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Proverbs 2:3

Context

2:3 indeed, if 1  you call out for 2  discernment 3 

raise your voice 4  for understanding –

Proverbs 7:4

Context

7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” 5 

and call understanding a close relative,

Proverbs 8:14

Context

8:14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me; 6 

I possess understanding and might.

Proverbs 9:6

Context

9:6 Abandon your foolish ways 7  so that you may live, 8 

and proceed 9  in the way of understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10

Context

9:10 The beginning 10  of wisdom is to fear the Lord, 11 

and acknowledging 12  the Holy One 13  is understanding.

Proverbs 23:23

Context

23:23 Acquire 14  truth and do not sell it –

wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

1 tn Both particles retain their individual meanings, otherwise the verse would begin with a strong adversative and be a contrast to what has been said.

2 tn Heb “summon.”

3 sn The noun recalls the second purpose of the book (1:2). It is also cognate to the last word of 2:2, forming a transition. The two objects of the prepositions in this verse are actually personifications, as if they could be summoned.

4 tn Heb “give your voice”; the expression is idiomatic for raising or lifting the voice to make a sound that carries further (e.g., Jer 2:15). This deliberate expression indicates that something significant is being uttered. J. H. Greenstone says, “If it [understanding] does not come at your first call, raise your voice to a higher pitch, put forth greater efforts” (Proverbs, 17).

5 sn The metaphor is meant to signify that the disciple will be closely related to and familiar with wisdom and understanding, as close as to a sibling. Wisdom will be personified in the next two chapters, and so referring to it as a sister in this chapter certainly prepares for that personification.

6 tc In the second half of v. 14 instead of אֲנִי (’ani) the editors propose reading simply לִי (li) as the renderings in the LXX, Latin, and Syriac suggest. Then, in place of the לִי that comes in the same colon, read וְלִי (vÿli). While the MT is a difficult reading, it can be translated as it is. It would be difficult to know exactly what the ancient versions were reading, because their translations could have been derived from either text. They represent an effort to smooth out the text.

tn Heb “To me [belong] counsel and sound wisdom.” The second colon in the verse has: “I, understanding, to me and might.”

sn In vv. 14-17 the pronouns come first and should receive greater prominence – although it is not always easy to do this with English.

7 tn There are two ways to take this word: either as “fools” or as “foolish ways.” The spelling for “foolishness” in v. 13 differs from this spelling, and so some have taken that as an indicator that this should be “fools.” But this could still be an abstract plural here as in 1:22. Either the message is to forsake fools (i.e., bad company; cf. KJV, TEV) or forsake foolishness (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT).

8 tn The two imperatives are joined with vav; this is a volitive sequence in which result or consequence is expressed.

9 tn The verb means “go straight, go on, advance” or “go straight on in the way of understanding” (BDB 80 s.v. אָשַׁר).

10 sn The difference between תְּחִלַּת (tÿkhillat) here and רֵאשִׁית (reshit) of 1:7, if there is any substantial difference, is that this term refers to the starting point of wisdom, and the earlier one indicates the primary place of wisdom (K&D 16:202).

11 tn Heb “fear of the Lord.”

12 tn Heb “knowledge of the Holy One” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

13 tn The word is in the plural in the Hebrew (literally “holy ones”; KJV “the holy”). It was translated “holy men” in Tg. Prov 9:10. But it probably was meant to signify the majestic nature of the Lord. As J. H. Greenstone says, he is “all-holy” (Proverbs, 94). This is an example of the plural of majesty, one of the honorific uses of the plural (see IBHS 122-23 §7.4.3b).

14 tn Heb “buy” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT); CEV “Invest in truth.”

sn The sixteenth saying is an instruction to buy/acquire the kind of life that pleases God and brings joy to parents. “Getting truth” would mean getting training in the truth, and getting wisdom and understanding would mean developing the perception and practical knowledge of the truth.



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