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Proverbs 10:11

Context

10:11 The teaching 1  of the righteous is a fountain of life, 2 

but the speech 3  of the wicked conceals 4  violence. 5 

Proverbs 10:21

Context

10:21 The teaching 6  of the righteous feeds 7  many,

but fools die 8  for lack of wisdom. 9 

1 tn Heb “mouth.” The word “mouth” is metonymy of cause, representing what the righteous say and teach.

2 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.

3 tn Heb “the mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.

4 tn Heb “covers.” Behind the speech of the wicked is aggressive violence (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 422).

5 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.”

6 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said (or in this case taught).

7 tn The verb רָעָה (raah) means “to feed” or “to shepherd” (e.g., Gen 48:15). What they say will meet the needs of many.

8 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.

9 tn Heb “heart.” The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a metonymy of association for wisdom and knowledge (BDB 524 s.v. 3.a).



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