Contact Us
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 20

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 20

 Email
Rashi's Commentary:
Show content in:

Chapter 20

1The [imbiber of] wine is a scorner; he roars, "Strong drink!" And whoever strays with it will not become wise.   אלֵ֣ץ הַ֖יַּין הֹמֶ֣ה שֵׁכָ֑ר וְכָל־שֹׁ֥גֶה בּ֜֗וֹ לֹ֣א יֶחְכָּֽם:
2Fear of a king is like a lion's roar; he who provokes him forfeits his life.   בנַ֣הַם כַּ֖כְּפִיר אֵ֣ימַת מֶ֑לֶךְ מִ֜תְעַבְּר֗וֹ חוֹטֵ֥א נַפְשֽׁוֹ:
Fear of a king is like a lion’s roar; he who provokes him: Who angers him.  
3It is honor for a man to refrain from quarreling, and every fool will be exposed.   גכָּב֣וֹד לָ֖אִישׁ שֶׁ֣בֶת מֵרִ֑יב וְכָל־אֱ֜וִ֗יל יִתְגַּלָּֽע:
It is honor for a man to refrain from quarreling: To rest from quarrel.  
and every fool: who does not refrain from quarreling-his disgrace will be exposed.  
4Because of the winter, a lazy man does not plow; he will seek in harvest, and there will be nothing.   דמֵחֹרֶף עָצֵ֣ל לֹא־יַחֲר֑שׁ יְשָׁאַ֖ל וְשָׁאַ֖ל בַּקָּצִ֣יר וָאָֽיִן:
Because of the winter, a lazy man does not plow: Because of the cold, a lazy man sits and does no work, neither does he engage in Torah.  
5Counsel in man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.   המַ֣יִם עֲ֖מֻקִּים עֵצָ֣ה בְלֶב־אִ֑ישׁ וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּבוּנָ֣ה יִדְלֶֽנָּה:
Counsel in man’s heart is like deep water: A halachah in a wise man’s heart is sealed.  
but a man of understanding will draw it out: An understanding pupil comes and draws it out of his innards.  
6Many people call upon the man who promises them kindness, but who can find a trustworthy man?   ורָב־אָדָ֗ם יִ֖קְרָא אִ֣ישׁ חַסְדּ֑וֹ וְאִ֥ישׁ אֱ֜מוּנִ֗ים מִ֣י יִמְצָֽא:
Many people call upon the man who promises them kindness: There are many people who rely on their friends who promise them kindness, and they call them at the time of their straits.  
but who can find a trustworthy man?: who promises and keeps his promise.  
who promises them kindness: Heb. איש חסדו, lit. a man of his kindness, who promises him to do kindness.  
7He who walks innocently is righteous; fortunate are his sons after him.   זמִתְהַלֵּ֣ךְ בְּתֻמּ֣וֹ צַדִּ֑יק אַשְׁרֵ֖י בָנָ֣יו אַחֲרָֽיו:
8A king sits upon a throne of judgment; all evil is spread out before him.   חמֶ֗לֶךְ יוֹשֵׁ֥ב עַל־כִּסֵּא־דִ֑ין מְזָרֶ֖ה בְעֵינָ֣יו כָּל־רָֽע:
A king sits upon a throne of judgment: This may be explained as referring to the Holy One, blessed be He, or it may be explained as referring to the true judges.  
9Who will say, "I have cleansed my heart; I have become purified of my sin"?   טמִֽי־יֹ֖אמַר זִכִּ֣יתִי לִבִּ֑י טָ֜הַ֗רְתִּי מֵחַטָּאתִֽי:
10Diverse weights and diverse measures-even both are an abomination of the Lord.   יאֶ֣בֶן וָ֖אֶבֶן אֵיפָ֣ה וְאֵיפָ֑ה תּוֹעֲבַ֥ת יְ֜הוָ֗ה גַּם־שְׁנֵיהֶֽם:
11Even a child can disguise himself with his deeds, if his deed is pure or upright.   יאגַּ֣ם בְּ֖מַעֲלָלָיו יִתְנַכֶּר־נָ֑עַר אִם־זַ֖ךְ וְאִם־יָשָׁ֣ר פָּעֳלֽוֹ:
12The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made even both of them.   יבאֹ֣זֶן שֹׁ֖מַעַת וְעַ֣יִן רֹאָ֑ה יְ֜הוָ֗ה עָשָֹ֥ה גַם־שְׁנֵיהֶֽם:
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, etc.: They are His handiwork, and He desires an ear that hears reproof and an eye that sees what will develop.  
