Proverbs 26:2

2 Like 1a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, 2a curse that is causeless does not alight.

Proverbs 26:2 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 26:2

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying
As a bird, particularly the sparrow, as the word F8 is sometimes rendered, leaves its nest and wanders from it; and flies here and there, and settles nowhere; and as the swallow flies to the place from whence it came; or the wild pigeon, as some F9 think is meant, which flies away very swiftly: the swallow has its name in Hebrew from liberty, because it flies about boldly and freely, and makes its nest in houses, to which it goes and comes without fear; so the curse causeless shall not come;
the mouths of fools or wicked men are full of cursing and bitterness, and especially such who are advanced above others, and are set in high places; who think they have a right to swear at and curse those below them, and by this means to support their authority and power; but what signify their curses which are without a cause? they are vain and fruitless, like Shimei's cursing David; they fly away, as the above birds are said to do, and fly over the heads of those on whom they are designed to light; yea, return and fall upon the heads of those that curse, as the swallow goes to the place from whence it came; it being a bird of passage, ( Jeremiah 8:7 ) ; in the winter it flies away and betakes itself to some islands on rocks called from thence "chelidonian" F11. According to the "Keri", or marginal reading, for here is a double reading, it may be rendered, "so the curse causeless shall come to him" F12; that gives it without any reason. The Septuagint takes in both,

``so a vain curse shall not come upon any;''
what are all the anathemas of the church of Rome? who can curse whom God has not cursed? yea, such shall be cursed themselves; see ( Psalms 109:17 ) .

F8 (rwpuk) "sicat passeris", Mercerus, Gejerus; "ut passer", Piscator; Schultens.
F9 Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 8.
F11 Vid. Strabo. Geograph. l. 14. p. 458. Dionys. Perieg. v. 506, 507.
F12 (wl) "in quempiam", V. L.

Proverbs 26:2 In-Context

1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 27:8; Psalms 84:3
  • 2. [Numbers 23:8; Deuteronomy 23:5; 2 Samuel 16:12]