Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 30:31

The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dog (Sodomite?);   Greyhound;   Riddle;   Thompson Chain Reference - Animals;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Proverb, the Book of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Greyhound;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Goat;   Greyhound;   Wrestling;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Birds;   Cock;   Greyhound;   Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Agur;   Cock;   Dog;   Goat;   Jakeh;   Massa;   Proverb;   Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cock-Crowing ;   Oration;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Greyhound;   Proverbs, Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Greyhound;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Greyhound,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Reyhound;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dog;   Goat;   Hunting;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Cock;   Dog;   Goat;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

A greyhound - The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament. The literal meaning is: “one with loins girded;” and some have referred this to the stripes of the zebra, others to the “war-horse” (compare Job 39:19, Job 39:25), as he is represented in the sculptures of Persepolis, with rich and stately trappings.

A king, against whom there is no rising up - i. e., A king irresistible. Others prefer, “a king in the midst of his people,” and the sense, as giving a more vivid picture, is certainly more satisfactory.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

A greyhound,.... So Gersom interprets the word; but Jarchi owns he does not know what is meant; and Aben Ezra only says, it is the name of a living creature, but does not say what; but observes, that some interpret it of the "bee", and others of the "eagle". The words of the original text only describe something "girt about the loins"F15זרזיר מחנים "accinctus lumbis equus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cartwright, Glassius, Bochart, Buxtorf; "infibulatus lumbos equus", Schultens. : and KimchiF16Sepher. Shorash. in voce זרזיר. observes, that some say it is a hunting dog so called, because it is thin about the loins, as if it was bound and girt; and AristotleF17De Physiognom. c. 6. describes hunting dogs as well girded about their loins: but others, as Kimchi in the same place observes, interpret it of the leopard, which is small, and strong in its loins; and others of a bird called the starling; but he owns he cannot understand the meaning of its loins being girt: David de PomisF18Lexic. fol. 28. 1. interprets it of a cock; others, he says, interpret it a hunting dog; others, a leopard; and some, a species of an unclean bird; perhaps he means the starling, as before; and so the word is used for that bird in the TalmudF19T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 92. 2. , and in the Arabic languageF20Golius, col. 1092. . Most likely the "horse" is meant; which is a very stately and majestic creature in its going, and is very comely when it has its harness girt on; and especially a war horse, with all its warlike accoutrements, when it proceeds to battle, and stalks on in it; this creature, one should think, could not be omitted among the four, which is described in so magnificent a manner in Job 39:19; and is called the goodly horse in the battle, Zechariah 10:3; unless a fine slender bodied race horse should be meant: the horse bids fairer than any other creature named to be what is designed. The third creature follows, which goes well, and is comely in going:

an he goat also; which with its long beard walks very gravely, and in a stately manner, before the flock; and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions add, "going before the flock"; see Jeremiah 50:8. This stately walk of the goat is very particularly taken notice of by, AelianF21De Animal. l. 7. c. 26. ; he observes, that the she goat disdains to be last in a flock of sheep, but declares by her walk that she ought to be first; he adds, that the he goat goes before the she goats, glorying in his beard; and, by a kind of wonderful instinct in nature, judges the male is to be preferred to the femaleF23"Dux pecoris hircus, duxerat hircus oves", Tibullus, l. 2. Eleg. 1. v. 58. . Kings, rulers, and governors, are compared to this creature; as Alexander the great is in Daniel 8:5; see Zechariah 10:3; especially such resemble it who rule well, and set good examples to their subjects: and to such, ministers of the Gospel are like; who go before their flocks, guide and direct them, and are examples to them: and likewise all believers; who strive to go before others in good works, and who then are comely in their going. The fourth is,

and a king, against whom there is no rising up; no insurrection, no opposition; who is not to be resisted or withstood; a lawful king, in the lawful administration of government, who rules in the fear of God, and according to his word, and the good and wholesome laws of a nation, ought not to be resisted, Romans 13:1; and a powerful, successful, and victorious king cannot be resisted, withstood, and prevailed over; he drives all before him, and subdues all under him, as David, Cyrus, Alexander, and others. But to none can this better be applied than to Christ, the King of kings; against whom there is no rising, before whom none can stand, against whom the gates of hell can never prevail; who, even in his state of humiliation, conquered and subdued all his and our enemies; destroyed the tyrant, sin; spoiled Satan, and his principalities and powers; overcame the world; abolished death, the last enemy; and delivered his people out of the hands of all, and made them more than conquerors: and who went forth in the ministry of the Gospel, into the Gentile world, conquering and to conquer; bearing down all opposition before him, and subduing the people under him; and who, in the latter day, will engage with his antichristian enemies, the beast, false prophet, and kings of the earth, and shall overcome them, and clear the world of them. And this is King who is comely in his going; as he was in his goings of old from everlasting; when he drew nigh to his divine. Father, and became the surety of his people; and in his coming into this world, by the assumption of our nature, to save lost perishing sinners: and so he is in his spiritual visits to his saints; in his goings in the sanctuary, and walks he takes amidst the golden candlesticks, his churches; as he will be also when he comes a second time in the clouds of heaven: it will be a glorious appearing; he will come with all the saints, and be attended with his mighty angels; he will come in their glory, in his own, and in the glory of his Father; and will be comely in his going indeed it will be with great stateliness and majesty. The learned Dr. PocockeF24Specimen. Arab. Hist. p. 203. So "kuma" is used for people in the Alcoran, Surat. Joseph. v. 9. , from the use of the word "alkum" in the Arabic language, renders the words thus, "and a king with whom the people is"; who agree together; the one rules well, and the other obey cheerfully; such a king walking with majesty is comely to his people, and terrible to his enemies. The Targum is,

"and a king, who stands and speaks in the house of his people.'

