Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 30:10

Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Servant;   Speaking;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Proverb, the Book of;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Curse;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Agur;   Jakeh;   Massa;   Proverbs, Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Master;   Slander;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Calumny;   Cursing;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Accuse not a servant - Do not bring a false accusation against a servant, lest thou be found guilty of the falsehood, and he curse thee for having traduced his character, and in his turn traduce thine. In general, do not meddle with other people's servants.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-30.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Accuse not a servant - The prayer in Proverbs 30:8 does not shut out, sympathy with those who are less favored. Even the slave has a right to protection against frivolous or needless accusation. Others, however, render the words Make not a slave to accuse his master, i. e., Do not make him discontented with his lot, lest he afterward curse thee for having made it worse than it was.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

AN ISOLATED MAXIM

"Slander not a servant with his master, Lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty."

A slander, of course, is an evil, untruthful saying against someone. Clarke noted that, "The proverb warns against bringing a false accusation against a servant, lest thou be found guilty of the falsehood, and the servant curse thee for traducing his character, and in his turn, traduce thine. A general rule also appears here, `Do not meddle with other people's servants.'"[13]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-30.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Accuse not a servant unto his master,.... Wrongly, rashly, and without any foundation, nor for any trifling thing; unless it be in a case of moment and importance, when his master's business is sadly neglected, or he is injured in his property by him: especially care should be taken not to calumniate a servant, to abuse him with the tongue, as the wordF7אל תלשן "ne crimineris lingua", Montanus. signifies; the circumstance he is in should be considered, as a servant; and how severe masters are apt to be towards them, and therefore little matters should be hid from them; and much less should they be aggravated, and least of all should falsehoods be told of them. So Doeg the Edomite accused David to Saul, and the Pharisees accused the disciples of Christ to their Master, 1 Samuel 22:9; the apostle's advice is good, and agrees with Agur's, Romans 14:4;

lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty; or, "and thou shouldest sin"F8ואשמת "et delinquas", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "q. d. peccabis", Vatablus. ; that is, afterwards; and so the curse come upon thee he has wished for: or the sense is, lest he should curse thee before men, and hurt thy character and reputation; or imprecate a curse from the Lord, which he may suffer to come upon thee for sin. Aben Ezra interprets this of a servant, that flies from Heathen countries to the land of Israel, to be made a proselyte of; who should not be discovered, and returned to his old master.

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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 Rights 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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Accuse not a servant to his master, lest he curse thee, g and thou be found guilty.

(g) In accusing him without cause.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Accuse not — Slander not (Psalm 10:7).

curse  …  guilty — lest, however lowly, he be exasperated to turn on thee, and your guilt be made to appear.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-30.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

10 Calumniate not a servant with his master,

Lest he curse thee, and thou must atone for it.

Incorrectly Ewald: entice not a servant to slander against his master; and Hitzig: “Make not a servant tattle regarding his master.” It is true that the Poel לושׁן (to pierce with the tongue, linguâ petere ) occurs twice in the sense of to calumniate; but that הלשׁין means nothing else, is attested by the post-bibl. Hebrew; the proverb regarding schismatics ( בּרכּת המּינים ) in the Jewish Schemone-Esre (prayer of the eighteen benedictions) began with ולמלשינים, “and to the calumniators” ( delatoribus ). Also in the Arab. âlsana signifies pertulit verba alicujus ad alterum , to make a babbler, rapporteur (Fleischer). That the word also here is not to be otherwise interpreted, is to be concluded from אל with the causative rendering. Rightly Symmachus, μὴ διαβάλῃς ; Theodotion, μὴ καταλαλήσῃς ; and according to the sense also, Jerome, ne accuses ; the Venet . μὴ καταμηνύσῃς (give not him); on the contrary, Luther, verrate nicht [betray not], renders הלשׁין with the lxx, Syr. in the sense of the Aram. אשׁלם and the Arab. âslam ( tradere, prodere ). One should not secretly accuse (Psalms 101:5) a servant with his master, and in that lies the character of slander ( לשׁון הרע ) when one puts suspicion upon him, or exaggerates the actual facts, and generally makes the person suspected - one thereby makes a man, whose lot in itself is not a happy one, at length and perhaps for ever unhappy, and thereby he brings a curse on himself. But it is no matter of indifference to be the object of the curse of a man whom one has unrighteously and unjustly overwhelmed in misery: such a curse is not without its influence, for it does not fruitlessly invoke the righteous retribution of God, and thus one has sorrowfully to atone for the wanton sins of the tongue ( veaschāmta, for ve - aschamtá as it is would be without pause).

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-30.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

Accuse not — Without sufficient cause: for otherwise, in some cases this may be a duty.

Curse thee — Desire God to punish thee.

Guilty — By God, who is ready to plead the cause of the afflicted.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-30.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 30:10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

Ver. 10. Accuse not a servant unto his master.] Unless it be in an ordinance, for the benefit of both. Much less may we falsely accuse wives to their husbands - as Stephen Gardiner and other courtparasites did King Henry VIII his wives to him of adultery, heresy, conspiracy, &c.; children to their parents - as the Jesuits, the Pope’s bloodhounds, did Charles, eldest son of Philip, King of Spain, for suspicion of heresy, whereupon he was murdered by the cruel Inquisition; one friend to another; a sin that David could not endure; [Psalms 101:5] and Christ, the Son of David, as deeply disliked it in the Pharisees, those mischief makers, that by accusing his disciples to him one while, and him to his disciples another while, sought to make a breach in his family, by setting off the one from the other.

Lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.] Lest to cry quittance with thee he rip up thy faults, such as it will be for thy shame, -

“Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli.”

He that speaketh what he should not, shall hear of what he would not. Put them in mind to speak evil of no man falsely and rashly, without cause and necessity. And why? "For we ourselves also" - even I Paul, and thou Titus - "were sometimes foolish, disobedient," &c., [Titus 3:1-3] and may haply hear of it to our shame and sorrow, if we irritate others thereunto by way of recrimination.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-30.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 30:10. Accuse not a servant unto his master Do not abuse any poor slave, whose condition is wretched enough; and therefore rather excuse than aggravate his fault to his master, who perhaps is too rigorous; and be sure never to load him with unjust accusations, lest, being wronged by thee, and not knowing how to right himself, he appeal to the Lord, and pray him to punish thee; and thou, being found guilty, feel the heavy effects of his vengeance. See Bishop Patrick.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-30.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Accuse not a servant, to wit, maliciously, rashly, or without just and sufficient cause; for otherwise, in some cases, this may be not only lawful, but a duty, as when a servant lives wickedly, or robs his master, or the like,

A servant; whose condition is in itself mean and miserable, and therefore thou shouldst not make it worse without great and apparent necessity.

Curse thee; desire God to curse and punish thee, which though it may be sinful in him, yet being deserved by thee, thou hast reason to fear and expect.

Be found guilty by God, who is ready to plead the cause of the afflicted, and upon strict search shall find thee guilty, and punish thee accordingly.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Accuse not a servant’ master — It is not entirely certain that our Authorized Version gives the sense here. Stuart, Zockler, and others render: “Thou shalt not cause a servant to slander his master, lest he should curse thee,” etc. Literally rendered, the first clause might read, Do not incite a servant to tongue (be-tongue or tongue-lash) his master.

Lest he — It cannot be determined from the construction whether this refers to the servant or to the master. Conant translates “Slander not a servant to his master,” and refers the latter clause to the master. Miller: “Give not tongue service, as a servant to his master;” giving it, of course, a spiritual sense, as does also Ewald. The word translated accuse is found only once elsewhere, Psalms 101:5, and is there read slandereth. The Septuagint has, “Deliver not a servant to his master, lest,” etc.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-30.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

It is unwise to meddle in the domestic affairs of other people. The case in point in this couplet is falsely accusing a slave to his master. Probably "he" ( Proverbs 30:10 b) refers to the master. The slave might never discover that someone had slandered him, but it is more likely that the master would investigate the charge and discover it false.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-30.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 30:10. Accuse not a servant unto his master — Without sufficient cause, for otherwise, in some cases, this may be a duty. As if he had said, A servant’s condition is in itself mean and miserable, and therefore thou shouldest not make it worse without great and apparent necessity. Lest he curse thee — Desire God to punish thee, which, though it might be sinful in him, yet, being deserved by thee, thou wouldst have reason to fear and expect; and thou be found guilty — By God, who is always ready to plead the cause of the afflicted.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-30.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Accuse. Septuagint, "deliver not" to an idolater, Deuteronomy xxiii. 15. (Rabbins) --- Servant. Add not to his affliction. (Worthington) --- We must suppose that the accusation is frivolous or false. (Lyranus) --- A servant may do a person much injury: but this ought not to deter the other from performing what justice and charity require.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-30.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

Accuse not (literally, attack not with the tongue) a servant unto his master (for the servant, or slave, being already in an afflicted condition, thou wouldest be adding affliction to affliction),

Lest he (the slave) curse thee, and thou be found guilty - his curse involving thee in guilt before God. So in the case of all that are afflicted, the widow and the fatherless (Exodus 22:22-24). But when conscience requires faithfulness in exposing sin, there the servant's delinquency is to be told to the master (Genesis 21:25). It is only false or trivial charges that are censured. Love enjoins silence where faithfulness does not require us to accuse.

A generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother - to whom children owe so much, and whom they ought to honour next to God. Ingratitude and contumacy. No provocation of a parent excuses the child who curses him-a sin punished capitally, as was blasphemy toward the Divine Father (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Accuse not a servant—i.e., a slave, thus making his already hard life still more intolerable.

And thou be found guilty before God of having wronged him, and so have to bear the punishment.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
Accuse not
Heb. Hurt not with thy tongue.
24:23; Deuteronomy 23:15; 1 Samuel 22:9,10; 24:9; 26:19; 30:15; 2 Samuel 16:1-4; 2 Samuel 19:26,27; Daniel 3:8-18; 6:13,24; Romans 14:4
lest
11:26; 24:24; 28:27; Deuteronomy 15:9; 2 Chronicles 24:22-24
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-30.html.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Slander not a servant to his master, accuse him not in small matters, to make mischief.

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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 30:10". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-30.html. 1706.