Proverbs 12:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

King James Bible
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Darby Bible Translation
A righteous man is concerned for the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

World English Bible
A righteous man respects the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Young's Literal Translation
The righteous knoweth the life of his beast, And the mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast - One principal characteristic of a holy man is mercy: cruelty is unknown to him; and his benevolence extends to the meanest of the brute creation. Pity rules the heart of a pious man; he can do nothing that is cruel. He considers what is best for the comfort, ease health, and life of the beast that serves him, and he knows that God himself careth for oxen: and one of the ten commandments provides a seventh part of time to be allotted for the rest of laboring beasts as well as for man.

I once in my travels met with the Hebrew of this clause on the sign board of a public inn: יודע צדיק נפש בהמתו yodea tsaddik nephesh behemto. "A righteous man considereth the life of his beast;" which, being very appropriate, reminded me that I should feed my horse.

The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel - אחזרי achzari, are violent, without mercy, ruthless. The wicked, influenced by Satan, can show no other disposition than what is in their master. If they appear at any time merciful, it is a cloak which they use to cover purposes of cruelty. To accomplish its end, iniquity will assume any garb, speak mercifully, extol benevolence, sometimes even give to the poor! But, timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes. The cry of fire at midnight, provided it be in another's dwelling, is more congenial to their souls than the; cry of mercy. Look at the human fiends, "out-heroding Herod," in horse races, bruising matches, and cock fights, and in wars for the extension of territory, and the purposes of ambition. The hell is yet undescribed, that is suited to such monsters in cruelty.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Genesis 33:13,14 And he said to him, My lord knows that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me...

Numbers 22:28-32 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have smitten me these three times...

Deuteronomy 25:4 You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.

John 4:11 The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water?


Genesis 37:26-28 And Judah said to his brothers, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood...

Judges 1:7 And Adonibezek said, Three score and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table...

1 Samuel 11:2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes...

John 19:31,32 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day...

James 2:13-16 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment...

tender mercies

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him...

The Many-Sided Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
'Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2. A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3. A man shall not be established by wickedness; but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6. The words of the wicked are to lie
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Having Confidence in God when Evil Words are Cast at Us
"My Son, stand fast and believe in Me. For what are words but words? They fly through the air, but they bruise no stone. If thou are guilty, think how thou wouldst gladly amend thyself; if thou knowest nothing against thyself, consider that thou wilt gladly bear this for God's sake. It is little enough that thou sometimes hast to bear hard words, for thou art not yet able to bear hard blows. And wherefore do such trivial matters go to thine heart, except that thou art yet carnal, and regardest
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Cross References
1 Corinthians 9:9
For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned?

Numbers 22:29
Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."

Deuteronomy 25:4
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

Proverbs 12:9
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

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