10:1 The Proverbs of Solomon:
but the one who sleeps 19 during the harvest
is a son who brings shame to himself. 20
but the one who behaves perversely 35 will be found out.
and the one who speaks foolishness 39 will come to ruin.
but love covers all transgressions. 46
but the one who rejects 66 rebuke goes astray.
and so is wisdom for the one who has discernment. 90
but the righteous are an everlasting foundation. 96
so is the sluggard to those 98 who send him.
but the expectation of the wicked will remain unfulfilled. 104
10:30 The righteous will never be moved,
but the wicked will not inhabit the land. 110
but the speech 117 of the wicked is perverse.
but an accurate weight 120 is his delight.
but the crookedness of the unfaithful destroys them. 127
but righteousness delivers from mortal danger. 129
but the wicked person will fall by his own wickedness. 131
and the wicked turns up in his stead. 139
but by knowledge 143 the righteous will be delivered.
when the wicked perish, there is joy.
but the one who is trustworthy 155 conceals a matter.
but there is success 157 in the abundance of counselors.
but a cruel person brings himself trouble. 168
11:28 The one who trusts in his riches will fall,
but the one who hates reproof is stupid. 228
12:2 A good person obtains favor from the Lord,
but a righteous root 233 cannot be moved.
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 239
but the words 242 of the upright will deliver them.
but the righteous household 245 will stand.
but the one who has a twisted mind 248 is despised.
than one who pretends to be somebody important 251 yet has no food.
but even the most compassionate acts 253 of the wicked are cruel.
but the righteous person escapes out of trouble. 263
but the one who listens to advice is wise. 270
but those who promote peace 287 have joy.
but the wicked are filled with calamity. 290
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
but personal possessions 310 are precious to the diligent.
12:28 In the path of righteousness there is life,
but another path leads to death. 311
but a scoffer 314 does not listen to rebuke.
but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied. 327
but the wicked person acts in shameful disgrace. 329
but wickedness 332 overthrows the sinner.
but the poor person hears no threat. 338
but wisdom is with the well-advised. 345
but a fool displays 372 his folly.
but the one who accepts reproof is honored. 380
13:19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools abhor 381 turning away from evil.
but a companion of fools suffers harm. 383
but prosperity rewards the righteous. 385
but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous. 389
but it is swept away by injustice. 391
but the belly of the wicked lacks food. 399
but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
but the one who is perverted in his ways 404 despises him.
but the words 408 of the wise protect them.
14:4 Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean,
but an abundant harvest is produced by strong oxen. 409
but understanding is easy 415 for a discerning person.
but the folly of fools is deception. 422
but among the upright there is favor. 425
but the tent 430 of the upright will flourish.
but its end is the way that leads to death. 432
but a good person will be rewarded 438 for his.
but the shrewd person discerns his steps. 440
but those who love the rich are many.
14:21 The one who despises his neighbor sins,
but whoever is kind to the needy is blessed.
but the folly 462 of fools is folly.
and it will be a refuge 469 for his children.
14:29 The one who is slow to anger has great understanding,
but whoever shows favor 487 to the needy honors him.
14:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning;
but sin is a disgrace 494 to any people.
but his wrath falls 497 on one who acts shamefully.
but the mouth of the fool spouts out 503 folly.
keeping watch 505 on those who are evil and those who are good.
but a perverse tongue 510 breaks the spirit.
15:5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
but whoever heeds reproof shows good sense. 511
but the income of the wicked brings trouble. 514
but not so the heart of fools. 516
the one who hates reproof 526 will die.
he will not go to 532 the wise.
but by a painful heart the spirit is broken.
15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 535
than a fattened ox where there is hatred. 545
but with abundant advisers they are established. 560
and a word at the right time 563 – how good it is!
but he maintains the boundaries of the widow. 569
but whoever hates bribes 578 will live.
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 582
and good news gives health to the body. 587
and before honor comes humility. 596
and your plans will be established. 609
even the wicked for the day of disaster. 612
than to have abundant income without justice. 627
all the weights 637 in the bag are his handiwork.
because a throne 639 is established in righteousness.
but a wise person appeases it. 647
to acquire understanding is more desirable 652 than silver.
and a haughty spirit before a fall. 659
than to share the spoils 661 with the proud.
but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 674
sweet to the soul and healing 681 to the bones.
but its end is the way that leads to death. 683
and a gossip separates the closest friends. 694
and leads him down a path that is terrible. 697
than a house full of feasting with strife. 715
and will share the inheritance along with the relatives. 720
whoever rejoices over disaster will not go unpunished.
but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 749
than a hundred blows on a fool. 751
stop it before strife breaks out! 764
both of them are an abomination to the Lord. 766
whoever builds his gate high seeks destruction. 779
and the one who is deceitful in speech 782 falls into trouble.
and the father of a fool has no joy. 786
to pervert 792 the ways of justice.
and bitterness to the mother who bore him. 797
and the one who stays calm 804 is discerning.
and the one who holds his tongue is deemed discerning. 806
he rejects 809 all sound judgment.
and with shame comes 815 a reproach.
by depriving 825 a righteous man of justice.
18:7 The mouth of a fool is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare for his life. 830
they go down into the person’s innermost being. 833
and it is like a high wall in his imagination. 846
that is his folly and his shame. 852
and leads him 860 before important people.
with the product of his lips is he satisfied.
and those who love its use 879 will eat its fruit.
but a rich man answers harshly. 885
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
19:4 Wealth adds many friends,
how much more do his friends avoid him –
the one who preserves understanding will prosper. 914
19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
how much less for a servant to rule over princes! 919
but his favor is like dew on the grass. 926
but a prudent wife 932 is from the Lord.
but if you deliver him from it once, you will have to do it again. 949
and a poor person is better than a liar. 960
and he will not even bring it back to his mouth! 967
correct a discerning person, and as a result he will understand knowledge. 971
is a son 974 who brings shame and disgrace.
you will stray 976 from the words of knowledge.
and the mouth of the wicked devours 978 iniquity.
and floggings for the backs of fools.
whoever goes astray by them is not wise. 982
but every fool quarrels. 988
but an understanding person 997 draws it out.
blessed are his children after him. 1003
I am pure 1009 from my sin”?
the Lord abhors 1011 both of them.
whether his activity is pure and whether it is right. 1014
the Lord has made them both. 1016
but when he goes on his way, he boasts. 1022
20:15 There is gold, and an abundance of rubies,
but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. 1033
and dishonest scales are wicked. 1051
he turns the threshing wheel over them. 1062
searching all his innermost parts. 1066
and his throne is upheld by loyal love. 1068
he turns it wherever he wants.
21:3 To do righteousness and justice
21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart –
the agricultural product 1083 of the wicked is sin.
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. 1087
they seek death. 1091
but as for the pure, 1098 his way is upright.
his neighbor is shown no favor 1104 in his eyes.
when a wise person is instructed, 1106 he gains knowledge.
he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. 1110
he too will cry out and will not be answered. 1113
and terror 1121 to those who do evil.
whoever loves wine and anointing oil 1130 will not be rich.
than with a quarrelsome and easily-provoked 1137 woman.
finds life, bounty, 1142 and honor.
for his hands 1157 refuse to work.
but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 1159
but the one who reports accurately speaks forever. 1165
21:30 There is no wisdom and there is no understanding,
21:31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory is from the Lord. 1172
good favor 1175 more than silver or gold.
the Lord is the creator of them both. 1177
is riches and honor and life.
but the one who guards himself keeps far from them.
and when he is old he will not turn from it. 1189
and the borrower is servant 1191 to the lender.
and the rod of his fury 1193 will end.
for he gives some of his food 1196 to the poor.
strife and insults will cease. 1198
but he overthrows the words of the faithless person. 1204
I will be killed in the middle of the streets!” 1206
but the rod of discipline 1214 will drive it far from him.
22:16 The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain
and the one who gives to the rich 1215 – both end up only in poverty.
1 sn Beginning with ch. 10 there is a difference in the form of the material contained in the book of Proverbs. No longer are there long admonitions, but the actual proverbs, short aphorisms dealing with right or wrong choices. Other than a few similar themes grouped together here and there, there is no arrangement to the material as a whole. It is a long collection of approximately 400 proverbs.
2 tn Heb “son.”
3 tn The imperfect tense describes progressive or habitual action, translated here with an English present tense. These fit the nature of proverbs which are general maxims, and not necessarily absolutes or universal truths. One may normally expect to find what the proverb notes, and one should live according to its instructions in the light of those expectations; but one should not be surprised if from time to time there is an exception. The fact that there may be an exception does not diminish the need to live by the sayings.
4 tn Heb “son.”
5 tn Heb “grief of his mother.” The noun “grief” is in construct, and “mother” is an objective genitive. The saying declares that the consequences of wisdom or folly affects the parents.
6 tn Heb “treasures of wickedness” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “Ill-gotten gains”; TEV “Wealth that you get by dishonesty.”
7 sn The term “righteousness” here means honesty (cf. TEV). Wealth has limited value even if gained honestly; but honesty delivers from mortal danger.
8 tn Heb “death.” This could refer to literal death, but it is probably figurative here for mortal danger or ruin.
9 tn Heb “does not allow…to go hungry.” The expression “The
10 tn The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) means “soul” but its root meaning is “throat” and it has a broad range of meanings; here it denotes “appetite” (BDB 660 s.v. 5.a; see, e.g., Pss 63:6; 107:9; Prov 27:7; Isa 56:11; 58:10; Jer 50:19; Ezek 7:19). The term could denote “desire” (BDB 660 s.v. 6.a) which would include the inner urge for success. By contrast, the wicked live unfulfilled lives – as far as spiritual values are concerned.
11 tn Heb “thrusts away” (cf. ASV, NASB); NLT “refuses to satisfy.” The verb הָדַף (hadaf) means “to thrust away; to push; to drive,” either to depose or reject (BDB 213 s.v.).
12 tn This verse contrasts the “appetite” of the righteous with the “craving” of the wicked. This word הַוַּה (havvah, “craving”) means “desire” often in a bad sense, as ‘the desire of the wicked,” which could not be wholesome (Ps 52:9).
13 tn Heb “a palm of slackness.” The genitive noun רְמִיָּה (remiyyah, “slackness”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a slack palm” (BDB 941 s.v.). The term כַף (khaf, “palm”) is a synecdoche of part (= palm) for the whole person (= one who works with his hands). The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor. The “slack hand” is contrasted with the “diligent hand.” A slack hand refers to a lazy worker or careless work that such hands produce. See N. C. Habel, “Wisdom, Wealth, and Poverty Paradigms in the Book of Proverbs,” BiBh 14 (1988): 28-49.
14 tc The MT reads רָאשׁ (ra’sh, “poor”) which is the plene spelling of רָשׁ (rash, “poor [person]”; HALOT 1229-30 s.v. רֵישׁ). Both Tg. Prov 10:4 and LXX reflect an alternate vocalization רִישׁ (rish, “poverty”) which is from the same root, and essentially means the same thing.
tn Heb “causes poverty.” The expression is literally, “the palm of slackness causes poverty.”
15 tn Heb “but the hand of the diligent” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV). The genitive noun חָרוּצִים (kharutsim, “diligence”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a diligent hand.” The noun חָרוּצִים (kharutsim) uses the plural form because the plural is often used for abstract moral qualities. The term יָד (yad, “hand”) is a synecdoche of part (= “hand”) for the whole person (= “the one who works with his hands”). The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor.
16 tn Heb “makes rich” (so NASB, NRSV). The Hiphil verb is used in a causative sense; literally, “the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
17 tn The direct object “crops” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the verb; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
18 tn Heb “prudent.” The term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) refers to a wise and so successful person. He seizes the opportunity, knowing the importance of the season.
19 sn The term “sleeps” is figurative, an implied comparison that has become idiomatic (like the contemporary English expression “asleep on the job”). It means that this individual is lazy or oblivious to the needs of the hour.
20 tn The phrase “to himself” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for the sake of clarity. Another option is “to his father.”
21 sn The word “blessings” has the sense of gifts, enrichments, that is, the rewards or the results of being righteous. The blessings come either from the people the righteous deal with, or from God. CEV understands the blessings as praise for good behavior (“Everyone praises good people”).
22 tn Heb “the mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
23 tn Heb “covers.” Behind the speech of the wicked is aggressive violence (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 422).
24 tn The syntax of this line is ambiguous. The translation takes “the mouth of the wicked” as the nominative subject and “violence” as the accusative direct object; however, the subject might be “violence,” hence: “violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (cf. KJV, ASV, NIV).
25 sn “Memory” (זֵכֶר, zekher) and “name” are often paired as synonyms. “Memory” in this sense has to do with reputation, fame. One’s reputation will be good or bad by righteousness or wickedness respectively.
26 tn Heb “name.” The term “name” often functions as a metonymy of association for reputation (BDB 1028 s.v. שֵׁם 2.b).
27 tn The editors of BHS suggest a reading “will be cursed” to make a better parallelism, but the reading of the MT is more striking as a metaphor.
28 tn Heb “the wise of heart” (so NASB, NRSV). The genitive noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as an attributive adjective: “the wise heart.” The term לֵב functions as a synecdoche of part (= heart) for the whole person (= person). The heart is emphasized because it is the seat of wisdom (BDB 524 s.v. 3.b).
29 tn Heb “commandments.”
30 tn Heb “fool of lips.” The phrase is a genitive of specification: “a fool in respect to lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause (= lips) for effect (= speech). This person talks foolishness; he is too busy talking to pay attention to instruction.
31 tn The Niphal verb לָבַט (lavat) means “to be thrust down [or, away]”; that is, “to be ruined; to fall” or “to stumble” (e.g., Hos 4:14). The fool who refuses to listen to advice – but abides by his own standards which he freely expresses – will suffer the predicaments that he creates.
32 tn Heb “he who walks.” The idiom is used widely in both OT and NT for conduct, behavior, or lifestyle.
33 sn “Integrity” here means “blameless” in conduct. Security follows integrity, because the lifestyle is blameless. The righteous is certain of the course to be followed and does not fear retribution from man or God.
34 tn Heb “walks.”
35 tn Heb “he who perverts his ways” (so NASB); NIV “who takes crooked paths” (NLT similar). The Piel participle מְעַקֵּשׁ (mÿ’aqqesh) means “make crooked; twisted; perverse.” It is stronger than simply taking crooked paths; it refers to perverting the ways. The one who is devious will not get away with it.
36 tn The term (קָרַץ, qarats) describes a person who habitually “winks” his eye maliciously as a secretive sign to those conspiring evil (Prov 6:13). This is a comparison rather than a contrast. Devious gestures are grievous, but not as ruinous as foolish talk. Both are to be avoided.
37 tn Heb “the eye.”
38 tn Heb “gives.”
39 tn Heb “the fool of lips”; cf. NASB “a babbling fool.” The phrase is a genitive of specification: “a fool in respect to lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause (= lips) for effect (= speech). The word for fool (אֶוִיל, ’evil) refers to someone who despises knowledge and discernment.
40 tn Heb “mouth.” The word “mouth” is metonymy of cause, representing what the righteous say and teach.
41 tn Heb “a fountain of life is the mouth of the righteous” (NAB similar). The subject (“a fountain of life”) and the predicate (“the mouth of the righteous”) in the Hebrew text are reversed in the present translation (as in most English versions) for the sake of clarity and smoothness. The idea of this metaphor, “the fountain of life,” may come from Ps 36:9 (e.g., also Prov 13:14; 14:27; 16:22). What the righteous say is beneficial to life or life-giving. Their words are life-giving but the words of the wicked are violent. See R. B. Y. Scott, “Wise and Foolish, Righteous and Wicked,” VT 29 (1972): 145-65.
42 tn Heb “the mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
43 tn Heb “covers.” Behind the speech of the wicked is aggressive violence (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 422).
44 tn The syntax of this line is ambiguous. The translation takes “the mouth of the wicked” as the nominative subject and “violence” as the accusative direct object; however, the subject might be “violence,” hence: “violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”
45 sn This contrasts the wicked motivated by hatred (animosity, rejection) with the righteous motivated by love (kind acts, showing favor).
47 tn Heb “on the lips” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for the words spoken by the lips.
48 tn Heb “the one who is discerning.” The term “discerning” describes someone who is critically perceptive and has understanding. He can be relied on to say things that are wise.
49 tn Heb “the one lacking of heart.” The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a genitive of specification: “lacking in respect to heart.” The term לֵב functions in a figurative sense (metonymy of association) for wisdom because the heart is viewed as the seat of common sense (BDB 524 s.v. 3.a).
50 tn Heb “a rod is for the back of the one lacking heart.” The term שֵׁבֶט (shevet, “rod”) functions figuratively: synecdoche of specific (= rod of discipline) for general (= discipline in general). The term גֵו (gev, “back”) is a synecdoche of part (= back) for the whole (= person as a whole). The back is emphasized because it was the object of physical corporeal discipline. This proverb is not limited in its application to physical corporeal punishment because the consequences of foolishness may come in many forms, physical corporeal discipline being only one form.
51 tn Heb “wise men.”
52 sn The verb צָפַן (tsafan, “to store up; to treasure”) may mean (1) the wise acquire and do not lose wisdom (cf. NAB, NIV, TEV), or (2) they do not tell all that they know (cf. NCV), that is, they treasure it up for a time when they will need it. The fool, by contrast, talks without thinking.
53 tn Heb “the mouth of foolishness”; cf. NRSV, NLT “the babbling of a fool.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech. The genitive אֶוִיל (’evil, “foolishness”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a foolish mouth” = foolish speech.
55 tn Heb “is.” This expression, “a rich man’s wealth is his strong city,” is a metaphor. The comparative particle “like” is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
56 tn Heb “a city of his strength.” The genitive עֹז (’oz, “strength”) functions as an attributive genitive: “strong city” = “fortified city.” This phrase is a metaphor; wealth protects its possessions against adversity like a fortified city. Such wealth must be attained by diligence and righteous means (e.g., 13:8; 18:23; 22:7).
57 tn Heb “the ruin of the poor.” The term דַּלִּים (dalim, “of the poor”) functions as an objective genitive. Poverty leads to the ruin of the poor. The term “ruin” includes the shambles in which the person lives. This provides no security but only the fear of ruin. This proverb is an observation on life.
58 tn Heb “is their poverty.”
59 tn Heb “recompense” (so NAB); NASB, NIV “wages.” The noun פְּעֻלַּה (pÿ’ullah) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “work; deed” and (2) “reward; recompense” (BDB 821 s.v.). There is a clear correlation between a person’s conduct and its consequences. Rewards are determined by moral choices. What one receives in life depends on the use of gifts and a righteous character.
60 tn Heb “the recompense of the righteous.”
61 tn Heb “harvest.” The term תְּבוּאַת (tÿvu’at, “harvest; yield”) is used figuratively here (hypocatastasis), drawing an implied comparison between the agricultural yield of a farmer’s labors with the consequences of the actions of the wicked. They will “reap” (= judgment) what they “sow” (= sin).
62 tn Heb “the harvest of the wicked.”
63 tn Heb “sin.” The term חַטָּאת (khatta’t, “sin”) functions as a metonymy of cause (= sin) for effect (= punishment). In contrast to the righteous who receive a reward, the wicked receive punishment for their sin (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV). See D. W. Thomas, “The Meaning of חַטָּאת in Proverbs X.16,” JTS 15 (1964): 295-96.
64 tn Heb “discipline.” The noun מוּסָר (musar) has a basic two-fold range of meanings: (1) “discipline” (so NIV; NAB “admonition”; NCV, NLT “correction”) and (2) “instruction” (BDB 416 s.v.; so KJV, NASB, NRSV). The wise person listens to instruction (first colon); however, the fool will not even take discipline to heart (second colon).
65 tn The term is a genitive of location indicating the goal (IBHS 147-48 §9.5.2f).
66 sn The contrast with the one who holds fast to discipline is the one who forsakes or abandons reproof or correction. Whereas the first is an example, this latter individual causes people to wander from the true course of life, that is, causes them to err.
67 tn Heb “lips of falsehood.” The genitive noun שָׁקֶר (shaqer, “falsehood”) functions as an attributive genitive. The noun “lips” is a metonymy of cause for speech produced by lips. The one who shows friendliness while concealing hatred is a liar (e.g., Ps 28:3).
68 tn Heb “causes to go out.” The Hiphil of יָצָא (yatsa) literally means “to cause to go out” (BDB 424 s.v. Hiph.1). This may refer to speech (“to utter”) in the sense of causing words to go out of one’s mouth, or it may refer to slander (“to spread”) in the sense of causing slander to go out to others.
69 tn The word דִבָּה (dibbah) means “whispering; defamation; evil report” (BDB 179 s.v.). Cf. NAB “accusations”; TEV “gossip.”
sn The one who spreads slander is a fool because it not only destroys others but comes back on the guilty. See also the sayings of Amenemope and Ahiqar on these subjects (ANET 423, 429).
70 tn Heb “he is a fool.” The independent personal pronoun הוּא (hu’, “he”) is used for emphasis. This is reflected in the translation as “certainly.”
71 tn Heb “does not cease.” It is impossible to avoid sinning in an abundance of words – sooner or later one is bound to say something wrong.
72 tn Or “holds his lips under control.” The verb חָשַׂךְ (khasakh) means “to withhold; to restrain; to hold in check” (BDB 362 s.v.). The related Arabic term is used in reference to placing a piece of wood in the mouth of a goat to prevent it from sucking (HALOT 359 s.v. חשׂךְ).
73 tn Heb “his lips” (so KJV, NAB, NASB); NIV “his tongue.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for speech.
74 tn Heb “the lips of the righteous.” The term “lips” functions as a metonymy of cause for speech. This contrasts the tongue (metonymy of cause for what they say) with the heart (metonymy of subject for what they intend). What the righteous say is more valuable than what the wicked intend.
75 tn The comparative “like” is not in the Hebrew text but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
76 tn Or “pure”; Heb “choice.”
77 tn Heb “the heart of the wicked” (so KJV, NAB, NIV). The term “heart” functions as a metonymy of cause for thoughts. The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) often refers to the seat of thoughts, will and emotions (BDB 524 s.v. 3-4).
78 tn Heb “like little.” This expression refers to what has little value: “little worth” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV; cf. BDB 590 s.v. מְעַט 2.d). The point of the metaphor is clarified by the parallelism: Silver is valuable; the heart of the wicked is worth little. Tg. Prov 10:20 says it was full of dross, a contrast with choice silver.
79 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said (or in this case taught).
81 tn In what sense the fool “dies” is unclear. Fools ruin their lives and the lives of others by their lack of discipline and knowledge. The contrast is between enhancing life and ruining life.
83 tn The term בְּרָכָּה (bÿrakhah, “blessing”) refers to a gift, enrichment or endowment from the
84 tn Heb “of the
85 tn Heb “makes rich” (so NASB); NAB “brings wealth.” The direct object “a person” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the Hiphil verb; it is supplied in the translation.
86 tn Heb “toil.” The noun עֶצֶב (’etsev) has a basic two-fold range of meanings: (1) “toil; labor” which produces pain and sorrow, and (2) “pain; sorrow” which is the result of toil and labor (BDB 780 s.v.). This is the word used of the curse of “toil” in man’s labor (Gen 3:17) and the “pain” in the woman’s child-bearing (Gen 3:16). God’s blessing is pure and untarnished – it does not bring physical pain or emotional sorrow.
87 tn Heb “with.”
88 tn Heb “doing a plan.” The noun זִמָּה (zimmah, “plan”) is often used pejoratively of a scheme to do wickedness. It is used elsewhere for planning lewdness, murder, incest, adultery, idolatry, and licentiousness. Any planned gross impropriety gives the fool pleasure. The verb עָשָׂה (’asah, “to do”) here means “to carry out (a plan)” (BDB 794 s.v.).
89 tn Heb “like sport” (so NASB, NRSV). The noun שְׂחוֹק (sÿkhoq, “sport”) is used elsewhere to refer to what is exhilarating and pleasurable (BDB 966 s.v.). As W. G. Plaut says, it is like child’s play (Proverbs, 132). For the fool evil brings such enjoyment; for the discerning wisdom does.
90 tn Heb “a man of discernment.”
91 tn Heb “the dread of the wicked.” The noun רָשָׁע (rasha’, “wicked”) is a subjective genitive. The noun מְגוֹרַת (mÿgorat) refers to “the feared thing,” that is, what the wicked dread. The wicked are afraid of the consequences of their sinful actions; however, they cannot escape these consequences.
92 tn Heb “the desire of the righteous.” The noun צַדִּיק (tsadiq, “righteous”) is a subjective genitive.
93 tn Heb “it will give.” When used without an expressed subject, the verb יִתֵּן (yitten) has a passive nuance: “it will be granted.”
94 sn The word for “storm wind” comes from the root סוּף (suf, “to come to an end; to cease”). The noun may then describe the kind of storm that makes an end of things, a “whirlwind” (so KJV, NASB; NLT “cyclone”). It is used in prophetic passages that describe swift judgment and destruction.
95 tn Heb “the wicked are not”; ASV, NAB, NASB “is no more.”
96 tn Heb “a foundation forever”; NLT “have a lasting foundation.”
sn The metaphor compares the righteous to an everlasting foundation to stress that they are secure when the catastrophes of life come along. He is fixed in a covenantal relationship and needs not to fear passing misfortunes. The wicked has no such security.
97 sn Two similes are used to portray the aggravation in sending a lazy person to accomplish a task. Vinegar to the teeth is an unpleasant, irritating experience; and smoke to the eyes is an unpleasant experience that hinders progress.
98 tn The participle is plural, and so probably should be taken in a distributive sense: “to each one who sends him.”
99 tn Heb “the fear of the
100 tn Heb “days” (so KJV, ASV).
101 tn Heb “years.” The term “years” functions as a synecdoche of part (= years) for the whole (= lifespan).
102 sn This general saying has to be qualified with the problem of the righteous suffering and dying young, a problem that perplexed the sages of the entire ancient world. But this is the general principle: The righteous live longer because their life is the natural one and because God blesses them.
103 sn This proverb contrasts the hopes of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous will see their hopes fulfilled. The saying is concerned with God’s justice. The words תּוֹחֶלֶת (tokhelet, from יָחַל, yakhal) and תִּקְוַת (tiqvat, from קָוָה, qavah) are synonyms, both emphasizing eager expectations, longings, waiting in hope.
104 tn Heb “will perish”; NAB “comes to nought.”
105 sn The “way of the
106 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
107 tn Heb “for the one with integrity” (לַתֹּם, latom).
108 tn Or “ruin” (so NIV).
109 tn Heb “those who practice iniquity.”
110 sn This proverb concerns the enjoyment of covenant blessings – dwelling in the land of Israel. It is promised to the righteous for an eternal inheritance, and so the wicked cannot expect to settle there – they will be exiled.
111 tn Heb “the mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
112 tn Heb “bears wisdom.” The verb נוּב (nuv) means “to bear fruit.” It is used figuratively of the righteous; they produce wisdom and righteousness. The term חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom”) represents the “fruit” that the righteous bear: “they bear the fruit of wisdom” (BDB 626 s.v.).
113 tn Heb “the tongue of perversions.” The noun תַּהְפֻּכוֹת (tahpukhot, “perversions”) functions as a genitive of content; it refers to what the tongue says – perverse things. The plural form depicts a plural of character. The term לָשׁוֹן (lashon, “tongue”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= tongue) for the whole person (= the speaker). The tongue is emphasized because this person is characterized by perverse speech. The term תַּהְפֻּכוֹת (“perversions”) refers to those who turn things upside down, overthrow, or pervert what is right.
114 tn Heb “will be cut off” (so NAB, NRSV, NLT); cf. KJV, NASB, NIV “cut out.” Their tongue will be cut off, a hyperbole meaning to bring to an end the evil that they speak.
115 sn The verb “know” applied to “lips” is unusual. “Lips” is a metonymy for what the righteous say; and their words “know” (a personification) what is pleasing, i.e., they are acquainted with.
116 sn The righteous say what is pleasing, acceptable, or delightful; but the wicked say perverse and destructive things.
117 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for what is said.
118 tn Heb “an abomination of the
119 tn Heb “scales of deception.” The genitive is attributive: “deceptive scales.” This refers to dishonesty in the market where silver was weighed in the scales. God condemns dishonest business practices (Deut 25:13-16; Lev 10:35-36), as did the ancient Near East (ANET 388, 423).
120 tn Heb “a perfect stone.” Stones were used for measuring amounts of silver on the scales; here the stone that pleases the
121 tn Heb “presumptuousness.” This term is from the root זִיד, zid (or זוּד, zud) which means “to boil; to seethe; to act proudly; to act presumptuously.” The idea is that of boiling over the edge of the pot, signifying overstepping the boundaries (e.g., Gen 25:29).
122 tn The verbs show both the sequence and the correlation. The first is the perfect tense of בּוֹא (bo’, “to enter; to come”); it is followed by the preterite with vav consecutive from the same verb, showing that one follows or comes with the other. Because the second verb in the colon is sequential to the first, the first may be subordinated as a temporal clause.
123 sn This proverb does not state how the disgrace will come, but affirms that it will follow pride. The proud will be brought down.
124 tn Heb “modesty”; KJV, ASV “the lowly.” The adjective צְנוּעִים (tsÿnu’im, “modest”) is used as a noun; this is an example of antimeria in which one part of speech is used in the place of another (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 491-506), e.g., “Let the dry [adjective] appear!” = dry land (Gen 1:9). The root צָנַע (tsana’, “to be modest; to be humble”) describes those who are reserved, retiring, modest. The plural form is used for the abstract idea of humility.
125 tn The term “comes” does not appear in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation from parallelism.
126 sn This contrasts two lifestyles, affirming the value of integrity. The upright live with integrity – blamelessness – and that integrity leads them in success and happiness. Those who use treachery will be destroyed by it.
127 tc The form is a Kethib/Qere reading. The Qere יְשָׁדֵּם (yÿshadem) is an imperfect tense with the pronominal suffix. The Kethib וְשַׁדָּם (vÿshadam) is a perfect tense with a vav prefixed and a pronominal suffix. The Qere is supported by the versions.
128 sn The “day of wrath” refers to divine punishment in this life (R. N. Whybray, Proverbs [CBC], 67; e.g., also Job 21:30; Ezek 7:19; Zeph 1:18). Righteousness and not wealth is more valuable in anticipating judgment.
129 tn Heb “from death.”
130 tn Heb “his way.”
131 sn The righteous will enjoy security and serenity throughout life. Righteousness makes the path straight; wickedness destroys the wicked.
132 sn The contrast is between being rescued or delivered (נָצַל, natsal) and being captured (לָכַד, lakhad). Righteousness is freeing; [evil] desires are enslaving.
133 tn Heb “taken captive” (so NRSV); NIV, TEV “are trapped.”
134 tn Heb “but by the desire of the faithless are they taken captive.”
