Proverbs 30:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

King James Bible
For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

American Standard Version
For an odious woman when she is married; And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

Douay-Rheims Bible
By an odious woman when she is married: and by a bondwoman when she is heir to her mistress.

English Revised Version
For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

Webster's Bible Translation
For an odious woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

Proverbs 30:23 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The proverb of the ‛Alûka is the first of the proverbs founded on the figure of an animal among the "words" of Agur. It is now followed by another of a similar character:

17 An eye that mocketh at his father,

     And despiseth obedience to his mother:

     The ravens of the brook shall pluck it out,

     And the young eagles shall eat it.

If "an eye," and not "eyes," are spoken of here, this is accounted for by the consideration that the duality of the organ falls back against the unity of the mental activity and mental expression which it serves (cf. Psychol. p. 234). As haughtiness reveals itself (Proverbs 30:13) in the action of the eyes, so is the eye also the mirror of humble subordination, and also of malicious scorn which refuses reverence and subjection to father and mother. As in German the verbs [verspotten, spotten, hhnen, hohnsprechen signifying to mock at or scorn may be used with the accus., genit., or dat., so also לעג [to deride] and בּוּז [to despise] may be connected at pleasure with either an accusative object or a dative object. Ben-Chajim, Athias, van der Hooght, and others write תּלעג; Jablonski, Michaelis, Lwenstein, תּלעג, Mhlau, with Norzi, accurately, תּלעג, with Munach, like תּבחר, Psalm 65:5; the writing of Ben-Asher

(Note: The Gaja has its reason in the Zinnor that follows, and the Munach in the syllable beginning with a moveable Sheva; תּלעג with Scheva quiesc. must, according to rule, receive Mercha, vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 26.)

is תּלעג, with Gaja, Chateph, and Munach. The punctuation of ליקהת is more fluctuating. The word לקהת (e.g., Cod. Jaman.) may remain out of view, for the Dag. dirimens in ק stands here as firmly as at Genesis 49:10, cf. Psalm 45:10. But it is a question whether one has to write ליקּהת with Yod quiesc. (regarding this form of writing, preferred by Ben-Naphtali, the Psalmen-Comm. under Psalm 45:10, in both Edd.; Luzzatto's Gramm. 193; Baer's Genesis, p. 84, note 2; and Heidenheim's Pentateuch, with the text-crit. Comm. of Jekuthil ha-Nakdans, under Genesis 47:17; Genesis 49:10), as it is found in Kimchi, Michlol 45a, and under יקה, and as also Norzi requires, or ליקּהת (as e.g., Cod. Erfurt 1), which appears to be the form adopted by Ben-Asher, for it is attested

(Note: Kimchi is here no authority, for he contradicts himself regarding such word-forms. Thus, regarding ויללת, Jeremiah 25:36, in Michlol 87b, and under ילל. The form also wavers between כּיתרון and כּיתרון, Ecclesiastes 2:13. The Cod. Jaman. has here the Jod always quiesc.)

as such by Jekuthil under Genesis 49:10, and also expressly as such by an old Masora-Cod. of the Erfurt Library. Lwenstein translates, "the weakness of the mother." Thus after Rashi, who refers the word to קהה, to draw together, and explains it, Genesis 49:10, "collection;" but in the passage before us, understands it of the wrinkles on the countenance of the aged mother. Nachmani (Ramban) goes still further, giving to the word, at Genesis 49:10, everywhere the meaning of weakness and frailty. Aben Ezra also, and Gersuni (Ralbag), do not go beyond the meaning of a drawing together; and the lxx, with the Aram., who all translate the word by senectus, have also קהה in the sense of to become dull, infirm (certainly not the Aethiopic leheḳa, to become old, weak through old age). But Kimchi, whom the Venet. and Luther

(Note: Jerome translates, et qui despicit partum matris suae. To partus there separates itself to him here the signification expectatio, Genesis 49:10, resting on a false combination with קוה. To think of pareo, parui, paritum (Mhlau), was not yet granted to him.)

follow, is informed by Abulwald, skilled in the Arab., of a better: יקהה (or יקּהה, cf. נצּרה, Psalm 141:3) is the Arab. wakhat, obedience (vid., above יקה under 1a). If now it is said of such a haughty, insolent eye, that the ravens of the brook (cf. 1 Kings 17:4) will pluck it out, and the בני־נשׁר eat it, they, the eagle's children, the unchildlike human eye: it is only the description of the fate that is before such an one, to die a violent death, and to become a prey to the fowls of heaven (cf. e.g., Jeremiah 16:3., and Passow's Lex. under κόραξ); and if this threatening is not always thus literally fulfilled, yet one has not on that account to render the future optatively, with Hitzig; this is a false conclusion, from a too literal interpretation, for the threatening is only to be understood after its spirit, viz., that a fearful and a dishonourable end will come to such an one. Instead of יקּרוּה, as Mhlau reads from the Leipzig Cod., יקרוה, with Mercha (Athias and Nissel have it with Tarcha), is to be read, for a word between Olewejored and Athnach must always contain a conjunctive accent (Thorath Emeth, p. 51; Accentuationssystem, xviii. 9). ערבי־נחל is also irregular, and instead of it ערבי־נחל is to be written, for the reason given above under Proverbs 30:16 (מים).

Proverbs 30:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

an odious

Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

Proverbs 21:9,19 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house...

Proverbs 27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

an handmaid

Proverbs 29:21 He that delicately brings up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.

Cross References
Proverbs 30:22
a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food;

Proverbs 30:24
Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:

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