and he could have delivered 2 the city by his wisdom,
but no one listened 3 to that poor man.
9:17 The words of the wise are heard in quiet,
more than the shouting of a ruler is heard 7 among fools.
1 tn Heb “was found in it”; the referent (the city) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Or “he delivered.” The verb וּמִלַּט (umillat, from מָלַט, malat, “to deliver”) is functioning either in an indicative sense (past definite action: “he delivered”) or in a modal sense (past potential: “he could have delivered”). The literal meaning of זָכַר (zakhar, “to remember”) in the following line harmonizes with the indicative: “but no one remembered that poor man [afterward].” However, the modal is supported by v. 16: “A poor man’s wisdom is despised; no one ever listens to his advice.” This approach must nuance זָכַר (“to remember”) as “[no one] listened to [that poor man].” Most translations favor the indicative approach: “he delivered” or “he saved” (KJV, RSV, NRSV, NAB, ASV, NASB, MLB, NIV); however, some adopt the modal nuance: “he might have saved” (NEB, NJPS, NASB margin).
3 tn Heb “remembered.”
4 tn Or “power.”
5 tn The participle form נִשְׁמָעִים (nishma’im, Niphal participle mpl from שָׁמַע, “to listen”) is used verbally to emphasize a continual, durative, gnomic action.
6 tn Heb “his words are never listened to.”
7 tn The phrase “is heard” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness. Note its appearance in the previous line.