135 tn The first colon features an imperfect tense depicting habitual action, while the second has a perfect tense verb depicting gnomic action.
sn The subject of this proverb is the hope of the wicked, showing its consequences – his expectations die with him (Ps 49). Any hope for long life and success borne of wickedness will be disappointed.
136 tc There are several suggested changes for this word אוֹנִים (’onim, “vigor” or “strength”). Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived
137 tc The LXX adds an antithesis to this: “When the righteous dies, hope does not perish.” The LXX translators wanted to see the hope of the righteous fulfilled in the world to come.
138 tn The verb is the Niphal perfect from the first root חָלַץ (khalats), meaning “to draw off; to withdraw,” and hence “to be delivered.”
sn The verse is not concerned with the problem of evil and the suffering of the righteous; it is only concerned with the principle of divine justice.
139 tn The verb is masculine singular, so the subject cannot be “trouble.” The trouble from which the righteous escape will come on the wicked – but the Hebrew text literally says that the wicked “comes [= arrives; turns up; shows up] in the place of the righteous.” Cf. NASB “the wicked takes his place”; NRSV “the wicked get into it instead”; NIV “it comes on the wicked instead.”
140 tn Heb “with his mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
141 sn The Hebrew word originally meant “impious, godless, polluted, profane.” It later developed the idea of a “hypocrite” (Dan 11:32), one who conceals his evil under the appearance of godliness or kindness. This one is a false flatterer.
142 sn The verb שָׁחַת (shakhat) means “to destroy; to ruin” (e.g., the destruction of Sodom in Gen 13:10). The imperfect tense is probably not an habitual imperfect (because the second colon shows exceptions), but probably a progressive imperfect (“this goes on”) or potential imperfect (“they can do this”).
143 sn The antithetical proverb states that a righteous person can escape devastating slander through knowledge. The righteous will have sufficient knowledge and perception to see through the hypocrisy and avoid its effect.
144 tn The text has “in the good [בְּטוֹב, bÿtov] of the righteous,” meaning when they do well, when they prosper. Cf. NCV, NLT “succeed”; TEV “have good fortune.”
145 sn The verb תַּעֲלֹץ (ta’alots, “to rejoice; to exult”) is paralleled with the noun רִנָּה (rinnah, “ringing cry”). The descriptions are hyperbolic, except when the person who dies is one who afflicted society (e.g., 2 Kgs 11:20; Esth 8:15). D. Kidner says, “However drab the world makes out virtue to be, it appreciates the boon of it in public life” (Proverbs [TOTC], 91).
146 tn Heb “the blessing of the upright.” This expression features either an objective or subjective genitive. It may refer to the blessing God gives the upright (which will benefit society) or the blessing that the upright are to the city. The latter fits the parallelism best: The blessings are the beneficent words and deeds that the righteous perform.
147 tn Heb “mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for counsel, as the parallelism suggests.
148 sn What the wicked say has a disastrous effect on society, endangering, weakening, demoralizing, and perverting with malicious and slanderous words. Wicked leaders, in particular, can bring destruction on a city by their evil counsel.
149 tn Heb “despises” (so NASB) or “belittles” (so NRSV). The participle בָּז (baz, from בּוּז, buz) means “to despise; to show contempt for” someone. It reflects an attitude of pride and judgmentalism. In view of the parallel line, in this situation it would reflect perhaps some public denunciation of another person.
sn According to Proverbs (and the Bible as a whole) how one treats a neighbor is an important part of righteousness. One was expected to be a good neighbor, and to protect and safeguard the life and reputation of a neighbor.
151 tn Heb “a man of discernment.”
152 sn The verb translated “keeps silence” (יַחֲרִישׁ, yakharish) means “holds his peace.” Rather than publicly denouncing another person’s mistake or folly, a wise person will keep quiet about it (e.g., 1 Sam 10:27). A discerning person realizes that the neighbor may become an opponent and someday retaliate.
153 tn Heb “going about in slander.” This expression refers to a slanderer. The noun means “slander” and so “tale-bearer” (so KJV, ASV, NASB), “informer.” The related verb (רָכַל, rakhal) means “to go about” from one person to another, either for trade or for gossip.
154 tn The participle מְגַלֶּה (mÿgaleh) means “uncovering” or “revealing” secrets.
sn This is the intent of a person who makes disparaging comments about others – he cannot wait to share secrets that should be kept.
155 tn Heb “faithful of spirit.” This phrase describes the inner nature of the person as faithful and trustworthy. This individual will not rush out to tell whatever information he has heard, but will conceal it.
156 tn The word תַּחְבֻּלוֹת (takhvulot, “guidance; direction”) is derived from the root I חָבַל (khaval, “rope-pulling” and “steering” or “directing” a ship; BDB 286 s.v.). Thus spiritual guidance is like steering a ship, here the ship of state (R. N. Whybray, Proverbs [CBC], 68; Prov 1:5). Advice is necessary for the success of a nation.
157 tn Heb “victory.” This term תְּשׁוּעָה (teshu’ah) means “salvation” or “victory” (BDB 448 s.v.); cf. NAB, TEV “security”; NRSV, NLT “safety.” Here, it connotes “success” as the antithesis of the nation falling. The setting could be one of battle or economics. Victory or success will be more likely with good advice. This assumes that the counselors are wise.
158 sn The “stranger” could refer to a person from another country or culture, as it often does; but it could also refer to an unknown Israelite, with the idea that the individual stands outside the known and respectable community.
159 tn The sentence begins with the Niphal imperfect and the cognate (רַע־יֵרוֹעַ, ra’-yeroa’), stressing that whoever does this “will certainly suffer hurt.” The hurt in this case will be financial responsibility for a bad risk.
160 tn Heb “hates.” The term שֹׂנֵא (shoneh) means “to reject,” and here “to avoid.” The participle is substantival, functioning as the subject of the clause. The next participle, תֹקְעִים (toq’im, “striking hands”), is its object, telling what is hated. The third participle בּוֹטֵחַ (boteakh, “is secure”) functions verbally.
161 tn Heb “striking.” The imagery here is shaking hands to seal a contract. The term “hands” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied.
162 tn Heb “a woman of grace.” The genitive חֵן (khen, “grace”) functions as an attributive adjective. The contrast is between “a gracious woman” (אֵשֶׁת־חֵן, ’eshet-khen), a woman who is not only graceful but generous, and “powerful men,” a term usually having a bad sense, such as tyrants or ruthless men.
163 tn Heb “those who are terrifying.” The term עָרִיץ (’arits) refers to a person who strikes terror into the hearts of his victims. The term refers to a ruthless person who uses violence to overcome his victims (BDB 792 s.v.). Cf. ASV, NASB, NLT “violent men”; NRSV “the aggressive.”
164 tc The LXX adds: “She who hates virtue makes a throne for dishonor; the idle will be destitute of means.” This reading is followed by several English versions (e.g., NAB, NEB, NRSV, TEV). C. H. Toy concludes that MT provides remnants of the original, but that the LXX does not provide the full meaning (Proverbs [ICC], 229).
sn The implication is that the ruthless men will obtain wealth without honor, and therefore this is not viewed as success by the writer.
165 tn Heb “man of kindness.”
sn This contrasts the “kind person” and the “cruel person” (one who is fierce, cruel), showing the consequences of their dispositions.
166 tn The term גֹּמֶל (gomel) means “to deal fully [or “adequately”] with” someone or something. The kind person will benefit himself.
168 tn Heb “brings trouble to his flesh.”
sn There may be a conscious effort by the sage to contrast “soul” and “body”: He contrasts the benefits of kindness for the “soul” (translated “himself”) with the trouble that comes to the “flesh/body” (translated “himself”) of the cruel.
169 tn The form is the masculine singular adjective used as a substantive.
170 tn Heb “makes” (so NAB).
171 tn Heb “wages of deception.”
sn Whatever recompense or reward the wicked receive will not last, hence, it is deceptive (R. B. Y. Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 88).
172 sn The participle “sowing” provides an implied comparison (the figure is known as hypocatastasis) with the point of practicing righteousness and inspiring others to do the same. What is sown will yield fruit (1 Cor 9:11; 2 Cor 9:6; Jas 3:18).
173 tn The term “reaps” does not appear in the Hebrew but has been supplied in the translation from context for the sake of smoothness.
174 tn Heb “true” (so NASB, NRSV); KJV, NAB, NIV “sure.”
175 sn A wordplay (paronomasia) occurs between “deceptive” (שָׁקֶר, shaqer) and “reward” (שֶׂכֶר, sekher), underscoring the contrast by the repetition of sounds. The wages of the wicked are deceptive; the reward of the righteous is sure.
176 tn Heb “the veritable of righteousness.” The adjective כֵּן (ken, “right; honest; veritable”) functions substantivally as an attributive genitive, meaning “veritable righteousness” = true righteousness (BDB 467 s.v. 2; HALOT 482 s.v. I כֵּן 2.b). One medieval Hebrew
177 tn Heb “is to life.” The expression “leads to” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but the idiom implies it; it is supplied in the translation for smoothness.
178 tn The phrase “pursues it” does not appear in the Hebrew but has been supplied in the translation from context.
179 sn “Life” and “death” describe the vicissitudes of this life but can also refer to the situation beyond the grave. The two paths head in opposite directions.
180 tn Heb “an abomination of the
181 sn The word עִקְּשֵׁי (“crooked; twisted; perverted”) describes the wicked as having “twisted minds.” Their mentality is turned toward evil things.
182 tn Heb “those who are blameless of way.” The noun דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) is a genitive of specification: “blameless in their way.”
183 sn The noun means “goodwill, favor, acceptance, will”; it is related to the verb רָצַה (ratsah) which means “to be pleased with; to accept favorably.” These words are used frequently in scripture to describe what pleases the
184 tn The expression “hand to hand” refers the custom of striking hands to confirm an agreement (M. Anbar, “Proverbes 11:21; 16:15; יד ליד, «sur le champ»,” Bib 53 : 537-38). Tg. Prov 11:21 interprets it differently: “he who lifts up his hand against his neighbor will not go unpunished.”
185 tn Heb “will not be free.” The verb נָקָה (naqah) means “to be clean; to be empty.” In the Niphal it means “to be free of guilt; to be clean; to be innocent,” and therefore “to be exempt from punishment” (BDB 667 s.v. Niph). The phrase “will not go unpunished” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) is an example of tapeinosis (a negative statement that emphasizes the positive opposite statement): “will certainly be punished” (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
186 tn Heb “the seed of the righteous.” This is an idiom that describes a class of people who share the nature of righteousness (e.g., Isa 1:4; 65:23). The word “seed” (hypocatastasis) means “offspring.” Some take it literally, as if it meant that the children of the righteous will escape judgment (Saadia, a Jewish scholar who lived
187 tn Heb “will be delivered” (so NASB). The phrase “from unjust judgment” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the idiom.
188 tn Heb “a ring of gold.” The noun זָהָב (zahav, “gold”) is a genitive of material; the ring is made out of gold.
189 tn Heb “in a snout of a swine.” A beautiful ornament and a pig are as incongruous as a beautiful woman who has no taste or ethical judgment.
190 tn The verb “is” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
191 tn Heb “turns away [from].”
192 tn Heb “taste.” The term can refer to physical taste (Exod 16:31), intellectual discretion (1 Sam 25:33), or ethical judgment (Ps 119:66). Here it probably means that she has no moral sensibility, no propriety, no good taste – she is unchaste. Her beauty will be put to wrong uses.
193 tn Heb “the desire of the righteous.” The noun תַּאֲוַת (ta’avat) functions as an objective genitive: “what the righteous desire.”
194 tn The phrase “leads to” does not appear in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation. The desire of the righteous (in itself good) ends in good things, whereas the hope of the wicked ends in wrath, i.e., divine judgment on them. Another interpretation is that the righteous desire is to do good things, but the wicked hope to produce wrath (cf. CEV “troublemakers hope to stir up trouble”).
195 tn Heb “the hope of the wicked.” The noun תִּקְוַת (tiqvat) “expectation” functions as an objective genitive: “what the wicked hope for.”
196 tn The term “leads” does not appear in the Hebrew text in this line but is implied by the parallelism. It is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
197 tn Heb “There is one who scatters.” The participle מְפַזֵּר (mÿfazzer, “one who scatters”) refers to charity rather than farming or investments (and is thus a hypocatastasis). Cf. CEV “become rich by being generous”).
198 tn Heb “increases.” The verb means that he grows even more wealthy. This is a paradox: Generosity determines prosperity in God’s economy.
199 tn Heb “more than what is right.” This one is not giving enough, but saving for himself.
200 tn Heb “comes to lack.” The person who withholds will come to the diminishing of his wealth. The verse uses hyperbole to teach that giving to charity does not make anyone poor, and neither does refusal to give ensure prosperity.
201 tn Heb “the soul of blessing.” The genitive functions attributively. “Blessing” refers to a gift (Gen 33:11) or a special favor (Josh 15:19). The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole (= person); see BDB 660 s.v. 4.
203 tn The verb מַרְוֶה (marveh, “to be saturated; to drink one’s fill”) draws a comparison between providing water for others with providing for those in need (e.g., Jer 31:25; Lam 3:15). The kind act will be reciprocated.
204 tn The phrase “for others” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the causative Hiphil verb which normally takes a direct object; it is elided in the Hebrew for the sake of emphasis. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
205 tn This verb also means “to pour water,” and so continues the theme of the preceding participle: The one who gives refreshment to others will be refreshed. BDB 924 s.v. רָוָה lists the form יוֹרֶא (yore’) as a Hophal imperfect of רָוָה (ravah, the only occurrence) and translates it “will himself also be watered” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). But the verb looks very much like a Hiphil of the root יָרָא (yara’, “to shoot; to pour”). So the editors of BHS suggest יוּאָר (yu’ar).
206 tn The direct object suffix on the verb picks up on the emphatic absolute phrase: “they will curse him – the one who withholds grain.”
207 sn The proverb refers to a merchant who holds back his grain from the free market to raise prices when there is a great need for the produce. It is assumed that merchants are supposed to have a social conscience.
208 tn Heb “but a blessing is for the head of the one who sells.” The parallelism with “curse” suggests that בְּרָכָה (berakhah) “blessing” means “praise.”
209 tn Heb “for the head of the one who sells.” The term “head” functions as a synecdoche of part (= head) for the whole (= person). The head is here emphasized because it is the “crowning” point of praise. The direct object (“it”) is not in the Hebrew text but is implied.
210 tn Two separate words are used here for “seek.” The first is שָׁחַר (shakhar, “to seek diligently”) and the second is בָּקַשׁ (baqash, “to seek after; to look for”). Whoever is seeking good is in effect seeking favor – from either God or man (e.g., Ps 5:12; Isa 49:8).
211 tn The participle דֹּרֵשׁ (doresh) means “to seek; to inquire; to investigate.” A person generally receives the consequences of the kind of life he seeks.
212 tn The verb is the imperfect tense, third feminine singular, referring to “evil,” the object of the participle.
213 sn The implication from the parallelism is that the righteous do not trust in their own riches, but in the
214 tn Heb “leafage” or “leaf” (cf. KJV “as a branch”); TEV “leaves of summer”; NLT “leaves in spring.” The simile of a leaf is a figure of prosperity and fertility throughout the ancient Near East.
215 tn The verb עָכַר (’akhar, “to trouble”) refers to actions which make life difficult for one’s family (BDB 747 s.v.). He will be cut out of the family inheritance.
216 tn Heb “his house.” The term בֵּית (bet, “house”) is a synecdoche of container (= house) for its contents (= family, household).
217 tn Heb “the wind” (so KJV, NCV, NLT); NAB “empty air.” The word “wind” (רוּחַ, ruakh) refers to what cannot be grasped (Prov 27:16; Eccl 1:14, 17). The figure is a hypocatastasis, comparing wind to what he inherits – nothing he can put his hands on. Cf. CEV “won’t inherit a thing.”
218 sn The “fool” here is the “troubler” of the first half. One who mismanages his affairs so badly so that there is nothing for the family may have to sell himself into slavery to the wise. The ideas of the two halves of the verse are complementary.
219 tn Heb “to the wise of heart.” The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) is an attributed genitive: “wise heart.” The term לֵב (“heart”) also functions as a synecdoche of part (= heart) for the whole (= person); see BDB 525 s.v. 7.
220 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
221 tn Heb “tree of life” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). The noun חַיִּים (khayyim, “life”) is genitive of product. What the righteous produce (“fruit”) is like a tree of life – a long and healthy life as well as a life-giving influence and provision for others.
222 tc The Leningrad Codex mistakenly vocalized ש (sin or shin) as שׂ (sin) instead of שׁ (shin) in the term נְפָשׂוֹת (nefashot) which is vocalized as נְפָשׁוֹת (nefasot, “souls”) in the other medieval Hebrew
223 tc The MT reads חָכָם (khakham, “wise”) and seems to refer to capturing (לָקַח, laqakh; “to lay hold of; to seize; to capture”) people with influential ideas (e.g., 2 Sam 15:6). An alternate textual tradition reads חָמָס (khamas) “violent” (reflected in the LXX and Syriac) and refers to taking away lives: “but the one who takes away lives (= kills people) is violent” (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV). The textual variant was caused by orthographic confusion of ס (samek) and כ (kaf), and metathesis of מ (mem) between the 2nd and 3rd consonants. If the parallelism is synonymous, the MT reading fits; if the parallelism is antithetical, the alternate tradition fits. See D. C. Snell, “‘Taking Souls’ in Proverbs 11:30,” VT 33 (1083): 362-65.
224 tc The LXX introduces a new idea: “If the righteous be scarcely saved” (reflected in 1 Pet 4:18). The Greek translation “scarcely” could have come from a Vorlage of בַּצָּרָה (batsarah, “deficiency” or “want”) or בָּצַּר (batsar, “to cut off; to shorten”) perhaps arising from confusion over the letters. The verb “receive due” could only be translated “saved” by an indirect interpretation. See J. Barr, “בארץ ~ ΜΟΛΙΣ: Prov. XI.31, I Pet. IV.18,” JSS 20 (1975): 149-64.
225 tn This construction is one of the “how much more” arguments – if this be true, how much more this (arguing from the lesser to the greater). The point is that if the righteous suffer for their sins, certainly the wicked will as well.
226 tn Heb “the wicked and the sinner.” The two terms may form a hendiadys with the first functioning adjectivally: “the wicked sinner.”
227 sn Those who wish to improve themselves must learn to accept correction; the fool hates/rejects any correction.
228 sn The word בָּעַר (ba’ar, “brutish; stupid”) normally describes dumb animals that lack intellectual sense. Here, it describes the moral fool who is not willing to learn from correction. He is like a dumb animal (so the term here functions as a hypocatastasis: implied comparison).
229 tn Heb “but he condemns”; the referent (the
230 tn Heb “a man of wicked plans.” The noun מְזִמּוֹת (mÿzimmot, “evil plans”) functions as an attributive genitive: “an evil-scheming man.” Cf. NASB “a man who devises evil”; NAB “the schemer.”
231 tn Heb “a man cannot be.”
232 tn The Niphal imperfect of כּוּן (cun, “to be established”) refers to finding permanent “security” (so NRSV, TEV, CEV) before God. Only righteousness can do that.
233 tn Heb “a root of righteousness.” The genitive צַדִּיקִים (tsadiqim, “righteousness”) functions as an attributive adjective. The figure “root” (שֹׁרֶשׁ, shoresh) stresses the security of the righteous; they are firmly planted and cannot be uprooted (cf. NLT “the godly have deep roots”). The righteous are often compared to a tree (e.g., 11:30; Ps 1:3; 92:13).
234 tn Heb “a wife of virtue”; NAB, NLT “a worthy wife.” This noble woman (אֵשֶׁת־חַיִל, ’shet-khayil) is the subject of Prov 31. She is a “virtuous woman” (cf. KJV), a capable woman of noble character. She is contrasted with the woman who is disgraceful (מְבִישָׁה, mÿvishah; “one who causes shame”) or who lowers his standing in the community.
235 sn The metaphor of the “crown” emphasizes that such a wife is a symbol of honor and glory.
236 tn Heb “she”; the referent (the wife) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
237 sn The simile means that the shameful acts of such a woman will eat away her husband’s strength and influence and destroy his happiness.
238 tn Heb “thoughts.” This term refers not just to random thoughts, however, but to what is planned or devised.
239 sn The plans of good people are directed toward what is right. Advice from the wicked, however, is deceitful and can only lead to trouble.
240 tn The infinitive construct אֱרָב (’erav, “to lie in wait”) expresses the purpose of their conversations. The idea of “lying in wait for blood” is an implied comparison (hypocatastasis): Their words are like an ambush intended to destroy (cf. NAB, NRSV “are a deadly ambush”). The words of the wicked are here personified.
241 tn Heb “for blood.” The term “blood” is a metonymy of effect, the cause being the person that they will attack and whose blood they will shed. After the construct “blood” is also an objective genitive.
242 tn Heb “mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) is a metonymy of cause, signifying what the righteous say. The righteous can make a skillful defense against false accusations that are intended to destroy. The righteous, who have gained wisdom, can escape the traps set by the words of the wicked.
244 tn Heb “and they are not.”
245 tn Heb “the house of the righteous.” The genitive צַדִּיקִים (tsadiqim) functions as an attributive adjective: “righteous house.” The noun בֵּית (bet, “house”) functions as a synecdoche of container (= house) for the contents (= family, household; perhaps household possessions). Cf. NCV “a good person’s family”; NLT “the children of the godly.”
246 tn Heb “a man.”
247 tn Heb “to the mouth of.” This idiom means “according to” (BDB 805 s.v. פֶּה 6.b.(b); cf. KJV, NAB, NIV). The point is that praise is proportionate to wisdom.
248 tn Heb “crooked of heart”; cf. NAB, NLT “a warped mind” (NIV similar). The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) is an attributive genitive. It functions as a metonymy of association for “mind; thoughts” (BDB 524 s.v. 3) and “will; volition” (BDB 524 s.v. 4). He does not perceive things as they are, so he makes all the wrong choices. His thinking is all wrong.
249 tn Heb “one who is lightly regarded.” The verb קָלָה (qalah) means “to be lightly esteemed; to be dishonored; to be degraded” (BDB 885 s.v.).
250 tn The meaning of the phrase וְעֶבֶד לוֹ (vÿ’eved lo) is ambiguous; the preposition is either possessive (“has a servant”) or a reflexive indirect object (“is a servant for himself”; cf. NAB, TEV). Several versions (LXX, Vulgate, Syriac) read “and yet has a servant.”
251 tn Heb “who feigns importance.” The term מְתַכַּבֵּד (mÿtakkabed, from כָּבֵד, caved, “to be weighty; to be honored; to be important”) is an example of the so-called “Hollywood” Hitpael which describes a person putting on an act (BDB 458 s.v. כָּבֵד Hitp.2).
sn This individual lives beyond his financial means in a vain show to impress other people and thus cannot afford to put food on the table.
252 tn Heb “knows”; NLT “concerned for the welfare of.” The righteous take care of animals, not just people.
253 tn Heb “but the mercies.” The additional words appear in the translation for the sake of clarification. The line can be interpreted in two ways: (1) when the wicked exhibit a kind act, they do it in a cruel way, or (2) even the kindest of their acts is cruel by all assessments, e.g., stuffing animals with food to fatten them for market – their “kindness” is driven by ulterior motives (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 129).
254 sn In the biblical period agriculture was the most common occupation for the people; so “working a field” describes a substantial occupation, but also represents working in general. Diligent work, not get-rich-quick schemes, is the key to ensuring income.
255 tn Heb “will have his fill of” or “will be satisfied with.”
256 tn Heb “empty things” or “vain things.” The term רֵיקִים (reqim) refers to worthless pursuits in an effort to make money. The fact that the participle used is “chase after” shows how elusive these are. Cf. NIV “fantasies”; NCV “empty dreams”; TEV “useless projects.”
258 tn This line is difficult to interpret. BDB connects the term מְצוֹד (mÿtsod) to II מָצוֹד which means (1) “snare; hunting-net” and (2) what is caught: “prey” (BDB 844-45 s.v. II מָצוֹד). This would function as a metonymy of cause for what the net catches: the prey. Or it may be saying that the wicked get caught in their own net, that is, reap the consequences of their own sins. On the other hand, HALOT 622 connects מְצוֹד (mÿtsod) to II מְצוּדָה (mÿtsudah, “mountain stronghold”; cf. NAB “the stronghold of evil men will be demolished”). The LXX translated it as: “The desires of the wicked are evil.” The Syriac has: “The wicked desire to do evil.” The Latin expands it: “The desire of the wicked is a defense of the worst [things, or persons].” C. H. Toy suggests emending the text to read “wickedness is the net of bad men” (Proverbs [ICC], 250).
259 tn Heb “the root of righteousness.” The genitive צַדִּיקִים (tsadiqim, “righteousness”) functions as an attributive adjective. The wicked want what belongs to others, but the righteous continue to flourish.
260 tc The MT reads יִתֵּן (yitten, “gives,” from נָתַן [natan, “to give”]), and yields an awkward meaning: “the root of the righteous gives.” The LXX reads “the root of the righteous endures” (cf. NAB). This suggests a Hebrew Vorlage of אֵיתָן (’etan, “constant; continual”; HALOT 44-45 s.v. I אֵיתָן 2) which would involve the omission of א (alef) in the MT. The metaphor “root” (שֹׁרֶשׁ, shoresh) is often used in Proverbs for that which endures; so internal evidence supports the alternate tradition.
261 tc MT reads the noun מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “bait; lure”). The LXX, Syriac and Tg. Prov 12:13 took it as a passive participle (“is ensnared”). The MT is the more difficult reading and so is preferred. The versions appear to be trying to clarify a difficult reading.
tn Heb “snare of a man.” The word “snare” is the figurative meaning of the noun מוֹקֵשׁ (“bait; lure” from יָקַשׁ [yaqash, “to lay a bait, or lure”]).
262 tn Heb “transgression of the lips.” The noun “lips” is a genitive of specification and it functions as a metonymy of cause for speech: sinful talk or sinning by talking. J. H. Greenstone suggests that this refers to litigation; the wicked attempt to involve the innocent (Proverbs, 131).
263 sn J. H. Greenstone suggests that when the wicked become involved in contradictions of testimony, the innocent is freed from the trouble. Another meaning would be that the wicked get themselves trapped by what they say, but the righteous avoid that (Proverbs, 131).
264 tn Heb “fruit of the lips.” The term “fruit” is the implied comparison, meaning what is produced; and “lips” is the metonymy of cause, referring to speech. Proper speech will result in good things.
265 tn Heb “the work of the hands of a man.”
266 tc The Kethib has the Qal imperfect, “will return” to him (cf. NASB); the Qere preserves a Hiphil imperfect, “he/one will restore/render” to him (cf. KJV, ASV). The Qere seems to suggest that someone (God or people) will reward him in kind. Since there is no expressed subject, it may be translated as a passive voice.
267 sn The way of a fool describes a headlong course of actions (“way” is an idiom for conduct) that is not abandoned even when wise advice is offered.
268 sn The fool believes that his own plans and ideas are perfect or “right” (יָשָׁר, yashar); he is satisfied with his own opinion.
269 tn Heb “in his own eyes.”
270 tn Or “a wise person listens to advice” (cf. NIV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
271 tn Heb “The fool, at once his vexation is known.” This rhetorically emphatic construction uses an independent nominative absolute, which is then followed by the formal subject with a suffix. The construction focuses attention on “the fool,” then states what is to be said about him.
272 tn Heb “on the day” or “the same day.”
sn The fool is impatient and unwise, and so flares up immediately when anything bothers him. W. McKane says that the fool’s reaction is “like an injured animal and so his opponent knows that he has been wounded” (Proverbs [OTL], 442).
273 tn Heb “shrewd.”
274 tn Heb “covers.” The verb כָּסָה (casah) means “covers” in the sense of ignores or bides his time. The point is not that he does not respond at all, but that he is shrewd enough to handle the criticism or insult in the best way – not instinctively and irrationally.
275 tn The text has “he pours out faithfully”; the word rendered “faithfully” or “reliably” (אֱמוּנָה, ’emunah) is used frequently for giving testimony in court, and so here the subject matter is the reliable witness.
276 tn Heb “righteousness.”
277 tn Heb “witness of falsehoods.” The genitive noun functions attributively, and the plural form depicts habitual action or moral characteristic. This describes a person who habitually lies. A false witness cannot be counted on to help the cause of justice.
278 tn The term “speaks” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
280 tn Heb “the tongue” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV). The term לָשׁוֹן (lashon, “tongue”) functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said.
281 tn The term “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
282 sn Healing is a metonymy of effect. Healing words are the opposite of the cutting, irresponsible words. What the wise say is faithful and true, gentle and kind, uplifting and encouraging; so their words bring healing.
283 tn Heb “a lip of truth.” The genitive אֱמֶת (’emet, “truth”) functions as an attributive adjective: “truthful lip.” The term שְׂפַת (sÿfat, “lip”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= lip) for the whole (= person): “truthful person.” The contrast is between “the lip of truth” and the “tongue of lying.”
284 tn Heb “a tongue of deceit.” The genitive שָׁקֶר (shaqer, “deceit”) functions as an attributive genitive. The noun לָשׁוֹן (lashon, “tongue”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= tongue) for the whole (= person): “lying person.”
285 tn Heb “while I would twinkle.” This expression is an idiom meaning “only for a moment.” The twinkling of the eye, the slightest movement, signals the brevity of the life of a lie (hyperbole). But truth will be established (תִּכּוֹן, tikon), that is, be made firm and endure.
287 tn Heb “those who are counselors of peace.” The term שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is an objective genitive, so the genitive-construct “counselors of peace” means those who advise, advocate or promote peace (cf. NAB, NIV).
288 tn Heb “is not allowed to meet to the righteous.”
289 tn Heb “all calamity.” The proper nuance of אָוֶן (’aven) is debated. It is normally understood metonymically (effect) as “harm; trouble,” that is, the result/effect of wickedness (e.g., Gen 50:20). Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived
290 tn The expression רָע מָלְאוּ (malÿ’u ra’, “to be full of evil”) means (1) the wicked do much evil or (2) the wicked experience much calamity (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
291 tn Heb “an abomination of the
292 tn Heb “lips of lying.” The genitive שָׁקֶר (shaqer, “lying”) functions as an attributive genitive: “lying lips.” The term “lips” functions as a synecdoche of part (= lips) for the whole (= person): “a liar.”
293 tn Heb “but doers of truthfulness.” The term “truthfulness” is an objective genitive, meaning: “those who practice truth” or “those who act in good faith.” Their words and works are reliable.
294 sn The contrast between “delight/pleasure” and “abomination” is emphatic. What pleases the
295 tn Heb “a shrewd man” (so NAB); KJV, NIV “a prudent man”; NRSV “One who is clever.”
sn A shrewd person knows how to use knowledge wisely, and restrains himself from revealing all he knows.
