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Proverbs 23:14

Context
23:14 If you strike 1  him with the rod,

you will deliver him 2  from death. 3 

1 tn Or “punish” (NIV). The syntax of these two lines suggests a conditional clause (cf. NCV, NRSV).

2 tn Heb “his soul.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole (= person); see BDB 660 s.v. 4.

3 tn The term שְׁאוֹל (shÿol, “Sheol”) in this context probably means “death” (so NIV, NCV, NLT) and not the realm of the departed (wicked) spirits (cf. NAB “the nether world”). In the wisdom of other lands, Ahiqar 6:82 says, “If I strike you, my son, you will not die.” The idea is that discipline helps the child to a full life; if the child dies prematurely, it would be more than likely a consequence of not being trained by discipline. In the book of Proverbs the “death” mentioned here could be social as well as physical.



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