Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Eved Ki Yimloch

Literally: A servant when he reigns
Idiomatically: Beggar on horseback

This is referring to someone from a humble beginning who quickly reaches the height of power. However, this is not a compliment, rather the opposite. The phrase can be found in

Proverbs (30:21-23), and it represents someone who rose suddenly to power but has no training or ability to lead, and will abuse or be corrupted by it.

האדם הזה היה כלום, ושעלה לגדולה, הפך לעבד כי ימלוך.

"Ha'adam hazeh hayah klum, veshe'ala ligdulah, hafach le'evd ki yimloch." The man was nothing, but when he came to power, he became a beggar on horseback.

The English translation can be traced back to the 17th century: "Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride to the devil."

Today he will more than likely be driving a Ferrari.


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