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Proverbs 20:1

1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
ESV
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
NLT
1 Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
MSG
1 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome - a staggering drunk is not much fun.
CSB
1 Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 20:1

Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging
Wine deceives a man; it not only overcomes him before he is aware, but it promises him a pleasure which it does not give; but, on the contrary, excessive drinking gives him pain, and so mocks him; yea, it exposes him to reproach and disgrace, and to the mockery and derision of others; as well as it sets him to scoff at his companions, and even to mock at religion, and all that is good and serious; see ( Hosea 7:5 ) ; and strong drink not only disturbs the brain, and puts the spirits in a ferment, so that a man rages within, but it sets him a raving and quarrelling with his company, and everybody he meets with; such generally get into broils and contentions, and get woe, sorrow, and wounds, ( Proverbs 23:29 Proverbs 23:30 ) . Aben Ezra gives this as the sense of the words,

``a man of wine''
(that is, one that is given to wine, a wine bibber), so Ben Melech,
``is a mocker, and he cries out for strong drink, that it may be given him;''
which is not a bad sense of the words. and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise;
whosoever gives himself to it, is not on his guard against it, but is overcome by it, does not act a wise but an unwise part: wine besots as well as deceives men. This may be applied to the wine of fornication, or to the false doctrine and superstition of the church of Rome; with which the nations of the earth are deceived and made drunk, and which puts them upon blaspheming God, deriding his people, and using cruelty to them, ( Revelation 17:2 Revelation 17:3 Revelation 17:6 ) ( Revelation 18:3 Revelation 18:23 ) .

Proverbs 20:1 In-Context

1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
2 A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; those who anger him forfeit their lives.
3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
4 Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Leviticus 10:9; Habakkuk 2:5
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 25:36
  • 3. 1 Kings 20:16
  • 4. Proverbs 31:4
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