Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 16:14

Context
NETBible

A king’s wrath 1  is like 2  a messenger of death, 3  but a wise person appeases it. 4 

XREF

2Ki 6:31-33; Pr 17:11; Pr 19:12; Pr 20:2; Ec 10:4; Da 3:13-25; Mr 6:27; Lu 12:4,5; Ac 12:20; 2Co 5:20

NET © Notes

sn This proverb introduces the danger of becoming a victim of the king’s wrath (cf. CEV “if the king becomes angry, someone may die”). A wise person knows how to pacify the unexpected and irrational behavior of a king. The proverb makes the statement, and then gives the response to the subject.

tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.

tn The expression uses an implied comparison, comparing “wrath” to a messenger because it will send a message. The qualification is “death,” an objective genitive, meaning the messenger will bring death, or the message will be about death. E.g., 1 Kgs 2:25, 29-34 and 46. Some have suggested a comparison with the two messengers of Baal to the god Mot (“Death”) in the Ugaritic tablets (H. L. Ginsberg, “Baal’s Two Messengers,” BASOR 95 [1944]: 25-30). If there is an allusion, it is a very slight one. The verse simply says that the king’s wrath threatens death.

tn The verb is כָּפַּר (kapar), which means “to pacify; to appease” and “to atone; to expiate” in Levitical passages. It would take a wise person to know how to calm or pacify the wrath of a king – especially in the ancient Near East.



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