296 sn The term כֹּסֶה (koseh, “covers; hides”) does not mean that he never shares his knowledge, but discerns when it is and is not appropriate to speak.
297 tn Heb “the heart of fools.” The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= heart) for the whole (= person): “foolish people.” This type of fool despises correction and instruction. His intent is to proclaim all that he does – which is folly. W. McKane says that the more one speaks, the less likely he is able to speak effectively (Proverbs [OTL], 422). Cf. TEV “stupid people advertise their ignorance”; NLT “fools broadcast their folly.”
298 sn The noun אִוֶּלֶת (’ivvelet, “foolishness; folly”) is the antithesis of perception and understanding. It is related to the noun אֱוִּיל (’evvil, “fool”), one who is morally bad because he despises wisdom and discipline, mocks at guilt, is licentious and quarrelsome, and is almost impossible to rebuke.
299 tn The term חָרַץ (kharats, “diligent”) means (1) literally: “to cut; to sharpen,” (2) figurative: “to decide” and “to be diligent. It is used figuratively in Proverbs for diligence. The semantic development of the figure may be understood thus: “cut, sharpen” leads to “act decisively” which leads to “be diligent.” By their diligent work they succeed to management. The diligent rise to the top, while the lazy sink to the bottom.
300 tn Heb “the hand of the diligent.” The term “hand” is a synecdoche of part (= hand) for the whole (= person): diligent person. The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor; it signifies the actions and the industry of a diligent person – what his hand does.
301 tn Heb “deceitful.” The term refers to one who is not diligent; this person tries to deceive his master about his work, which he has neglected.
302 tn Heb “will be for slave labor.” The term מַס (mas, “slave labor”) refers to a person forced into labor from slavery.
304 tn Heb “the heart of a man.”
305 tn Heb “bows it [= his heart] down.” Anxiety weighs heavily on the heart, causing depression. The spirit is brought low.
306 tn Heb “good.” The Hebrew word “good” (טוֹב, tov) refers to what is beneficial for life, promotes life, creates life or protects life. The “good word” here would include encouragement, kindness, and insight – the person needs to regain the proper perspective on life and renew his confidence.
307 tn Heb “makes it [= his heart] glad.” The similarly sounding terms יַשְׁחֶנָּה (yashkhennah, “weighs it down”) and יְשַׂמְּחֶנָּה (yÿsammÿkhennah, “makes it glad”) create a wordplay (paronomasia) that dramatically emphasizes the polar opposite emotional states: depression versus joy.
308 tn The line has several possible translations: (1) The verb יָתֵר (yater) can mean “to spy out; to examine,” which makes a good contrast to “lead astray” in the parallel colon. (2) יָתֵר could be the Hophal of נָתַר (natar, Hiphil “to set free”; Hophal “to be set free”): “the righteous is delivered from harm” [reading mera`ah] (J. A. Emerton, “A Note on Proverbs 12:26,” ZAW 76 : 191-93). (3) Another option is, “the righteous guides his friend aright” (cf. NRSV, NLT).
309 tc The MT reads יַחֲרֹךְ (yakharokh) from II חָרַךְ (kharakh, “to roast”?). On the other hand, several versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) reflect a Hebrew Vorlage of יַדְרִיךְ (yadrikh) from דָרַךְ (darakh, “to gain”), meaning: “a lazy person cannot catch his prey” (suggested by Gemser; cf. NAB). The MT is the more difficult reading, being a hapax legomenon, and therefore should be retained; the versions are trying to make sense out of a rare expression.
tn The verb II חָרַךְ (kharakh) is a hapax legomenon, appearing in the OT only here. BDB suggests that it means “to start; to set in motion” (BDB 355 s.v.). The related Aramaic and Syriac verb means “to scorch; to parch,” and the related Arabic verb means “to roast; to scorch by burning”; so it may mean “to roast; to fry” (HALOT 353 s.v. I חרך). The lazy person can’t be bothered cooking what he has hunted. The Midrash sees an allusion to Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25. M. Dahood translates it: “the languid man will roast no game for himself, but the diligent will come on the wealth of the steppe” (“The Hapax harak in Proverbs 12:27,” Bib 63 : 60-62). This hyperbole means that the lazy person does not complete a project.
310 tn Heb “the wealth of a man.”
311 tc The consonants אל־מות (’l-mvt) are vocalized by the MT as אַל־מָוֶת (’al-mavet, “no death”), meaning: “the journey of her path is no-death” = immortality. However, many medieval Hebrew
tn Heb “no death.” This phrase may mean “immortality.” Those who enter the path of righteousness by faith and seek to live righteously are on their way to eternal life. However, M. Dahood suggests that it means permanence (“Immortality in Proverbs 12:28,” Bib 41 : 176-81).
312 tn The term “accepts” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and clarity.
313 tc G. R. Driver suggested reading this word as מְיֻסַּר (mÿyussar, “allows himself to be disciplined”); see his “Hebrew Notes on Prophets and Proverbs,” JTS 41 (1940): 174. But this is not necessary at all; the MT makes good sense as it stands. Similarly, the LXX has “a wise son listens to his father.”
tn Heb “discipline of a father.”
314 sn The “scoffer” is the worst kind of fool. He has no respect for authority, reviles worship of God, and is unteachable because he thinks he knows it all. The change to a stronger word in the second colon – “rebuke” (גָּעַר, ga’ar) – shows that he does not respond to instruction on any level. Cf. NLT “a young mocker,” taking this to refer to the opposite of the “wise son” in the first colon.
315 tn Heb “lips” (so NIV); KJV “mouth.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for what the lips produce: speech.
316 tn Heb “he eats [what is] good.”
317 tn Heb “the desire of the faithless.” The noun “faithless” is a subjective genitive: “the faithless desire….”
318 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) has a broad range of meanings, and here denotes “appetite” (e.g., Ps 17:9; Prov 23:3; Eccl 2:24; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; BDB 660 s.v. 5.c) or (2) “desire” (e.g., Deut 12:20; Prov 13:4; 19:8; 21:10; BDB 660 s.v. 6.a).
319 tn Heb “violence.” The phrase “the fruit of” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the parallelism. The term “violence” is probably a metonymy of cause: “violence” represents what violence gains – ill-gotten gains resulting from violent crime. The wicked desire what does not belong to them.
tc The LXX reads “the souls of the wicked perish untimely.” The MT makes sense as it stands.
320 tn Heb “mouth” (so KJV, NAB). The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
321 tn The term “but” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
322 tn Heb “opens wide his lips.” This is an idiom meaning “to be talkative” (BDB 832 s.v. פָּשַׂק Qal). Cf. NIV “speaks rashly”; TEV “a careless talker”; CEV “talk too much.”
323 sn Tight control over what one says prevents trouble (e.g., Prov 10:10; 17:28; Jas 3:1-12; Sir 28:25). Amenemope advises to “sleep a night before speaking” (5:15; ANET 422, n. 10). The old Arab proverb is appropriate: “Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat” (O. Zockler, Proverbs, 134).
324 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) has a broad range of meanings, and here denotes “appetite” (e.g., Ps 17:9; Prov 23:3; Eccl 2:24; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; BDB 660 s.v. 5.c) or (2) “desire” (e.g., Deut 12:20; Prov 19:8; 21:10; BDB 660 s.v. 6.a).
325 sn The contrast is between the “soul (= appetite) of the sluggard” (נַפְשׁוֹ עָצֵל, nafsho ’atsel) and the “soul (= desire) of the diligent” (נֶפֶשׁ חָרֻצִים, nefesh kharutsim) – what they each long for.
327 tn Heb “will be made fat” (cf. KJV, NASB); NRSV “is richly supplied.”
328 tn Heb “a word of falsehood.” The genitive “falsehood” functions as an attributive genitive. The construct noun דְּבַר (dÿvar) means either “word” or “thing.” Hence, the phrase means “a false word” or “a false thing.”
329 tc The versions render this phrase variously: “is ashamed and without confidence” (LXX); “is ashamed and put to the blush” (Tg. Prov 13:5); “confounds and will be confounded” (Vulgate). The variety is due in part to confusion of בָּאַשׁ (ba’sh, “to stink”) and בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “to be ashamed”). Cf. NASB “acts disgustingly and shamefully.”
tn Heb “acts shamefully and disgracefully.” The verb בָּאַשׁ (ba’ash) literally means “to cause a stink; to emit a stinking odor” (e.g., Exod 5:21; Eccl 10:1) and figuratively means “to act shamefully” (BDB 92 s.v.). The verb וְיַחְפִּיר (vÿyakhppir) means “to display shame.” Together, they can be treated as a verbal hendiadys: “to act in disgraceful shame,” or more colorfully “to make a shameful smell,” or as W. McKane has it, “spread the smell of scandal” (Proverbs [OTL], 460). W. G. Plaut says, “Unhappily, the bad odor adheres not only to the liar but also to the one about whom he lies – especially when the lie is a big one” (Proverbs, 152).
330 sn Righteousness refers to that which conforms to law and order. One who behaves with integrity will be safe from consequences of sin.
331 tn Heb “blameless of way.” The term דָּרֶךְ (darekh) is a genitive of specification: “blameless in respect to his way.” This means living above reproach in their course of life. Cf. NASB “whose way is blameless”; NAB “who walks honestly.”
332 sn Righteousness and wickedness are personified in this proverb to make the point of security and insecurity for the two courses of life.
333 tn The Hitpael of עָשַׁר (’ashar, “to be rich”) means “to pretend to be rich” (BDB 799 s.v. עָשַׁר Hithp); this is the so-called “Hollywood Hitpael” function which involves “acting” or pretending to be something one is not.
334 tn The Hitpolel of רוּשׁ (rush, “to be poor”) means “to pretend to be poor” (BDB 930 s.v. Hithpolel); this is another example of the “Hollywood Hitpael” – the Hitpolel forms of hollow root verbs are the equivalent of Hitpael stem forms.
335 sn The proverb seems to be a general observation on certain people in life, but it is saying more. Although there are times when such pretending may not be wrong, the proverb is instructing people to be honest. An empty pretentious display or a concealing of wealth can come to no good.
336 sn As the word “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, cofer) indicates, the rich are susceptible to kidnapping and robbery. But the poor man pays no attention to blackmail – he does not have money to buy off oppressors. So the rich person is exposed to legal attacks and threats of physical violence and must use his wealth as ransom.
337 tn Heb “the life of a man.”
338 tn The term גְּעָרָה (gÿ’arah) may mean (1) “rebuke” (so KJV, NASB) or (2) “threat” (so NIV; cf. ASV, NRSV, NLT ). If “rebuke” is the sense here, it means that the burdens of society fall on the rich as well as the dangers. But the sense of “threat” better fits the context: The rich are threatened with extortion, but the poor are not (cf. CEV “the poor don’t have that problem”).
339 sn The images of “light” and “darkness” are used frequently in scripture. Here “light” is an implied comparison: “light” represents life, joy, and prosperity; “darkness” signifies adversity and death. So the “light of the righteous” represents the prosperous life of the righteous.
340 tn The verb יִשְׂמָח (yismah) is normally translated “to make glad; to rejoice.” But with “light” as the subject, it has the connotation “to shine brightly” (see G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 180).
341 sn The lamp is an implied comparison as well, comparing the life of the wicked to a lamp that is going to be extinguished.
342 tc The LXX adds, “Deceitful souls go astray in sins, but the righteous are pitiful and merciful.”
tn The verb דָּעַךְ (da’akh) means “to go out [in reference to a fire or lamp]; to be extinguished.” The idea is that of being made extinct, snuffed out (cf. NIV, NLT). The imagery may have been drawn from the sanctuary where the flame was to be kept burning perpetually. Not so with the wicked.
343 sn The parallelism suggests pride here means contempt for the opinions of others. The wise listen to advice rather than argue out of stubborn pride.
344 tn The particle רַק (raq, “only”) modifies the noun “contention” – only contention can come from such a person.
345 tn The Niphal of יָעַץ (ya’ats, “to advise; to counsel”) means “to consult together; to take counsel.” It means being well-advised, receiving advice or consultation (cf. NCV “those who take advice are wise”).
346 tc The MT reads מֵהֵבֶל (mehevel, “from vanity”). The Greek and Latin versions (followed by RSV) reflect מְבֹהָל (mÿvohal, “in haste”) which exhibits metathesis. MT is the more difficult reading and therefore preferred. The alternate reading fits the parallelism better, but is therefore a less difficult reading.
tn Heb “wealth from vanity” (cf. KJV, ASV). The term הֶבֶל (hevel) literally means “vapor” and figuratively refers to that which is unsubstantial, fleeting, or amount to nothing (BDB 210 s.v.). Used in antithesis with the expression “little by little,” it means either “without working for it” or “quickly.” Some English versions assume dishonest gain (cf. NASB, NIV, CEV).
347 tn Heb “will become small.” The verb מָעָט (ma’at) means “to become small; to become diminished; to become few.” Money gained without work will diminish quickly, because it was come by too easily. The verb forms a precise contrast with רָבָה (ravah), “to become much; to become many,” but in the Hiphil, “to multiply; to make much many; to cause increase.”
348 tn Heb “by hand”; cf. KJV, ASV, NASB “by labor.”
349 tn Heb “will increase.”
350 sn The word “hope” (תּוֹחֶלֶת [tokhelet] from יָחַל [yakhal]) also has the implication of a tense if not anxious wait.
351 tn The verb is the Pual participle from מָשַׁךְ (mashakh,“to draw; to drag”).
352 sn Failure in realizing one’s hopes can be depressing or discouraging. People can bear frustration only so long (W. G. Plaut, Proverbs, 153).
353 tn Heb “a desire that comes”; cf. CEV “a wish that comes true.”
354 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
355 tn Heb “the word.” The term “word” means teaching in general; its parallel “command” indicates that it is the more forceful instruction that is meant. Both of these terms are used for scripture.
356 tc The MT reads יֵחָבֶל (yekhavel, “he will pay [for it]”; cf. NAB, NIV) but the BHS editors suggest revocalizing the text to יְחֻבָּל (yÿkhubal, “he will be broken [for it]”; cf. NRSV “bring destruction on themselves”).
tn Heb “will be pledged to it.” The Niphal of I חָבַל (khaval) “to pledge” means “to be under pledge to pay the penalty” (BDB 286 s.v. Niph). Whoever despises teaching will be treated as a debtor – he will pay for it if he offends against the law.
357 tn Heb “fears a commandment”; NIV “respects a command.”
358 tn Heb “he” or “that one” [will be rewarded].
359 tc The LXX adds: “A crafty son will have no good thing, but the affairs of a wise servant will be prosperous; and his path will be directed rightly.”
360 tn The term תוֹרָה (torah) in legal literature means “law,” but in wisdom literature often means “instruction; teaching” (BDB 435 s.v.); cf. NAV, NIV, NRSV “teaching”; NLT “advice.”
361 tn Heb “instruction of the wise.” The term חָכָם (khakham, “the wise”) is a genitive of source.
362 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
363 tn Heb “fountain of life” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). The genitive חַיִּים (khayyim) functions as a genitive of material, similar to the expression “fountain of water.” The metaphor means that the teaching of the wise is life-giving. The second colon is the consequence of the first, explaining this metaphor.
364 tn The infinitive construct with preposition לְ (lamed) gives the result (or, purpose) of the first statement. It could also be taken epexegetically, “by turning.”
365 tn The term “person” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
366 tn Heb “snares of death” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). The genitive מָוֶת (mavet) functions as an attributive adjective. The term “snares” makes an implied comparison with hunting; death is like a hunter. W. McKane compares the idea to the Ugaritic god Mot, the god of death, carrying people off to the realm of the departed (Proverbs [OTL], 455). The expression could also mean that the snares lead to death.
367 tn Heb “good insight.” The expression שֵׂכֶל־טוֹב (sekhel-tov) describes a person who has good sense, sound judgment, or wise opinions (BDB 968 s.v. שֵׂכֶל).
368 tn Heb “gives”; NASB “produces.”
369 tn Heb “way,” frequently for conduct, behavior, or lifestyle.
370 tc The MT reads אֵיתָן (’etan, “enduring; permanent; perennial”; BDB 450 s.v. יתן 1). Several scholars suggest that the text here is corrupt and the reading should be “harsh; hard; firm; rugged” (BDB 450 s.v. 2). G. R. Driver suggested that לֹא (lo’, “not”) was dropped before the word by haplography and so the meaning would have been not “enduring” but “passing away” (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 181). The LXX, Syriac, and Tg. Prov 13:15 reflect a Hebrew Vorlage of תֹאבֵד (to’ved) “are destroyed.” The BHS editors suggest emending the text to אֵידָם (’edam) “their calamity” from אֵיד (’ed, “calamity, distress”; BDB 15 s.v.): “the way of the faithless [leads to] their calamity.” The idea of “harsh” or “hard” could also be drawn from a meaning of the word in the MT meaning “firm,” that is, enduring.
371 sn The shrewd person knows the circumstances, dangers and pitfalls that lie ahead. So he deals with them wisely. This makes him cautious.
372 tn Heb “spreads open” [his folly]. W. McKane suggests that this is a figure of a peddler displaying his wares (Proverbs [OTL], 456; cf. NAB “the fool peddles folly”). If given a chance, a fool will reveal his foolishness in public. But the wise study the facts and make decisions accordingly.
373 tn Heb “bad.”
374 tn The RSV changes this to a Hiphil to read, “plunges [men] into trouble.” But the text simply says the wicked messenger “falls into trouble,” perhaps referring to punishment for his bad service.
375 tn Or “evil.”
376 tn Heb “an envoy of faithfulness.” The genitive אֱמוּנִים (’emunim, “faithfulness”) functions as an attributive adjective: “faithful envoy.” The plural form אמונים (literally, “faithfulnesses”) is characteristic of abstract nouns. The term “envoy” (צִיר, tsir) suggests that the person is in some kind of government service (e.g., Isa 18:2; Jer 49:14; cf. KJV, ASV “ambassador”). This individual can be trusted to “bring healing” – be successful in the mission. The wisdom literature of the ancient Neat East has much to say about messengers.
377 tn The verb “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
378 tn The verb III פָּרַע (para’) normally means “to let go; to let alone” and here “to neglect; to avoid; to reject” (BDB 828 s.v.).
379 tn The phrase “ends up in” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
380 sn Honor and success are contrasted with poverty and shame; the key to enjoying the one and escaping the other is discipline and correction. W. McKane, Proverbs (OTL), 456, notes that it is a difference between a man of weight (power and wealth, from the idea of “heavy” for “honor”) and the man of straw (lowly esteemed and poor).
381 tn Heb “an abomination of fools.” The noun כְּסִילִים (kÿsilim, “fools”) functions as a subjective genitive: “fools hate to turn away from evil” (cf. NAB, TEV, CEV). T. T. Perowne says: “In spite of the sweetness of good desires accomplished, fools will not forsake evil to attain it” (Proverbs, 103). Cf. Prov 13:12; 29:27.
382 tn Heb “walks.” When used with the preposition אֶת (’et, “with”), the verb הָלַךְ (halakh, “to walk”) means “to associate with” someone (BDB 234 s.v. הָלַךְ II.3.b; e.g., Mic 6:8; Job 34:8). The active participle of הָלַךְ (“to walk”) stresses continual, durative action. One should stay in close association with the wise, and move in the same direction they do.
383 tn The verb form יֵרוֹעַ (yeroa’) is the Niphal imperfect of רָעַע (ra’a’), meaning “to suffer hurt.” Several have attempted to parallel the repetition in the wordplay of the first colon. A. Guillaume has “he who associates with fools will be left a fool” (“A Note on the Roots רִיע, יָרַע, and רָעַע in Hebrew,” JTS 15 : 294). Knox translated the Vulgate thus: “Fool he ends that fool befriends” (cited by D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 104).
384 tn Heb “evil.” The term רָעָה (ra’ah, “evil”) here functions in a metonymical sense meaning “calamity.” “Good” is the general idea of good fortune or prosperity; the opposite, “evil,” is likewise “misfortune” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV) or calamity.
385 sn This statement deals with recompense in absolute terms. It is this principle, without allowing for any of the exceptions that Proverbs itself acknowledges, that Job’s friends applied (incorrectly) to his suffering.
386 tn Heb “good.”
387 sn In ancient Israel the idea of leaving an inheritance was a sign of God’s blessing; blessings extended to the righteous and not the sinners.
388 tn Heb “the children of children.”
390 tn Heb “fallow ground” (so NASB). The word נִיר (nir) means “the tillable [or untilled; or fallow] ground.” BDB 644 s.v. says this line could be rendered: “abundant food [yields] the fallow ground of poor men” (i.e., with the
391 tc The MT reads “there is what is swept away because [there is] no justice” (וְיֵשׁ נִסְפֶּה בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט, vÿyesh nispeh bÿlo’ mishpat). The LXX reads “the great enjoy wealth many years, but some men perish little by little.” The Syriac reads “those who have no habitation waste wealth many years, and some waste it completely.” Tg. Prov 13:23 reads “the great man devours the land of the poor, and some men are taken away unjustly.” The Vulgate has “there is much food in the fresh land of the fathers, and for others it is collected without judgment.” C. H. Toy says that the text is corrupt (Proverbs [ICC], 277). Nevertheless, the MT makes sense: The ground could produce enough food for people if there were no injustice in the land. Poverty is unnecessary as long as there is justice and not injustice.
392 sn R. N. Whybray cites an Egyptian proverb that says that “boys have their ears on their backsides; they listen when they are beaten” (Proverbs [CBC], 80). Cf. Prov 4:3-4, 10-11; Eph 6:4; Heb 12:5-11.
393 sn The importance of parental disciplining is stressed by the verbs “hate” and “love.” “Hating” a child in this sense means in essence abandoning or rejecting him; “loving” a child means embracing and caring for him. Failure to discipline a child is tantamount to hating him – not caring about his character.
394 tn Heb “his son.”
395 tn Heb “him”; the referent (his child) is specified in the translation for clarity.
396 tn Heb “seeks him.” The verb שָׁחַר (shahar, “to be diligent; to do something early”; BDB 1007 s.v.) could mean “to be diligent to discipline,” or “to be early or prompt in disciplining.” See G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes on Prophets and Proverbs,” JTS 41 (1940): 170.
397 tn The noun מוּסָר (musar, “discipline”) functions as an adverbial accusative of reference: “he is diligent in reference to discipline.”
399 tn Heb “he will lack.” The term “food” is supplied in the translation as a clarification. The wicked may go hungry, or lack all they desire, just as the first colon may mean that what the righteous acquire proves satisfying to them.
400 tn Heb “wise ones of women.” The construct phrase חַכְמוֹת נָשִׁים (khakhmot nashim) features a wholistic genitive: “wise women.” The plural functions in a distributive sense: “every wise woman.” The contrast is between wise and foolish women (e.g., Prov 7:10-23; 31:10-31).
401 tn The perfect tense verb in the first colon functions in a gnomic sense, while the imperfect tense in the second colon is a habitual imperfect.
402 tn Heb “house.” This term functions as a synecdoche of container (= house) for contents (= household, family).
403 tn Heb “fear of the
404 tn Heb “crooked of ways”; NRSV “devious in conduct.” This construct phrase features a genitive of specification: “crooked in reference to his ways.” The term “ways” is an idiom for moral conduct. The evidence that people fear the
405 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) may denote (1) exchange: “in exchange for” foolish talk there is a rod; or (2) cause: “because of” foolish talk.
406 sn The noun פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said (“speech, words, talk”).
407 tc The MT reads גַּאֲוָה (ga’avah, “pride”) which creates an awkward sense “in the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride” (cf. KJV, ASV). The BHS editors suggest emending the form to גֵּוֹה (“disciplining-rod”) to create tighter parallelism and irony: “in the mouth of a fool is a rod for the back” (e.g., Prov 10:13). What the fools says will bring discipline.
tn Heb “a rod of back.” The noun גֵּוֹה functions as a genitive of specification: “a rod for his back.” The fool is punished because of what he says.
408 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause, meaning what they say. The wise by their speech will find protection.
409 tn Heb “the strength of oxen.” The genitive שׁוֹר (shor, “oxen”) functions as an attributed genitive: “strong oxen.” Strong oxen are indispensable for a good harvest, and for oxen to be strong they must be well-fed. The farmer has to balance grain consumption with the work oxen do.
410 tn Heb “a witness of faithfulness.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “faithful witness” (so KJV, NRSV); TEV “reliable witness.”
411 tn Heb “a witness of falsehood.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “false witness.”
412 sn This saying addresses the problem of legal testimony: A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness does lie – naturally. The first colon uses the verb כָּזַב (kazav, “to lie”) and the second colon uses the noun כָּזָב (kazav, “lie; falsehood”).
413 sn The “scorner” (לֵץ, lets) is intellectually arrogant; he lacks any serious interest in knowledge or religion. He pursues wisdom in a superficial way so that he can appear wise. The acquisition of wisdom is conditioned by one’s attitude toward it (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 149).
414 tn Heb “and there is not.”
415 sn The Niphal of קָלַל (qalal) means “to appear light; to appear trifling; to appear easy.”
416 tn Heb “a man, a stupid fellow.”
417 tn Heb “and.” The vav (ו) that introduces this clause may be understood as meaning “or….”
418 tc The MT reads וּבַל־יָדַעְתָּ (uval-yada’ta, “you did not know [the lips of knowledge]).” It must mean that one should leave the fool because he did not receive knowledge from what fools said. Tg. Prov 14:7 freely interprets the verse: “for there is no knowledge on his lips.” The LXX reflects a Hebrew Vorlage of וּכְלֵי־דַעַת (ukhÿle-da’at, “[wise lips] are weapons of discretion”). The textual variant involves wrong word division and orthographic confusion between ב (bet) and כ (kaf). C. H. Toy emends the text: “for his lips do not utter knowledge” as in 15:7 (Proverbs [ICC], 285). The MT is workable and more difficult.
419 tn Heb “lips of knowledge” (so KJV, ASV). “Lips” is the metonymy of cause, and “knowledge” is an objective genitive (speaking knowledge) or attributive genitive (knowledgeable speech): “wise counsel.”
420 tn Or “the prudent [person]” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV).
421 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct denotes purpose. Those who are shrewd will use it to give careful consideration to all their ways.
422 tn The word means “deception,” but some suggest “self-deception” here (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 466; and D. W. Thomas, “Textual and Philological Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VTSup 3 : 286); cf. NLT “fools deceive themselves.” The parallelism would favor this, but there is little support for it. The word usually means “craft practiced on others.” If the line is saying the fool is deceitful, there is only a loose antithesis between the cola.
423 tn The noun “fools” is plural but the verb “mock” is singular. This has led some to reverse the line to say “guilty/guilt offering mocks fools” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 287); see, e.g., Isa 1:14; Amos 5:22. But lack of agreement between subject and verb is not an insurmountable difficulty.
tn Heb “guilt.” The word אָשָׁם (’asham) has a broad range of meanings: “guilt; reparation.” According to Leviticus, when someone realized he was guilty he would bring a “reparation offering,” a sin offering with an additional tribute for restitution (Lev 5:1-6). It would be left up to the guilty to come forward; it was for the kind of thing that only he would know, for which his conscience would bother him. Fools mock any need or attempt to make things right, to make restitution (cf. NIV, NRSV, NCV, TEV).
425 tn The word רָצוֹן (ratson) means “favor; acceptance; pleasing.” It usually means what is pleasing or acceptable to God. In this passage it either means that the upright try to make amends, or that the upright find favor for doing so.
426 tn Heb “bitterness of its soul.”
427 tn Heb “stranger” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).
428 tn The verb is the Hitpael of II עָרַב (’arav), which means “to take in pledge; to give in pledge; to exchange.” Here it means “to share [in].” The proverb is saying that there are joys and sorrows that cannot be shared. No one can truly understand the deepest feelings of another.
429 tn Heb “house.” The term “house” is a metonymy of subject, referring to their contents: families and family life.
sn Personal integrity ensures domestic stability and prosperity, while lack of such integrity (= wickedness) will lead to the opposite.
430 tn The term “tent” is a metonymy here referring to the contents of the tent: families.
431 tn Heb “which is straight before a man.”
sn The proverb recalls the ways of the adulterous woman in chapters 1-9, and so the translation of “man” is retained. The first line does not say that the “way” that seems right is “vice,” but the second line clarifies that. The individual can rationalize all he wants, but the result is still the same. The proverb warns that any evil activity can take any number of ways (plural) to destruction.
432 tn Heb “the ways of death” (so KJV, ASV). This construct phrase features a genitive of destiny: “ways that lead to [or, end in] death.” Here death means ruin (e.g., Prov 7:27; 16:25). The LXX adds “Hades,” but the verse seems to be concerned with events of this life.
433 sn No joy is completely free of grief. There is a joy that is superficial and there is underlying pain that will remain after the joy is gone.
434 tn Heb “and its end, joy, is grief.” The suffix may be regarded as an Aramaism, a proleptic suffix referring to “joy.”
435 tn The phrase “may be” is not in the Hebrew but is supplied from the parallelism, which features an imperfect of possibility.
436 tn Heb “a turning away of heart.” The genitive לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a backslidden heart.” The term סוּג (sug) means “to move away; to move backwards; to depart; to backslide” (BDB 690 s.v. I סוּג). This individual is the one who backslides, that is, who departs from the path of righteousness.
437 tn Heb “will be filled”; cf. KJV, ASV. The verb (“to be filled, to be satisfied”) here means “to be repaid,” that is, to partake in his own evil ways. His faithlessness will come back to haunt him.
438 tn The phrase “will be rewarded” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
439 sn The contrast is with the simpleton and the shrewd. The simpleton is the young person who is untrained morally or intellectually, and therefore gullible. The shrewd one is the prudent person, the one who has the ability to make critical discriminations.
440 tn Heb “his step”; cf. TEV “sensible people watch their step.”
441 tn Heb “fears.” Since the holy name (Yahweh, translated “the
442 tn The Hitpael of עָבַר (’avar, “to pass over”) means “to pass over the bounds of propriety; to act insolently” (BDB 720 s.v.; cf. ASV “beareth himself insolently”).
443 tn The verb בָּטַח here denotes self-assurance or overconfidence. Fools are not cautious and do not fear the consequences of their actions.
444 sn The proverb discusses two character traits that are distasteful to others – the quick tempered person (“short of anger” or impatient) and the crafty person (“man of devices”). C. H. Toy thinks that the proverb is antithetical and renders it “but a wise man endures” (Proverbs [ICC], 292). In other words, the quick-tempered person acts foolishly and loses people’s respect, but the wise man does not.
445 tn Heb “a man of devices.”
446 tc The LXX reads “endures” (from נָשָׂא, nasa’) rather than “is hated” (from שָׂנֵא, sane’). This change seems to have arisen on the assumption that a contrast was needed. It has: “a man of thought endures.” Other versions take מְזִמּוֹת (mÿzimmot) in a good sense; but antithetical parallelism is unwarranted here.
