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Proverbs 28:15

Context

28:15 Like 1  a roaring lion or a roving bear, 2 

so is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 3 

Proverbs 28:17

Context

28:17 The one who is tormented 4  by the murder 5  of another will flee to the pit; 6 

let no one support him.

1 tn The term “like” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.

2 sn The comparison uses animals that are powerful, terrifying, insensitive, and in search of prey. Because political tyrants are like this, animal imagery of this sort is also used in Dan 7:1-8 for the series of ruthless world powers.

3 sn A poor nation under the control of political tyrants who are dangerous and destructive is helpless. The people of that nation will crumble under them because they cannot meet their demands and are of no use to them.

4 tn The form is the Qal passive participle. The verb means “to oppress; to wrong; to extort”; here the idea of being “oppressed” would refer to the burden of a guilty conscience (hence “tormented”; cf. NAB, NRSV “burdened”). Some commentators have wanted to emend the text to read “suspected,” or “charged with,” or “given to,” etc., but if the motive is religious and not legal, then “oppressed” or “tormented” is preferred.

5 sn The text has “the blood of a life”; blood will be the metonymy of effect for the murder, the shedding of blood.

6 tn The verse is cryptic; it simply says that he will “flee to the pit.” Some have taken the “pit” to refer to the place of detention for prisoners, but why would he flee to that place? It seems rather to refer to death. This could mean that (1) since there is no place for him to go outside of the grave, he should flee to the pit (cf. TEV, NLT), or (2) he will be a fugitive until he goes to the grave (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, CEV). Neither one of these options is easily derived from the text. The verse seems to be saying that the one who is guilty of murder will flee, and no one should assist him. The meaning of “the pit” is unresolved.



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