix), the garment lying next the body, vid., at Psalm 22:19. Thus, as it is foolish to lay off upper clothing on a frosty day, so it is foolish also to pour vinegar on nitre; carbonic acid nitre, whether it be mineral (which may be here thought of) or vegetable, is dissolved in water, and serves diverse purposes (vid., under Isaiah 1:25); but if one pours vinegar on it, it is destroyed. לב־רע
(Note: The writing wavers between על לב־רע (cf. על עם־דּל) and על־בל רע dna )על ע.)
is, at Proverbs 26:23 and elsewhere, a heart morally bad, here a heart badly disposed, one inclined to that which is evil; for שׁר שׁיר is the contrast of קונן קינה, and always the consequence of a disposition joyfully excited; the inconsistency lies in this, that one thinks to cheer a sorrowful heart by merry singing, if the singing has an object, and is not much more the reckless expression of an animated pleasure in view of the sad condition of another. שׁיר על .rehtona signifies, as at Job 33:27, to sing to any one, to address him in singing; cf. דּבּר על, Jeremiah 6:10, and particularly על־לב, Hosea 2:16; Isaiah 40:2. The ב of בּשּׁרים is neither the partitive, Proverbs 9:5, nor the transitive, Proverbs 20:30, but the instrumental; for, as e.g., at Exodus 7:20, the obj. of the action is thought of as its means (Gesen. 138, Anm. 3*); one sings "with songs," for definite songs underlie his singing. The lxx, which the Syr., Targ., and Jerome more or less follow, has formed from this proverb one quite different: "As vinegar is hurtful to a wound, so an injury to the body makes the heart sorrowful; as the moth in clothes, and the worm in wood, so the sorrow of a man injures his heart." The wisdom of this pair of proverbs is not worth much, and after all inquiry little or nothing comes of it. The Targ. at least preserves the figure 20b: as he who pours vinegar (Syr. chalo) on nitre; the Peshito, however, and here and there also the Targum, has jathro (arrow-string) instead of methro (nitre). Hitzig adopts this, and changes the tristich into the distich:
He that meeteth archers with arrow on the string,
Is like him who singeth songs with a sad heart.
The Hebrew of this proverb of Hitzig's (מרים קרה על־יתר) is unhebraic, the meaning dark as an oracle, and its moral contents nil.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
"Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him: "You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers.
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?
And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.