447 tc G. R. Driver, however, proposed reading the verb as “are adorned” from הלה (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 181). A similar reading is followed by a number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NRSV, NLT).
sn The proverb anticipates what the simple will receive, assuming they remain simpletons.
448 tn Or “prudent” (KJV, NASB, NIV); NRSV, TEV “clever.”
449 tn The meaning of יַכְתִּרוּ (yakhtiru, Hiphil imperfect of כָּתַר, katar) is elusive. It may not mean “to be crowned” or “to crown themselves,” but “to encircle” or “to embrace.” BDB 509 s.v. כָּתַר Hiph suggests “to throw out crowns” (throw out knowledge as a crown) or “to encompass knowledge,” i.e., possess it (parallel to inherit).
450 tn Many versions nuance the perfect tense verb שָׁחַח (shakhakh) as a characteristic perfect. But the proverb suggests that the reality lies in the future. So the verb is best classified as a prophetic perfect (cf. NASB, NIV, CEV, NLT): Ultimately the wicked will acknowledge and serve the righteous – a point the prophets make.
451 tn The phrase “will bow” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
452 sn J. H. Greenstone suggests that this means that they are begging for favors (Proverbs, 154).
453 tn Heb “hated.” The verse is just a statement of fact. The verbs “love” and “hate” must be seen in their connotations: The poor are rejected, avoided, shunned – that is, hated; but the rich are sought after, favored, embraced – that is, loved.
454 sn The verb חָרַשׁ (kharash) means (1) literally: “to cut in; to engrave; to plow,” describing the work of a craftsman; and (2) figuratively: “to devise,” describing the mental activity of planning evil (what will harm people) in the first colon, and planning good (what will benefit them) in the second colon.
455 tn The term “exhibit” does not appear in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
456 tn Heb “loyal-love and truth.” The two terms חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת (khesed ve’emet) often form a hendiadys: “faithful love” or better “faithful covenant love.”
457 sn The Hebrew term עֶצֶב (’etsev, “painful toil; labor”) is first used in scripture in Gen 3:19 to describe the effects of the Fall. The point here is that people should be more afraid of idle talk than of hard labor.
458 tn Heb “word of lips.” This construct phrase features a genitive of source (“a word from the lips”) or a subjective genitive (“speaking a word”). Talk without work (which produces nothing) is contrasted with labor that produces something.
459 tn The term “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
460 sn The noun מַחְסוֹר (makhsor, “need; thing needed; poverty”) comes from the verb “to lack; to be lacking; to decrease; to need.” A person given to idle talk rather than industrious work will have needs that go unmet.
461 sn C. H. Toy suggests that this line probably means that wealth is an ornament to those who use it well (Proverbs [ICC], 269). J. H. Greenstone suggests that it means that the wisdom of the wise, which is their crown of glory, constitutes their wealth (Proverbs, 155).
462 tc The MT reads אִוֶלֶת (’ivelet, “folly”). The editors of BHS propose emending the text to וְלִוְיַת (vÿlivyat, “but the wealth”), as suggested by the LXX. See M. Rotenberg, “The Meaning of אִוֶּלֶת in Proverbs,” LesŒ 25 (1960-1961): 201. A similar emendation is followed by NAB (“the diadem”) and NRSV (“the garland”).
463 tn Heb “a witness of truth”; cf. CEV “an honest witness.”
464 tn The noun נְפָשׁוֹת (nÿfashot) often means “souls,” but here “lives” – it functions as a metonymy for life (BDB 659 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 3.c).
sn The setting of this proverb is the courtroom. One who tells the truth “saves” (מַצִּיל [matsil, “rescues; delivers”]) the lives of those falsely accused.
465 tn The term “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity. Also possible, “is deceitful.”
466 tc Several commentators suggest emending the text from the noun מִרְמָה (mirmah, “deception”) to the participle מְרַמֶּה (mÿrameh, “destroys”). However, this revocalization is not necessary because the MT makes sense as it stands: A false witness destroys lives.
467 tn Heb “In the fear of the
468 tn Heb “confidence of strength.” This construct phrase features an attributive genitive: “strong confidence” (so most English versions; NIV “a secure fortress”).
469 sn The fear of the
471 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
472 tn Heb “fountain of life.”
473 tn The infinitive construct with prefixed ל (lamed) indicates the purpose/result of the first line; it could also function epexegetically, explaining how fear is a fountain: “by turning….”
474 tn The term “people” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
475 tn Heb “snares of death” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); CEV “deadly traps.”
476 tn The preposition serves as the beth essentiae – the glory is the abundant population, not in it.
477 tn Heb “people.” Cf. NLT “a dwindling nation.”
478 sn The word means “ruin; destruction,” but in this context it could be a metonymy of effect, the cause being an attack by more numerous people that will bring ruin to the ruler. The proverb is purely a practical and secular saying, unlike some of the faith teachings in salvation history passages.
479 tn Heb “hasty of spirit” (so KJV, ASV); NRSV, NLT “a hasty temper.” One who has a quick temper or a short fuse will be evident to everyone, due to his rash actions.
480 sn The participle “exalts” (מֵרִים, merim) means that this person brings folly to a full measure, lifts it up, brings it to the full notice of everybody.
481 tn Heb “heart of healing.” The genitive מַרְפֵּא (marpe’, “healing”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a healing heart.” The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) is a metonymy for the emotional state of a person (BDB 660 s.v. 6). A healthy spirit is tranquil, bringing peace to the body (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 158).
482 tn Heb “life of the flesh” (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NIV “gives life to the body.”
483 tn The term קִנְאָה (qin’ah, “envy”) refers to passionate zeal or “jealousy” (so NAB, NCV, TEV, NLT), depending on whether the object is out of bounds or within one’s rights. In the good sense one might be consumed with zeal to defend the institutions of the sanctuary. But as envy or jealousy the word describes an intense and sometimes violent excitement and desire that is never satisfied.
484 tn Heb “rottenness of bones.” The term “bones” may be a synecdoche representing the entire body; it is in contrast with “flesh” of the first colon. One who is consumed with envy finds no tranquility or general sense of health in body or spirit.
485 tn The verb עָשַׁק (’ashaq) normally means “to oppress” (as in many English versions). However, here it might mean “to slander.” See J. A. Emerton, “Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” JTS 20 (1969): 202-22.
486 sn In the Piel this verb has the meaning of “to reproach; to taunt; to say sharp things against” someone (cf. NIV “shows contempt for”). By oppressing the poor one taunts or mistreats God because that person is in the image of God – hence the reference to the “Creator.” To ridicule what God made is to ridicule God himself.
487 sn The phrase “shows favor” is contrasted with the term “oppresses.” To “show favor” means to be gracious to (or treat kindly) those who do not deserve it or cannot repay it. It is treatment that is gratis. This honors God because he commanded it to be done (Prov 14:21; 17:5; 19:17).
488 tn The prepositional phrase must be “in his time of trouble” (i.e., when catastrophe comes). Cf. CEV “In times of trouble the wicked are destroyed.” A wicked person has nothing to fall back on in such times.
489 sn The righteous have hope in a just retribution – they have a place of safety even in death.
490 tc The LXX reads this as “in his integrity,” as if it were בְּתוּמּוֹ (bÿtumo) instead of “in his death” (בְּמוֹתוֹ, bÿmoto). The LXX is followed by some English versions (e.g., NAB “in his honesty,” NRSV “in their integrity,” and TEV “by their integrity”).
tn Heb “in his death.” The term “death” may function as a metonymy of effect for a life-threatening situation.
491 tn The LXX negates the clause, saying it is “not known in fools” (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV, NLT). Thomas connects the verb to the Arabic root wd` and translates it “in fools it is suppressed.” See D. W. Thomas, “The Root ידע in Hebrew,” JTS 35 (1934): 302-3.
sn The second line may be ironic or sarcastic. The fool, eager to appear wise, blurts out what seems to be wisdom, but in the process turns it to folly. The contrast is that wisdom resides with people who have understanding.
492 tn Heb “in the inner part”; ASV “in the inward part”; NRSV “in the heart of fools.”
493 sn The verb תְּרוֹמֵם (tÿromem, translated “exalts”) is a Polel imperfect; it means “to lift up; to raise up; to elevate.” Here the upright dealings of the leaders and the people will lift up the people. The people’s condition in that nation will be raised.
494 tn The term is the homonymic root II חֶסֶד (khesed, “shame; reproach”; BDB 340 s.v.), as reflected by the LXX translation. Rabbinic exegesis generally took it as I חֶסֶד (“loyal love; kindness”) as if it said, “even the kindness of some nations is a sin because they do it only for a show” (so Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived
495 tn Heb “the favor of a king.” The noun “king” functions as a subjective genitive: “the king shows favor….”
496 sn The wise servant is shown favor, while the shameful servant is shown anger. Two Hiphil participles make the contrast: מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil, “wise”) and מֵבִישׁ (mevish, “one who acts shamefully”). The wise servant is a delight and enjoys the favor of the king because he is skillful and clever. The shameful one botches his duties; his indiscretions and incapacity expose the master to criticism (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 470).
497 tn Heb “is” (so KJV, ASV).
498 tn Heb “soft answer.” The adjective רַּךְ (rakh, “soft; tender; gentle”; BDB 940 s.v.) is more than a mild response; it is conciliatory, an answer that restores good temper and reasonableness (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 477). Gideon illustrates this kind of answer (Judg 8:1-3) that brings peace.
499 tn Heb “word of harshness”; KJV “grievous words.” The noun עֶצֶב (’etsev, “pain, hurt”) functions as an attributive genitive. The term עֶצֶב refers to something that causes pain (BDB 780 s.v. I עֶצֶב). For example, Jephthah’s harsh answer led to war (Judg 12:1-6).
500 tn Heb “raises anger.” A common response to painful words is to let one’s temper flare up.
501 sn The contrast is between the “tongue of the wise” and the “mouth of the fool.” Both expressions are metonymies of cause; the subject matter is what they say. How wise people are can be determined from what they say.
502 tn Or “makes knowledge acceptable” (so NASB). The verb תֵּיטִיב (tetiv, Hiphil imperfect of יָטַב [yatav, “to be good”]) can be translated “to make good” or “to treat in a good [or, excellent] way” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 303). M. Dahood, however, suggests emending the text to תֵּיטִיף (tetif) which is a cognate of נָטַף (nataf, “drip”), and translates “tongues of the sages drip with knowledge” (Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Philology, 32-33). But this change is gratuitous and unnecessary.
503 sn The Hiphil verb יַבִּיעַ (yabia’) means “to pour out; to emit; to cause to bubble; to belch forth.” The fool bursts out with reckless utterances (cf. TEV “spout nonsense”).
504 sn The proverb uses anthropomorphic language to describe God’s exacting and evaluating knowledge of all people.
505 tn The form צֹפוֹת (tsofot, “watching”) is a feminine plural participle agreeing with “eyes.” God’s watching eyes comfort good people but convict evil.
506 tn Heb “a tongue.” The term “tongue” is a metonymy of cause for what is produced: speech.
507 tn Heb “a tongue of healing.” A healing tongue refers to speech that is therapeutic or soothing. It is a source of vitality.
508 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
509 tn Heb “tree of life.”
510 tn Heb “perversion in it.” The referent must be the tongue, so this has been supplied in the translation for clarity. A tongue that is twisted, perverse, or deceitful is a way of describing deceitful speech. Such words will crush the spirit (e.g., Isa 65:14).
511 tn Heb “is prudent” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NCV, NLT “is wise.” Anyone who accepts correction or rebuke will become prudent in life.
512 tn The term בֵּית (bet, “house”) functions as an adverbial accusative of location.
513 sn The Hebrew noun חֹסֶן (khosen) means “wealth; treasure.” Prosperity is the reward for righteousness. This is true only in so far as a proverb can be carried in its application, allowing for exceptions. The Greek text for this verse has no reference for wealth, but talks about amassing righteousness.
514 tn Heb “will be troubled.” The function of the Niphal participle may be understood in two ways: (1) substantival use: abstract noun meaning “disturbance, calamity” (BDB 747 s.v. עָכַר) or passive noun meaning “thing troubled,” or (2) verbal use: “will be troubled” (HALOT 824 s.v. עכר nif).
515 tc The verb of the first colon is difficult because it does not fit the second very well – a heart does not “scatter” or “spread” knowledge. On the basis of the LXX, C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 305) suggests a change to יִצְּרוּ (yitsÿru, “they preserve”). The Greek evidence, however, is not strong. For the second line the LXX has “hearts of fools are not safe,” apparently taking לֹא־כֵן (lo’-khen) as “unstable” instead of “not so.” So it seems futile to use the Greek version to modify the first colon to make a better parallel, when the Greek has such a different reading in the second colon anyway.
516 sn The phrase “the heart of fools” emphasizes that fools do not comprehend knowledge. Cf. NCV “there is no knowledge in the thoughts of fools.”
517 tn Heb “an abomination of the
518 tn Heb “sacrifice” (so many English versions).
519 sn The sacrifices of the wicked are hated by the
520 sn J. H. Greenstone notes that if God will accept the prayers of the upright, he will accept their sacrifices; for sacrifice is an outer ritual and easily performed even by the wicked, but prayer is a private and inward act and not usually fabricated by unbelievers (Proverbs, 162).
521 tn Heb “[is] his pleasure.” The 3rd person masculine singular suffix functions as a subjective genitive: “he is pleased.” God is pleased with the prayers of the upright.
522 tn Heb “an abomination of the
523 tn Heb “the one who” (so NRSV).
524 sn God hates the way of the wicked, that is, their lifestyle and things they do. God loves those who pursue righteousness, the Piel verb signifying a persistent pursuit. W. G. Plaut says, “He who loves God will be moved to an active, persistent, and even dangerous search for justice” (Proverbs, 170).
525 tn The two lines are parallel synonymously, so the “severe discipline” of the first colon is parallel to “will die” of the second. The expression מוּסָר רָע (musar ra’, “severe discipline”) indicates a discipline that is catastrophic or harmful to life.
526 sn If this line and the previous line are synonymous, then the one who abandons the way also refuses any correction, and so there is severe punishment. To abandon the way means to leave the life of righteousness which is the repeated subject of the book of Proverbs.
527 tn Heb “Sheol and Abaddon” (שְׁאוֹל וַאֲבַדּוֹן (shÿ’ol va’adon); so ASV, NASB, NRSV; cf. KJV “Hell and destruction”; NAB “the nether world and the abyss.” These terms represent the remote underworld and all the mighty powers that reside there (e.g., Prov 27:20; Job 26:6; Ps 139:8; Amos 9:2; Rev 9:11). The
528 tn The construction אַף כִּי (’af ki, “how much more!”) introduces an argument from the lesser to the greater: If all this is open before the
529 tn Heb “the hearts of the sons of man,” although here “sons of man” simply means “men” or “human beings.”
530 sn This is an understatement, the opposite being intended (a figure called tapeinosis). A scorner rejects any efforts to reform him.
531 tn The form הוֹכֵחַ (hokheakh) is a Hiphil infinitive absolute. It could function as the object of the verb (cf. NIV, NRSV) or as a finite verb (cf. KJV, NASB, NLT). The latter has been chosen here because of the prepositional phrase following it, although that is not a conclusive argument.
532 tc The MT has אֶל (’el, “to [the wise]”), suggesting seeking the advice of the wise. The LXX, however, has “with the wise,” suggesting אֶת (’et).
533 tn The contrast in this proverb is between the “joyful heart” (Heb “a heart of joy,” using an attributive genitive) and the “painful heart” (Heb “pain of the heart,” using a genitive of specification).
534 sn The verb יֵיטִב (yetiv) normally means “to make good,” but here “to make the face good,” that is, there is a healthy, favorable, uplifted expression. The antithesis is the pained heart that crushes the spirit. C. H. Toy observes that a broken spirit is expressed by a sad face, while a cheerful face shows a courageous spirit (Proverbs [ICC], 308).
535 tn The idea expressed in the second colon does not make a strong parallelism with the first with its emphasis on seeking knowledge. Its poetic image of feeding (a hypocatastasis) would signify the acquisition of folly – the fool has an appetite for it. D. W. Thomas suggests the change of one letter, ר (resh) to ד (dalet), to obtain a reading יִדְעֶה (yid’eh); this he then connects to an Arabic root da`a with the meaning “sought, demanded” to form what he thinks is a better parallel (“Textual and Philological Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VTSup 3 : 285). But even though the parallelism is not as precise as some would prefer, there is insufficient warrant for such a change.
536 sn The “days” represent what happens on those days (metonymy of subject).
537 tn The contrast is between the “afflicted” and the “good of heart” (a genitive of specification, “cheerful/healthy heart/spirit/attitude”).
sn The parallelism suggests that the afflicted is one afflicted within his spirit, for the proverb is promoting a healthy frame of mind.
538 tn Or “evil”; or “catastrophic.”
539 tn “one with” is supplied.
540 sn The image of a continual feast signifies the enjoyment of what life offers (cf. TEV “happy people…enjoy life”). The figure is a hypocatastasis; among its several implications are joy, fulfillment, abundance, pleasure.
541 sn One of the frequent characteristics of wisdom literature is the “better” saying; it is a comparison of different but similar things to determine which is to be preferred. These two verses focus on spiritual things being better than troubled material things.
542 sn Turmoil refers to anxiety; the fear of the
543 sn Not all wealth has turmoil with it. But the proverb is focusing on the comparison of two things – fear of the
544 tn Heb “and love there.” This clause is a circumstantial clause introduced with vav, that becomes “where there is love.” The same construction is used in the second colon.
545 sn Again the saying concerns troublesome wealth: Loving relationships with simple food are better than a feast where there is hatred. The ideal, of course, would be loving family and friends with a great meal in addition, but this proverb is only comparing two things.
546 tn Heb “a man of wrath”; KJV, ASV “a wrathful man.” The term “wrath” functions as an attributive genitive: “an angry person.” He is contrasted with the “slow of anger,” so he is a “quick-tempered person” (cf. NLT “a hothead”).
547 tn Heb “slow of anger.” The noun “anger” functions as a genitive of specification: slow in reference to anger, that is, slow to get angry, patient.
548 tn The Hiphil verb יַשְׁקִיט (yashqit) means “to cause quietness; to pacify; to allay” the strife or quarrel (cf. NAB “allays discord”). This type of person goes out of his way to keep things calm and minimize contention; his opposite thrives on disagreement and dispute.
549 sn The fact that רִיב (riv) is used for “quarrel; strife” strongly implies that the setting is the courtroom or other legal setting (the gates of the city). The hot-headed person is eager to turn every disagreement into a legal case.
550 tn Heb “like an overgrowth”; NRSV “overgrown with thorns”; cf. CEV “like walking in a thorn patch.” The point of the simile is that the path of life taken by the lazy person has many obstacles that are painful – it is like trying to break through a hedge of thorns. The LXX has “strewn with thorns.”
551 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
552 sn The contrast to the “thorny way” is the highway, the Hebrew word signifying a well built-up road (סָלַל, salal, “to heap up”). The upright have no reason to swerve, duck, or detour, but may expect “clear sailing.” Other passages pair these two concepts, e.g., Prov 6:10; 10:26; 28:19.
553 tn Heb “son.”
554 tn Heb “a fool of a man,” a genitive of specification.
555 sn The proverb is almost the same as 10:1, except that “despises” replaces “grief.” This adds the idea of the callousness of the one who inflicts grief on his mother (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 116).
556 tn The Hebrew text reads לַחֲסַר־לֵב (lakhasar-lev, “to one who lacks heart”). The Hebrew term “heart” represents the mind, the place where proper decisions are made (cf. NIV “judgment”). The one who has not developed this ability to make proper choices finds great delight in folly.
557 tn Heb “a man of understanding” (so KJV, NIV); NLT “a sensible person.”
558 tn The Hebrew construction is יְיַשֶּׁר־לָכֶת (yÿyasher-lakhet, “makes straight [to] go”). This is a verbal hendiadys, in which the first verb, the Piel imperfect, becomes adverbial, and the second form, the infinitive construct of הָלַךְ, halakh, becomes the main verb: “goes straight ahead” (cf. NRSV).
559 tn Heb “go wrong” (so NRSV, NLT). The verb is the Hiphil infinitive absolute from פָּרַר, parar, which means “to break; to frustrate; to go wrong” (HALOT 975 s.v. I פרר 2). The plans are made ineffectual or are frustrated when there is insufficient counsel.
561 tn Heb “joy to the man” or “the man has joy.”
562 tn Heb “in the answer of his mouth” (so ASV); NASB “in an apt answer.” The term “mouth” is a metonymy of cause for what he says. But because the parallelism is loosely synonymous, the answer given here must be equal to the good word spoken in season. So it is an answer that is proper or fitting.
563 tn Heb “in its season.” To say the right thing at the right time is useful; to say the right thing at the wrong time is counterproductive.
564 tn There is disagreement over the meaning of the term translated “upward.” The verse is usually taken to mean that “upward” is a reference to physical life and well-being (cf. NCV), and “going down to Sheol” is a reference to physical death, that is, the grave, because the concept of immortality is said not to appear in the book of Proverbs. The proverb then would mean that the wise live long and healthy lives. But W. McKane argues (correctly) that “upwards” in contrast to Sheol, does not fit the ways of describing the worldly pattern of conduct and that it is only intelligible if taken as a reference to immortality (Proverbs [OTL], 480). The translations “upwards” and “downwards” are not found in the LXX. This has led some commentators to speculate that these terms were not found in the original, but were added later, after the idea of immortality became prominent. However, this is mere speculation.
565 tn Heb “to the wise [man],” because the form is masculine.
566 tn The term לְמַעַן (lema’an, “in order to”) introduces a purpose clause; the path leads upward in order to turn the wise away from Sheol.
567 tn Heb “to turn from Sheol downward”; cf. NAB “the nether world below.”
568 sn The “proud” have to be understood here in contrast to the widow, and their “house” has to be interpreted in contrast to the widow’s territory. The implication may be that the “proud” make their gain from the needy, and so God will set the balance right.
569 sn The
570 tn Heb “an abomination of the
571 tn The noun מַחְשְׁבוֹת (makhshÿvot) means “thoughts” (so KJV, NIV, NLT), from the verb חָשַׁב (khashav, “to think; to reckon; to devise”). So these are intentions, what is being planned (cf. NAB “schemes”).
572 tn The word רַע (“evil; wicked”) is a genitive of source or subjective genitive, meaning the plans that the wicked devise – “wicked plans.”
573 sn The contrast is between the “thoughts” and the “words.” The thoughts that are designed to hurt people the
574 tc The MT simply has “but pleasant words are pure” (Heb “but pure [plural] are the words of pleasantness”). Some English versions add “to him” to make the connection to the first part (cf. NAB, NIV). The LXX has: “the sayings of the pure are held in honor.” The Vulgate has: “pure speech will be confirmed by him as very beautiful.” The NIV has paraphrased here: “but those of the pure are pleasing to him.”
575 tn Heb “the one who gains.” The phrase בּוֹצֵעַ בָּצַע (botseakh batsa’) is a participle followed by its cognate accusative. This refers to a person who is always making the big deal, getting the larger cut, or in a hurry to get rich. The verb, though, makes it clear that the gaining of a profit is by violence and usually unjust, since the root has the idea of “cut off; break off; gain by violence.” The line is contrasted with hating bribes, and so the gain in this line may be through bribery.
576 sn The participle “troubles” (עֹכֵר, ’okher) can have the connotation of making things difficult for the family, or completely ruining the family (cf. NAB). In Josh 7:1 Achan took some of the “banned things” and was put to death: Because he “troubled Israel,” the
577 tn Heb “his house.”
578 tn Heb “gifts” (so KJV). Gifts can be harmless enough, but in a setting like this the idea is that the “gift” is in exchange for some “profit [or, gain].” Therefore they are bribes (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), and to be hated or rejected. Abram, for example, would not take anything that the king of Sodom had to offer, “lest [he] say, “I have made Abram rich” (Gen 14:22-24).
579 tn The verb יֶהְגֶּה (yehgeh) means “to muse; to meditate; to consider; to study.” It also involves planning, such as with the wicked “planning” a vain thing (Ps 2:1, which is contrasted with the righteous who “meditate” in the law [1:2]).
580 tn The word “how” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
581 tc The LXX reads: “the hearts of the righteous meditate faithfulness.”
sn The advice of the proverb is to say less but better things. The wise – here called the righteous – are cautious in how they respond to others. They think about it (heart = mind) before speaking.
582 sn The form is plural. What they say (the “mouth” is a metonymy of cause) is any range of harmful things.
583 sn To say that the
584 sn The verb “hear” (שָׁמַע, shama’) has more of the sense of “respond to” in this context. If one “listens to the voice of the
585 sn God’s response to prayer is determined by the righteousness of the one who prays. A prayer of repentance by the wicked is an exception, for by it they would become the righteous (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 316).
586 tc The LXX has “the eye that sees beautiful things.” D. W. Thomas suggests pointing מְאוֹר (mÿ’or) as a Hophal participle, “a fine sight cheers the mind” (“Textual and Philological Notes,” 205). But little is to be gained from this change.
tn Heb “light of the eyes” (so KJV, NRSV). The expression may indicate the gleam in the eyes of the one who tells the good news, as the parallel clause suggests.
587 tn Heb “makes fat the bones”; NAB “invigorates the bones.” The word “bones” is a metonymy of subject, the bones representing the whole body. The idea of “making fat” signifies by comparison (hypocatastasis) with fat things that the body will be healthy and prosperous (e.g., Prov 17:22; 25:25; Gen 45:27-28; and Isa 52:7-8). Good news makes the person feel good in body and soul.
588 tn Heb “ear” (so KJV, NRSV). The term “ear” is a synecdoche of part (= ear) for the whole (= person).
589 tn “Life” is an objective genitive: Reproof brings or preserves life. Cf. NIV “life-giving rebuke”; NLT “constructive criticism.”
590 tn Heb “lodges.” This means to live with, to be at home with.
591 sn The proverb is one full sentence; it affirms that a teachable person is among the wise.
592 sn To “despise oneself” means to reject oneself as if there was little value. The one who ignores discipline is not interested in improving himself.
593 tn Or “heeds” (so NAB, NIV); NASB “listens to.”
594 tn The Hebrew text reads קוֹנֶה לֵּב (qoneh lev), the participle of קָנָה (qanah, “to acquire; to possess”) with its object, “heart.” The word “heart” is frequently a metonymy of subject, meaning all the capacities of the human spirit and/or mind. Here it refers to the ability to make judgments or discernment.
595 tn Heb “[is] instruction of wisdom” (KJV and NASB similar). The noun translated “wisdom” is an attributive genitive: “wise instruction.”
sn The idea of the first line is similar to Prov 1:7 and 9:10. Here it may mean that the fear of the
596 tn Heb “[is] humility” (so KJV). The second clause is a parallel idea in that it stresses how one thing leads to another – humility to honor. Humble submission in faith to the
597 tn Heb “plans of the heart” (so ASV, NASB, NIV). The phrase מַעַרְכֵי־לֵב (ma’arkhe-lev) means “the arrangements of the mind.”
sn Humans may set things in order, plan out what they are going to say, but God sovereignly enables them to put their thoughts into words.
598 tn Heb “[are] to a man.”
599 tn Here “the tongue” is a metonymy of cause in which the instrument of speech is put for what is said: the answer expressed.
600 sn The contrasting prepositions enhance the contrasting ideas – the ideas belong to people, but the words come from the
601 sn There are two ways this statement can be taken: (1) what one intends to say and what one actually says are the same, or (2) what one actually says differs from what the person intended to say. The second view fits the contrast better. The proverb then is giving a glimpse of how God even confounds the wise. When someone is trying to speak [“answer” in the book seems to refer to a verbal answer] before others, the
602 tn Heb “ways of a man.”
603 sn The Hebrew term translated “right” (z~E) means “innocent” (NIV) or “pure” (NAB, NRSV, NLT). It is used in the Bible for pure oils or undiluted liquids; here it means unmixed actions. Therefore on the one hand people rather naively conclude that their actions are fine.
604 tn Heb “in his eyes.”
605 tn The figure (a hypocatastasis) of “weighing” signifies “evaluation” (e.g., Exod 5:8; 1 Sam 2:3; 16:7; Prov 21:2; 24:12). There may be an allusion to the Egyptian belief of weighing the heart after death to determine righteousness. But in Hebrew thought it is an ongoing evaluation as well, not merely an evaluation after death.
sn Humans deceive themselves rather easily and so appear righteous in their own eyes; but the proverb says that God evaluates motives and so he alone can determine if the person’s ways are innocent.
tn Heb “roll.” The verb גֹּל (“to commit”) is from the root גָּלַל (“to roll”). The figure of rolling (an implied comparison or hypocatastasis), as in rolling one’s burdens on the
608 tn The suffix on the plural noun would be a subjective genitive: “the works you are doing,” or here, “the works that you want to do.”
609 tn The syntax of the second clause shows that there is subordination: The vav on וְיִכֹּנוּ (vÿyikonu) coming after the imperative of the first clause expresses that this clause is the purpose or result. People should commit their works in order that the
611 tn Heb “for its answer.” The term לַמַּעֲנֵהוּ (lamma’anehu) has been taken to mean either “for his purpose” or “for its answer.” The Hebrew word is מַעֲנֶה (ma’aneh, “answer”) and not לְמַעַן (lÿma’an, “purpose”). So the suffix likely refers to “everything” (כֹּל, kol). God ensures that everyone’s actions and the consequences of those actions correspond – certainly the wicked for the day of calamity. In God’s order there is just retribution for every act.
612 sn This is an example of synthetic parallelism (“A, what’s more B”). The A-line affirms a truth, and the B-line expands on it with a specific application about the wicked – whatever disaster comes their way is an appropriate correspondent for their life.
613 tn Heb “an abomination of the
614 tn Heb “every proud of heart”; NIV “all the proud of heart.” “Heart” is the genitive of specification; the phrase is talking about people who have proud hearts, whose ideas are arrogant. These are people who set themselves presumptuously against God (e.g., 2 Chr 26:16; Ps 131:1; Prov 18:12).
616 tc The LXX has inserted two couplets here: “The beginning of a good way is to do justly, // and it is more acceptable with God than to do sacrifices; // he who seeks the
tn The B-line continues the A-line, but explains what it means that they are an abomination to the
617 sn These two words are often found together to form a nominal hendiadys: “faithful loyal love.” The couplet often characterize the
618 tn Heb “is atoned”; KJV “is purged”; NAB “is expiated.” The verb is from I כָּפַר (kafar, “to atone; to expiate; to pacify; to appease”; HALOT 493-94 s.v. I כפר). This root should not be confused with the identically spelled Homonym II כָּפַר (kafar, “to cover over”; HALOT 494 s.v. II *כפר). Atonement in the OT expiated sins, it did not merely cover them over (cf. NLT). C. H. Toy explains the meaning by saying it affirms that the divine anger against sin is turned away and man’s relation to God is as though he had not sinned (Proverbs [ICC], 322). Genuine repentance, demonstrated by loyalty and truthfulness, appeases the anger of God against one’s sin.
