Psalm 32:9

9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

Read Psalm 32:9 Using Other Translations

Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

What does Psalm 32:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 32:9

Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no
The design of this exhortation is to direct men how to behave under the instructions given; not as brutes, which have no rational faculties, but as men; that they should not show themselves thoughtless, stupid, and unteachable, as these animals, or worse than they; nor stubborn and obstinate, refractory and untractable, resolving not to be taught, stopping the ear, and pulling away the shoulder; nor ill natured and mischievous; not only hating instruction, casting away the law of the Lord, but kicking and spurning at, and persecuting such who undertake to instruct them; as these creatures sometimes attempt to throw their riders, and, when down, kick at them;

whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near
unto thee;
to do mischief, bite or kick; or "because they do not come near to thee" F20; and that they may come near, and be brought into subjection, and become obedient; therefore such methods are used; see ( James 3:3 ) ; there is in the words a tacit intimation, that men are commonly, and for the most part, like these creatures, stupid, stubborn, and mischievous; and therefore severe methods are used by the Lord, sore chastenings, to humble and instruct them; see ( Jeremiah 31:18 Jeremiah 31:19 ) ; the mule, more especially, is remarkable for its stupidity F21; and though the horse is docile, yet he is sometimes stubborn and refractory.


F20 (Kyla brq lb) "quia non accedunt ad te", Grotius.
F21 "Mule, nihil sentis----", Catullus.
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