Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 30:28

The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings' palaces.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Animals;   Industry;   Lizard;   Riddle;   Spider;   Thompson Chain Reference - Insects;   Spider;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Insects;   Palaces;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Proverb, the Book of;   Spider;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Spider;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Fable;   Spider;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Agur;   Jakeh;   Lizard;   Massa;   Proverb;   Proverbs, Book of;   Rock;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   Spider;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Palace;   Spider;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Lizard;   Poison;   Spider;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Insects;   Lizard;   Locust;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Spider - Rather, the Gecko (or Stellio), a genus of the lizard tribe, many species of which haunt houses, make their way through crevices in the walls, and with feet that secrete a venomous exudation catch the spiders or the flies they find there.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The spider taketh hold with her hands,.... On the thread she spins, or on the flies and bees she catches in her web. This is a small creature, yet very wise; what a curious thread does she spin! what a fine web does she weave! with what exactness and proportion is it framed! as if she understood the rules of mathematics and architecture;

and is in kings' palaces; as well as in the houses of poor people, and in temples also; we readF25Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 57. of one in the temple of Ceres, which drew its web over the face of the image: and though her webs are oftentimes destroyed, especially in kings' palaces; yet such is her constancy and assiduity, and her unwearied application to business, that, as fast as they are destroyed, she attempts to restore them. This creature is an emblem of diligence in things temporal and spiritual; which those that use in the former sense shall stand before kings, and not before mean men; and in the latter sense shall have the presence of the King of kings, and dwell in his palace here and hereafter: also of worldly minded men, who labour to be rich; spend their time, and take a great deal of pains for mere trifles; weave curious webs, and, after all, only catch flies; and those they cannot hold, uncertain riches, which make themselves wings and fly away. Likewise this creature may resemble hypocrites, whose hope and trust are as the spider's web, built upon their own righteousness, spun out of their own hearts; a fine, thin, slender thread, which cannot bear one stroke of the besom of divine justice; such as these are in the palaces of Christ the King, are in his churches, hypocrites in Zion; see Job 8:13. Aben Ezra interprets it of the ape: the same David de PomisF26Lexic. fol. 216. 1. observes, and Mr. WeemseF1Exercitat. l. 1. exercitat. 4. p. 31. , who seems to incline to this sense; and this creature King Solomon, no doubt, had in his palace, since his navy brought many of these, every three years, from those parts to which it was sent, 1 Kings 10:22; and to these hands more properly belong than to spiders, and are taken into king's palaces for their pleasure and diversion; but to these there is one objection, that this creature is not a little one. Others understand it of the "lizard", that sort which is called "stellio"; but it is a question whether this is to be found in king's palaces. BelloniusF2Apud Dieteric. Antiqu. Biblio. p. 470. makes mention of a kind of lizard, which creeps into walls and catches flies, and is called by the Greeks "samiamiton", a name very near the Hebrew word here used: and PlinyF3Nat. Hist. l. 3o. c. 10. speaks of the "stellio", or lizard, as being in doors, windows, and chambers; and as a very fraudulent and deceitful creature to men, none more so; and also as poisonous, as this creature in the text by its name seems to be: and AustinF4Confess. l. 10. c. 35. makes mention of the lizard as a domestic animal; which catches flies as the spider, with whom he joins it. The Targum, Jarchi, and Gersom, take it to be the spider, as we do; which may be thought most likely, since the creature here meant seems to have its name from the Arabic word "sam", which signifies poisonF5Golius, col. 1208. Hottinger. Smegin Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 199. ; though it is affirmedF6Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 800. and vol. 5. part. 1. p. 24. the spider is not poisonous; as is well known by persons who have frequently swallowed them, without any more harm than happens to hens, robin red breasts, and other birds, who make them their daily food; and so men have been bit by them, without any ill consequence: wherefore it is still thought by some that the lizard is more probably meant; since some sorts of them are poisonousF7Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 22. c. 25. & l. 29. c. 4. , though not all, for some are eatable; See Gill on Leviticus 11:30.

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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 30:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The spider taketh hold o with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

(o) If man is not able to compass these common things by his wisdom, we cannot attribute wisdom to man, but folly.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

spider — tolerated, even in palaces, to destroy flies.

taketh … hands — or, uses with activity the limbs provided for taking prey.

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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 30:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-30.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

Hands — With her legs, which he calls hands, because they serve her for the same use, to do her work, to weave her web, and to catch gnats or flies.

Palaces — Is not only in poor cottages, but many times in palaces also.

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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-30.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 30:28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

Ver. 28. The spider taketh hold with her hands.] Some render it the ape, and the Hebrew semamith is somewhat like the Latin simia, a creature that is very witty, active, and imitative, taking hold with his hands (such as they are) and doing strange feats; being therefore much in king’s palaces, who delight to look upon them, as Solomon did, for recreation. If we take it for the spider, she doth her work painfully and curiously, spins a finer thread than any woman can do, builds a finer house than any man can do, in manner and form like to the tent of an emperor. This base creature may teach us this wisdom, saith one, not to be bunglers or slubberers in our works, but to be exact in our trades, and labour so to excel therein, that our doings may be commendable and admirable.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-30.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 30:28. The spider The lizard. Schultens, &c.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". 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

The spider taketh hold of the thread which she spins out of her own bowels with her hands; with her legs, which he calls hands, because they serve her for the same purpose, to do her work, to weave her web, and to catch gnats or flies, &c.

Is in kings’ palaces; is not only in poor cottages, but many times in palaces also, where she makes a shift to keep her abode, notwithstanding all the care and pains which is taken to sweep and cleanse it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-30.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The stellio. A kind of house lizard, marked with spots like stars, from whence it has its name. (Challoner) --- Hebrew semamith. (Haydock) --- It probably provides food against the stormy season, like ants. (Bochart) (Calmet) --- Others understand "the spider," (Kimchi) or "monkey." (Vatable, &c.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-30.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

with her hands. So we, by the hand of faith, shall be found in the palace of the King of kings.

kings" palaces = king"s palace.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-30.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. The term here, s

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "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

(28) The spider taketh hold with her hands.—The lizard, rather than the spider, seems to be here intended. As each first line of these four verses is an expression of weakness, it has been proposed to translate thus: “The lizard thou canst catch with the hands, and yet,” etc. (Comp. for this praise of wisdom, Ecclesiastes 9:14 sqq.)

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-30.html. 1905.