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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 26:6

 

 

He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Cutteth off the feet - Sending by such a person is utterly useless. My old MS. Bible translates well: Halt in feet and drinking wickednesse that sendith wordis bi a foole messager. Nothing but lameness in himself can vindicate his sending it by such hands; and, after all, the expedient will be worse than the total omission, for he is likely to drink wickedness, i.e., the mischief occasioned by the fool's misconduct. Coverdale nearly hits the sense as usual: "He is lame of his fete, yee dronken is he in vanite, that committeth eny thinge to a foole."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-26.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Cutteth off the feet - Mutilates him, spoils the work which the messenger ought to fulfill.

Drinketh damage - i. e., “has to drink full draughts of shame and loss” (compare Job 15:16).


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-26.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool,.... Who knows not how to deliver it in a proper manner, and is incapable of taking the answer, and reporting it as he should; or unfaithful in it, and brings a bad or false report, as the spies did upon the good land;

cutteth off the feet; he may as well cut off his feet before he sends him, or send a man without feet, as such an one; for prudence, diligence, and faithfulness in doing a message, and bringing back the answer, are as necessary to a messenger as his feet are;

and drinketh damage; to himself; his message not being rightly performed, and business not done well; which is a loss to the sender, as well as to his credit and reputation with the person to whom he sends him; he hereby concluding that he must be a man of no great judgment and sense to send such a fool on his errand. Such are the unskilful ambassadors of princes; and such are unfaithful ministers, the messengers of the churches; see Proverbs 10:26. The words in the original are three sentences, without a copulative, and stand in this order, "he that cutteth off feet; he that drinketh damage; he that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool"; that is, they are alike.


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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 26:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-26.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off c the feet, d [and] drinketh damage.

(c) That is, of the messenger whom he sends.

(d) That is, receives damage by it.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-26.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

A fool fails by folly as surely as if he were maimed.

drinketh damage — that is, gets it abundantly (Job 15:16; Job 34:7).


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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 26:6". "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

6 He cutteth off the feet, he drinketh injury,

Who transacteth business by a fool.

He cutteth off, i.e. , his own feet, as we say: he breaks his neck, il se casse le cou ; Lat. frangere brachium, crus, coxam; frangere navem (Fleischer). He thinks to supplement his own two legs by those of the messenger, but in reality he cuts them off; for not only is the commission not carried out, but it is even badly carried out, so that instead of being refreshed (Proverbs 13:17; Proverbs 25:13) by the quick, faithful execution of it, he has to swallow nothing but damage; cf. Job 34:7, where, however, drinking scorn is meant of another (lxx), not his own; on the contrary, חמס here refers to injury suffered (as if it were חמדו , for the suff. of חמס is for the most part objective); cf. the similar figures Proverbs 10:26. So שׁלח בּיד , to accomplish anything by the mediation of another, cf. Exodus 4:13; with דבר ( דברים ), 2 Samuel 15:36. The reading מקצּה (Jerome, Luther, claudus ) is unnecessary; since, as we saw, מקצּה ,was ew includes it in the sibi . The Syr. reads, after the lxx (the original text of which was ἐκ τῶν ποδῶν ἑαυτοῦ ), מקצה , for he errs, as also does the Targumist, in thinking that מקצה can be used for מקצץ ; but Hitzig adopts this reading, and renders: “from the end of the legs he swallows injury who sends messages by a fool.” The end of the legs are the feet, and the feet are those of the foolish messenger. The proverb in this form does not want in boldness, but the wisdom which Hitzig finds in its is certainly not mother-wit.

(Note: The Venet . translates שׁתה by ἄνους , so שׁטה (the post-bibl. designation of a fool) - one of the many indications that this translator is a Jew, and as such is not confined in his knowledge of language only to the bibl. Hebrew.)

Böttcher, on his part, also with מקצה , renders: “from the end of his feet he drinks in that which is bitter...” - that also is too artificial, and is unintelligible without the explanation of its discoverer. But that he who makes a fool his messenger becomes himself like unto one who cuts off his own legs, is a figure altogether excellent.


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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 26:6". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-26.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

Cutteth off the feet — Of his messenger; bids one go that wants legs.

Drinketh — Drinking, in scripture, frequently denotes the plentiful doing or receiving of any thing.