13Do not love sleep lest you become poor, open your eyes and be sated with bread.   יגאַל־תֶּֽאֱהַ֣ב שֵׁ֖נָה פֶּן־תִּוָּרֵ֑שׁ פְּקַ֖ח עֵינֶ֣יךָ שְֹֽבַֽע־לָֽחֶם:
lest you become poor: Heb. תורש you become poor (רש).  
14"It is bad, it is bad, " says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.   ידרַ֣ע רַ֖ע יֹאמַ֣ר הַקּוֹנֶ֑ה וְאֹזֵ֥ל ל֜֗וֹ אָ֣ז יִתְהַלָּֽל:
“It is bad, it is bad,” says the buyer: If one acquires Torah through poverty and the pains of hunger, he says, “Woe is to me for this evil and for this trouble,” but when he goes away full of wisdom…  
then he boasts: about the pain he suffered.  
but when he goes away: Heb. ואזל, but when he goes away.  
15There is gold and many pearls, but lips of knowledge are like a precious vessel.   טויֵ֣שׁ זָ֖הָב וְרָב־פְּנִינִ֑ים וּכְלִ֥י יְ֜קָ֗ר שִׂפְתֵי־דָֽעַת:
16Take his garment because he stood surety for a stranger, and hold him in pledge for an alien woman.   טזלְֽקַח־בִּ֖גְדוֹ כִּי־עָ֣רַב זָ֑ר וּבְעַ֖ד נָכְרִיָּ֣ם נָכְרִיָּ֣ה חַבְלֵֽהוּ:
17Bread of falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel.   יזעָרֵ֣ב לָ֖אִישׁ לֶ֣חֶם שָׁ֑קֶר וְ֜אַחַ֗ר יִמָּֽלֵא־פִ֥יהוּ חָצָֽץ:
Bread of falsehood is sweet to a man: Adultery with a married woman.  
but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel: Heb. חצץ, fine pebbles. Similarly, (Lam. 3:16): “And He has made my teeth grind on gravel (בחצץ).”  
18Plans with counsel will be established, and with strategies wage war.   יחמַחֲשָׁבוֹת בְּעֵצָ֣ה תִכּ֑וֹן וּ֜בְתַחְבֻּל֗וֹת עֲשֵֹ֣ה מִלְחָמָֽה:
Plans with counsel will be established, and with strategies wage war: If you come to wage war against Satan, come with strategies of repentance, prayer and fasting.  
19You shall not mingle with one who divulges secrets, one who gossips, or with one who entices with his lips.   יטגּֽוֹלֶה־סּ֖וֹד הוֹלֵ֣ךְ רָכִ֑יל וּלְפֹתֶ֥ה שְׂ֜פָתָ֗יו לֹ֣א תִתְעָרָֽב:
with one who divulges secrets, one who gossips, or with one who entices with his lips: who speaks smoothly to seduce you and entice you.  
20If one curses his father and mother, his lamp will flicker in the blackest darkness.   כמְקַלֵּל אָבִ֣יו וְאִמּ֑וֹ יִֽדְעַ֥ךְ נֵ֜ר֗וֹ בֶּאֱישׁ֥וּן בֶּאֱשׁ֥וּן חֽשֶׁךְ:
If one curses… his lamp will flicker in the blackest darkness: When the darkness becomes blacker and blacker-when evil befalls him.  