619 tn Heb “fear of the
620 tn Heb “turns away from”; NASB “keeps away from.”
621 sn The Hebrew word translated “evil” (רַע, ra’) can in some contexts mean “calamity” or “disaster,” but here it seems more likely to mean “evil” in the sense of sin. Faithfulness to the
622 tn Heb “ways of a man.”
623 tn The first line uses an infinitive in a temporal clause, followed by its subject in the genitive case: “in the taking pleasure of the
624 tn The referent of the verb in the second colon is unclear. The straightforward answer is that it refers to the person whose ways please the
625 tn Heb “even his enemies he makes to be at peace with him.”
626 sn The lines contrast the modest income with the abundant income; but the real contrast is between righteousness and the lack of justice (or injustice). “Justice” is used for both legal justice and ethical conduct. It is contrasted with righteousness in 12:5 and 21:7; it describes ethical behavior in 21:3. Here the point is that unethical behavior tarnishes the great gain and will be judged by God.
627 sn This is another “better” saying; between these two things, the first is better. There are other options – such as righteousness with wealth – but the proverb is not concerned with that. A similar saying appears in Amenemope 8:19-20 (ANET 422).
628 tn Heb “the heart of a man.” This stresses that it is within the heart that plans are made. Only those plans that are approved by God will succeed.
629 tn Heb “his way” (so KJV, NASB).
630 tn The verb כּוּן (kun, “to establish; to confirm”) with צַעַד (tsa’ad, “step”) means “to direct” (e.g., Ps 119:133; Jer 10:23). This contrasts what people plan and what actually happens – God determines the latter.
631 sn “Steps” is an implied comparison, along with “way,” to indicate the events of the plan as they work out.
632 tn Heb “oracle” (so NAB, NIV) or “decision”; TEV “the king speaks with divine authority.” The term קֶסֶם (qesem) is used in the sense of “oracle; decision; verdict” (HALOT 1115-16 s.v.). The pronouncements of a king form an oracular sentence, as if he speaks for God; they are divine decisions (e.g., Num 22:7; 23:23; 2 Sam 14:20).
633 tn Heb “on the lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause referring to what the king says – no doubt what he says officially.
634 tn Heb “his mouth.” The term “mouth” is a metonymy of cause for what the king says: his pronouncements and legal decisions.
635 sn The second line gives the effect of the first: If the king delivers such oracular sayings (קֶסֶם, qesem, translated “divine verdict”), then he must be careful in the decisions he makes. The imperfect tense then requires a modal nuance to stress the obligation of the king not to act treacherously against justice. It would also be possible to translate the verb as a jussive: Let the king not act treacherously against justice. For duties of the king, e.g., Psalm 72 and Isaiah 11. For a comparison with Ezekiel 21:23-26, see E. W. Davies, “The Meaning of qesem in Prov 16:10,” Bib 61 (1980): 554-56.
636 tn Heb “a scale and balances of justice.” This is an attributive genitive, meaning “just scales and balances.” The law required that scales and measures be accurate and fair (Lev 19:36; Deut 25:13). Shrewd dishonest people kept light and heavy weights to make unfair transactions.
637 tn Heb “stones.”
638 sn The “wickedness” mentioned here (רֶשַׁע, resha’) might better be understood as a criminal act, for the related word “wicked” can also mean the guilty criminal. If a king is trying to have a righteous administration, he will detest any criminal acts.
639 tn The “throne” represents the administration, or the decisions made from the throne by the king, and so the word is a metonymy of adjunct (cf. NLT “his rule”).
640 tn The MT has the plural, even though the verb “loves” is masculine singular. The ancient versions and two Hebrew
641 tn Heb “lips of righteousness”; cf. NAB, NIV “honest lips.” The genitive “righteousness” functions as an attributive adjective. The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for what is said: “righteous speech” or “righteous counsel.”
642 tn The MT has the singular participle followed by the plural adjective (which is here a substantive). The editors of BHS wish to follow the ancient versions in making the participle plural, “those who speak uprightly.”
643 sn The verse is talking about righteous kings, of course – they love righteousness and not flattery. In this proverb “righteous” and “upright” referring to what is said means “what is right and straight,” i.e., the truth (cf. NCV).
644 sn This proverb introduces the danger of becoming a victim of the king’s wrath (cf. CEV “if the king becomes angry, someone may die”). A wise person knows how to pacify the unexpected and irrational behavior of a king. The proverb makes the statement, and then gives the response to the subject.
645 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
646 tn The expression uses an implied comparison, comparing “wrath” to a messenger because it will send a message. The qualification is “death,” an objective genitive, meaning the messenger will bring death, or the message will be about death. E.g., 1 Kgs 2:25, 29-34 and 46. Some have suggested a comparison with the two messengers of Baal to the god Mot (“Death”) in the Ugaritic tablets (H. L. Ginsberg, “Baal’s Two Messengers,” BASOR 95 : 25-30). If there is an allusion, it is a very slight one. The verse simply says that the king’s wrath threatens death.
647 tn The verb is כָּפַּר (kapar), which means “to pacify; to appease” and “to atone; to expiate” in Levitical passages. It would take a wise person to know how to calm or pacify the wrath of a king – especially in the ancient Near East.
648 tn Heb “the light of the face of the king.” This expression is a way of describing the king’s brightened face, his delight in what is taking place. This would mean life for those around him.
sn The proverb is the antithesis of 16:14.
649 tn Heb “cloud.”
650 tn Heb “latter rain” (so KJV, ASV). The favor that this expression represents is now compared to the cloud of rain that comes with the “latter” rain or harvest rain. The point is that the rain cloud was necessary for the successful harvest; likewise the king’s pleasure will ensure the success and the productivity of the people under him. E.g., also Psalm 72:15-17; the prosperity of the land is portrayed as a blessing on account of the ideal king.
651 tn The form קְנֹה (qÿnoh) is an infinitive; the Greek version apparently took it as a participle, and the Latin as an imperative – both working with an unpointed קנה, the letter ה (he) being unexpected in the form if it is an infinitive construct (the parallel clause has קְנוֹת [qÿnot] for the infinitive, but the ancient versions also translate that as either a participle or an imperative).
652 tn The form is a Niphal participle, masculine singular. If it is modifying “understanding” it should be a feminine form. If it is to be translated, it would have to be rendered “and to acquire understanding is to be chosen more than silver” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). Many commentaries consider it superfluous. NIV and NCV simply have “to choose understanding rather than silver!”
653 sn The point of righteous living is made with the image of a highway, a raised and well-graded road (a hypocatastasis, implying a comparison between a highway and the right way of living).
654 tn The form סוּר (sur) is a Qal infinitive; it indicates that a purpose of the righteous life is to turn away from evil. “Evil” here has the sense of sinful living. So the first line asserts that the well-cared-for life avoids sin.
655 sn The second half of the verse uses two different words for “guard”; this one is נֹצֵר (notser) “the one who guards his way,” and the first is שֹׁמֵר (shomer) “the one who guards his life” (the order of the words is reversed in the translation). The second colon then explains further the first (synthetic parallelism), because to guard one’s way preserves life.
656 tc The LXX adds three lines after 17a and one after 17b: “The paths of life turn aside from evils, and the ways of righteousness are length of life; he who receives instruction will be prosperous, and he who regards reproofs will be made wise; he who guards his ways preserves his soul, and he who loves his life will spare his mouth.”
657 sn The two lines of this proverb are synonymous parallelism, and so there are parasynonyms. “Pride” is paired with “haughty spirit” (“spirit” being a genitive of specification); and “destruction” is matched with “a tottering, falling.”
658 tn Heb “[is] before destruction.”
659 sn Many proverbs have been written in a similar way to warn against the inevitable disintegration and downfall of pride. W. McKane records an Arabic proverb: “The nose is in the heavens, the seat is in the mire” (Proverbs [OTL], 490).
660 tn Heb “low of spirit”; KJV “of an humble spirit.” This expression describes the person who is humble and submissive before the
661 tn Heb “than to divide plunder.” The word “plunder” implies that the wealth taken by the proud was taken violently and wrongfully – spoils are usually taken in warfare. R. N. Whybray translates it with “loot” (Proverbs [CBC], 95). The proud are in rebellion against God, overbearing and oppressive. One should never share the “loot” with them.
662 tn Heb “he who is prudent” or “he who deals wisely” (cf. KJV). The proverb seems to be referring to wise business concerns and the reward for the righteous. One who deals wisely in a matter will find good results. R. N. Whybray sees a contrast here: “The shrewd man of business will succeed well, but the happy man is he who trusts the
663 tn Or “he who gives heed to a word,” that is, “who listens to instruction” (cf. NIV, NLT).
664 tn Heb “good” (so KJV, ASV).
665 tn Although traditionally this word is translated “happy” (cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NRSV, NLT), such a translation can be misleading because the word means far more than that. It describes the heavenly bliss that comes from knowing one is right with God and following God’s precepts. The “blessed” could be at odds with the world (Ps 1:1-3).
666 tn Heb “and the one who trusts in the
667 tn Heb “wise of heart” (so NRSV).
668 tn Heb “to the wise of heart it will be called discerning.” This means that the wise of heart, those who make wise decisions (“heart” being the metonymy), will gain a reputation of being the discerning ones.
669 tn Heb “sweetness of lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause, meaning what is said. It is a genitive of specification. The idea of “sweetness” must be gracious and friendly words. The teaching will be well-received because it is both delightful and persuasive (cf. NIV “pleasant words promote instruction”).
670 tn Heb “teaching” or “receptivity”; KJV “learning”; NIV “instruction.”
671 tn The Hebrew noun שֵׂכֵל (sekhel, “prudence; insight”; cf. KJV, NASB, NIV “understanding”; NAB, CEV “good sense”) is related to the verb that means “to have insight; to give attention to; to act circumspectly [or, prudently],” as well as “to prosper; to have success.” These words all describe the kind of wise action that will be successful.
672 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
673 tn Heb “fountain of life.” The point of the metaphor is that like a fountain this wisdom will be a constant provision for living in this world.
674 tn Heb “the discipline of fools [is] folly.” The “discipline” (מוּסָר, musar) in this proverb is essentially a requital for sin (hence “punishment,” so NIV, NCV, NRSV); discipline which is intended to correct is normally rejected and despised by fools. So the line is saying that there is very little that can be done for or with the fool (cf. NLT “discipline is wasted on fools”).
675 tn Or “mind” (cf. NCV, NRSV, NLT).
676 tn Heb “makes wise his mouth,” with “mouth” being a metonymy of cause for what is said: “speech.”
677 sn Those who are wise say wise things. The proverb uses synthetic parallelism: The first line asserts that the wise heart ensures that what is said is wise, and the second line adds that such a person increases the reception of what is said.
678 tn Heb “to his lips.” The term “lips” functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said.
679 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
680 sn The metaphor of honey or the honeycomb is used elsewhere in scripture, notably Ps 19:10 . Honey was used in Israel as a symbol of the delightful and healthy products of the land – “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut 6:3).
681 sn Two predicates are added to qualify the metaphor: The pleasant words are “sweet” and “healing.” “Soul” includes in it the appetites, physical and spiritual; and so sweet to the “soul” would summarize all the ways pleasant words give pleasure. “Bones” is a metonymy of subject, the boney framework representing the whole person, body and soul. Pleasant words, like honey, will enliven and encourage the whole person. One might recall, in line with the imagery here, how Jonathan’s eyes brightened when he ate from the honeycomb (1 Sam 14:27).
682 tn Heb “There is a way that is right before a man [to the face of a man].”
684 sn The word for “laborer” and “labors” emphasizes the drudgery and the agony of work (עָמַל, ’amal). For such boring drudgery motivations are necessary for its continuance, and hunger is the most effective. The line is saying that the appetites are working as hard as the laborer.
685 tn Heb “soul.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here means “appetite,” functioning as a metonymy; the “inner soul” of a person representing his appetite (BDB 660 s.v. 5a; see, e.g., Pss 63:6; 107:9; Prov 13:25; 16:24; 27:7; Isa 56:11; 58:10; Jer 50:19; Ezek 7:19). This is suggested by the parallelism with “hunger.”
686 tn Heb “labors for him” (so NAB).
687 tn Heb “his mouth” (so KJV, NAB). The term “mouth” is a metonymy for hunger or eating. The idea of the proverb is clear – the need to eat drives people to work.
688 tc The LXX has apparently misread פִּיהוּ (pihu) and inserted the idea of “ruin” for the laborer: “he drives away ruin.” This influenced the Syriac to some degree; however, its first clause understood “suffering” instead of “labor”: “the person who causes suffering suffers.”
689 tn Heb “a man of belial.” This phrase means “wicked scoundrel.” Some translate “worthless” (so ASV, NASB, CEV), but the phrase includes deep depravity and wickedness (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 125-26).
691 tn Heb “on his lips” (so NAB) The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause. To say that “evil” is on his lips means that he talks about the evil he has dug up.
692 sn The simile stresses the devastating way that slander hurts people. W. McKane says that this one “digs for scandal and…propagates it with words which are ablaze with misanthropy” (Proverbs [OTL], 494).
693 tn Heb “a man of perverse things”; NAB “an intriguer.” This refers to someone who destroys lives. The parallelism suggests that he is a “slanderer” or “gossip” – one who whispers and murmurs (18:8; 26:20, 22).
694 tn The term אַלּוּף (’aluf) refers to a “friend” or “an intimate associate.” The word has other possible translations, including “tame” or “docile” when used of animals. Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived
695 tn Heb “man of violence.” He influences his friends toward violence. The term חָמָס (khamas, “violence”) often refers to sins against society, social injustices, and crimes.
696 tn The verb in the first colon is the Piel imperfect, and the form in the second is the Hiphil perfect; the first is a habitual imperfect, and the second a gnomic perfect. The first verb, “to persuade, seduce, entice,” is the metonymy of cause; the second verb, “to lead,” is the metonymy of effect, the two together forming the whole process.
697 tn Heb “not good” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “a harmful path.” The expression “a way that is not good” is an example of tapeinosis – a deliberate understatement for the sake of emphasis: It is terrible. This refers to crime and violence. The understatement is used to warn people away from villains and to remind them to follow a good path.
698 sn The participle עֹצֶה (’otseh) describes one as shutting his eyes (cf. KJV, ASV). This could mean simply “closing the eyes,” or it could refer to “winking” (so many English versions). The proverb is saying that facial expressions often reveal if someone is plotting evil (e.g., 6:13-14).
699 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the synonymous parallelism.
700 tn The participle קֹרֵץ (qorets) indicates that the person involved is pinching, compressing, or biting his lips (cf. NIV “purses his lips”).
701 tn The verb is a Piel perfect; it means “complete, finish, bring to an end.” The two cola may form the whole process: The first line has “to devise” evil, and the second has “he completes” evil. BDB, however, classifies this use of the Piel as “to accomplish in thought” meaning “to determine” something (BDB 478 s.v. כָּלָה 1f). In that case the two lines would have synonymous ideas, i.e., using facial expressions to plan evil actions.
702 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
703 sn The proverb presents the ideal, for it is not concerned with old people who may be evil. The KJV tried to qualify the interpretation by making the second half of the verse a conditional clause (“if it be found in the way of righteousness”). This is acceptable but unnecessary. The book of Proverbs is simply laying out the equity of longevity for righteousness and premature death for wicked people. In this line “gray hair” is a metonymy of adjunct/effect, representing old age; and the “glorious crown” (taking the genitive as attributive) provides a fitting metaphor to compare the hair on the head with a crown.
704 tn Heb “it is found” (so NASB) or “it will be found.”
705 sn While the proverb presents a general observation, there is a commendable lesson about old people who can look back on a long walk with God through life and can anticipate unbroken fellowship with him in glory.
706 tn One who is “slow to anger” is a patient person (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT). This is explained further in the parallel line by the description of “one who rules his spirit” (וּמֹשֵׁל בְּרוּחוֹ, umoshel bÿrukho), meaning “controls his temper.” This means the person has the emotions under control and will not “fly off the handle” quickly.
707 tn Heb “who rules his spirit” (so NASB).
708 tn The phrase “is better than” does not appear in this line in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism.
709 sn The saying would have had greater impact when military prowess was held in high regard. It is harder, and therefore better, to control one’s passions than to do some great exploit on the battlefield.
710 tn Heb “the lot is cast.” Because the ancient practice of “casting lots” is unfamiliar to many modern readers, the imagery has been updated to “throwing dice.”
sn The proverb concerns the practice of seeking divine leading through casting lots. For a similar lesson, see Amenemope (18, 19:16-17, in ANET 423).
711 tn Heb “all its decision.”
712 sn The point concerns seeking God’s will through the practice. The
714 tn Heb “and quietness in it”; the construction functions as a circumstantial clause: “in which there is quietness” or “with quietness.”
sn The Hebrew word means “quietness” or “ease.” It represents a place where there can be carefree ease because of the sense of peace and security. The Greek rendering suggests that those translators read it as “peace.” Even if the fare is poor, this kind of setting is to be preferred.
715 tn The house is described as being full of “sacrifices of strife” (זִבְחֵי־רִיב, zivkhi-riv). The use of “sacrifices” suggests a connection with the temple (as in 7:14) in which the people may have made their sacrifices and had a large amount meat left over. It is also possible that the reference is simply to a sumptuous meal (Deut 12:15; Isa 34:6; Ezek 39:17). It would be rare for Israelites to eat meat apart from festivals, however. In the construction the genitive could be classified as a genitive of effect, the feast in general “bringing about strife,” or it could simply be an attributive genitive, “a feast characterized by strife.” Abundance often brings deterioration of moral and ethical standards as well as an increase in envy and strife.
716 sn The setting is in the ancient world where a servant rarely advanced beyond his or her station in life. But there are notable exceptions (e.g., Gen 15:3 where the possibility is mentioned, 1 Chr 2:35 where it changed through marriage, and 2 Sam 16:1-4; 19:24-30, with the story of Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth). This proverb focuses on a servant who is wise, one who uses all his abilities effectively – a Joseph figure.
717 sn The parallelism indicates that “ruling over” and “sharing in the inheritance” means that the disgraceful son will be disinherited.
718 tn Heb “son.”
719 tn The form מֵבִישׁ (mevish) is a Hiphil participle, modifying בֵן (ben). This original heir would then be one who caused shame or disgrace to the family, probably by showing a complete lack of wisdom in the choices he made.
720 tn Heb “in the midst of the brothers”; NIV “as one of the brothers.”
721 sn The noun מַצְרֵף (matsref) means “a place or instrument for refining” (cf. ASV, NASB “the refining pot”). The related verb, which means “to melt, refine, smelt,” is used in scripture literally for refining and figuratively for the
722 tn The term “refining” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
724 tn Heb “and.” Most English versions treat this as an adversative (“but”).
725 sn The participle בֹּחֵן (bokhen, “tests”) in this emblematic parallelism takes on the connotations of the crucible and the furnace. When the
726 tn The Hiphil participle מֵרַע (mera’) indicates one who is a doer of evil. The line affirms that a person of this nature will eagerly listen to evil talk – it is part of his nature.
727 tn Heb “to the lip of evil”; ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV “wicked lips.” The term “lip” is a metonymy of cause for speech (what is said); the term “evil” is an attributive genitive. The same will be true in the parallel line where the expression “to the tongue of destruction” (NASB “a destructive tongue”) means things that are said that destroy others.
728 tc The verb מֵזִין (mezin) is from זִין (zir, “to feed”); therefore, the suggested emendation is to take it from אֹזֶן (’ozen, “ear”) as a denominative verb, “to give ear; to listen to.” Two Hebrew
730 sn The parallelism helps define the subject matter: The one who “mocks the poor” (NAB, NASB, NIV) is probably one who “rejoices [NIV gloats] over disaster.” The poverty is hereby explained as a disaster that came to some. The topic of the parable is the person who mocks others by making fun of their misfortune.
731 sn The Hebrew word translated “insults” (חֵרֵף, kheref) means “reproach; taunt” (as with a cutting taunt); it describes words that show contempt for or insult God. The idea of reproaching the Creator may be mistaking and blaming God’s providential control of the world (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 337). W. G. Plaut, however, suggests that mocking the poor means holding up their poverty as a personal failure and thus offending their dignity and their divine nature (Proverbs, 187).
732 tn Heb “children of children [sons of sons].”
733 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
734 sn The metaphor signifies that grandchildren are like a crown, that is, they are the “crowning glory” of life. The proverb comes from a culture that places great importance on the family in society and that values its heritage.
735 tn The noun תִּפְאָרָת (tif’arat) means “beauty; glory” (BDB 802 s.v.). In this passage “glory” seems to be identified with “glorying; boasting”; so a rendering that children are proud of their parents would be in order. Thus, “glory of children” would be a subjective genitive, the glorying that children do.”
736 tc The LXX has inserted: “To the faithful belongs the whole world of wealth, but to the unfaithful not an obulus.” It was apparently some popular sentiment at the time.
tn Heb “their fathers.”
737 tn The word יֶתֶר (yeter) could be rendered either “arrogant” (cf. NIV) or “excellent” (cf. KJV, NASB; NLT “eloquent”) because the basic idea of the word is “remainder; excess,” from the verb “be left over.” It describes “lofty” speech (arrogant or excellent) that is not suited for the fool. The Greek version, using pista, seems to support the idea of “excellent,” and makes a contrast: “words that are excellent do not fit a fool.” The idea of arrogance (NIV) fits if it is taken in the sense of lofty, heightened, or excessive language.
738 tn “a lip of excess.” The term “lip” is a metonymy for what is said.
739 sn The “fool” proper, described by the term נָבָל (naval), occurs only here, in v. 21, and in 30:22 in the book. It describes someone who is godless and immoral in an overbearing way (e.g., 1 Sam 25:25; Ps 14:1). A fool should restrain his words lest his foolishness spew out.
740 tn Heb “speech of falsehood”; NRSV “false speech.”
741 sn This “ruler” (KJV, NASB “prince”; NAB “noble”) is a gentleman with a code of honor, to whom truthfulness is second nature (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 507). The word describes one as “inclined, generous, noble” (BDB 622 s.v. נָדִיב). It is cognate to the word for the “free will offering.” So for such a noble person lies are not suited. The argument is from the lesser to the greater – if fools shouldn’t speak lofty things, then honorable people should not lie (or, lofty people should not speak base things).
742 tn The phrase “works like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
743 tn Heb “a stone of favors”; NAB, NRSV “a magic stone.” The term שֹׁחַד (shokhad, “bribe”) could be simply translated as “a gift”; but the second half of the verse says that the one who offers it is successful. At best it could be a gift that opens doors; at worst it is a bribe. The word שֹׁחַד is never used of a disinterested gift, so there is always something of the bribe in it (e.g., Ps 15:5; Isa 1:23). Here it is “a stone that brings favor,” the genitive being the effect or the result of the gift. In other words, it has magical properties and “works like a charm.”
744 tn Heb “in the eyes of its owner.”
745 tn Heb “in all that he turns”; NASB, NIV “wherever he turns.”
746 sn As C. H. Toy points out, the sage is merely affirming a point without making a comment – those who use bribery meet with widespread success (Proverbs [ICC], 341). This does not amount to an endorsement of bribery.
747 tn Heb “covers” (so NASB); NIV “covers over.” How people respond to the faults of others reveals whether or not they have love. The contrast is between one who “covers” (forgives, cf. NCV, NRSV) the fault of a friend and one who repeats news about it. The former promotes love because he cares about the person; the latter divides friends.
748 sn The participle מְבַקֵּשׁ (mÿvaqesh) means “seeks” in the sense of seeking to secure or procure or promote love. There can be no friendship without such understanding and discretion.
749 sn W. G. Plaut notes that harping on the past has destroyed many friendships and marriages (Proverbs, 188). W. McKane observes that this line refers to the person who breaks up friendships by his scandalous gossip, even if it is done with a kind of zeal for the welfare of the community, for it will destroy love and trust (Proverbs [OTL], 508-9).
750 tn Heb “goes in deeper” (cf. NASB, NRSV). The verb נָחֵת (nakhet) “to go down; to descend” with the preposition בְּ (bet) means “to descend into; to make an impression on” someone.
751 tn The form is the Hiphil infinitive of נָכָה (nakhah) with the comparative מִן, min. The word “fool” then would be an objective genitive – more than blows to/on a fool.
752 sn The proverb is set up in a cause and effect relationship. The cause is that evil people seek rebellion. The term מְרִי (mÿri) means “rebellion.” It is related to the verb מָרָה (marah, “to be contentious; to be rebellious; to be refractory”). BDB 598 s.v. מְרִי translates the line “a rebellious man seeketh only evil” (so NASB).
753 tn The parallelism seems to be formal, with the idea simply continuing to the second line; the conjunction is therefore translated to reflect this. However, the proverb could be interpreted as antithetical just as easily.
754 sn Those bent on rebellion will meet with retribution. The messenger could very well be a merciless messenger from the king; but the expression could also figuratively describe something God sends – storms, pestilence, or any other misfortune.
755 tn Heb “Let a man meet” (so NASB); NLT “It is safer to meet.” The infinitive absolute פָּגוֹשׁ (pagosh, “to meet”) functions as a jussive of advice. The bear meeting a man is less dangerous than a fool in his folly. It could be worded as a “better” saying, but that formula is not found here.
756 tn The second colon begins with וְאַל (vÿ’al), “and not.” This negative usually appears with volitives, so the fuller expression of the parallel line would be “and let not a fool in his folly [meet someone].”
757 tn The words “to meet” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied by the parallelism and are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
758 sn The human, who is supposed to be rational and intelligent, in such folly becomes more dangerous than the beast that in this case acts with good reason. As R. L. Alden comments, “Consider meeting a fool with a knife, or gun, or even behind the wheel of a car” (Proverbs, 134). See also E. Loewenstamm, “Remarks on Proverbs 17:12 and 20:27,” VT 37 (1967): 221-24. For a slightly different nuance cf. TEV “some fool busy with a stupid project.”
759 tn The sentence begins with the participle מֵשִׁיב (meshiv, “the one who repays”). The whole first colon may be taken as an independent nominative absolute, with the formal sentence to follow. Some English versions have made the first colon a condition by supplying “if” (NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT).
760 tn The verb מוּשׁ (mush) means “to depart; to remove.” The Kethib is a Hiphil, which would yield a meaning of “to take away”; so the Qere, which is the Qal, makes more sense in the line.
761 sn The proverb does not explain whether God will turn evil back on him directly or whether people will begin to treat him as he treated others.
762 tn Heb “the beginning of a quarrel”; TEV, CEV “The start of an argument.”
763 tn The verse simply begins with “letting out water.” This phrase is a metaphor, but most English versions have made it a simile (supplying “like” or “as”). R. N. Whybray takes it literally and makes it the subject of the clause: “stealing water starts a quarrel” (Proverbs [CBC], 100). However, the verb more likely means “to let out, set free” and not “to steal,” for which there are clearer words.
sn The image involves a small leak in a container or cistern that starts to spurt out water. The problem will get worse if it is not stopped. Strife is like that.
tc The LXX has “The outpouring of words is the beginning of strife.” This would make it a warning against thoughtless talk.
764 tn The temporal clause is formed with the prepositional “before,” the infinitive construct, and the following subjective genitive. The verb גָּלַע (gala’) means “to expose; to lay bare,” and in the Hitpael “to disclose oneself; to break out.”
765 tn Heb “he who justifies the wicked and and he who condemns the righteous” (so NASB). The first colon uses two Hiphil participles, מַצְדִּיק (matsdiq) and מַרְשִׁיעַ (marshia’). The first means “to declare righteous” (a declarative Hiphil), and the second means “to make wicked [or, guilty]” or “to condemn” (i.e., “to declare guilty”). To declare someone righteous who is a guilty criminal, or to condemn someone who is innocent, are both abominations for the Righteous Judge of the whole earth.
766 tn Heb “an abomination of the
767 tn Heb “why this?” The term זֶּה (zeh) is an enclitic use of the demonstrative pronoun for emphasis: “why ever” would this happen?
768 sn The sense seems to be “What good is money” since what the fool needs cannot be bought? The verse is a rhetorical question stating that money would be wasted on a fool.
769 tn Heb “there is no heart”; NASB “he has no (+ common TEV) sense”; NLT “has no heart for wisdom.”
770 sn W. McKane envisions a situation where the fool comes to a sage with a fee in hand, supposing that he can acquire a career as a sage, and this gives rise to the biting comment here: Why does the fool have money in his hands? To buy wisdom when he has no brains? (Proverbs [OTL], 505).
771 sn The verse uses synonymous parallelism, so “friend” and “relative” are equated. Others, however, will take the verse with antithetical parallelism: W. G. Plaut argues that friendship is a spiritual relationship whereas a brother’s ties are based on a blood relationship – often adversity is the only thing that brings brothers together (Proverbs, 189).
772 tn Heb “a brother.”
773 tn Heb “is born for adversity.” This is not referring to sibling rivalry but to the loyalty a brother shows during times of calamity. This is not to say that a brother only shows loyalty when there is trouble, nor that he always does in these times (e.g., 18:19, 24; 19:7; 27:10). The true friend is the same as a brotherly relation – in times of greatest need the loyal love is displayed.
774 tn Heb “heart”; KJV, ASV “a man void of understanding”; NIV “a man lacking in judgment.”
775 tn The phrase “in pledge” is supplied for the sake of clarification.
776 tn The line uses the participle עֹרֵב (’orev) with its cognate accusative עֲרֻבָּה (’arubah), “who pledges a pledge.”
778 tn Heb “the one who loves transgression the one who loves a quarrel.” There is some ambiguity in the first line. The meaning would not differ greatly if either were taken as the subject; but the parallelism suggests that the proverb is about a quarrelsome and arrogant person who loves sin and invites destruction.
779 tn Some have taken this second line literally and interpreted it to mean he has built a pretentious house. Probably it is meant to be figurative: The gate is the mouth (the figure would be hypocatastasis) and so to make it high is to say lofty things – he brags too much (e.g., 1 Sam 2:3; Prov 18:12; 29:23); cf. NCV, TEV, NLT. C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 348) wishes to emend פִּתְחוֹ (pitkho, “his gate”) to פִּיו (piv, “his mouth”), but that is unnecessary since the idea can be obtained by interpretation.
780 tn The verse parallels two descriptions of the wicked person: “crooked/perverse of heart” (genitive of specification), and “turned away in his tongue” (deceitful). The first phrase describes twisted intentions. The second, using the Niphal participle (“one turned away”) with “tongue,” the metonymy of cause, describes one who has turned away from speaking truth. Cf. NLT “the twisted tongue tumbles into trouble.”
