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Mishlei 21-24 (Arrogance — Hostility)

Mishlei 21-24

Arrogance – Hostility

Key Concepts

When an evildoer is arrogant and antagonistic, he is considered to be beyond reasonable discussion. He is called a scoffer who mocks the faithful and sins outragiously, to no purpose, because he is angry. Such a person does not limit his antagonism to the language he uses, but will act maliciously and defiantly.

Exploring Mishlei

כד = זֵד יָהִיר לֵץ שְׁמוֹ עוֹשֶׂה בְּעֶבְרַת זָדוֹן

(24) An antagonistic, arrogant man, is considered to be a scoffer.
He acts with malicious hostility

A person may seem to be an evildoer, but he is not considered incorrigible unless he combines within himself the qualities of hostility and arrogance. In that case, he has identified himself as a scoffer, who is impervious to rational argument. He is motivated by hatred and arrogance, so that he cannot be reasoned with. In the end he will do whatever pleases him and mock anyone who disagrees with him.

Learning Mishlei

(24)  An antagonistic manזֵד
who is arrogant,יָהִיר
is considered to be a scoffer.לֵץ שְׁמוֹ
He actsעוֹשֶׂה.
 with hostileבְּעֶבְרַת

Additional Insights

[1] The scoffer is motivated by his passions and cravings. He is angered by anyone who tries to restrain his behaviour. (הגר”א)

[2] The word בְּעֶבְרַת  is derived from the root עבר  (crossed over). Such a man is willing to cross the line of normal human behavior to satisfy his selfish desires. (מלבי”ם)

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