Proverbs 30:22

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For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat.
– Proverbs 30:22

[T]his saying gives the first circumstances that upset order. The word for servant means slave, or bondslave. The word for reigneth means to bear rule, or become a king. One of the motifs of wisdom literature is the wisdom reversal—the wise slave comes to the inheritance over the foolish son (Proverbs 17:2). That is a positive reversal, while the first line here is the negative mirror of the positive reversal. It refers to the promotion of fools (Proverbs 19:10). The upsetting situation is one who comes to position and power and it goes to his head. We might’ve said growing up, “He’s gotten too big for his britches.”

The second line refers to a fool, using the word nabal. It only occurs three times in Proverbs, but it adds to the picture of the fool painted by wisdom. Outside Proverbs, this fool is closeminded and unapproachable (1 Samuel 25:17), and has no appetite for wisdom seeing he has refused the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Psalms 14:1). The fool’s being full makes him doubly overbearing.

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