781 tn The phrase “does not find good” is a figure (tapeinosis) meaning, “will experience calamity.” The wicked person can expect trouble ahead.
782 tn Heb “tongue”; NIV “whose tongue is deceitful.”
783 sn Here the Hebrew terms כְּסִיל (kÿsil) and נָבָל (naval) are paired. The first one, which occurs about fifty times in the book, refers to a dullard, whether it be in spiritual, intellectual, or moral matters. The second word, rare in the book, primarily focuses on religious folly – it refers to the practical atheist, the one who lives as if there is no God.
784 tn The form simply means “bears” or “gives birth to,” but since it is masculine it could be rendered “fathers” (cf. NASB “he who begets a fool”; NIV “To have a fool for a son”). The form for “fool” is masculine, but the proverb is not limited only to male children (cf. NCV “It is sad to have a foolish child”).
785 tn The phrase “does so” is supplied for the sake of clarification.
786 sn Parents of fools, who had hoped for children who would be a credit to the family, find only bitter disappointment (cf. TEV “nothing but sadness and sorrow”).
787 sn Heb “a heart of rejoicing”; KJV “a merry heart”; NAB, NASB “a joyful heart.” This attributive genitive refers to the mind or psyche. A happy and healthy outlook on life brings healing.
788 tc The word “healing” is a hapax legomenon; some have suggested changes, such as to Arabic jihatu (“face”) or to גְּוִיָּה (gÿviah, “body”) as in the Syriac and Tg. Prov 17:22, but the MT makes sense as it is and should be retained.
tn Heb “it causes good a healing.” This means it promotes healing.
789 sn The “crushed spirit” refers to one who is depressed (cf. NAB “a depressed spirit”). “Crushed” is figurative (an implied comparison) for the idea that one’s psyche or will to go on is beaten down by circumstances.
790 sn The “bones” figuratively represent the whole body encased in a boney framework (metonymy of subject). “Fat bones” in scripture means a healthy body (3:8; 15:30; 16:24), but “dried up” bones signify unhealthiness and lifelessness (cf. Ezek 37:1-4).
791 sn The fact that the “gift” is given secretly (Heb “from the bosom” [מֵחֵיק, mekheq]; so NASB) indicates that it was not proper. Cf. NRSV “a concealed bribe”; TEV, CEV, NLT “secret bribes.”
792 tn The form לְהַטּוֹת (lÿhattot) is the Hiphil infinitive construct of נָטָה (natah), meaning “to thrust away,” i.e., to “pervert.” This purpose clause clarifies that the receiving of the “gift” is for evil intent.
793 tn The verse begins with אֶת־פְּנֵי מֵבִין (’et-pÿni mevin), “before the discerning” or “the face of the discerning.” The particle אֶת here is simply drawing emphasis to the predicate (IBHS 182-83 §10.3.2b). Cf. NIV “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view.”
794 tn The term “run” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for the sake of clarification.
795 sn To say that “the eyes of the fool run to the ends of the earth” means that he has no power to concentrate and cannot focus his attention on anything. The language is hyperbolic. Cf. NCV “the mind of a fool wanders everywhere.”
796 sn The Hebrew noun means “vexation, anger, grief.”
797 tn Heb “to the one who bore him.” Because the participle is feminine singular in Hebrew, this has been translated as “the mother who bore him.”
sn The proverb is similar to v. 21, 10:1, and 15:20.
798 tn Heb “not good.” This is an example of tapeinosis – an understatement that implies the worst-case scenario: “it is terrible.”
799 tn The verb עָנַשׁ, here a Qal infinitive construct, properly means “to fine” (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT) but is taken here to mean “to punish” in general. The infinitive functions as the subject of the clause.
800 tn The form is the Hiphil infinitive construct from נָכָה (nakhah, “to strike; to smite”). It may well refer to public beatings, so “flog” is used in the translation, since “strike” could refer to an individual’s action and “beat” could be taken to refer to competition.
801 tn Heb “[is] against uprightness.” The expression may be rendered “contrary to what is right.”
sn The two lines could be synonymous parallelism; but the second part is being used to show how wrong the first act would be – punishing the righteous makes about as much sense as beating an official of the court for doing what is just.
802 tn Heb “the one knowing knowledge.” The cognate accusative underscores the meaning of the participle – this is a truly knowledgeable person.
803 sn The participle חוֹשֵׂךְ (khosekh) means “withholds; restrains; refrains; spares; holds in check,” etc. One who has knowledge speaks carefully.
804 tn Heb “cool of spirit.” This genitive of specification describes one who is “calm” (so NCV, TEV, CEV) or “even-tempered” (so NIV, NLT); he is composed.
805 tn The imperfect tense here denotes possibility: One who holds his tongue [may be considered] discerning.
806 tn The Niphal participle is used in the declarative/estimative sense with stative verbs: “to be discerning” (Qal) becomes “to be declared discerning” (Niphal). The proverb is teaching that silence is one evidence of wisdom, and that even a fool can thereby appear wise. D. Kidner says that a fool who takes this advice is no longer a complete fool (Proverbs [TOTC], 127). He does not, of course, become wise – he just hides his folly.
807 tn The Niphal participle functions substantively and has a reflexive nuance: “one who has separated himself” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). He is not merely anti-social; he is a problem for society since he will defy sound judgment. The Mishnah uses the verse to teach the necessity of being part of a community because people have social responsibilities and need each other (m. Avot 2:4).
808 tc The MT has “seeks [his own] desire[s].” The translation in the LXX represents a Hebrew Vorlage of לְתֹאֲנָה (lÿto’anah) instead of לְתַאֲוָה (lÿta’avah); this could be translated “seeks his own occasion,” that is, “his own pretext” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 354; cf. NAB). The MT makes sense as it stands and the emendation is not really necessary.
810 sn This expression forms an understatement (tapeinosis); the opposite is the point – he detests understanding or discernment.
811 tn The Hitpael infinitive construct בְּהִתְגַּלּוֹת (bÿhitgalot) functions nominally as the object of the preposition. The term means “reveal, uncover, betray.” So the fool takes pleasure “in uncovering” his heart.
812 tn Heb “his heart.” This is a metonymy meaning “what is on his mind” (cf. NAB “displaying what he thinks”; NRSV “expressing personal opinion”). This kind of person is in love with his own ideas and enjoys spewing them out (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 515). It is the kind of person who would ask a question, not to learn, but to show everyone how clever he is (cf. TEV).
813 tc The MT has “a wicked [person].” Many commentators emend the text to רֶשַׁע (resha’, “wickedness”) which makes better parallelism with “shame” (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 521; R. B. Y. Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 112; C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 355; cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV). However, there is no external evidence for this emendation.
814 sn “Contempt” (בּוּז, buz) accompanies the wicked; “reproach” (חֶרְפָּה, kherpah) goes with shame. This reproach refers to the critical rebukes and taunts of the community against a wicked person.
815 tn The term “comes” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
816 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
817 sn The metaphor “deep waters” indicates either that the words have an inexhaustible supply or that they are profound.
818 tn There is debate about the nature of the parallelism between lines 4a and 4b. The major options are: (1) synonymous parallelism, (2) antithetical parallelism (e.g., NAB, NIV, NCV) or (3) formal parallelism. Normally a vav (ו) would begin an antithetical clause; the structure and the ideas suggest that the second colon continues the idea of the first half, but in a parallel way rather than as additional predicates. The metaphors used in the proverb elsewhere describe the wise.
819 sn This is an implied comparison (hypocatastasis), the fountain of wisdom being the person who speaks. The Greek version has “fountain of life” instead of “wisdom,” probably influenced from 10:11.
820 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
821 sn The point of this metaphor is that the wisdom is a continuous source of refreshing and beneficial ideas.
822 tn Heb “not good.” This is a figure known as tapeinosis, a deliberate understatement to emphasize a worst-case scenario: “it is terrible!”
823 tn The idiom “lifting up the face of” (שְׂאֵת פְּנֵי, sÿ’et pÿne) means “to show partiality” in decisions (e.g., Deut 10:17; Mal 2:9); cf. CEV, NLT “to favor.” The verbal form is the Qal infinitive construct from נָשָׂא (nasa’), which functions as the subject of the clause.
824 tn Or “the guilty,” since in the second colon “righteous” can also be understood in contrast as “innocent” (cf. NRSV, TEV, NLT).
825 tn Heb “to turn aside” (so ASV); NASB “to thrust aside.” The second half of the verse may illustrate this reprehensible action. The Hiphil infinitive construct לְהַטּוֹת (lÿhatot) may serve either (1) as result, “showing partiality…so that the righteous are turned away,” or (2) as epexegetical infinitive, “showing partiality…by turning the righteous away.” The second is preferred in the translation. Depriving the innocent of their rights is a perversion of justice.
826 sn The “lips” is a metonymy of cause, meaning what the fool says. The “mouth” in the second colon is likewise a metonymy for speech, what comes out of the mouth.
827 sn “Strife” is a metonymy of cause, it is the cause of the beating or flogging that follows; “flogging” in the second colon is a metonymy of effect, the flogging is the effect of the strife. The two together give the whole picture.
828 tn Heb “calls for.” This is personification: What the fool says “calls for” a beating or flogging. The fool deserves punishment, but does not actually request it.
829 tn Heb “blows.” This would probably be physical beatings, either administered by the father or by society (e.g., also 19:25; Ps 141:5; cf. NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT). Today, however, “a beating” could be associated with violent criminal assault, whereas the context suggests punishment. Therefore “a flogging” is used in the translation, since that term is normally associated with disciplinary action.
830 tn Heb “his soul” (so KJV, NASB, NIV).
sn What a fool says can ruin him. Calamity and misfortune can come to a person who makes known his lack of wisdom by what he says. It may be that his words incite anger, or merely reveal stupidity; in either case, he is in trouble.
831 tn Or “slanderer”; KJV, NAB “talebearer”; ASV, NRSV “whisperer.”
832 tn The word כְּמִתְלַהֲמִים (kÿmitlahamim) occurs only here. It is related to a cognate verb meaning “to swallow greedily.” Earlier English versions took it from a Hebrew root הָלַם (halam, see the word לְמַהֲלֻמוֹת [lÿmahalumot] in v. 6) meaning “wounds” (so KJV). But the translation of “choice morsels” fits the idea of gossip better.
833 tn Heb “they go down [into] the innermost parts of the belly”; NASB “of the body.”
sn When the choice morsels of gossip are received, they go down like delicious food – into the innermost being. R. N. Whybray says, “There is a flaw in human nature that assures slander will be listened to” (Proverbs [CBC], 105).
834 tn Heb “Also, the one who.” Many commentators and a number of English versions omit the word “also.”
835 tn The form מִתְרַפֶּה (mitrappeh) is the Hitpael participle, “showing oneself slack.” The verb means “to sink; to relax,” and in the causative stem “to let drop” the hands. This is the lazy person who does not even try to work.
836 sn These two troubling types, the slacker and the destroyer, are closely related.
837 tn Heb “possessor of destruction.” This idiom means “destroyer” (so ASV); KJV “a great waster”; NRSV “a vandal.”
838 sn The “name of the
839 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
840 tn Heb “a tower of strength,” with “strength” regarded as attributive by most English versions. The metaphor “strong tower” indicates that God is a secure refuge. The figure is qualified in the second colon.
842 tn Heb “is high” or “is inaccessible.” This military-type expression stresses the effect of the trust – security, being out of danger (see HALOT 1305 s.v. שׂגב). Other scriptures will supply the ways that God actually protects people who trust him.
843 sn This proverb forms a contrast with the previous one. The rich, unlike the righteous, trust in wealth and not in God.
844 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
845 tn Heb “city of his strength”; NIV “fortified city.” This term refers to their place of refuge, what they look to for security and protection in time of trouble.
846 tc The MT reads בְּמַשְׂכִּיתוֹ (bÿmaskito, “in his imaginations”). The LXX, Tg. Prov 18:11, and the Latin reflect בִּמְשֻׂכָּתוֹ (bimsukato, “like a fence [or, high wall]”) that is, wealth provides protection. The MT reading, on the other hand, suggests that this security is only in the mind.
tn The proverb is an observation saying, reporting a common assumption without commenting on it. The juxtaposition with the last verse is a loud criticism of this misguided faith. The final word בְּמַשְׂכִּיתוֹ (“in his imaginations”) indicates that one’s wealth is a futile place of refuge.
847 sn The term “heart” is a metonymy of subject, referring to the seat of the spiritual and intellectual capacities – the mind, the will, the motivations and intentions. Proud ambitions and intentions will lead to a fall.
848 tn Heb “[is] before honor”; cf. CEV “humility leads to honor.”
850 tn Heb “returns a word”; KJV “He that answereth a matter.”
851 sn Poor listening and premature answering indicate that the person has a low regard for what the other is saying, or that he is too absorbed in his own ideas. The Mishnah lists this as the second characteristic of the uncultured person (m. Avot 5:7).
852 tn Heb “it is folly to him and shame.” The verse uses formal parallelism, with the second colon simply completing the thought of the first.
853 tn Heb “the spirit of a man.” Because the verb of this clause is a masculine form, some have translated this line as “with spirit a man sustains,” but that is an unnecessary change.
854 sn This is a rhetorical question, asserting that very few can cope with depression.
855 sn The figure of a “crushed spirit” (ASV, NAB, NCV, NRSV “a broken spirit,” comparing depression to something smashed or crushed) suggests a broken will, a loss of vitality, despair, and emotional pain. In physical sickness one can fall back on the will to live; but in depression even the will to live is gone.
856 tn Heb “discerning heart.” The term “heart” is a synecdoche of part (= heart) for the whole (= person); cf. TEV, NLT “intelligent people.” By paralleling “heart” and “ear” the proverb stresses the full acquisition of knowledge. The “ear” listens to instruction, and the heart considers what is heard to acquire knowledge.
857 tn Heb “the ear of the wise.” The term “ear” is a synecdoche of part (= ear) for the whole (= person): “wise person.”
sn The wise continually seek more knowledge. D. Kidner says, “Those who know most know best how little they know” (Proverbs [TOTC], 129).
858 sn This line features a mixed metaphor: The “ear” is pictured “seeking.” The “ear of the wise” actually means the wise person’s capacity to hear, and so the wise are seeking as they hear.
859 sn The Hebrew term translated “gift” is a more general term than “bribe” (שֹׁחַד, shokhad), used in 17:8, 23. But it also has danger (e.g., 15:27; 21:14), for by giving gifts one might learn how influential they are and use them for bribes. The proverb simply states that a gift can expedite matters.
860 sn The two verbs here show a progression, helping to form the synthetic parallelism. The gift first “makes room” (יַרְחִיב, yarkhiv) for the person, that is, extending a place for him, and then “ushers him in” (יַנְחֵנּוּ, yakhenu) among the greats.
861 tn Heb “in his legal case”; NAB “who pleads his case first.”
862 tn The term “seems” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness (cf. KJV “seemeth”).
863 tn Heb “his neighbor”; NRSV “the other.”
864 tn Heb “comes and.” The Kethib is the imperfect יָבֹא (yavo’), and the Qere is the conjunction with the participle/perfect tense form וּבָא (uva’). The latter is reflected in most of the ancient versions. There is not an appreciable difference in the translations, except for the use of the conjunction.
865 sn The proverb is a continuous sentence teaching that there must be cross-examination to settle legal disputes. There are two sides in any disputes, and so even though the first to present his case sounds right, it must be challenged. The verb הָקַר (haqar, translated “cross-examines”) is used for careful, diligent searching and investigating to know something (e.g., Ps 139:1).
866 tn Heb “casting the lot.” Because modern readers are not familiar with the ancient practice of casting lots, the image of the coin toss to decide an issue has been employed in the translation (cf. CEV “drawing straws”). Although the casting of lots is often compared to throwing dice, the translation “throwing dice ends disputes” in this context could be misunderstood to mean “participating in a game of dice ends disputes.”
867 tn The verb יַשְׁבִּית (yashbit) is the Hiphil imperfect from שָׁבַת (shavat), meaning “to cause to cease; to bring to an end; to end”; cf. NIV “settles disputes.” The assumption behind this practice and this saying is that providence played the determining role in the casting of lots. If both parties accepted this, then the issue could be resolved.
868 tn Heb “makes a separation” or “decides.” In the book of Proverbs this verb often has a negative connotation, such as separating close friends (e.g., 16:9). But here it has a positive nuance: Opponents are “separated” by settling the issue.
869 tn The word is the adjective, “mighty” (so KJV, NAB, NASB) used here substantivally as the object of the preposition.
870 tn Heb “brother,” but this is not limited to actual siblings (cf. NRSV “an ally”; CEV, NLT “friend”).
871 tn The Niphal participle from פָּשַׁע (pasha’) modifies “brother”: a brother transgressed, offended, sinned against.
872 tc The LXX has a clear antithetical proverb here: “A brother helped is like a stronghold, but disputes are like bars of a citadel.” Accordingly, the editors of BHS propose מוֹשִׁיעַ (moshia’) instead of נִפְשָׁע (nifsha’, so also the other versions and the RSV). But since both lines use the comparison with a citadel (fortified/barred), the antithesis is problematic.
tn The phrase “is harder to reach” is supplied in the translation on the basis of the comparative מִן (min). It is difficult to get into a fortified city; it is more difficult to reach an offended brother.
873 tn Heb “bars,” but this could be understood to mean “taverns,” so “barred gates” is employed in the translation.
874 sn The proverb is talking about changing a friend or a relative into an enemy by abuse or strife – the bars go up, as it were. And the “walls” that are erected are not easily torn down.
875 sn Two images are used in this proverb: the fruit of the mouth and the harvest of the lips. They are synonymous; the first is applied to the orchard and the second to the field. The “mouth” and the “lips” are metonymies of cause, and so both lines are speaking about speech that is productive.
876 tn Heb “his midst.” This is rendered “his stomach” because of the use of שָׂבַע (sava’, “to be satisfied; to be sated; to be filled”), which is usually used with food (cf. KJV, ASV “belly”).
sn Productive speech is not just satisfying – it meets the basic needs of life. There is a practical return for beneficial words.
877 tn Heb “in the hand of.”
878 sn What people say can lead to life or death. The Midrash on Psalms shows one way the tongue [what is said] can cause death: “The evil tongue slays three, the slanderer, the slandered, and the listener” (Midrash Tehillim 52:2). See J. G. Williams, “The Power of Form: A Study of Biblical Proverbs,” Semeia 17 (1980): 35-38.
879 tn The referent of “it” must be the tongue, i.e., what the tongue says (= “its use”). So those who enjoy talking, indulging in it, must “eat” its fruit, whether good or bad. The expression “eating the fruit” is an implied comparison; it means accept the consequences of loving to talk (cf. TEV).
880 tn The verb מָצָא (matsa’, translated “finds”) is used twice in the first colon. It is paralleled by the verb פּוּק (puq, translated “receives”) in the second colon, which carries the same nuance as the preceding verbs. The first perfect tense verb might function in a hypothetical or conditional sense: “If a man finds…then he finds.” But taken as a principle the nuances of the verbs would be gnomic or characteristic.
881 tn Heb “good.” The term טוֹב (tov, “good; enjoyable; fortune”) might be an allusion to Gen 2:18, which affirms that it is not good for man to be alone. The word describes that which is pleasing to God, beneficial for life, and abundantly enjoyable.
882 tn Heb “what is pleasant.” The noun רָצוֹן (ratson, “what is pleasing”) is often interpreted in a religious-theological sense here: “receives favor from the
sn The parallelism is formal; the second line of the verse continues the first but explains it further: Finding a spouse, one receives a pleasurable gift from God.
883 tc The LXX adds this embellishment to complete the thought: “Whoever puts away a good wife puts away good, and whoever keeps an adulteress is foolish and ungodly.”
884 tn Heb “speaks supplications”; NIV “pleads for mercy.” The poor man has to ask for help because he has no choice (cf. CEV). The Hebrew term תַּחֲנוּן (takhanun) is a “supplication for favor” (related to the verb חָנַן [khanan], “to be gracious; to show favor”). So the poor man speaks, but what he speaks is a request for favor.
885 sn The rich person responds harshly to the request. He has hardened himself against such appeals because of relentless demands. The proverb is an observation saying; it simply describes the way the world generally works, rather than setting this out as the ideal.
886 tc The construction is “a man of friends” (cf. NASB) meaning a man who has friends (a genitive of the thing possessed). C. H. Toy, however, suggests reading יֵשׁ (yesh) instead of אִישׁ (’ish), along with some of the Greek
887 tn The text simply has לְהִתְרֹעֵעַ (lÿhitro’ea’), which means “for being crushed” or “to be shattered” (but not “to show oneself friendly” as in the KJV). What can be made of the sentence is that “a man who has [many] friends [may have them] for being crushed” – the infinitive giving the result (i.e., “with the result that he may be crushed by them”).
889 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy for what one says with his lips. The expression “perverse in his lips” refers to speech that is morally perverted. Some medieval Hebrew
890 tc The Syriac and Tg. Prov 19:1 read “rich” instead of MT “fool.” This makes tighter antithetical parallelism than MT and is followed by NAB. However, the MT makes sense as it stands; this is an example of metonymical parallelism. The MT reading is also supported by the LXX. The Hebrew construction uses וְהוּא (vÿhu’), “and he [is],” before “fool.” This may be rendered “one who is perverse while a fool” or “a fool at the same time.”
891 tn Heb “not good.” This is a figure known as tapeinosis (a deliberate understatement to emphasize a worst-case scenario): “it is dangerous!”
892 tn The interpretation of this line depends largely on the meaning of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) which has a broad range of meanings: (1) the breathing substance of man, (2) living being, (3) life, (4) person, (5) seat of the appetites, (6) seat of emotions and passions, (7) activities of intellect, emotion and will, (8) moral character, etc. (BDB 659-61 s.v.). In light of the synonymous parallelism, the most likely nuance here is “zeal, passion” (HALOT 713 s.v. 8). NIV takes the word in the sense of “vitality” and “drive” – “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge” (cf. NCV, TEV, and NLT which are all similar).
893 tn Heb “he who is hasty with his feet.” The verb אוּץ (’uts) means “to be pressed; to press; to make haste.” The verb is followed by the preposition בְּ (bet) which indicates that with which one hastens – his feet. The word “feet” is a synecdoche of part for the whole person – body and mind working together (cf. NLT “a person who moves too quickly”).
894 tn Heb “misses the goal.” The participle חוֹטֵא (khote’) can be translated “sins” (cf. KJV, ASV), but in this context it refers only to actions without knowledge, which could lead to sin, or could lead simply to making poor choices (cf. NAB “blunders”; NASB “errs”; NCV “might make a mistake”).
sn The basic meaning of the verb is “to miss a goal or the way.” D. Kidner says, “How negative is the achievement of a man who wants tangible and quick rewards” – he will miss the way (Proverbs [TOTC], 132).
895 tn Heb “the folly of a man.”
896 tn The verb סָלַף (salaf) normally means “to twist; to pervert; to overturn,” but in this context it means “to subvert” (BDB 701 s.v.); cf. ASV “subverteth.”
sn J. H. Greenstone comments: “Man’s own failures are the result of his own folly and should not be attributed to God” (Proverbs, 201).
897 tn The clause begins with vav on the nonverb phrase “against the
898 sn The “heart raging” is a metonymy of cause (or adjunct); it represents the emotions that will lead to blaming God for the frustration. Genesis 42:28 offers a calmer illustration of this as the brothers ask what God was doing to them.
899 tn The Niphal imperfect probably should be taken in the passive sense (the poor person is deserted by his “friend,” cf. NAB, NIV) rather than as a direct middle (the poor person deserted his friend).
900 sn This proverb simply makes an observation on life: People pursue wealthy folk hoping that they can gain something from the rich, but the poor are deserted even by friends, who fear that the poor will try to gain something from them.
901 tn Heb “a witness of lies.” This expression is an attributive genitive: “a lying witness” (cf. CEV “dishonest witnesses”). This is paralleled by “the one who pours out lies.”
902 tn Heb “breathes out”; NAB “utters”; NIV “pours out.”
903 tn Heb “will not escape” (so NAB, NASB); NIV “will not go free.” Here “punishment” is implied, and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn This proverb is a general statement, because on occasion there are false witnesses who go unpunished in this life (e.g., Prov 6:19; 14:5, 25; 19:9). The Talmud affirms, “False witnesses are contemptible even to those who hire them” (b. Sanhedrin 29b).
904 tn The verb יְחַלּוּ (yÿkhalu) is a Piel imperfect of חָלָה (khalah) meaning “to seek favor; to entreat favor; to mollify; to appease”; cf. NIV “curry favor.” It literally means “making the face of someone sweet or pleasant,” as in stroking the face. To “entreat the favor” of someone is to induce him to show favor; the action aims at receiving gifts, benefits, or any other kind of success.
sn The Hebrew verb translated “entreat the favor” is often used to express prayer when God is the one whose favor is being sought; here it is the prince who can grant requests.
905 tn Heb “the face of a generous man”; ASV “the liberal man.” The term “face” is a synecdoche of part (= face) for the whole (= person).
906 sn The proverb acknowledges the fact of life; but it also reminds people of the value of gifts in life, especially in business or in politics.
907 tn Heb “a man of gifts.” This could be (1) attributive genitive: a man characterized by giving gifts or (2) objective genitive: a man who gives gifts (IBHS 146 §9.5.2b).
908 tn Heb “brothers,” but not limited only to male siblings in this context.
909 tn Heb “hate him.” The verb שָׂנֵא (sane’) may be nuanced “reject” here (metonymy of effect, cf. CEV). The kind of “dislike” or “hatred” family members show to a poor relative is to have nothing to do with him (NIV “is shunned”). If relatives do this, how much more will the poor person’s friends do so.
910 tn The direct object “them” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
911 tn Heb “not they.” The last line of the verse is problematic. The preceding two lines are loosely synonymous in their parallelism, but the third adds something like: “he pursues [them with] words, but they [do] not [respond].” Some simply say it is a corrupt remnant of a separate proverb and beyond restoration. The basic idea does make sense, though. The idea of his family and friends rejecting the poor person reveals how superficial they are, and how they make themselves scarce. Since they are far off, he has to look for them “with words” (adverbial accusative), that is, “send word” for help. But they “are nowhere to be found” (so NIV). The LXX reads “will not be delivered” in place of “not they” – clearly an attempt to make sense out of the cryptic phrase, and, in the process, showing evidence for that text.
913 tn Heb “his own soul.” The expression “loves his soul” means that he is paying attention to his needs or taking care of his life (cf. NAB “is his own best friend”). This expression works with its parallel to provide the whole idea: “loving the soul” is the metonymy of the cause for prospering, and “prospering” is the metonymy of the effect (of loving).
914 tn Heb “finds good” (similar KJV, NASB); NCV “will succeed.” The MT reads לִמְצֹא (limtso’), a Qal infinitive construct. The LXX (as well as the other major early versions) renders it as a future, which reflects a Vorlage of יִמְצָא (yimtsa’). The infinitive is used here in a modal sense, meaning “is destined to” or “is certain of” finding good in life.
915 tn Heb “breathes out”; NAB “utters”; NIV “pours out.”
917 tn The form נָאוֶה (na’veh) is an adjective meaning “seemly; comely” in the older English versions like KJV, ASV, “fitting” in more recent ones (e.g., NASB, NIV, NRSV). The verbal root נוֹה only occurs in the Pilel stem; but it also has the basic meaning of “being fitting; being comely.” In this sentence the form is a predicate adjective.
918 sn The verse is simply observing two things that are misfits. It is not concerned with a fool who changes and can handle wealth, or a servant who changes to become a nobleman. It is focused on things that are incongruous.
919 sn In the ancient world the prince would be trained for his rule (hence, one of the original purposes of Proverbs). A slave ruling over princes would be arrogant and cruel, or foolish and unwise. For other unbearable things, e.g., 11:22; 17:7; 26:1; and 30:21-23.
920 tn Or “prudence,” the successful use of wisdom in discretion. Cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT “good sense.”
921 tn The Hiphil perfect of אָרַךְ (’arakh, “to be long”) means “to make long; to prolong.” Patience and slowness to anger lead to forgiveness of sins.
922 sn “Glory” signifies the idea of beauty or adornment. D. Kidner explains that such patience “brings out here the glowing colours of a virtue which in practice may look drably unassertive” (Proverbs [TOTC], 133).
923 tn Heb “to pass over” (so KJV, ASV); NCV, TEV “ignore.” The infinitive construct עֲבֹר (’avor) functions as the formal subject of the sentence. This clause provides the cause, whereas the former gave the effect – if one can pass over an offense there will be no anger.
sn W. McKane says, “The virtue which is indicated here is more than a forgiving temper; it includes also the ability to shrug off insults and the absence of a brooding hypersensitivity…. It contains elements of toughness and self-discipline; it is the capacity to stifle a hot, emotional rejoinder and to sleep on an insult” (Proverbs [OTL], 530).
924 sn The verse contrasts the “rage” of the king with his “favor” by using two similes. The first simile presents the king at his most dangerous – his anger (e.g., 20:2; Amos 3:4). The second simile presents his favor as beneficial for life (e.g., 16:14-15; 28:15).
925 tn Heb “is a roaring like a lion.”
926 sn The proverb makes an observation about a king’s power to terrify or to refresh. It advises people to use tact with a king.
927 tn Heb “a foolish son” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, CEV); NRSV “a stupid child.”
928 tn Heb “the contentions of a wife” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “the nagging of a wife.” The genitive could be interpreted (1) as genitive of source or subjective genitive – she is quarreling; or (2) it could be a genitive of specification, making the word “contentions” a modifier, as in the present translation.
929 tn Heb “is a constant dripping.” The term “like” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity. The metaphor pictures water dropping (perhaps rain through the roof, cf. NRSV, CEV) in a continuous flow: It is annoying and irritating (e.g., Prov 27:15-16).
930 tc The LXX makes this moralistic statement for 13b: “vows paid out of hire of a harlot are not pure.” It is not based on the MT and attempts to reconstruct a text using this have been unsuccessful.
931 tn Heb “inheritance of fathers” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).
932 sn This statement describes a wife who has a skillful use of knowledge and discretion that proves to be successful. This contrasts with the preceding verse. The proverb is not concerned about unhappy marriages or bad wives (both of which exist); it simply affirms that when a marriage works out well one should credit it as a gift from God.
933 tn Heb “causes to fall” or “casts”; NAB “plunges…into.”
934 tn Or “complete inactivity”; the word תַּרְדֵּמָה (tardemah) can refer to a physical “deep sleep” (e.g., Gen 2:21; Jonah 1:5, 6); but it can also be used figuratively for complete inactivity, as other words for “sleep” can. Here it refers to lethargy or debility and morbidness.
