Psalm 32:9
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

King James Bible
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Be ye not as a horse, as a mule, which have no understanding: whose trappings must be bit and bridle, for restraint, or they will not come unto thee.

World English Bible
Don't be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding, who are controlled by bit and bridle, or else they will not come near to you.

Young's Literal Translation
Be ye not as a horse -- as a mule, Without understanding, With bridle and bit, its ornaments, to curb, Not to come near unto thee.

Psalm 32:9 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Be ye not as the horse - The horse as it is by nature - wild, ungoverned, unwilling to be caught and made obedient. The counsel referred to in the previous verse is here given; and it is, that one who wishes to obtain the favor of God should not be as the wild and unbroken horse, an animal that can be subdued only by a curb, but should evince a calm, submissive spirit - a spirit "disposed" to obey and submit. If he becomes a subject of God's government, he is not to be subdued and held as the horse is - by mere force; there must be the cheerful submission of the will. People are not brought into the service of God by physical power; they are not kept there by an iron "curb." They come and yield themselves willingly to his law; they "must" come with that spirit if they would find the favor of God.

Or as the mule - The mule is distinguished for its obstinacy, and this is evidently the ground of comparison here. The meaning is, be tractable, gentle, yielding; submit to the guidance and direction of God and his truth.

Which have no understanding - That cannot be controlled by reason and conscience. They are governed only by power and by fear. People have reason and conscience, and they should allow themselves to be controlled by appeals TO their reason and to their moral sense. They are not made to be governed as brutes are. Since they have a higher nature, they should permit themselves to be governed by it.

Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle - More literally, "in bit and bridle is their ornament to restrain them;" that is, the trappings or the ornaments of the horse and the mule consist of the bridle and the bit, the purpose of which is to restrain or control them. The allusion, however, is not to the bit and bridle as an "ornament," but as the ordinary trappings of the mule and the horse.

Lest they come near unto thee - Or rather, "because of its not approaching thee;" that is, because the horse and the mule will not come to thee of their own accord, but must be restrained and controlled.

Psalm 32:9 Parallel Commentaries

Self-Scrutiny in God's Presence.
ISAIAH, i. 11.--"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." These words were at first addressed to the Church of God. The prophet Isaiah begins his prophecy, by calling upon the heavens and the earth to witness the exceeding sinfulness of God's chosen people. "Hear, O heavens, and give ear O earth: for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished and brought up children,
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Heroes and Heroines (Whitsunday. )
PSALM xxxii. 8. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. This is God's promise; which he fulfilled at sundry times and in different manners to all the men of the old world who trusted in him. He informed them; that is, he put them into right form, right shape, right character, and made them the men which they were meant to be. He taught them in the way in which they ought to go. He guided them where they could not guide themselves. But
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Question Lxxxiii of Prayer
I. Is Prayer an Act of the Appetitive Powers? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer based on Friendship II. Is it Fitting to Pray? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer as a True Cause S. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, II. iii. 14 " On the Gift of Perseverance, vii. 15 III. Is Prayer an Act of the Virtue of Religion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Humility of Prayer S. Augustine, On Psalm cii. 10 " Of the Gift of Perseverance, xvi. 39 IV. Ought We to Pray to God Alone? S. Augustine, Sermon, cxxvii. 2 V.
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Epistle Xlvi. To Isacius, Bishop of Jerusalem .
To Isacius, Bishop of Jerusalem [159] . Gregory to Isacius, &c. In keeping with the truth of history, what means the fact that at the time of the flood the human race outside the ark dies, but within the ark is preserved unto life, but what we see plainly now, namely that all the unfaithful perish under the wave of their sin, while the unity of holy Church, like the compactness of the ark, keeps her faithful ones in faith and in charity? And this ark in truth is compacted of incorruptible timber,
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Cross References
James 3:3
Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

Job 30:11
"Because He has loosed His bowstring and afflicted me, They have cast off the bridle before me.

Proverbs 26:3
A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the back of fools.

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