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Proverbs 2:8

Context

2:8 to guard 1  the paths of the righteous 2 

and to protect 3  the way of his pious ones. 4 

Proverbs 2:11

Context

2:11 Discretion 5  will protect you, 6 

understanding will guard you,

Proverbs 4:6

Context

4:6 Do not forsake wisdom, 7  and she will protect you;

love her, and she will guard you.

Proverbs 13:6

Context

13:6 Righteousness 8  guards the one who lives with integrity, 9 

but wickedness 10  overthrows the sinner.

Proverbs 20:28

Context

20:28 Loyal love and truth 11  preserve a king,

and his throne is upheld by loyal love. 12 

Proverbs 22:12

Context

22:12 The eyes of the Lord 13  guard knowledge, 14 

but he overthrows the words of the faithless person. 15 

Proverbs 24:12

Context

24:12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,”

does not the one who evaluates 16  hearts consider?

Does not the one who guards your life know?

Will he not repay each person according to his deeds? 17 

1 tn The infinitive construct לִנְצֹר (lintsor, “to guard”) designates the purpose of the Lord giving “effective counsel” and being a “shield” to the upright. The verb נָצַר (natsar, “to guard”) has a broad range of meanings: (1) to watch over, guard or protect a vineyard from theft (Prov 27:18); (2) to guard one’s lips or heart from evil (Prov 4:23; 13:3); (3) to protect a person from moral or physical danger (Prov 2:8, 11; 4:6; 13:6; 20:28; 22:12; 24:12) and (4) to guard with fidelity = to observe commands, law or covenant (Prov 3:1, 21; 4:13; 5:2; 6:20; 28:7; see BDB 665-66 s.v.). Here God guards the way of the just, that is, the course and conduct of life from the influence of evil.

2 tn Heb “paths of righteousness.” The word “righteousness” is a possessive genitive, signifying the ways that the righteous take.

3 tn The imperfect tense verb יִשְׁמֹר (yishmor, “to protect”) continues the syntactical nuance of the preceding infinitive construct of purpose.

4 tc The Kethib is the singular noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידוֹ (khasido) “his pious one.” The Qere reads the plural noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידָיו (khasidav) “his pious ones.” The LXX εὐλαβουμένων αὐτόν (eujlaboumenwn aujton) supports the Qere reading.

tn The noun חֶסֶד (khesed, “the pious”) describes those who show “covenantal faithful love” or “loyal love” to God and his people. The description of the righteous by this term indicates their active participation in the covenant, for which God has promised his protection.

5 tn The word מְזִמָּה (mÿzimmah, “discretion”) is the ability to know the best course of action for achieving one’s goal. It is knowledge and understanding with a purpose. This kind of knowledge enables one to make the right choices that will protect him from blunders and their consequences (cf. NLT “wise planning”; CEV “sound judgment”).

6 tn Heb “will watch over you.”

7 tn Heb “her”; the 3rd person feminine singular referent is personified “wisdom,” which has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 sn Righteousness refers to that which conforms to law and order. One who behaves with integrity will be safe from consequences of sin.

9 tn Heb “blameless of way.” The term דָּרֶךְ (darekh) is a genitive of specification: “blameless in respect to his way.” This means living above reproach in their course of life. Cf. NASB “whose way is blameless”; NAB “who walks honestly.”

10 sn Righteousness and wickedness are personified in this proverb to make the point of security and insecurity for the two courses of life.

11 tn The first line uses two Hebrew words, חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת (khesed veemet, “loyal love and truth”), to tell where security lies. The first word is the covenant term for “loyal love; loving-kindness; mercy”; and the second is “truth” in the sense of what is reliable and dependable. The two words often are joined together to form a hendiadys: “faithful love.” That a hendiadys is intended here is confirmed by the fact that the second line uses only the critical word חֶסֶד.

12 sn The emphasis is on the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:11-16; Ps 89:19-37). It is the Lord and his faithful love for his covenant that ultimately makes the empire secure. But the enjoyment of divine protection requires the king to show loyal love as well.

13 sn The “eyes of the Lord” is an anthropomorphic expression; the omniscience of God is the intended meaning. When scripture uses the “eyes” of the Lord, it usually means evaluation, superintending, or safeguarding.

14 tn There is a slight difficulty in that the abstract noun “knowledge” is used nowhere else in the book of Proverbs with the word “watch.” C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 418) wants to make a major change to read “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,” but there is no support for this and it reduces the line to a common idea. D. W. Thomas suggests changing the word “knowledge” to “lawsuit” based on an Arabic cognate (“A Note on דַּעַת in Proverbs 22:12,” JTS 14 [1963]: 93-94).

15 tn The object of the verb is the “words of the traitor” (בֹגֵד דִּבְרֵי, divre voged); cf. NASB “the words of the treacherous man.” What treacherous people say is treachery. In this context “traitor, treacherous” refers to one who is “unfaithful” (cf. NIV).

sn The proverb affirms that God in safeguarding true knowledge will frustrate deception from faithless people – what they say will not have its intended effect.

16 tn Heb “weighs” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV) meaning “tests” or “evaluates.”

17 sn The verse completes the saying by affirming that people will be judged responsible for helping those in mortal danger. The verse uses a series of rhetorical questions to affirm that God knows our hearts and we cannot plead ignorance.



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