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Proverbs 30:31

31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt.[a]

Proverbs 30:31 in Other Translations

31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
31 the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.
31 the strutting rooster, the male goat, a king as he leads his army.
31 a rooster, proud and strutting; a billy goat; a head of state in stately procession.
31 a strutting rooster, a goat, and a king at the head of his army.

Proverbs 30:31 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 30:31

A greyhound
So Gersom interprets the word; but Jarchi owns he does not know what is meant; and Aben Ezra only says, it is the name of a living creature, but does not say what; but observes, that some interpret it of the "bee", and others of the "eagle". The words of the original text only describe something "girt about the loins" F15: and Kimchi F16 observes, that some say it is a hunting dog so called, because it is thin about the loins, as if it was bound and girt; and Aristotle F17 describes hunting dogs as well girded about their loins: but others, as Kimchi in the same place observes, interpret it of the leopard, which is small, and strong in its loins; and others of a bird called the starling; but he owns he cannot understand the meaning of its loins being girt: David de Pomis F18 interprets it of a cock; others, he says, interpret it a hunting dog; others, a leopard; and some, a species of an unclean bird; perhaps he means the starling, as before; and so the word is used for that bird in the Talmud F19, and in the Arabic language F20. Most likely the "horse" is meant; which is a very stately and majestic creature in its going, and is very comely when it has its harness girt on; and especially a war horse, with all its warlike accoutrements, when it proceeds to battle, and stalks on in it; this creature, one should think, could not be omitted among the four, which is described in so magnificent a manner in ( Job 39:19-25 ) ; and is called the goodly horse in the battle, ( Zechariah 10:3 ) ; unless a fine slender bodied race horse should be meant: the horse bids fairer than any other creature named to be what is designed. The third creature follows, which goes well, and is comely in going: an he goat also;
which with its long beard walks very gravely, and in a stately manner, before the flock; and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions add, "going before the flock"; see ( Jeremiah 50:8 ) . This stately walk of the goat is very particularly taken notice of by, Aelian F21; he observes, that the she goat disdains to be last in a flock of sheep, but declares by her walk that she ought to be first; he adds, that the he goat goes before the she goats, glorying in his beard; and, by a kind of wonderful instinct in nature, judges the male is to be preferred to the female F23. Kings, rulers, and governors, are compared to this creature; as Alexander the great is in ( Daniel 8:5 Daniel 8:11 ) ; see ( Zechariah 10:3 ) ; especially such resemble it who rule well, and set good examples to their subjects: and to such, ministers of the Gospel are like; who go before their flocks, guide and direct them, and are examples to them: and likewise all believers; who strive to go before others in good works, and who then are comely in their going. The fourth is, and a king, against whom [there is] no rising up;
no insurrection, no opposition; who is not to be resisted or withstood; a lawful king, in the lawful administration of government, who rules in the fear of God, and according to his word, and the good and wholesome laws of a nation, ought not to be resisted, ( Romans 13:1 Romans 13:2 ) ; and a powerful, successful, and victorious king cannot be resisted, withstood, and prevailed over; he drives all before him, and subdues all under him, as David, Cyrus, Alexander, and others. But to none can this better be applied than to Christ, the King of kings; against whom there is no rising, before whom none can stand, against whom the gates of hell can never prevail; who, even in his state of humiliation, conquered and subdued all his and our enemies; destroyed the tyrant, sin; spoiled Satan, and his principalities and powers; overcame the world; abolished death, the last enemy; and delivered his people out of the hands of all, and made them more than conquerors: and who went forth in the ministry of the Gospel, into the Gentile world, conquering and to conquer; bearing down all opposition before him, and subduing the people under him; and who, in the latter day, will engage with his antichristian enemies, the beast, false prophet, and kings of the earth, and shall overcome them, and clear the world of them. And this is King who is comely in his going; as he was in his goings of old from everlasting; when he drew nigh to his divine. Father, and became the surety of his people; and in his coming into this world, by the assumption of our nature, to save lost perishing sinners: and so he is in his spiritual visits to his saints; in his goings in the sanctuary, and walks he takes amidst the golden candlesticks, his churches; as he will be also when he comes a second time in the clouds of heaven: it will be a glorious appearing; he will come with all the saints, and be attended with his mighty angels; he will come in their glory, in his own, and in the glory of his Father; and will be comely in his going indeed it will be with great stateliness and majesty. The learned Dr. Pococke F24, from the use of the word "alkum" in the Arabic language, renders the words thus, "and a king with whom the people is"; who agree together; the one rules well, and the other obey cheerfully; such a king walking with majesty is comely to his people, and terrible to his enemies. The Targum is,

``and a king, who stands and speaks in the house of his people.''


F15 (Mynxm ryzrz) "accinctus lumbis equus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cartwright, Glassius, Bochart, Buxtorf; "infibulatus lumbos equus", Schultens.
F16 Sepher. Shorash. in voce (ryzrz) .
F17 De Physiognom. c. 6.
F18 Lexic. fol. 28. 1.
F19 T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 92. 2.
F20 Golius, col. 1092.
F21 De Animal. l. 7. c. 26.
F23 "Dux pecoris hircus, duxerat hircus oves", Tibullus, l. 2. Eleg. 1. v. 58.
F24 Specimen. Arab. Hist. p. 203. So "kuma" is used for people in the Alcoran, Surat. Joseph. v. 9.

Proverbs 30:31 In-Context

29 “There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt.
32 “If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
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