935 tn The expression וְנֶפֶשׁ רְמִיָּה (vÿnefesh rÿmiyyah) can be translated “the soul of deceit” or “the soul of slackness.” There are two identical feminine nouns, one from the verb “beguile,” and the other from a cognate Arabic root “grow loose.” The second is more likely here in view of the parallelism (cf. NIV “a shiftless man”; NAB “the sluggard”). One who is slack, that is, idle, will go hungry.
936 sn The two lines are related in a metonymical sense: “deep sleep” is the cause of going hungry, and “going hungry” is the effect of deep sleep.
937 tn The verb שָׁמַר (shamar) is repeated twice in this line but with two different senses, creating a polysemantic wordplay: “he who obeys/keeps (ֹֹשׁמֵר, shomer) the commandment safeguards/keeps (שֹׁמֵר, shomer) his life.”
938 sn The expression his ways could refer either (1) to the conduct of the individual himself, or (2) to the commandments as the
939 tc The Kethib is יָוְמֻת (yavmut), “will be put to death,” while the Qere reads יָמוּת (yamut, “will die”). The Qere is the preferred reading and is followed by most English versions.
940 sn The participle חוֹנֵן (khonen, “shows favor to”) is related to the word for “grace.” The activity here is the kind favor shown poor people for no particular reason and with no hope of repayment. It is literally an act of grace.
941 tn The form מַלְוֵה (malveh) is the Hiphil participle from לָוָה (lavah) in construct; it means “to cause to borrow; to lend.” The expression here is “lender of the
942 tn Heb “he.” The referent of the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun is “the
943 sn The promise of reward does not necessarily mean that the person who gives to the poor will get money back; the rewards in the book of Proverbs involve life and prosperity in general.
944 tn Heb “and his good deed will repay him.” The word גְּמֻלוֹ (gÿmulo) could be (1) the subject or (2) part of a double accusative of the verb. Understanding it as part of the double accusative makes better sense, for then the subject of the verb is God. How “his deed” could repay him is not immediately obvious.
945 tn The translation understands כִּי (ki) as causal. Some prefer to take כִּי as temporal and translate, “while there is hope” (so KJV, NASB, NCV, NRSV, NLT), meaning that discipline should be administered when the child is young and easily guided. In the causal reading of כִּי, the idea seems to be that children should be disciplined because change is possible due to their youth and the fact that they are not set in their ways.
946 tn The expression “do not lift up your soul/life” to his death may mean (1) “do not set your heart” on his death (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), or it may mean (2) “do not be a willing partner” (cf. NIV). The parent is to discipline a child, but he is not to take it to the extreme and destroy or kill the child.
947 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הֲמִיתוֹ (hamito) means “taking it to heart” in this line. The traditional rendering was “and let not your soul spare for his crying.” This involved a different reading than “causing his death” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 206-7).
948 sn The Hebrew word means “indemnity, fine”; this suggests that the trouble could be legal, and the angry person has to pay for it.
949 tn The second colon of the verse is very difficult, and there have been many proposals as to its meaning: (1) “If you save [your enemy], you will add [good to yourself]”; (2) “If you save [your son by chastening], you may continue [chastisement and so educate him]”; (3) “If you deliver [him by paying the fine for him once], you will have to do it again”; (4) “If you save [him this time], you will have to increase [the punishment later on].” All interpretations have to supply a considerable amount of material (indicated by brackets). Many English versions are similar to (3).
950 sn The advice refers in all probability to the teachings of the sages that will make one wise.
951 tn The proverb is one continuous thought, but the second half of the verse provides the purpose for the imperatives of the first half.
952 tn The imperfect tense has the nuance of a final imperfect in a purpose clause, and so is translated “that you may become wise” (cf. NAB, NRSV).
953 tn Heb “become wise in your latter end” (cf. KJV, ASV) which could obviously be misunderstood.
954 sn The plans (from the Hebrew verb חָשַׁב [khashav], “to think; to reckon; to devise”) in the human heart are many. But only those which God approves will succeed.
955 tn Heb “in the heart of a man” (cf. NAB, NIV). Here “heart” is used for the seat of thoughts, plans, and reasoning, so the translation uses “mind.” In contemporary English “heart” is more often associated with the seat of emotion than with the seat of planning and reasoning.
956 tn Heb “but the counsel of the
957 tn The antithetical parallelism pairs “counsel” with “plans.” “Counsel of the
sn The point of the proverb is that the human being with many plans is uncertain, but the
958 tn Heb “the desire of a man” (so KJV). The noun in construct is תַּאֲוַת (ta’avat), “desire [of].” Here it refers to “the desire of a man [= person].” Two problems surface here, the connotation of the word and the kind of genitive. “Desire” can also be translated “lust,” and so J. H. Greenstone has “The lust of a man is his shame” (Proverbs, 208). But the sentence is more likely positive in view of the more common uses of the words. “Man” could be a genitive of possession or subjective genitive – the man desires loyal love. It could also be an objective genitive, meaning “what is desired for a man.” The first would be the more natural in the proverb, which is showing that loyal love is better than wealth.
959 tn Heb “[is] his loyal love”; NIV “unfailing love”; NRSV “loyalty.”
960 sn The second half of the proverb presents the logical inference: The liar would be without “loyal love” entirely, and so poverty would be better than this. A poor person who wishes to do better is preferable to a person who makes promises and does not keep them.
961 tn Heb “the fear of the
962 tn The term “leads” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and style.
963 tn Here “life” is probably a metonymy of subject for “blessings and prosperity in life.” The plural form often covers a person’s “lifetime.”
964 tn The subject of this verb is probably the one who fears the
965 tn Heb “he will not be visited” (so KJV, ASV). The verb פָּקַד (paqad) is often translated “visit.” It describes intervention that will change the destiny. If God “visits” it means he intervenes to bless or to curse. To be “visited by trouble” means that calamity will interfere with the course of life and change the direction or the destiny. Therefore this is not referring to a minor trouble that one might briefly experience. A life in the
966 tn Heb “buries” (so many English versions); KJV “hideth”; NAB “loses.”
967 sn This humorous portrayal is an exaggeration; but the point is that laziness can overcome hunger. It would have a wider application for anyone who would start a project and then lack the interest or energy to finish it (R. N. Whybray, Proverbs [CBC], 111). Ibn Ezra proposes that the dish was empty, because the sluggard was too lazy to provide for himself.
968 tn The Hiphil imperfect תַּכֶּה (takeh) is followed by another imperfect. It could be rendered: “strike a scorner [imperfect of instruction] and a simpleton will become prudent.” But the first of the parallel verbs can also be subordinated to the second as a temporal or conditional clause. Some English versions translate “beat” (NAB “if you beat an arrogant man”), but this could be understood to refer to competition rather than physical punishment. Therefore “flog” has been used in the translation, since it is normally associated with punishment or discipline.
969 sn Different people learn differently. There are three types of people in this proverb: the scorner with a closed mind, the simpleton with an empty mind, and the discerning person with an open mind (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 135). The simpleton learns by observing a scoffer being punished, even though the punishment will have no effect on the scoffer.
971 tn The second half begins with הוֹכִיחַ (hokhiakh), the Hiphil infinitive construct. This parallels the imperfect tense beginning the first half; it forms a temporal or conditional clause as well, so that the main verb is “he will understand.”
sn The discerning person will learn from verbal rebukes. The contrast is caught in a wordplay in the Midrash: “For the wise a hint [r’mizo], for the fool a fist [kurmezo]” (Mishle 22:6).
972 tn The construction joins the Piel participle מְשַׁדֶּד (mÿshaded, “one who robs”) with the Hiphil imperfect יַבְרִיחַ (yavriakh, “causes to flee” = chases away). The imperfect given a progressive imperfect nuance matches the timeless description of the participle as a substantive.
973 sn “Father” and “mother” here represent a stereotypical word pair in the book of Proverbs, rather than describing separate crimes against each individual parent. Both crimes are against both parents.
974 tn The more generic “child” does not fit the activities described in this verse and so “son” is retained in the translation. In the ancient world a “son” was more likely than a daughter to behave as stated. Such behavior may reflect the son wanting to take over his father’s lands prematurely.
975 tn Heb “Stop listening…!” The infinitive construct לִשְׁמֹעַ (lishmoa’) functions as the direct object of the imperative: “stop heeding [or, listening to].” Of course in this proverb which shows the consequences of doing so, this is irony. The sage is instructing not to stop. The conditional protasis construction does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation.
976 tn The second line has an infinitive construct לִשְׁגוֹת (lishgot), meaning “to stray; to go astray; to err.” It indicates the result of the instruction – stop listening, and as a result you will go astray. The LXX took it differently: “A son who ceases to attend to discipline is likely to stray from words of knowledge.” RSV sees the final clause as the purpose of the instructions to be avoided: “do not listen to instructions to err.”
977 tn Heb “a witness who is worthless and wicked” (עֵד בְּלִיַּעַל, ’ed beliyya’al). Cf. KJV “an ungodly witness”; NAB “an unprincipled witness”; NCV “an evil witness”; NASB “a rascally witness.”
sn These are crooked or corrupt witnesses who willfully distort the facts and make a mockery of the whole legal process.
978 tn The parallel line says the mouth of the wicked “gulps down” or “swallows” (יְבַלַּע, yÿvala’) iniquity. The verb does not seem to fit the line (or the proverb) very well. Some have emended the text to יַבִּיעַ (yavia’, “gushes”) as in 15:28 (cf. NAB “pours out”). Driver followed an Arabic balaga to get “enunciates,” which works well with the idea of a false witness (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 529). As it stands, however, the line indicates that in what he says the wicked person accepts evil – and that could describe a false witness.
979 tc Some (cf. NAB) suggest emending the MT’s “judgments” (from שָׁפַט, shafat) to “rods” (from שָׁבַט, shavat); however, this is not necessary if the term in the MT is interpreted figuratively. The LXX “scourges” might reflect a different Vorlage, but it also could have been an interpretive translation from the same text. “Judgments” is a metonymy of cause and refers to the punishment that the scoffer is to receive.
980 sn The drinks are wine and barley beer (e.g., Lev 10:9; Deut 14:26; Isa 28:7). These terms here could be understood as personifications, but better as metonymies for those who drink wine and beer. The inebriated person mocks and brawls.
981 tn The two participles לֵץ (lets, “mocker”) and הֹמֶה (homeh, “brawler”) are substantives; they function as predicates in the sentence. Excessive use of intoxicants excites the drinker to boisterous behavior and aggressive attitudes – it turns them into mockers and brawlers.
982 sn The proverb does not prohibit the use of wine or beer; in fact, strong drink was used at festivals and celebrations. But intoxication was considered out of bounds for a member of the covenant community (e.g., 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:4-7). To be led astray by their use is not wise.
983 tn Heb “the terror of a king” (so ASV, NASB); The term “terror” is a metonymy of effect for cause: the anger of a king that causes terror among the people. The term “king” functions as a possessive genitive: “a king’s anger” (cf. NIV “A king’s wrath”; NLT “The king’s fury”).
984 tn The verb מִתְעַבְּרוֹ (mit’abbÿro) is problematic; in the MT the form is the Hitpael participle with a pronominal suffix, which is unusual, for the direct object of this verb usually takes a preposition first: “is angry with.” The LXX rendered it “angers [or, irritates].”
985 sn The expression “sins against himself” has been taken by some to mean “forfeits his life” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) or “endangers his life” (cf. NCV, NLT). That may be the implication of getting oneself in trouble with an angry king (cf. TEV “making him angry is suicide”).
986 tn Heb “man.”
987 tn Heb “cessation” (שֶׁבֶת, shevet); NAB “to shun strife”; NRSV “refrain from strife.”
sn One cannot avoid conflict altogether; but the proverb is instructing that at the first sign of conflict the honorable thing to do is to find a way to end it.
988 tn Heb “breaks out.” The Hitpael of the verb גָּלַע (gala’, “to expose; to lay bare”) means “to break out; to disclose oneself,” and so the idea of flaring up in a quarrel is clear. But there are also cognate connections to the idea of “showing the teeth; snarling” and so quarreling viciously.
989 sn The act of plowing is put for the whole process of planting a crop.
990 tn Heb “in the autumn”; ASV “by reason of the winter.” The noun means “autumn, harvest time.” The right time for planting was after the harvest and the rainy season of autumn and winter began.
991 tn The Piel of the verb שָׁאַל (sha’al, “to ask”) means “to beg” or “to inquire carefully.” At the harvest time he looks for produce but there is none. The Piel might suggest, however, that because he did not plant, or did not do it at the right time, he is reduced to begging and will have nothing (cf. KJV, ASV; NASB “he begs during the harvest”).
992 tn The phrase “for the crop” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
993 sn The noun means “advice, counsel”; it can have the connotation of planning or making decisions. Those with understanding can sort out plans.
994 tn Heb “in the heart of a man”; NRSV “in the human mind.”
995 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
996 sn The motives or plans of a person are “difficult to fathom”; it takes someone with understanding to discover and surface them (the verb in the last colon continues the figure with the sense of bringing the plans to the surface and sorting them out).
997 tn Heb “a man of understanding”; TEV “someone with insight”; NLT “the wise.”
998 tn Heb “many a man calls/proclaims a man of his loyal love.” The Syriac and Tg. Prov 20:6 render the verb as passive: “many are called kind.” Other suggestions include: “most men meet people who will do them occasional kindnesses” (RSV); “many men profess friendship” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 384); “many men invite only the one who has shown them kindness.” The simplest interpretation in this context is “many proclaim [themselves to be] a kind person (= a loyal friend).” The contrast is between many who claim to be loyal friends and the one who actually proves to be faithful.
999 tn The shift to the expression “a man of faithfulness[es]” in the second line indicates that of all those who claim to show faithful love, it is rare to find one who is truly reliable (as the word אֱמוּנִים [’emunim] indicates clearly); cf. NAB, NRSV “one worthy of trust.”
1000 sn The point of the rhetorical question is that a truly faithful friend is very difficult to find.
1001 sn Two terms describe the subject of this proverb: “righteous” and “integrity.” The first describes the person as a member of the covenant community who strives to live according to God’s standards; the second emphasizes that his lifestyle is blameless.
1002 tn Heb “walks in his integrity” (so NASB); cf. NIV “leads a blameless life.” The Hitpael participle of הָלַךְ (halakh) means “to walk about; to walk to and fro.” The idiom of walking representing living is intensified here in this stem. This verbal stem is used in scripture to describe people “walking with” God.
1003 sn The nature and the actions of parents have an effect on children (e.g., Exod 20:4-6); if the parents are righteous, the children will enjoy a blessing – the respect and the happiness which the parent reflects on them.
1004 tn The infinitive construct is דִּין; it indicates purpose, “to judge” (so NIV, NCV) even though it does not have the preposition with it.
1005 tn The second line uses the image of winnowing (cf. NIV, NRSV) to state that the king’s judgment removes evil from the realm. The verb form is מִזָרֶה (mÿzareh), the Piel participle. It has been translated “to sift; to winnow; to scatter” and “to separate” – i.e., separate out evil from the land. The text is saying that a just government roots out evil (cf. NAB “dispels all evil”), but few governments have been consistently just.
1006 sn The phrase with his eyes indicates that the king will closely examine or look into all the cases that come before him.
1007 sn The verse is a rhetorical question; it is affirming that no one can say this because no one is pure and free of sin.
1008 tn The verb form זִכִּיתִי (zikkiti) is the Piel perfect of זָכָה (zakhah, “to be clear; to be clean; to be pure”). The verb has the idea of “be clear, justified, acquitted.” In this stem it is causative: “I have made my heart clean” (so NRSV) or “kept my heart pure” (so NIV). This would be claiming that all decisions and motives were faultless.
1009 sn The Hebrew verb translated “I am pure” (טָהֵר, taher) is a Levitical term. To claim this purity would be to claim that moral and cultic perfection had been attained and therefore one was acceptable to God in the present condition. Of course, no one can claim this; even if one thought it true, it is impossible to know all that is in the heart as God knows it.
1010 tn The construction simply uses repetition to express different kinds of weights and measures: “a stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah.”
1011 tn Heb “an abomination of the
sn Behind this proverb is the image of the dishonest merchant who has different sets of weights and measures which are used to cheat customers. The Lord hates dishonesty in business transactions.
1012 sn In the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs the Hebrew term נַעַר (na’ar) referred to an adolescent, a young person whose character was being formed in his early life.
1013 sn The Hebrew verb נָכַר (nakhar) means “to recognize” more than simply “to know.” Certain character traits can be recognized in a child by what he does (cf. NCV “by their behavior”).
1014 sn Character is demonstrated by actions at any age. But the emphasis of the book of Proverbs would also be that if the young child begins to show such actions, then the parents must try to foster and cultivate them; if not, they must try to develop them through teaching and discipline.
1015 sn The first half of the verse refers to two basic senses that the
1016 sn The verse not only credits God with making these faculties of hearing and sight and giving them to people, but it also emphasizes their spiritual use in God’s service.
1017 sn The proverb uses antithetical parallelism to teach that diligence leads to prosperity. It contrasts loving sleep with opening the eyes, and poverty with satisfaction. Just as “sleep” can be used for slothfulness or laziness, so opening the eyes can represent vigorous, active conduct. The idioms have caught on in modern usage as well – things like “open your eyes” or “asleep on the job.”
1018 tn The second line uses two imperatives in a sequence (without the vav [ו]): “open your eyes” and then (or, in order that) you will “be satisfied.”
1019 tn Heb “bread” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV), although the term often serves in a generic sense for food in general.
1020 tn Heb “[It is] bad, [it is] bad.” Since “bad” can be understood in some modern contexts as a descriptive adjective meaning “good,” the translation uses “worthless” instead – the real point of the prospective buyer’s exclamation.
1021 sn This proverb reflects standard procedure in the business world. When negotiating the transaction the buyer complains how bad the deal is for him, or how worthless the prospective purchase, but then later brags about what a good deal he got. The proverb will alert the inexperienced as to how things are done.
1022 tn The Hitpael imperfect of הָלַל (halal) means “to praise” – to talk in glowing terms, excitedly. In this stem it means “to praise oneself; to boast.”
1023 tn The verse is usually taken as antithetical parallelism: There may be gold and rubies but the true gem is knowledge. However, C. H. Toy arranges it differently: “store of gold and wealth of corals and precious vessels – all are wise lips” (Proverbs [ICC], 388). But this uses the gems as metaphors for wise speech, and does not stress the contrast between wealth and wisdom.
1024 tn Heb “lips of knowledge.” The term “lips” is a metonymy for speaking, and “knowledge” could be either an attributive genitive or objective genitive: “knowledgeable lips.” Lips that impart knowledge are the true jewel to be sought.
1025 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
1026 tn Heb “his garment.”
1027 sn Taking a garment was the way of holding someone responsible to pay debts. In fact, the garment was the article normally taken for security (Exod 22:24-26; Deut 24:10-13). Because this is a high risk security pledge (e.g., 6:1-5), the creditor is to deal more severely than when the pledge is given by the debtor for himself.
1028 tc The Kethib has the masculine plural form, נָכְרִים (nakhrim), suggesting a reading “strangers.” But the Qere has the feminine form נָכְרִיָּה (nakhriyyah), “strange woman” or “another man’s wife” (e.g., 27:13). The parallelism would suggest “strangers” is the correct reading, although theories have been put forward for the interpretation of “strange woman” (see below).
sn The one for whom the pledge is taken is called “a stranger” and “foreign.” These two words do not necessarily mean that the individual or individuals are non-Israelite – just outside the community and not well known.
1029 tn M. Dahood argues that the cloak was taken in pledge for a harlot (cf. NIV “a wayward woman”). Two sins would then be committed: taking a cloak and going to a prostitute (“To Pawn One’s Cloak,” Bib 42 : 359-66; also Snijders, “The Meaning of זָר,” 85-86). In the MT the almost identical proverb in 27:13 has a feminine singular form here.
1030 tn Or “hold it” (so NIV, NCV).
1031 tn Heb “bread of deceit” (so KJV, NAB). This refers to food gained through dishonest means. The term “bread” is a synecdoche of specific for general, referring to anything obtained by fraud, including food.
1032 tn Heb “a man.”
1033 sn The image of food and eating is carried throughout the proverb. Food taken by fraud seems sweet at first, but afterward it is not. To end up with a mouth full of gravel (a mass of small particles; e.g., Job 20:14-15; Lam 3:16) implies by comparison that what has been taken by fraud will be worthless and useless and certainly in the way (like food turning into sand and dirt).
1034 tn The noun form is plural, but the verb is singular, suggesting either an abstract plural or a collective plural is being used here.
1035 tn The clause begins with vav (ו) on “with guidance.” But the clause has an imperative for its main verb. One could take the imperfect tense in the first colon as an imperfect of injunction, and then this clause would be also instructional. But the imperfect tense is a Niphal, and so it is better to take the first colon as the foundational clause and the second colon as the consequence (cf. NAB): If that is true, then you should do this.
1036 sn There have been attempts by various commentators to take “war” figuratively to mean life’s struggles, litigation, or evil inclinations. But there is no need and little justification for such interpretations. The proverb simply describes the necessity of taking counsel before going to war.
1037 sn The word describes a slanderer (NASB), a tale-bearer (KJV, ASV), or an informer. BDB 940 s.v. רָכִיל says the Hebrew expression “goers of slander” means slanderous persons. However, W. McKane observes that these people are not necessarily malicious – they just talk too much (Proverbs [OTL], 537).
1038 tn The form is the Hitpael imperfect (of prohibition or instruction) from עָרַב (’arav). BDB 786-88 lists six roots with these radicals. The first means “to mix,” but only occurs in derivatives. BDB 786 lists this form under the second root, which means “to take on a pledge; to exchange.” The Hitpael is then defined as “to exchange pledges; to have fellowship with [or, share].” The proverb is warning people to have nothing to do with gossips.
1039 tn The verb פֹּתֶה (poteh) is a homonym, related to I פָּתָה (patah, “to be naive; to be foolish”; HALOT 984-85 s.v. I פתה) or II פָּתָה (“to open [the lips]; to chatter”; HALOT 985 s.v. II פתה). So the phrase וּלְפֹתֶה שְׂפָתָיו may be understood either (1) as HALOT 985 s.v. II פתה suggests, “one opens his lips” = he is always talking/gossiping, or (2) as BDB suggests, “one who is foolish as to his lips” (he lacks wisdom in what he says; see BDB 834 s.v. פָּתָה 1, noted in HALOT 984 s.v. I פתה 1). The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for what is said: gossip. If such a person is willing to talk about others, he will be willing to talk about you, so it is best to avoid him altogether.
1040 tn The form is the Piel participle of קָלַל (qalal), which means “to be light”; in the Piel stem it means “to take lightly; to treat as worthless; to treat contemptuously; to curse.” Under the Mosaic law such treatment of parents brought a death penalty (Exod 21:17; Lev 20:9; Deut 27:16).
1041 tn “His lamp” is a figure known as hypocatastasis (an implied comparison) meaning “his life.” Cf. NLT “the lamp of your life”; TEV “your life will end like a lamp.”
sn For the lamp to be extinguished would mean death (e.g., 13:9) and possibly also the removal of posterity (R. N. Whybray, Proverbs [CBC], 115).
1042 tc The Kethib, followed by the LXX, Syriac, and Latin, has בְּאִישׁוֹן (bÿ’ishon), “in the pupil of the eye darkness,” the dark spot of the eye. But the Qere has בֶּאֱשׁוּן (be’eshun), probably to be rendered “pitch” or “blackest,” although the form occurs nowhere else. The meaning with either reading is approximately the same – deep darkness, which adds vividly to the figure of the lamp being snuffed out. This individual’s destruction will be total and final.
1043 tc The Kethib reads מְבֻחֶלֶת (mÿbukhelet), “gotten by greed” (based on a cognate Syriac verb, “to be greedy”); but the Qere is מְבֹהֶלֶת (mÿvohelet), “gotten hastily [or, quickly].” A large number of
1044 tn The form is the Pual imperfect, “will not be blessed,” suggesting that divine justice is at work.
sn The Hebrew verb means “enriched, made fruitful, prospered.” Whatever the inheritance was, it will not reach its full potential or even remain permanent.
1045 tn Heb “in its end”; KJV, ASV “the end thereof.”
1046 tn The verse is directly instructive; it begins with the negated jussive in the first colon, and follows with the imperative in the second. It warns that the righteous should not take vengeance on the wicked, for only God can do that.
1047 tn The form is the Piel cohortative of resolve – “I am determined to pay back.” The verb שָׁלֵם (shalem) means “to be complete; to be sound.” In this stem, however, it can mean “to make complete; to make good; to requite; to recompense” (KJV, ASV). The idea is “getting even” by paying back someone for the evil done.
1048 sn To “wait” (קַוֵּה, qavveh) on the
1049 tn After the imperative, the jussive is subordinated in a purpose or result clause: “wait for the
1050 tn Heb “an abomination of the
1052 tn Heb “the steps of a man”; but “man” is the noun גֶּבֶר (gever, in pause), indicating an important, powerful person. BDB 149-50 s.v. suggests it is used of men in their role of defending women and children; if that can be validated, then a translation of “man” would be appropriate here. But the line seems to have a wider, more general application. The “steps” represent (by implied comparison) the course of life (cf. NLT “the road we travel”).
1053 tn Heb “from the
sn To say that one’s steps are ordained by the
1054 tn The verse uses an independent nominative absolute to point up the contrast between the mortal and the immortal: “and man, how can he understand his way?” The verb in the sentence would then be classified as a potential imperfect; and the whole question rhetorical. It is affirming that humans cannot understand very much at all about their lives.
1055 tn Heb “his way.” The referent of the third masculine singular pronoun is unclear, so the word “own” was supplied in the translation to clarify that the referent is the human individual, not the Lord.
1057 tn Heb “a man.”
sn This refers to speaking rashly in dedicating something to the sanctuary by calling it “Holy.”
1059 tn Heb “reflect on.” The person is to consider the vows before making them, to ensure that they can be fulfilled. Too many people make their vow or promise without thinking, and then later worry about how they will fulfill their vows.
1060 tn Heb “the vows” (so NASB); CEV “promises.”
1061 tn Heb “winnows” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). The sage draws on the process of winnowing to explain how the king uncovers and removes wickedness. The verb from which the participle מְזָרֶה (mÿzareh) is derived means “to separate; to winnow; to scatter”; the implied comparison means that the king will separate good people from bad people like wheat is separated from chaff. The image of winnowing is also used in divine judgment. The second line of the verse uses a detail of the process to make the point. Driving a wheel over the wheat represents the threshing process; the sharp iron wheels of the cart would easily serve the purpose (e.g., Isa 28:27-28).
1063 sn The expression translated “the human spirit” is the Hebrew term נִשְׁמַת (nishmat), a feminine noun in construct. This is the inner spiritual part of human life that was breathed in at creation (Gen 2:7) and that constitutes humans as spiritual beings with moral, intellectual, and spiritual capacities.
1064 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
1065 tn The “lamp” is the metaphor in the line; it signifies that the human spirit functions as a conscience, enabling people to know and please God, and directing them in choices that will be life-giving. E. Loewenstamm unnecessarily reads נִיר (nir, “to plow”) instead of נֵר (ner, “lamp”) to say that God plows and examines the soul (“Remarks on Proverbs 17:12 and 20:27,” VT 37 : 233). The NIV supplies a verb (“searches”) from the second half of the verse, changing the emphasis somewhat.
1066 tn Heb “all the chambers of the belly.” This means “the inner parts of the body” (BDB 293 s.v. חֶדֶר); cf. NASB “the innermost parts of his being.”
1067 tn The first line uses two Hebrew words, חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת (khesed ve’emet, “loyal love and truth”), to tell where security lies. The first word is the covenant term for “loyal love; loving-kindness; mercy”; and the second is “truth” in the sense of what is reliable and dependable. The two words often are joined together to form a hendiadys: “faithful love.” That a hendiadys is intended here is confirmed by the fact that the second line uses only the critical word חֶסֶד.
1068 sn The emphasis is on the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:11-16; Ps 89:19-37). It is the
1070 tn The Hebrew term הֲדַר (hadar), the noun in construct, means “splendor; honor; ornament.” The latter sense is used here, since grey hair is like a crown on the head.
1071 sn “Grey hair” is a metonymy of adjunct; it represents everything valuable about old age – dignity, wisdom, honor, experience, as well as worry and suffering of life. At the very least, since they survived, they must know something. At the most, they were the sages and elders of the people.
1072 tc The verb מָרַק (maraq) means “to polish; to scour”; in the Hiphil it means “to cleanse away,” but it is only attested here, and that in the Kethib reading of תַּמְרִיק (tamriq). The Qere has תַּמְרוּק (tamruq, “are a means of cleansing”). The LXX has “blows and contusions fall on evil men, and stripes penetrate their inner beings”; the Latin has “the bruise of a wound cleanses away evil things.” C. H. Toy suggests emending the text to read “stripes cleanse the body, and blows the inward parts” or “cosmetics purify the body, and blows the soul” (Proverbs [ICC], 397). Cf. CEV “can knock all of the evil out of you.”
1073 tn The term “cleanse” does not appear in this line but is supplied in the translation in the light of the parallelism.
1074 sn Physical punishment may prove spiritually valuable. Other proverbs say that some people will never learn from this kind of punishment, but in general this may be the only thing that works for some cases.
1075 sn “Heart” is a metonymy of subject; it signifies the ability to make decisions, if not the decisions themselves.
1076 sn “Hand” in this passage is a personification; the word is frequently used idiomatically for “power,” and that is the sense intended here.
1077 tn “Channels of water” (פַּלְגֵי, palge) is an adverbial accusative, functioning as a figure of comparison – “like channels of water.” Cf. NAB “Like a stream”; NIV “watercourse”; NRSV, NLT “a stream of water.”
sn The farmer channels irrigation ditches where he wants them, where they will do the most good; so does the
1078 tn Heb “in his own eyes.” The term “eyes” is a metonymy for estimation, opinion, evaluation.
1079 tn Heb “weighs” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “examines”; NCV, TEV “judges.”
1080 tn Heb “the hearts.” The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) is used as a metonymy of association for thoughts and motives (BDB 660-61 s.v. 6-7). Even though people think they know themselves, the
1081 tn The Niphal participle בָּחַר (bakhar, “to choose”) means “choice to the
1082 sn The
1083 tn Heb “the tillage [נִר, nir] of the wicked is sin” (so NAB). The subject picks up the subjects of the first half of the verse, indicating they are equal – the tillage consists of the arrogance and pride. The word “tillage” is figurative, of course, signifying that the agricultural product (the point of the comparison) of the wicked is sin. The relationship between the ideas is then problematic. Are pride and arrogance what the wicked produce? Some (ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV) have followed the LXX and Tg. Prov 21:4 to read “lamp” instead (נֵר, ner), but that does not solve the difficulty of the relationship between the expressions. It does, however, say that the life ( = lamp), which is arrogance and pride, is sin.
