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Proverbs 31:6-7

Context

31:6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, 1 

and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 2 

31:7 let them 3  drink and forget 4  their poverty,

and remember their misery no more.

1 sn Wine and beer should be given to those distressed and dying in order to ease their suffering and help them forget.

2 tn Heb “to the bitter of soul.” The phrase לְמָרֵי נָפֶשׁ (lÿmare nafesh) has been translated “of heavy hearts” (KJV); “in anguish” (NIV); “in misery” (TEV); “in bitter distress” (NRSV); “sorely depressed” (NAB); “in deep depression (NLT); “have lost all hope” (CEV). The word “bitter” (מַר, mar) describes the physical and mental/spiritual suffering as a result of affliction, grief, or suffering – these people are in emotional pain. So the idea of “bitterly distressed” works as well as any other translation.

3 tn The subjects and suffixes are singular (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). Most other English versions render this as plural for stylistic reasons, in light of the preceding context.

4 tn The king was not to “drink and forget”; the suffering are to “drink and forget.”



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