The Meaning of Proverbs 20:2 Explained

Proverbs 20:2

KJV: The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

YLT: The fear of a king is a growl as of a young lion, He who is causing him to be wroth is wronging his soul.

Darby: The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion: he that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

ASV: The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion: He that provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own life.

What does Proverbs 20:2 Mean?

Context Summary

Proverbs 20:1-15 - Sobriety Industry Honesty
Strong drink is the greatest of all foes to human happiness. It gains an influence over men by fair promises, but when once it is entrenched, it mocks at the misery of its abject slave. It promises strength for the arm, joy for the heart, brilliance for the mind; but those fair promises are not kept, and the end is impotence, misery, and imbecility. Let each reader of these words henceforth utterly abjure it!
The sluggard is depicted throughout this book to stir us to diligent industry. After all, it is not by great gifts but by patient persistence that men succeed. Indeed, the highest genius is left behind by the careful plodder, if the one lacks and the other possesses this invaluable quality. "Diligent in business, serving the Lord."
All our life lies open to the eye of God. He is closely acquainted with the transactions of the bank, the office, the ledger, and the weights in the store. No lapse from perfect honesty escapes his notice; and for every act of deception there is an inevitable Nemesis. [source]

Chapter Summary: Proverbs 20

1  Proper Living

What do the individual words in Proverbs 20:2 mean?

The roaring of [is] like a lion the fear of a king [Whoever] provokes him to anger sins [against] his own life
נַ֣הַם כַּ֭כְּפִיר אֵ֣ימַת מֶ֑לֶךְ מִ֝תְעַבְּר֗וֹ חוֹטֵ֥א נַפְשֽׁוֹ

נַ֣הַם  The  roaring 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: נַהַם  
Sense: growling, roaring.
כַּ֭כְּפִיר  of  [is]  like  a  lion 
Parse: Preposition-k, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: כְּפִיר 
Sense: young lion.
אֵ֣ימַת  the  fear 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: אֵימָה 
Sense: terror, dread.
מֶ֑לֶךְ  of  a  king 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
מִ֝תְעַבְּר֗וֹ  [Whoever]  provokes  him  to  anger 
Parse: Verb, Hitpael, Participle, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: עָבַר 
Sense: to pass over or by or through, alienate, bring, carry, do away, take, take away, transgress.
חוֹטֵ֥א  sins 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: חָטָא 
Sense: to sin, miss, miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, forfeit, purify from uncleanness.
נַפְשֽׁוֹ  [against]  his  own  life 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: נֶפֶשׁ  
Sense: soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion.