Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 20:1


Wine 1  is a mocker 2  and strong drink is a brawler; whoever goes astray by them is not wise. 3 


Ge 9:21-23; Ge 19:31-36; 1Sa 25:36-38; 2Sa 11:13; 2Sa 13:28; 1Ki 20:16-21; Pr 23:29-35; Pr 31:4; Isa 28:7; Ho 4:11; Ho 7:5; Hab 2:15,16; 1Co 6:10; Ga 5:21; Eph 5:18

NET © Notes

sn The drinks are wine and barley beer (e.g., Lev 10:9; Deut 14:26; Isa 28:7). These terms here could be understood as personifications, but better as metonymies for those who drink wine and beer. The inebriated person mocks and brawls.

tn The two participles לֵץ (lets, “mocker”) and הֹמֶה (homeh, “brawler”) are substantives; they function as predicates in the sentence. Excessive use of intoxicants excites the drinker to boisterous behavior and aggressive attitudes – it turns them into mockers and brawlers.

sn The proverb does not prohibit the use of wine or beer; in fact, strong drink was used at festivals and celebrations. But intoxication was considered out of bounds for a member of the covenant community (e.g., 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:4-7). To be led astray by their use is not wise.

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