Add parallel Print Page Options

11 A person’s wisdom[a] has made him slow to anger,[b]
and it is his glory[c] to overlook[d] an offense.
12 A king’s wrath is like[e] the roar of a lion,[f]
but his favor is like dew on the grass.[g]
13 A foolish child[h] is the ruin of his father,
and a contentious wife[i] is like[j] a constant dripping.[k]

Read full chapter


  1. Proverbs 19:11 tn Or “prudence,” the successful use of wisdom in discretion. Cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT “good sense.”
  2. Proverbs 19:11 tn Heb “has slowed his anger.” The Hiphil perfect of אָרַךְ (ʾarakh, “to be long”) means “to make long; to prolong.” As the perfect form of a dynamic verb it should understood as past or perfective. Having developed an insightful perspective has resulted in not being quick to respond in anger.
  3. Proverbs 19:11 sn “Glory” signifies the idea of beauty or adornment. D. Kidner explains that such patience “brings out here the glowing colours of a virtue which in practice may look drably unassertive” (Proverbs [TOTC], 133).
  4. Proverbs 19:11 tn Heb “to pass over” (so KJV, ASV); NCV, TEV “ignore.” The infinitive construct עֲבֹר (ʿavor) functions as the formal subject of the sentence. This clause provides the cause, whereas the former gave the effect—if one can pass over an offense there will be no W. McKane says, “The virtue which is indicated here is more than a forgiving temper; it includes also the ability to shrug off insults and the absence of a brooding hypersensitivity…. It contains elements of toughness and self-discipline; it is the capacity to stifle a hot, emotional rejoinder and to sleep on an insult” (Proverbs [OTL], 530).
  5. Proverbs 19:12 sn The verse contrasts the “rage” of the king with his “favor” by using two similes. The first simile presents the king at his most dangerous—his anger (e.g., 20:2; Amos 3:4). The second simile presents his favor as beneficial for life (e.g., 16:14-15; 28:15).
  6. Proverbs 19:12 tn Heb “is a roaring like a lion.”
  7. Proverbs 19:12 sn The proverb makes an observation about a king’s power to terrify or to refresh. It advises people to use tact with a king.
  8. Proverbs 19:13 tn Heb “a foolish son” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, CEV); NRSV “a stupid child.”
  9. Proverbs 19:13 tn Heb “the contentions of a wife” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “the nagging of a wife.” The genitive could be interpreted (1) as genitive of source or subjective genitive—she is quarreling; or (2) it could be a genitive of specification, making the word “contentions” a modifier, as in the present translation.
  10. Proverbs 19:13 tn Heb “is a constant dripping.” The term “like” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity. The metaphor pictures water dropping (perhaps rain through the roof, cf. NRSV, CEV) in a continuous flow: It is annoying and irritating (e.g., Prov 27:15-16).
  11. Proverbs 19:13 tc The LXX makes this moralistic statement for 13b: “vows paid out of hire of a harlot are not pure.” It is not based on the MT and attempts to reconstruct a text using this have been unsuccessful.