Proverbs 26:2

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying,.... As a bird, particularly the sparrow, as the word {h} is sometimes rendered, leaves its nest and wanders from it; and flies here and there, and settles nowhere; and as the swallow flies to the place from whence it came; or the wild pigeon, as some {i} think is meant, which flies away very swiftly: the swallow has its name in Hebrew from liberty, because it flies about boldly and freely, and makes its nest in houses, to which it goes and comes without fear;

so the curse causeless shall not come; the mouths of fools or wicked men are full of cursing and bitterness, and especially such who are advanced above others, and are set in high places; who think they have a right to swear at and curse those below them, and by this means to support their authority and power; but what signify their curses which are without a cause? they are vain and fruitless, like Shimei's cursing David; they fly away, as the above birds are said to do, and fly over the heads of those on whom they are designed to light; yea, return and fall upon the heads of those that curse, as the swallow goes to the place from whence it came; it being a bird of passage, Jeremiah 8:7; in the winter it flies away and betakes itself to some islands on rocks called from thence "chelidonian" {k}. According to the "Keri", or marginal reading, for here is a double reading, it may be rendered, "so the curse causeless shall come to him" {l}; that gives it without any reason. The Septuagint takes in both,

"so a vain curse shall not come upon any;''

what are all the anathemas of the church of Rome? who can curse whom God has not cursed? yea, such shall be cursed themselves; see

Ps 109:17.

{h} rwpuk "sicat passeris", Mercerus, Gejerus; "ut passer", Piscator; Schultens.
{i} Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 8.
{k} Vid. Strabo. Geograph. l. 14. p. 458. Dionys. Perieg. v. 506, 507.
{l} wl "in quempiam", V. L.