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Proverbs 15:8

Context

15:8 The Lord abhors 1  the sacrifices 2  of the wicked, 3 

but the prayer 4  of the upright pleases him. 5 

Proverbs 15:29

Context

15:29 The Lord is far 6  from the wicked,

but he hears 7  the prayer of the righteous. 8 

1 tn Heb “an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”) functions as a subjective genitive: “the Lord abhors.” Cf. NIV “the Lord detests”; NCV, NLT “the Lord hates”; CEV “the Lord is disgusted.”

2 tn Heb “sacrifice” (so many English versions).

3 sn The sacrifices of the wicked are hated by the Lord because the worshipers are insincere and blasphemous (e.g., Prov 15:29; 21:3; 28:9; Ps 40:6-8; Isa 1:10-17). In other words, the spiritual condition of the worshiper determines whether or not the worship is acceptable to God.

4 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).

5 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.

6 sn To say that the Lord is “far” from the wicked is to say that he has made himself unavailable to their appeal – he does not answer them. This motif is used by David throughout Psalm 22 for the problem of unanswered prayer – “Why are you far off?”

7 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 Lord,” for example, it means that he obeys the Lord. If one wishes God to “hear his prayer,” it means he wishes God to answer it.

8 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).



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