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Proverbs 29:11 - Exposition

A fool uttereth all his mind; his spirit ; רוּחוֹ , i . e . "his anger;" θυμόν , Septuagint (comp. Proverbs 16:32 ). The wording of the second hemistich confirms this rendering. A fool pours out his wrath, restrained by no consideration. It is a wise maxim that says, "Command your temper, lest it command you;" and again, "When passion enters in at the foregate, wisdom goes out at the postern." So we have the word attributed to Evenus Parius—

πολλάκις ἀνθρώπων ὀργὴ νόον ἐξεκάλυψε

κρυπτόμενον μανίας πουλὺ χερειότερον .

"Wrath often hath revealed man's hidden mind,

Than madness more pernicious."

A wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. This clause is capable of more than one explanation. The Authorized Version says that the wise man restrains his own anger till he can give it proper vent. The term בְּאָחוֹר occurs nowhere else, and is rendered "at last," "finally," and by Delitzsch, "within," i . e . in his heart. The verb rendered "keepeth in" ( shabach ) is rather "to calm," "to hush," as in Psalms 65:7 ; Psalms 89:10 , "Which stilleth the noise of the seas." So we have the meaning: The wise man calms the auger within him; according to the proverb, Irae dilatio, mentis pacatio . Or the anger calmed may be that of the fool: The wise man appeases it after it has been exhibited; he knows how to apply soothing remedies to the angry man, and in the end renders him calm and amenable to reason. This seems the most suitable explanation. Septuagint, "A wise man husbands it ( ταμιεύεται ) in part."

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