5:4 His children are far 1 from safety,
and they are crushed 2 at the place where judgment is rendered, 3
nor is there anyone to deliver them. 4
20:10 His sons must recompense 5 the poor;
his own hands 6 must return his wealth.
1 tn The imperfect verbs in this verse describe the condition of the accursed situation. Some commentators follow the LXX and take these as jussives, making this verse the curse that the man pronounced upon the fool. Rashi adds “This is the malediction with which I have cursed him.” That would make the speaker the one calling down the judgment on the fool rather than responding by observation how God destroyed the habitation of the fool.
2 tn The verb יִדַּכְּאוּ (yiddakkÿ’u) could be taken as the passive voice, or in the reciprocal sense (“crush one another”) or reflexive (“crush themselves”). The context favors the idea that the children of the foolish person will be destroyed because there is no one who will deliver them.
3 tn Heb “in the gate.” The city gate was the place of both business and justice. The sense here seems to fit the usage of gates as the place of legal disputes, so the phrase “at the place of judgment” has been used in the translation.
4 tn The text simply says “and there is no deliverer.” The entire clause could be subordinated to the preceding clause, and rendered simply “without a deliverer.”
5 tn The early versions confused the root of this verb, taking it from רָצַץ (ratsats, “mistreat”) and not from רָצָה (ratsah, “be please with”). So it was taken to mean, “Let inferiors destroy his children.” But the verb is רָצָה (ratsah). This has been taken to mean “his sons will seek the favor of the poor.” This would mean that they would be reduced to poverty and need help from even the poor. Some commentators see this as another root רָצָה (ratsah) meaning “to compensate; to restore” wealth their father had gained by impoverishing others. This fits the parallelism well, but not the whole context that well.
6 tn Some commentators are surprised to see “his hands” here, thinking the passage talks about his death. Budde changed it to “his children,” by altering one letter. R. Gordis argued that “hand” can mean offspring, and so translated it that way without changing anything in the text (“A note on YAD,” JBL 62 : 343).