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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 30:31". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-30.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

An he-goat — Which marches in the head of the flock in a grave and stately manner, conducting them with great courage and resolution, and being ready to fight for them, either with beasts or men that oppose him.

A king — Heb. a king and his people with him, a king when he hath the hearts and hands of his people going along with him in his undertakings.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-30.html. 1765.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 30:31. A greyhound, &c.— Houbigant renders it, A cock who erects himself in his walking; a he-goat, who marches before the flock; a king, who goeth forth, his retinue attending. See his note.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". 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

A greyhound, called in Hebrew, girt in the lions; either because its loins are slender, and as it were girt up into a little compass, and tight or well trussed up: or because of its great agility and swiftness; for the girding of the loins was used for expedition in going or working. Or, as it is rendered by others a horse, to wit, a war-horse, having his armour girt about him, and marching to the battle, which he doth with great majesty and courage, as God himself observes at large, Job 39:19, &c.

An he-goat; which marcheth in the head of the flock in grave and stately manner, conducting them with great courage and resolution, and being ready to fight for them, either with beasts or men that oppose him; whence great captains are oft compared to he-goats, as Isaiah 14:9 Jer 1 8 Da 8:5,21 Zec 10:3.

A king, against whom there is no rising up; a mighty and victorious king, whose power none can withstand, who therefore goeth hither and thither, and proceedeth in his affairs with invincible courage and majesty. But this place, with the variation of one Hebrew point, reading ammo for immo, may be rendered, as a very learned man observes, a king, and his people with him; a king when he hath the hearts and hands of his people going along with him in his undertakings.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". 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

Loins. It rules, and is even terrible to lions. (Pliny x. 21.) --- The terms of the original are found nowhere else, and some understand the horse, the bee, and a soldier in arms. (Calmet) --- Whom. Hebrew, "and Alkum with him." (Montanus) --- But we know no animal or king of this name;; and it may imply, "in the midst of his court," or "assembly." (Chaldean) Some Latin copies read, Et Rex, nec est qui resistat ei, (Sixtus V.) which is more conformable to the Hebrew, (Calmet) and is here translated, though the Vulgate read, Nec est rex qui, &c. These four emblems (Haydock) denote fortitude, chastity, order, and justice.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "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

A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

A greyhound - Hebrew, one girt in the loins. Gesenius explains a war horse with its ornamental trappings on the loins, such as are depicted in the carvings at Persepolis, 'an accoutred chariot horse' (Martial, 14: 86; Bochart, 'Hierozoica,' 1: 103; cf. Job 39:19-25). The Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic Septuagint, and Vulgate take it, 'a cock;' not probably; as 'girt in the loins' thus has no sense. Kimchi, supports the English version, "a greyhound." having compressed loins. Maurer, 'a wrestler,' whose loins are girt up for the struggle, and whose motion in advancing is the beau ideal of grace, boldness, and firmness. Other, 'the leopard,' somewhat similarly associated with the lion and he-goat in Daniel 7:1-28; Daniel 8:1-27. The sense is doubtful.

An he-goat - the leader of the flock.

A king against whom (there is) no rising up. Pocock, Gesenius, etc., translate the Hebrew, 'alquwm (Hebrew #510), from the Arabic, 'a king with whom is his people.' So the Septuagint Syriac, and Chaldaic. But these old versions doubtless read for 'against whom,' or 'with him' [ `imow (Hebrew #5973)], 'his people' [ `amow (Hebrew #5971)]: and though the Arabic article is found in Hebrew, kum is not found in the sense people. The authority of the Hebrew commentators supports the English version.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "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

(31) A greyhound.—It is very doubtful what animal is meant here as being “girt [i.e., slender] in the loins.” Several have been suggested, e.g., the horse, zebra, cock; but the rendering of the Authorised Version is as probable as any.

A king, against whom there is no rising up.—Who marches with resistless force, trampling on his conquered foes. (Comp. the description of the march of the Assyrians, Isaiah 37:24 sqq.; comp. also Isaiah 63:1 sqq. and Joel 2:2 sqq.) It has been proposed to translate these words also as “a king with whom is [i.e., followed by] his people,” in much the same sense.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
greyhound
or, horse. Heb. girt in the lions. against.
16:14; 20:2; Daniel 3:15-18
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 21:7 - Dost thou now;  Ecclesiastes 8:3 - for;  Ecclesiastes 8:4 - the word;  Jeremiah 50:8 - he goats

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-30.html.