Proverbs 26:3

3 1A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and 2a rod for the back of fools.

Proverbs 26:3 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 26:3

A whip for the horse
One that is dull of going, or refractory and wants breaking; a bridle for the ass;
not to curb and restrain it from going too fist, asses being generally dull; but to direct its way and turn it when necessary, it being stiffnecked and obstinate; though the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it a "spear" or "goad", something to prick with, and excite it to motion; and so the Targum; or otherwise one would have thought the whip was fitter for the ass and the bridle for the horse; and a rod for the fool's back;
suggesting that the fool, or wicked man, is like the horse or the mule; though not without understanding of things natural, yet of things divine and moral; and as stupid as the ass, however wise he may conceit himself to be, being born like a wild ass's colt; and instead of honour being given him, stripes should be laid upon him; he should be reproved sharply, and corrected for his wickedness, especially the causeless curser, ( Proverbs 19:29 ) .

Proverbs 26:3 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. [Psalms 32:9]
  • 2. See Proverbs 19:29
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