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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
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-26.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 26:6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, [and] drinketh damage.

Ver. 6. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool.] The worth of a faithful messenger he had set forth; [Proverbs 15:13] here, the discommodity of a foolish one - such as were the spies Moses sent. [Numbers 13:1-33; Numbers 14:1-38] So when the prophet proves a fool, and the "spiritual man is mad," [Hosea 9:7] things go on as heavily as if feet were wanting to a traveller, or as if a messenger had lost his legs.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-26.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 26:6. He that sendeth a message Schultens renders this, He that cutteth off the feet, he that drinketh down bitterness, he that sendeth commands by the hand of a fool, are equal: That is, there is the same simplicity in the one as in the other of these actions: The two former expressions are intended to exaggerate the latter; and the meaning of the proverb is, "He that employs a fool to execute his commands, does himself the greater injury, and will bring upon himself the greatest uneasiness." The Syriac reads, He drinketh iniquity from under his feet, who sendeth a message by a fool. The proverbial turn of the expression renders it extremely difficult to be understood.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-26.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool, he that employeth a fool upon any important errand or business which is too hard for him,

cutteth off the feet, to wit, of his messenger; he bids one go that wants legs; he sends one who wants that discretion, which is as necessary for that employment as legs are for going.

Drinketh damage; he bringeth upon himself abundance of loss and mischief, not only spoiling that business about which he sends him, but making himself contemptible to the person to whom he sends him, and to others with him, as if he had not common prudence to choose a fit messenger, and giving occasion, by the folly of his messenger, to further misunderstandings, and jealousies, and inconveniences. For the phrase, we may observe that drinking in Scripture frequently notes the plentiful doing or receiving of any thing, as they who multiply sins are said to drink iniquity like water, Job 15:16 34:7; and they who are greatly afflicted are commonly said to drink the cup.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". 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

6. Cutteth off the feet — That is, of himself, as explained by the following clause.

Drinketh damage — A man that employs a fool in his business cripples himself. Comp. Proverbs 10:26; Proverbs 25:13.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "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 26:6. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool — He that employs a fool upon any important business, which is too hard for him; cutteth off the feet — Namely, of his messenger: he bids one go that wants legs; he sends one that wants discretion, which is as necessary for that employment as legs are for running or walking; and drinketh damage — Brings upon himself abundance of loss and mischief, not only spoiling the business about which he sends him, but making himself contemptible to the person to whom he sends him, and to others with him, as if he had not common prudence to choose a fit messenger, and giving occasion, by the folly of his messenger, to further misunderstandings, jealousies, and inconveniences. Drinking, it must be observed, in the Scriptures, frequently signifies the doing or receiving of any thing plentifully, as they who multiply sins are said to drink iniquity like water, and they who are greatly afflicted are commonly said to drink the cup of sorrow.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-26.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Iniquity. He is exposed to shame, (Septuagint) and must condemn his own folly. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-26.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sendeth a message: or, transacteth business.

Cutteth off the feet: i.e. his own feet = renders himself helpless.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "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 sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

He that sendeth a message by ... a fool cutteth off the feet (of himself: i:e., deprives himself of the power of motion and action; thwarts himself, so that he cannot succeed in his affairs), (and) drinketh damage - incurs an accumulation of damage (cf. "drinketh," Job 15:16; Proverbs 4:17). The "feet" represent a support, in Job 29:15. He who sends a message by a fool deprives himself of the support which a wise messenger would have afforded him. He deprives his message of the support which it would have had if he had gone on his own "feet." Not only so, but he fills himself with damage, like a thirsty man drinking poison eagerly, which he mistakes for wholesome drink. As Proverbs 26:4 taught not to answer a fool, so this verse, not to address another through a fool. What "damage" the hearers 'drink' to whom the Gospel message is delivered by a ministerial "fool" (contrast 2 Corinthians 5:20.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "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

(6) Cutteth off the feet.—He wants his business done, but if he sends a fool to do it, he might as well cut off his messenger’s legs, for the business will not be transacted; nay, worse than this, he will “drink damage,” i.e., suffer positive mischief from the blundering of his emissary.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-26.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
sendeth
10:26; 13:17; 25:13; Numbers 13:31
damage
or, violence.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-26.html.

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