Proverbs 26:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!”

King James Bible
The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

American Standard Version
The sluggard saith, There is a lion in the way; A lion is in the streets.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The slothful man saith: There is a lion in the way, and a lioness in the roads.

English Revised Version
The sluggard saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

Webster's Bible Translation
The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

Proverbs 26:13 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

7 The hanging down of the legs of a lame man;

   And a proverb in a fool's mouth.

With reference to the obscure דּליוּ, the following views have been maintained: - (1) The form as punctuated appears directly as an imperative. Thus the lxx translate, the original text of which is here: ἀφελοῦ πορείαν κυλλῶν (conj. Lagarde's) καὶ παροιμίαν ἐκ στόματος ἀφρόνων, which the Syr. (with its imitator, the Targ.) has rendered positively: "If thou canst give the power of (sound) going to the lame, then wilt thou also receive (prudent) words from the mouth of a fool." Since Kimchi, דּליוּ has been regarded by many as the softening of the Imp. Piel דּדּוּ, according to which the Venet. translates: ἐπάρατε κνήμας χωλοῦ; and Bertheau and Zckler explain: always take away his legs from the lame, since they are in reality useless to him, just as a proverb in the mouth of the fool is useless - something that without loss might be never there." But why did not the poet write הרימוּ, or הסירוּ, or קחוּ, or the like? דּלּי, to carry away, to dispense with, is Syriac (Targ. Jer. I, under Deuteronomy 32:50), but not Hebrew. And how meaningless is this expression! A lame man would withstand a surgeon (as he would a murderer) who would amputate his legs; for lame legs are certainly better than none, especially since there is a great distinction between a lame man (פּדּח, from פּסח, luxare; cf. (Arab.) fasaḥ, laxare, vid., Schultens) who halts or goes on crutches (2 Samuel 3:29), and one who is maimed (paralytic), who needs to be carried. It comes to this, that by this rendering of 7a one must, as a consequence, with the lxx, regard וּמשׁל [and a proverb] as object. accus. parallel to שׁקים [legs]; but "to draw a proverb from one's mouth" is, after Proverbs 20:5, something quite different from to tear a proverb away from him, besides which, one cannot see how it is to be caught. Rather one would prefer: attollite crura claudi (ut incedat, et nihil promovebitis); but the מן of מפּסּח does not accord with this, and 7b does not connect itself with it. But the explanation: "take away the legs from a lame man who has none, at least none to use, and a proverb in the mouth of fools, when there is none," is shattered against the "leg-taking-away," which can only be used perhaps of frogs' legs. (2) Symmachus translates: ἐξέλιπον κνῆμαι ἀπὸ χωλοῦ; and Chajg explains דּליוּ as 3 pret. Kal, to which Kimchi adds the remark, that he appears to have found דּליוּ, which indeed is noted by Norzi and J. H. Michaelis as a variant. But the Masoretic reading is דּליוּ, and this, after Gesenius and Bttcher (who in this, without any reason, sees an Ephraimitic form of uttering the word), is a softened variation from דּדּוּ. Only it is a pity that this softening, while it is supported by alius equals ἄλλος, folium equals φύλλον, faillir equals fallere, and the like, has yet not a single Hebrew or Semitic example in its favour. (3) Therefore Ewald finds, "all things considered," that it is best to read דּליוּ, "the legs are too loose for the lame man to use them." But, with Dietrich, we cannot concur in this, nor in the more appropriate translation: "the legs of the lame hang down loose," to say nothing of the clearly impossible: "high are the legs of the lame (one higher than the other)," and that because this form גּליוּ for גּליוּ also occurs without pause, Psalm 57:2; Psalm 73:2; Psalm 122:6; Isaiah 21:12; but although thus, as at Psalm 36:9; Psalm 68:32, at the beginning of a clause, yet always only in connection, never at the beginning of an address. (4) It has also been attempted to interpret דּליוּ as abstr., e.g., Euchel: "he learns from a cripple to dance, who seeks to learn proverbs from the mouth of a fool." דּליוּ שׁקים must mean the lifting up of the legs equals springing and dancing. Accordingly Luther translates:

"As dancing to a cripple,

So does it become a fool to speak of wisdom."

The thought is agreeable, and according to fact; but these words to not mean dancing, but much rather, as the Arabic shows (vid., Schultens at Proverbs 20:5, and on the passage before us), a limping, waddling walk, like that of ducks, after the manner of a well-bucket dangling to and fro. And דּליוּ, after the form מלכוּ, would be an unheard-of Aramaism. For forms such as שׂחוּ, swimming, and שׁלוּ, security, Psalm 30:7, on which C. B. Michaelis and others rest, cannot be compared, since they are modified from sachw, ṣalw, while in דּליוּ the ending must be, and besides the Aramaic דּליוּ must in st. constr. be דּליוּוּת. Since none of these explanations are grammatically satisfactory, and besides דּליוּ equals דּללוּ equals דּדּוּ gives a parallel member which is heterogeneous and not conformable to the nature of an emblematical proverb, we read דּלּוּי after the forms צפּוּי, שׁקּוּי (cf. חבּוּק, Proverbs 6:10; Proverbs 24:33), and this signifies loose, hanging down, from דּלה, to hang at length and loosely down, or transitively: to hang, particularly of the hanging down at length of the bucket-rope, and of the bucket itself, to draw water from the well. The מן is similar to that of Job 28:4, only that here the connecting of the hanging down, and of that from which it hangs down, is clear. Were we to express the purely nominally expressed emblematical proverb in the form of a comparative one, it would thus stand as Fleischer translates it: ut laxa et flaccida dependent (torpent) crura a claudo, sic sententia in ore stultorum (sc. torpet h. e. inutilis est). The fool can as little make use of an intelligent proverb, or moral maxim (dictum sententiosum), as a lame man can of his feet; the word, which in itself is full of thought, and excellent, becomes halting, lame, and loose in his mouth (Schultens: deformiter claudicat); it has, as spoken and applied by him, neither hand nor foot. Strangely, yet without missing the point, Jerome: quomodo pulcras frustra habet claudus tibias, sic indecens est in ore stultorum parabola. The lame man possibly has limbs that appear sound; but when he seeks to walk, they fail to do him service - so a bon-mot comes forth awkwardly when the fool seeks to make use of it. Hitzig's conjecture: as leaping of the legs on the part of a lame man..., Bttcher has already shown sufficient reasons for rejecting; leaping on the part of any one, for the leaping of any one, were a court style familiar to no poet.

Proverbs 26:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 15:19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man said, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

Cross References
Proverbs 6:6
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Proverbs 22:13
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!"

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