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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 26:17

 

 

Like one who takes a dog by the ears Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.

Adam Clarke Commentary

He that passeth by - This proverb stands true ninety-nine times out of a hundred, where people meddle with domestic broils, or differences between men and their wives.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-26.html. 1832.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"He that passeth by, and vexes himself with strife not belonging to him, Is like someone that taketh a dog by the ears."

There is no Christian virtue any higher than that of refraining from meddling with other men's quarrels. If one wonders what it is like to take a dog by the ears, he should try it once. He will never try it again! It is the sure way to be bitten by the dog. There might be an exception to this in a small lap dog; but, "The dog in Palestine was not a domesticated animal; and to seize any dog was dangerous."[8]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-26.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him,.... One that going along the streets, and passing by the door, where two or more persons are quarrelling, and he thrusts himself in and intermeddles in the affair he has no concern in; and interests himself in the cause of the quarrel he has nothing to do with, on account of acquaintance, relation, or office; and especially when, instead of being a mediator and peacemaker, he takes on one side, and acts the angry part, as Aben Ezra interprets the word rendered "meddleth"; blows things up into a greater flame, and enrages the one against the other. Such a man

is like one that taketh a dog by the ears; which are short, and difficult to be held, and tender; and therefore cannot bear to be held by them, especially to be pulled and lugged by them, and which is very provoking; and as such a man has work enough to do to hold him, so he is in danger of being bitten by him, at least when he is forced to let go his hold: and so it is with a man that interferes in a quarrel in a furious manner; it is much if one or other of the contending parties do not fall upon him and abuse him. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "as he that holdeth the tail of a dog."


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-26.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

meddleth — as in Proverbs 20:19; Proverbs 24:21; as either holding a dog by the ears or letting him go involves danger, so success in another man‘s strife or failure involves a useless risk of reputation, does no good, and may do us harm.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

A series of proverbs which recommend the love of peace, for they present caricatures of the opposite:

17 He seizeth by the ears of a dog passing by,

Who is excited by a strife which concerns him not.

According to the accentuation in the text, the proverb is to be translated with Fleischer: Qualis est qui prehendit aures canis, talis est qui forte transiens ira abripitur propter rixam alienam ( eique temere se immiscent ). Since he is cautioned against unwarranted interference, the expression מתערב בּדין might have been used (Proverbs 14:10), according to which the Syr. translates; but על־ריב substantiates the originality of מתעבּר ( vid ., Proverbs 14:16; Proverbs 20:2). On the other hand, the placing together, without any connection of the two participles, is perplexing; why not עבר וּמתעבּר ? For it is certainly not meant, that falling into a passion he passes by; but that passing by, he falls into a passion; for he stands to this object. The Targumist, feeling this also, renders עבר in the sense of being angry, but contrary to the usus loq . Wherefore the conjecture of Euchel and Abramsohn commends itself, that עבר belongs to כלב - the figure thereby becomes more distinct. To seize one's own dog by the ear is not dangerous, but it is not advisable to do this with a strange dog. Therefore עבר belongs as a necessary attribute to the dog. The dog accidentally passing by corresponds to the strife to which one stands in no relation ( ריב לא־ול , vid ., regarding the Makkeph , Baer's Genesis , p. 85, not. 9). Whoever is excited to passion about a strife that does not belong to him, is like one who lays hold by the ears (the lxx arbitrarily: by the tail) of a dog that is passing by - to the one or to the other it happens right when he brings evil upon himself thereby.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-26.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

1. That which is here condemned is meddling with strife that belongs not to us. If we must not be hasty to strive in our own cause (Proverbs 25:8), much less in other people's, especially theirs that we are no way related to or concerned in, but light on accidentally as we pass by. If we can be instrumental to make peace between those that are at variance we must do it, though we should thereby get the ill-will of both sides, at least while they are in their heat; but to make ourselves busy in other men's matters, and parties in other men's quarrels, is not only to court our own trouble, but to thrust ourselves into temptation. Who made me a judge? Let them end it, as they began it, between themselves. 2. We are cautioned against it because of the danger it exposes us to; it is like taking a snarling cur by the ears, that will snap at you and bite you; you had better have let him alone, for you cannot get clear of him when you would, and must thank yourselves if you come off with a wound and dishonour. He that has got a dog by the ears, if he lets him go he flies at him, if he keeps his hold, he has his hands full, and can do nothing else. Let every one with quietness work and mind his own business, and not with unquietness quarrel and meddle with other people's business.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

To make ourselves busy in other men's matters, is to thrust ourselves into temptation.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-26.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

He — Who is going upon the way.

