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Mishlei Appendix 04 – Anger

Mishlei Appendix 04 – Anger



The anger of a fool becomes known on the same day,
but a clever man covers up disgrace

[Mishlei 12-16] Consequence. The emotion of anger is aroused when a person feels a threat to his sense of self, that is, when he feels belittled by the words or actions of another.  However, the very act of displaying anger has the effect of bringing shame upon him and diminishing his stature in the eyes of others.

A wise man is fearful and avoids evil,
but a foolish man becomes angry and is confident.

[Mishlei 14-16] Forbearance. A person with sufficient forbearance doesn’t let himself be provoked into anger, no matter how frustrated he is by someone elses’s behavior. It takes a wise person indeed to realize how much harm can be done through unrestrained anger and how easy it is to feel the frustration that can trigger resentment.

A king’s anger is like angels of death;
but a wise man will pacify it.”

[Mishlei 16-14] Royal. The problems that anger causes in an ordinary man are multiplied if his position in society gives him authority and power. This would be the case for a king, employer, or judge. For such a man there are higher expectation of being respected and a lower threshold of the frustration that triggers anger. Furthermore, because of his powerful position the unchecked harm that he may cause is all the greater.

A person full of anger is afflicted,
for if you come to the rescue, it will only grow.”

[Mishlei 19-19] Affliction. As evidence of the idea that anger is an unreasonable reaction, the proverb describes what happens when the object of his anger is removed from the scene. Instead of being relieved, the angry person is frustrated. The target of his anger is now no longer there to absorb the force of of his rage. Thus, the rage is bottled up and he gets even more angry.