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Proverbs 18:19

Context

18:19 A relative 1  offended 2  is harder to reach than 3  a strong city,

and disputes are like the barred gates 4  of a fortified citadel. 5 

Proverbs 20:22

Context

20:22 Do not say, 6  “I will pay back 7  evil!”

Wait 8  for the Lord, so that he may vindicate you. 9 

Proverbs 24:17

Context

24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, 10 

and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,

1 tn Heb “brother,” but this is not limited to actual siblings (cf. NRSV “an ally”; CEV, NLT “friend”).

2 tn The Niphal participle from פָּשַׁע (pasha’) modifies “brother”: a brother transgressed, offended, sinned against.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “bars,” but this could be understood to mean “taverns,” so “barred gates” is employed in the translation.

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 sn To “wait” (קַוֵּה, qavveh) on the Lord requires faith in him, reliance on divine justice, and patience. It means that the wrongs done to a person will have to be endured for a time.

9 tn After the imperative, the jussive is subordinated in a purpose or result clause: “wait for the Lord so that he may deliver you.” The verb יֹשַׁע (yosha’) means “to save (KJV, ASV, NASB); to deliver (NIV); to give victory”; in this context it means “deliver from the evil done to you,” and so “vindicate” is an appropriate connotation. Cf. NCV “he will make things right.”

10 sn The saying (vv. 17, 18) warns against gloating over the misfortune of one’s enemies. The prohibition is formed with two negated jussives “do not rejoice” and “let not be glad,” the second qualified by “your heart” as the subject, signifying the inner satisfaction of such a defeat.



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