With strife — In which he is not concerned, nor any way obliged to meddle.

That taketh — Exposes himself to needless hazard.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-26.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears.

Ver. 17. He that passeth by and meddleth, &c.] Two kind of studies have I always hated, saith one: Studium partium, et studium novarum forum. Study of parts, and study of new markets. They that enter strife without calling, saith another, do commonly hazard themselves into trouble without comfort. This was Jehoshaphat’s folly at Jabeshgilead, and, as some think, Josiah’s when he went up against Pharaohnecho, thinking thereby to ingratiate with the Assyrian, Pharaoh’s professed enemy. It is from idleness usually that men are thus busy in other men’s matters without thank or other benefit, [1 Timothy 5:13 1 Thessalonians 4:11] and therefore this proverb fitly follows the former. Howbeit this is not always true, for charity may move men to interpose for a right understanding and a good accord between disagreeing parties. Neither in this case must a man affect to be held no meddler, since "blessed are the peace makers." And though it be for most part a thankless office - for if a man have two friends he oft loseth one of them - yet our reward is with God; and if, by seeking to part the scuffle, we derive some blows upon ourselves, yet the Euge of a good conscience will salve that well enough. That which is here forbidden is for a man to make himself a party, and maintain one side against another. And yet where it is for God and his truth this may be done too; as when Queen Elizabeth not only sat as umpire between the Spaniard, French, and Hollanders (a) - so as she might well have taken up that saying of her father, Cui adhaereo, praeest, He whom I side with carries it - but afterwards, when she saw her time, undertook the protection of the Netherlanders against the Spaniard, wherein all princes admired her fortitude, and the King of Sweden said that she had now taken the diadem from her head, and set it upon the doubtful chance of war. This was done Anno 1585. (b)

Is like else that taketh a dog by the ears.] Where he loves not to be handled, but about the neck rather. The Dutch have a like proverb, - To take a dog by the tail. The Greeks, - To take a lion by the beard, or a bear by the tooth - to thrust one’s hand into a wasp’s nest - to stir up a scorpion, &c. (c)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-26.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that passeth by; who is going upon the way, and about his business. But this word is by some referred to the last clause, is like

one that taketh a dog by the ears as he is passing by him, without any thought of doing him harm; which agrees very well both with the order of the words in the Hebrew text, and with the matter of the other clause, to which this similitude is referred.

Belonging not to him; in which he is not concerned, nor any way obliged to meddle.

Is like one that taketh a dog by the ears; exposeth himself to great and needless hazards, as a man that causelessly provoketh a mastiff dog against himself.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-26.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. Taketh a dog by the ears — Septuagint: “By the tail.” This is a striking metaphor, representing a difficulty which we cannot get out of without danger and injury. A very forcible caution against unnecessarily intermeddling with other people’s contentions, especially with family quarrels. The Oriental dogs, the most of which have no masters, but run at large, are irritable and fierce. Instead of meddleth with Zockler renders, “Is excited by strife that is not his own.” Conant: “Gets angry.” Stuart: “Rushes into.” Compare Proverbs 20:3, and note there.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-26.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 26:17. He that passeth by — Who is going on the way about his business; and meddleth with strife, &c. — In which he is not concerned, nor any way obliged to meddle; is like one that taketh a dog by the ears — Exposes himself to great and needless hazard, as a man that unnecessarily provoketh a mastiff dog against himself.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-26.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Anger. Hebrew, "passeth by, and meddleth with a quarrel not ot him" pertaining. (Haydock) --- Such expose themselves foolishly to danger. Great discretion is requisite to reconcile those at variance.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-26.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

meddleth = vexeth himself.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-26.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

He that passeth by, (and) meddleth with [or as the Hithpael of `aabar (H5674) means (cf. margin), 'is in a transport of rage with'] strife (belonging) not to him, (is like) one that taketh a dog by the ears. Needless and uncalled for, and especially angry intermeddling with the quarrels of others not only does no good, but brings mischief on the meddler; as if one caught a dog by the ears, and so gotten himself bitten for his pains. On the other hand, wise interposition as a mediator, for the sake of peace, is altogether right.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-26.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Meddleth with strife.—Rather, that is excited with strife. If quarrelling and taking revenge on our own account are forbidden (Romans 12:18-19), how much more is the mixing up of ourselves in the disputes of other persons.

Like one that taketh a dog by the ears.—Who deserves to be bitten for his pains, the usual result of interfering in quarrels.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-26.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
passeth
17:11; 18:6; 20:3; Luke 12:14; 2 Timothy 2:23,24
meddleth
or, is enraged.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-26.html.

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