21An inheritance may be acquired hastily in the beginning, but its end will not be blessed.   כאנַחֲלָה מְבֹחֶ֣לֶת מְבֹהֶ֣לֶת בָּרִאשֹׁנָ֑ה וְ֜אַחֲרִיתָ֗הּ לֹ֣א תְבֹרָֽךְ:
An inheritance may be acquired hastily in the beginning: Which one hastened to take hurriedly, e.g. the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, who hastened to take their share on the other side of the Jordan, and they spoke hastily, as it is said (Num. 32:16): “We want to build sheepfolds for our cattle here and cities for our children.” They made the main thing of secondary import, for they placed their flocks before their children.  
but its end will not be blessed: For they were exiled many years before the rest of the tribes, as is explained in Seder Olam (ch. 22), and in the Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (see Mattoth 7): “In the second year of Ahaz, the Lord aroused the desire of the king of Assyria, etc. (I Chron. 5:26),” but the rest of the tribes were exiled in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which is the ninth year of Hoshea the son of Elah.  
22Do not say, "I will repay evil." Hope to the Lord, and He will save you.   כבאַל־תֹּאמַ֥ר אֲשַׁלְּמָה־רָ֑ע קַוֵּ֥ה לַֽ֜יהוָ֗ה וְי֣שַֽׁע לָֽךְ:
23Diverse weights are an abomination of the Lord, and deceptive scales are not good.   כגתּוֹעֲבַ֣ת יְ֖הוָה אֶ֣בֶן וָאָ֑בֶן וּמֹאזְנֵ֖י מִרְמָ֣ה לֹא־טֽוֹב:
24A man's steps are from the Lord, for man understands nothing of his way.   כדמֵיְהוָ֥ה מִצְעֲדֵי־גָ֑בֶר וְ֜אָדָ֗ם מַה־יָּבִ֥ין דַּרְכּֽוֹ:
25When a man is trapped he impairs his sanctity, and he must seek vows.   כהמוֹקֵ֣שׁ אָ֖דָם יָ֣לַע קֹ֑דֶשׁ וְאַחַ֖ר נְדָרִ֣ים לְבַקֵּֽר:
When a man is trapped, he impairs his sanctity: Heb. ילע. When a man stumbles and is trapped in sins, he impairs his sanctity, as in (Obadiah verse 16) “and they shall drink and be stunned (ולעו).”  
and he must seek vows: Man must seek sacrifices to vow and to bring and to beg for his life.  
26The Wise King scatters the wicked, and turns the wheel over them.   כומְזָרֶ֣ה רְ֖שָׁעִים מֶ֣לֶךְ חָכָ֑ם וַיָּ֖שֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם אוֹפָֽן:
scatters the wicked: Pharaoh and his host.  
The Wise King: The Holy One, blessed be He.  
and turns the wheel over them: The wheel of their traits He turned over them. “And drove it heavily (Ex. 14:25),” corresponding to (ibid. 8: 11) “and he made his heart heavy.”  
27Man's soul is the Lord's lamp, which searches out all the innermost parts.   כזנֵ֣ר יְ֖הוָה נִשְׁמַ֣ת אָדָ֑ם חֹ֜פֵ֗שׂ כָּל־חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן:
Man’s soul is the Lord’s lamp: The soul in his midst testifies concerning him in judgment.  
28Kindness and truth preserve the king, and he supports his throne with kindness.   כחחֶ֣סֶד וֶ֖אֱמֶת יַצְּרוּ־מֶ֑לֶךְ וְסָעַ֖ד בַּחֶ֣סֶד כִּסְאֽוֹ:
29The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of elders is a hoary head.   כטתִּפְאֶ֣רֶת בַּחוּרִ֣ים כֹּחָ֑ם וַהֲדַ֖ר זְקֵנִ֣ים שֵׂיבָֽה:
The glory of young men is their strength: Just as the glory of young men is their strength, so is the beauty of elders their hoary head.  
30Contusions and wounds come for outpouring in evil, and plagues in the innermost parts.   לחַבֻּר֣וֹת פֶּ֖צַע תַּמְר֣יּק תַּמְר֣וּק בְּרָ֑ע וּ֜מַכּ֗וֹת חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן:
Contusions and wounds come for outpouring in evil: Our Sages expounded: Whoever “pours himself” out into sinful things, will ultimately come to wounds and contusions.  
and plagues in the innermost parts: This is dropsy.  
 Email
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.