1084 tn The word “diligent” is an adjective used substantivally. The related verb means “to cut, sharpen, decide”; so the adjective describes one who is “sharp” – one who acts decisively. The word “hasty” has the idea of being pressed or pressured into quick actions. So the text contrasts calculated expeditiousness with unproductive haste. C. H. Toy does not like this contrast, and so proposes changing the latter to “lazy” (Proverbs [ICC], 399), but W. McKane rightly criticizes that as unnecessarily forming a pedestrian antithesis (Proverbs [OTL], 550).
1085 tn The term “lead” is supplied in the translation.
1086 tn The Hebrew noun translated “plenty” comes from the verb יָתַר (yatar), which means “to remain over.” So the calculated diligence will lead to abundance, prosperity.
1087 tn Heb “lack; need; thing needed”; NRSV “to want.”
1088 tn The first word of the verse is the noun meaning “doing, deed, work.” The BHS editors suggest reading with the LXX an active participle – “the one who makes” (cf. NAB “He who makes”). The second word means “treasure,” from the verb “lay up, store up.” It is an objective genitive here.
1089 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
1090 tn The Hebrew הֶבֶל נִדָּף (hevel nidaf) is properly “a driven vapor” (“driven” = the Niphal participle). The point of the metaphor is that the ill-gotten gains will vanish into thin air. The LXX has “pursues” (as if reading רֹדֵף, rodef); cf. NAB “chasing a bubble over deadly snares.”
1091 tn The Hebrew has “seekers of death,” meaning “[they that seek them] are seekers of death,” or that the fortune is “a fleeting vapor for those who seek death.” The sense is not readily apparent. The Greek and the Latin versions have “snares of death”; the form מוֹקְשֵׁי (moqÿshe) was read instead of מְבַקְשֵׁי (mÿvaqshe). This reading does not make a more credible metaphor, and one must explain the loss of the letter ב (bet) in the textual variant. It is, however, slightly easier to interpret in the verse, and is followed by a number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). But whether the easier reading is the correct one in this case would be difficult to prove.
1092 tn The “violence” (שֹׁד, shod) drags away the wicked, probably either to do more sin or to their punishment. “Violence” here is either personified, or it is a metonymy of cause, meaning “the outcome of their violence” drags them away.
1093 tn Heb “violence of the wicked.” This is a subjective genitive: “violence which the wicked do.”
1094 tn The second colon of the verse is the causal clause, explaining why they are dragged away. They are not passive victims of their circumstances or their crimes. They choose to persist in their violence and so it destroys them.
1095 tn Heb “they refuse to do justice” (so ASV); NASB “refuse to act with justice.”
1096 tn The first line of the proverb is difficult. Since וָזָר (vazar) occurs only here it has been given much attention. The translation of “guilty” is drawn from an Arabic cognate meaning “to bear a burden” and so “to be sin laden” or “guilty” (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT). G. R. Driver prefers to read the line as “a man crooked of ways is false [zar]” (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 185). C. H. Toy adopts the meaning of “proud” (Proverbs [ICC], 400). Whatever the reading, “guilty” or “proud” or “false,” the idea is that such people are devious. Bad people are underhanded; good people are aboveboard (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 400). Another way to analyze the line is to read it with the definition “strange, stranger”: “The way of a man and a stranger is perverse.” But this is unclear, and would form no satisfactory contrast to 8b. Another suggestion is “the way of (usual) man is changeable and strange, but the pure fellow leads a straight and even course” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 244); cf. NLT “the innocent travel a straight road.”
1097 tn The form הֲפַכְפַּךְ (hafakhfakh) is an adjective with an intensified meaning due to the duplication of the second and third radicals; it means “very devious; crooked” (from the verb “to overturn”).
1098 tn If this translation stands, then the construction is formed with an independent nominative absolute, resumed by the suffixed noun as the formal subject. It draws attention to the “pure” or “innocent” person in contrast to the previously mentioned wicked.
1099 tn English versions which translate the Hebrew term as “roof” here sometimes produce amusing images for modern readers: TEV “Better to live on the roof”; CEV “It’s better to stay outside on the roof of your house.”
sn The reference is probably to a small room that would be built on the flat housetop primarily for guests (e.g., 1 Kgs 17:19; 2 Kgs 4:10). It would be cramped and lonely – but peaceful in avoiding strife.
1100 tn The “house of company” has received numerous interpretations. The word “company” or “companionship” would qualify “house” as a place to be shared. The BHS editors propose “spacious house,” which would call for a transposition of letters (cf. NAB “a roomy house”; NLT “a lovely home”). Such an emendation makes good sense, but has no external support.
1101 tn Heb “a wife of contentions”; KJV “a brawling woman”; TEV, CEV “a nagging wife.” The Greek version has no reference to a quarrelsome wife, but instead mentions justice in a common house.
1102 tn Heb “soul.” The Hebrew text uses נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally, “soul”) as the formal subject of the sentence – “the soul of a wicked man desires.” This term has at its core the idea of appetites, and so its use here underscores that the cravings are deep-seated (BDB 660 s.v. 5), and the translation “appetite” reflects this.
1103 sn The word has the meanings of “desire, crave, long for, lust after.” It usually has “soul” as its subject. The word is used in the Ten Commandments in the prohibition against coveting a neighbor’s house (Deut 5:18).
1104 tn The form יֻחַן (yukhan) is a Hophal imperfect from חָנַן (khanan); it means “to be shown mercy” – here negated to mean “he will not be shown mercy.” The person who lives to satisfy his own craving for evil will not be interested in meeting the needs of others.
1105 sn The contrast here is between the simple and the wise. The simple gain wisdom when they see the scorner punished; the wise gains knowledge through instruction. The scorner does not change, but should be punished for the benefit of the simple (e.g., Prov 19:25).
1106 tn Heb “in the instructing of the wise.” The construction uses the Hiphil infinitive construct הַשְׂכִּיל (haskil) with a preposition to form a temporal clause (= “when”). The word “wise” (חָכָם, khakham) after it is the subjective genitive. The preposition לְ (lamed) on the form is probably dittography from the ending of the infinitive.
1107 tn In the book of Proverbs, the Hebrew term צַּדִּיק (ysadiq) normally refers to a human being, and that is a possible translation here (cf. KJV, ASV, NAB), although it would have to refer to a righteous person who was a judge or a ruler with the right to destroy the wicked. Many commentators and English versions simply interpret this as a reference to God (cf. NIV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).
1108 tn The form מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is now used with the meaning “to consider; to give attention to; to ponder.” It is the careful scrutiny that is given to the household of the wicked before judgment is poured out on them.
1109 tn Heb “house.” This term probably means “household” here – the family. One way to read the line is that the righteous judge (human or divine) takes into consideration the wicked person’s family before judging the wicked person. The other – and more plausible – interpretation is that the judge considers the household of the wicked and then on the basis of what was observed judges them.
1110 tn Heb “to evil” (i.e., catastrophe); cf. NLT “to disaster.”
1111 sn The imagery means “pay no attention to” the cry for help or “refuse to help,” so it is a metonymy of cause for the effect.
1112 sn “Cry” here would be a metonymy of effect for the cause, the cause being the great needs of the poor.
1113 sn The proverb is teaching that those who show mercy will receive mercy. It involves the principle of talionic justice – those who refuse the needs of others will themselves be refused when they need help (so Luke 16:19-31).
1114 sn The synonymous parallelism joins the more neutral term “gift” with the more specific “bribe.” D. Kidner notes that this underscores how hard it is to tell the difference between them, especially since they accomplish similar things (Proverbs [TOTC], 143).
1115 tn The word כָּפָה (kafah) occurs only here; it means “to subdue,” but in New Hebrew it means “to overturn; to compel.” The BHS editors suggest a change to כָּבָה (kavah), “to be quenched,” based on Symmachus and Tg. Prov 21:14, but there is no substantial improvement in the text’s meaning with such a change.
1116 tn Heb “a bribe in the bosom” (so NASB). This refers to a gift hidden in the folds of the garment, i.e., given secretly (cf. NIV “a bribe concealed in the cloak”).
1117 tn The repetition of the term “subdues” in the second line is supplied in the translation.
1118 tc The LXX offers a moralizing translation not too closely tied to the MT: “he who withholds a gift stirs up violent wrath.”
1119 tn The Qal infinitive construct עֲשׂוֹת (’asot) functions as the subject of the sentence.
1120 tn The term “brings” is supplied in the translation; many English versions supply a simple copula (“is”).
1121 sn The noun means “terror (NAB, NASB, NIV), destruction (KJV, ASV), ruin (cf. NCV).” Its related verb means “be shattered, dismayed.” The idea of “dismay” (NRSV) or “terror” would make the better choice to contrast with “joy” in the first line, but “ruin” is also possible. Whenever justice prevails, whether in the courts or simply in society, the people who practice iniquity may be shaken into reality by fear (cf. CEV “crooks are terrified”).
1122 tn The text uses “man” as the subject and the active participle תּוֹעֶה (to’eh) as the predicate. The image of “wandering off the path” signifies leaving a life of knowledge, prudence, and discipline.
1123 tn Or “prudence”; KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV “understanding”; NLT “common sense.”
1124 tn Heb “will remain” or “will rest.” The Hebrew word נוּחַ (nuakh) does not here carry any of the connotations of comforting repose in death that the righteous enjoy; it simply means “to remain; to reside; to dwell.” The choice of this verb might have an ironic twist to it, reminding the wicked what might have been.
1125 sn The departed are the Shades (the Rephaim). The literal expression “will rest among the Shades” means “will be numbered among the dead.” So once again physical death is presented as the punishment for folly.
1126 sn The participle “loves” (אֹהֵב, ’ohev) indicates in this context that more is involved than the enjoyment of pleasure, for which there is no problem. The proverb is looking at “love” in the sense of needing and choosing, an excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in pleasure.
1127 sn “Pleasure” is actually the Hebrew word “joy” (שִׂמְחָה, simkhah). It is a metonymy of effect, the cause being the good life that brings the joy. In the second colon, “wine” and “oil” would be metonymies of cause, the particular things in life that bring joy. Therefore the figures in the lines work together to give the complete picture.
1128 tn The phrase “will be” is supplied in the translation.
1129 tn Heb “a man of poverty”; NRSV “will suffer want.”
1130 sn In elaborate feasts and celebrations the wine was for drinking but the oil was for anointing (cf. NAB, NCV “perfume”). Both of these characterize the luxurious life (e.g., Ps 23:5; 104:15; Amos 6:6).
1131 tn The term “become” is supplied in the translation.
1132 sn The Hebrew word translated “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, kofer) normally refers to the price paid to free a prisoner. R. N. Whybray (Proverbs [CBC], 121) gives options for the meaning of the verse: (1) If it means that the wicked obtain good things that should go to the righteous, it is then a despairing plea for justice (which would be unusual in the book of Proverbs); but if (2) it is taken to mean that the wicked suffers the evil he has prepared for the righteous, then it harmonizes with Proverbs elsewhere (e.g., 11:8). The ideal this proverb presents – and the future reality – is that in calamity the righteous escape and the wicked suffer in their place (e.g., Haman in the book of Esther).
1133 tn Or “treacherous” (so ASV, NASB, NLT); NIV “the unfaithful.”
1134 tn The phrase “are taken” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for smoothness.
1135 tn The Hebrew form שֶׁבֶת (shevet) is the infinitive construct of יָשַׁב (yashav), functioning as the subject of the sentence.
1137 tn The Hebrew noun כַּעַס (ka’as) means “vexation; anger.” The woman is not only characterized by a quarrelsome spirit, but also anger – she is easily vexed (cf. NAB “vexatious”; NASB “vexing”; ASV, NRSV “fretful”). The translation “easily-provoked” conveys this idea well.
1138 tn The mention of “olive oil” (שֶׁמֶן, shemen) is problematic in the line – how can a fool devour it? Several attempts have been made to alleviate the problem. The NIV interprets “treasure” as “choice food,” so that food and oil would make more sense being swallowed. C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 406) suggests dropping “oil” altogether based on the reading in the LXX, but the Greek is too general for any support: It has “precious treasure will rest on the mouth of the sage.” W. McKane wants to change “oil” to an Arabic word “expensive” to read “desirable and rare wealth” (Proverbs [OTL], 552), but this idea does not match the metaphor any better. The figure of “devouring” in the second line simply means the fool uses up whatever he has.
1139 tn Heb “a fool of a man.”
1140 tn Heb “he swallows it.” The imagery compares swallowing food with consuming one’s substance. The fool does not prepare for the future.
1141 sn These two attributes, “righteousness” (צְדָקָה, tsÿdaqah) and “loyal love” (חֶסֶד, khesed) depict the life style of the covenant-believer who is pleasing to God and a blessing to others. The first term means that he will do what is right, and the second means that he will be faithful to the covenant community.
1142 sn The Hebrew term translated “bounty” is צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah) again, so there is a wordplay on the term in the verse. The first use of the word had the basic meaning of “conduct that conforms to God’s standard”; this second use may be understood as a metonymy of cause, indicating the provision or reward (“bounty”) that comes from keeping righteousness (cf. NIV “prosperity”; NCV “success”). The proverb is similar to Matt 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
1143 tn Heb “The wise [one/man].”
1144 tn The Qal perfect tense of עָלָה (’alah) functions in a potential nuance. Wisdom can be more effectual than physical strength.
1145 sn In a war the victory is credited not so much to the infantry as to the tactician who plans the attack. Brilliant strategy wins wars, even over apparently insuperable odds (e.g., Prov 24:5-6; Eccl 9:13-16; 2 Cor 10:4).
1146 tn Heb “and bring down the strength of its confidence.” The word “strength” is a metonymy of adjunct, referring to the place of strength, i.e., “the stronghold.” “Confidence” is a genitive of worth; the stronghold is their confidence, it is appropriate for the confidence of the city.
1147 sn “Mouth” and “tongue” are metonymies of cause, signifying what one says (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV).
1148 tn This part could also be translated “keeps himself” (so NIV), for נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) often simply means “the whole person.” The participle שֹׁמֵר (shomer) is repeated from the first line in the parallelism – to guard what is said is to guard against difficulty.
1149 sn The “troubles” (צָרוֹת, tsarot) here could refer to social and legal difficulties into which careless talk might bring someone (e.g., 13:3; 18:21). The word means “a strait, a bind, difficulty.” Careless and free talking could get the person into a tight spot.
1150 tn The word זֵד (zed, “proud”) comes from the verb זִיד (zid, “to boil up; to seethe; to act proudly [or, presumptuously].” Just as water boiling up in a pot will boil over, so the presumptuous person “oversteps” the boundaries.
1151 tn The word יָהִיר (yahir) means “haughty,” that is, to be or show oneself to be presumptuous or arrogant.
1152 tn Heb “proud haughty scorner his name” (KJV similar). There are several ways that the line could be translated: (1) “Proud, arrogant – his name is scoffer” or (2) “A proud person, an arrogant person – ‘Scoffer’ is his name.” BDB 267 s.v. זֵד suggests, “A presumptuous man, [who is] haughty, scoffer is his name.”
1153 tn Heb “does.” The Qal active participle “does” serves as the main verb, and the subject is “proud person” in the first line.
1154 tn The expression בְּעֶבְרַת זָדוֹן (be’evrat zadon) means “in the overflow of insolence.” The genitive specifies what the overflow is; the proud deal in an overflow of pride. Cf. NIV “overweening pride”; NLT “boundless arrogance.”
sn The portrait in this proverb is not merely of one who is self-sufficient, but one who is insolent, scornful, and arrogant.
1155 tn Heb “the desire of the sluggard” (so ASV, NASB). This phrase features a subject genitive: “what the sluggard desires.” The term תַּאֲוַת (ta’avat, “desire; craving”) is a metonymy of cause. The craving itself will not destroy the sluggard, but what will destroy him is what the craving causes him to do or not to do. The lazy come to ruin because they desire the easy way out.
1156 tn The verb תְּמִיתֶנּוּ (tÿmitennu) is the Hiphil imperfect with a suffix: “will kill him.” It is probably used hyperbolically here for coming to ruin (cf. NLT), although it could include physical death.
1157 sn “Hands” is figurative for the whole person; but “hands” is retained in the translation because it is often the symbol to express one’s ability of action.
1158 tn The construction uses the Hitpael perfect tense הִתְאַוָּה (hit’avvah) followed by the cognate accusative תַאֲוָה (ta’avah). It describes one who is consumed with craving for more. The verse has been placed with the preceding because of the literary connection with “desire/craving.”
1159 sn The additional clause, “and does not hold back,” emphasizes that when the righteous gives he gives freely, without fearing that his generosity will bring him to poverty. This is the contrast with the one who is self-indulgent and craves for more.
1160 tn Heb “the sacrifice of the wicked” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). This is a subjective genitive. The foundational clause states that ritual acts of worship brought by the wicked (thus a subjective genitive) are detestable to God. The “wicked” refers here to people who are not members of the covenant (no faith) and are not following after righteousness (no acceptable works). But often they participate in sanctuary ritual, which amounts to hypocrisy.
1161 sn This rhetorical device shows that if the act is abomination, the wicked heart is an even greater sin. It argues from the lesser to the greater.
1162 tn The noun זִמָּה (zimmah) means “plan; device; wickedness”; here it indicates that the person is coming to the ritual with “sinful purpose.” Some commentators suggest that this would mean he comes with the sacrifice as a bribe to pacify his conscience for a crime committed, over which he has little remorse or intent to cease (cf. NLT “with ulterior motives”). In this view, people in ancient Israel came to think that sacrifices could be given for any reason without genuine submission to God.
1163 tn Heb “a witness of lies,” an attributive genitive.
1164 tn The Hebrew verb translated “will perish” (יֹאבֵד, yo’bed) could mean that the false witness will die, either by the hand of God or by the community. But it also could be taken in the sense that the false testimony will be destroyed. This would mean that “false witness” would be a metonymy of cause – what he says will perish (cf. NCV “will be forgotten”).
1165 tn Heb “but a man who listens speaks forever.” The first part of it may mean (1) a true witness, one who reports what he actually hears. But it may also refer to (2) someone who listens to the false testimony given by the false witness. The NIV follows the suggestion of a homonym for the Hebrew word with the meaning “will perish/be destroyed”: “will be destroyed forever.” This suggests a synonymous pair of ideas rather than a contrast. Others accept antithetical parallelism. C. H. Toy suggested an idea like “be established” to contrast with “will perish” (Proverbs [ICC], 411). W. McKane suggested it meant the truthful witness “will speak to the end” without being put down (Proverbs [OTL], 556). It is simpler to interpret the words that are here in the sense of a contrast. The idea of speaking forever/to the end would then be hyperbolic.
1166 tn Heb “a wicked man.”
1167 tn Heb “he hardens his face.” To make the face firm or hard means to show boldness (BDB 738 s.v. עָזַז Hiph); cf. NRSV “put on a bold face.”
1168 tn The “upright” is an independent nominative absolute; the pronoun becomes the formal (emphatic) subject of the verb.
1169 tc The Kethib is the imperfect of כּוּן (kun), “he establishes.” This reading has the support of the Syriac, Latin, and Tg. Prov 21:29, and is followed by ASV. The Qere is the imperfect tense of בִּין (bin), “he understands; he discerns.” It has the support of the LXX and is followed by NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT. The difficulty is that both make good sense in the passage and both have support. The contrast is between the wicked who shows a bold face (reflecting a hardened heart) and the upright who either gives thought to his ways (or solidifies his ways). The sense of the Qere may form a slightly better contrast, one between the outer appearance of boldness and the inner discernment of action.
1170 tn The form לְנֶגֶד (lÿneged) means “against; over against; in opposition to.” The line indicates they cannot in reality be in opposition, for human wisdom is nothing in comparison to the wisdom of God (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 232).
1171 sn The verse uses a single sentence to state that all wisdom, understanding, and advice must be in conformity to the will of God to be successful. It states it negatively – these things cannot be in defiance of God (e.g., Job 5:12-13; Isa 40:13-14).
1172 tn Heb “of the
1173 tn Heb “a name.” The idea of the name being “good” is implied; it has the connotation here of a reputation (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
1174 tn “To be chosen rather than” is a translation of the Niphal participle with the comparative degree taken into consideration. Cf. CEV “worth much more than.”
1175 tn Heb “favor of goodness.” This is a somewhat difficult expression. Some English versions render the phrase “favor is better than silver or gold” (so NASB, NRSV) making it parallel to the first colon. But if “good” is retained as an attributive modifier, then it would mean one was well thought of, or one had engaging qualities (cf. ASV “loving favor; NLT “high esteem”). This fits with the idea of the reputation in the first colon, for a good name would bring with it the favor of others.
1176 tn The form of the verb is the Niphal perfect of פָּגַשׁ (pagash); it means “to meet together [or, each other]” (cf. KJV, ASV). The point is that rich and poor live side by side in this life, but they are both part of God’s creation (cf. NAB, NASB “have a common bond”). Some commentators have taken this to mean that they should live together because they are part of God’s creation; but the verb form will not sustain that meaning.
1177 tn Heb “all.” The
1178 sn The contrast is between the “shrewd” (prudent) person and the “simpleton.” The shrewd person knows where the dangers and pitfalls are in life and so can avoid them; the naive person is unwary, untrained, and gullible, unable to survive the dangers of the world and blundering into them.
1179 tn Heb “evil,” a term that is broad enough to include (1) “sin” as well as (2) any form of “danger” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT) or “trouble” (TEV, CEV). The second option is more likely what is meant here: The naive simpleton does not see the danger to be avoided and so suffers for it.
1180 tn Heb “go on”; the word “right” is supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning: The naive person, oblivious to impending danger, meets it head on (cf. TEV “will walk right into it”).
1181 tn The verb עָנַשׁ (’anash) means “to fine” specifically. In the Niphal stem it means “to be fined,” or more generally, “to be punished.” In this line the punishment is the consequence of blundering into trouble – they will pay for it.
1182 tn The Hebrew term עֵקֶב (’eqev, “reward”) is related to the term meaning “heel”; it refers to the consequences or the reward that follows (akin to the English expression “on the heels of”).
1183 tn “Humility” is used here in the religious sense of “piety”; it is appropriately joined with “the fear of the
1184 tn Heb “the fear of the
1185 tc Because MT reading צִנִּים (tsinnim, “thorns”) does not make a very good match with “traps,” it has created some difficulty for interpreters. The word “thorns” may be obscure, but it is supported by the LXX (“prickly plants”) and an apparent cognate “thorns” in Num 33:55 and Josh 23:13. But some (including the editors of BHS) suggest changing it to צַמִּים (tsammim, “traps” changing a נ [nun] to a מ [mem]). But BDB 855 s.v. צַמִּים acknowledges that this word is a doubtful word, attested only a couple of times in Job (e.g., 18:9). W. McKane traces a development from the idea of צֵן (tsen, “basket; trap”) to support this change (Proverbs [OTL], 565). The present translation (like many other English versions) has retained “thorns,” even though the parallelism with “traps” is not very good; as the harder reading it is preferred. The variant readings have little textual or philological support, and simplify the line.
sn “Thorns and snares” represent the dangers and threats to life. They would be implied comparisons (hypocatastasis): As a path strewn with thorns and traps, life for the wicked will be filled with dangers and difficulties.
1186 tn The verb חָנַךְ (khanakh) means “to train up; to dedicate” (BDB 335 s.v.; HALOT 334 s.v. חנך). The verb is used elsewhere to refer to dedicating a house (Deut 20:5; 1 Kgs 8:63; 2 Chr 7:5). The related noun חֲנֻכָה (khanukhah) means “dedication; consecration” (BDB 335 s.v.; HALOT 334 s.v.), and is used in reference to the dedication or consecration of altars (Num 7:10; 2 Chr 7:9), the temple (Ps 30:1), and town walls (Neh 12:27). The related adjective חָנִיךְ (khanikh) describes “trained, tried, experienced” men (BDB 335 s.v.; Gen 14:14). In the related cognate languages the verb has similar meanings: Aramaic “to train,” Ethiopic “to initiate,” and Arabic IV “to learn; to make experienced” (HALOT 334 s.v.). This proverb pictures a child who is dedicated by parents to the
1187 tn The term נַעַר (na’ar) is traditionally translated “child” here (so almost all English versions), but might mean “youth.” The noun can refer to a broad range of ages (see BDB 654-55 s.v.; HALOT 707 s.v.): infant (Exod 2:6), weaned child (1 Sam 1:24), young child (Jer 1:6), lad (Gen 22:12), adolescent (Gen 37:2), or young man of marriageable age (Gen 34:19). The context focuses on the child’s young, formative years. The Talmud says this would be up to the age of twenty-four.
1188 tn The expression in Hebrew is עַל־פִּי דַּרְכּוֹ (’al-pi darko), which can be rendered “according to his way”; NEB “Start a boy on the right road.” The expression “his way” is “the way he should go”; it reflects the point the book of Proverbs is making that there is a standard of life to which he must attain. Saadia, a Jewish scholar who lived
1189 sn The expected consequence of such training is that it will last throughout life. The sages were confident of the character-forming quality of their training. However, proverbs are not universal truths. One can anticipate positive results from careful child-training – but there may be an occasional exception.
1190 sn The proverb is making an observation on life. The synonymous parallelism matches “rule over” with “servant” to show how poverty makes people dependent on, or obligated to, others.
1192 sn The verse is making an implied comparison (a figure of speech known as hypocatastasis) between sowing and sinning. One who sins is like one who sows, for there will be a “harvest” or a return on the sin – trouble.
1193 tc There is a variant reading in the LXX; instead of “the rod of his wrath” it reads “the punishment of his deeds.” C. H. Toy wishes to emend שֵׁבֶט (shevet) to שֶׁבֶר (shever), “the produce of his work” (Proverbs [ICC], 416). But the Hebrew text is not obscure, and שֶׁבֶר does not exactly mean “produce.” The expression “rod of his wrath” may not follow the imagery of 8a very closely, but it is nonetheless understandable. The “rod” is a symbol of power; “wrath” is a metonymy of cause indicating what wrath will do, and an objective genitive. The expression signifies that in reaping trouble for his sins this person will no longer be able to unleash his fury on others. The LXX adds: “A man who is cheerful and a giver God blesses” (e.g., 2 Cor 9:7).
1194 tn Heb “good of eye.” This expression is an attributed genitive meaning “bountiful of eye” (cf. KJV, ASV “He that hath a bountiful eye”). This is the opposite of the “evil eye” which is covetous and wicked. The “eye” is a metonymy representing looking well to people’s needs. So this refers to the generous person (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
1195 tn The form יְבֹרָךְ (yÿvorakh) is a Pual imperfect (here in pause) from בָּרַךְ (barakh); the word means “blessed” in the sense of “enriched,” implying there is a practical reward for being generous to the poor.
1196 sn It is from his own food that he gives to the poor. Of the many observations that could be made, it is worth noting that in blessing this kind of person God is in fact providing for the poor, because out of his blessing he will surely continue to share more.
1197 sn This proverb, written in loose synonymous parallelism, instructs that the scorner should be removed because he causes strife. The “scorner” is לֵץ (lets), the one the book of Proverbs says cannot be changed with discipline or correction, but despises and disrupts anything that is morally or socially constructive.
1198 tc The LXX freely adds “when he sits in council (ἐν συνεδρίῳ, ejn sunedriw), he insults everyone.” The MT does not suggest that the setting is in a court of law; so the LXX addition is highly unlikely.
1199 sn The “heart” is a metonymy of subject; it represents the intentions and choices that are made. “Pure of heart” uses “heart” as a genitive of specification. The expression refers to someone who has honest and clear intentions.
1200 tn Heb “grace of his lips” (so KJV, ASV). The “lips” are a metonymy of cause representing what is said; it also functions as a genitive of specification.
sn This individual is gracious or kind in what he says; thus the verse is commending honest intentions and gracious words.
1201 tn The syntax of the line is somewhat difficult, because “grace of his lips” seems to be intruding on the point of the verse with little explanation. Therefore the LXX rendered it “The Lord loves the pure in heart; all who are blameless in their ways are acceptable to him.” This has very little correspondence with the Hebrew; nevertheless commentators attempt to reconstruct the verse using it, and the NAB follows the first clause of the LXX here. Some have suggested taking “king” as the subject of the whole verse (“the king loves…”), but this is forced.
1202 sn The “eyes of the
1203 tn There is a slight difficulty in that the abstract noun “knowledge” is used nowhere else in the book of Proverbs with the word “watch.” C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 418) wants to make a major change to read “The eyes of the
1204 tn The object of the verb is the “words of the traitor” (בֹגֵד דִּבְרֵי, divre voged); cf. NASB “the words of the treacherous man.” What treacherous people say is treachery. In this context “traitor, treacherous” refers to one who is “unfaithful” (cf. NIV).
sn The proverb affirms that God in safeguarding true knowledge will frustrate deception from faithless people – what they say will not have its intended effect.
1205 sn The proverb humorously describes the sluggard as making ridiculous excuses for not working – he might be eaten by a lion (e.g., 26:13). It is possible that “lion” is figurative, intended to represent someone who is like a lion, but this detracts from the humor of the exaggeration.
1206 tc The LXX changes the phrase to read “murderers in the street” to form a better parallelism, possibly because the verb רָצַח (ratsakh) is used only of humans, not wild animals. The NIV attempts to solve the problem by making the second line a separate claim by the sluggard: “or, ‘I will be murdered in the streets!’”
1208 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
1209 sn The point of the metaphor is that what the adulteress says is like a deep pit. The pit is like the hunter’s snare; it is a trap that is difficult to escape. So to succumb to the adulteress – or to any other folly this represents – is to get oneself into a difficulty that has no easy escape.
1210 tn Heb “the one who is cursed by the
1211 tn Heb “will fall there.” The “falling” could refer to the curse itself or to the result of the curse.
sn The proverb is saying that the
1212 sn The passive participle is figurative (implied comparison with “binding”); it means that folly forms part of a child’s nature (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 238).
1213 tn The “heart of a child” (לֶב־נָעַר, lev-na’ar) refers here to the natural inclination of a child to foolishness. The younger child is meant in this context, but the word can include youth. R. N. Whybray suggests that this idea might be described as a doctrine of “original folly” (Proverbs [CBC], 125). Cf. TEV “Children just naturally do silly, careless things.”
1214 tn The word “rod” is a metonymy of adjunct; it represents physical chastening for direction or punishment, to suppress folly and develop potential. The genitive (“discipline”) may be taken as an attributive genitive (“a chastening rod”) or an objective genitive, (“a rod [= punishment] that brings about correction/discipline”).
1215 tn Heb “oppressing the poor, it is gain; giving to the rich, it is loss.” The Hebrew is cryptic, but two sins are mentioned here that will be punished by poverty: extortion and bribery. Perhaps the proverb is simply saying it is easy to oppress the poor for gain, but it is a waste of money to try to buy or bribe a patron (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 149).