in the sight of God and people. 3
good favor 14 more than silver or gold.
than the one who flatters 18 with the tongue.
1 tn The form וּמְצָא (umÿtsa’, “find”) is the imperative but it functions as a purpose/result statement. Following a string of imperatives (v. 3), the imperative with a prefixed vav introduces a volitive sequence expressing purpose or result (v. 4).
2 tn The noun שֵׂכֶל (sekhel, “understanding”) does not seem to parallel חֵן (khen, “favor”). The LXX attaches the first two words to v. 3 and renders v. 4: “and devise excellent things in the sight of the
3 tn Heb “man.”
4 tn The particle אִם (’im, “though”) introduces a concessive clause: “though….”
5 tn Heb “he mocks those who mock.” The repetition of the root לִיץ (lits, “to scorn; to mock”) connotes poetic justice; the punishment fits the crime. Scoffers are characterized by arrogant pride (e.g., Prov 21:24), as the antithetical parallelism with “the humble” here emphasizes.
6 tn The prefixed vav (ו) introduces the apodosis to the concessive clause: “Though … yet …”
7 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically (AB:BA): “he scorns / arrogant scoffers // but to the humble / he gives grace.” The word order in the translation is reversed for the sake of smoothness and readability.
8 tn Heb “good insight.” The expression שֵׂכֶל־טוֹב (sekhel-tov) describes a person who has good sense, sound judgment, or wise opinions (BDB 968 s.v. שֵׂכֶל).
9 tn Heb “gives”; NASB “produces.”
10 tn Heb “way,” frequently for conduct, behavior, or lifestyle.
11 tc The MT reads אֵיתָן (’etan, “enduring; permanent; perennial”; BDB 450 s.v. יתן 1). Several scholars suggest that the text here is corrupt and the reading should be “harsh; hard; firm; rugged” (BDB 450 s.v. 2). G. R. Driver suggested that לֹא (lo’, “not”) was dropped before the word by haplography and so the meaning would have been not “enduring” but “passing away” (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 181). The LXX, Syriac, and Tg. Prov 13:15 reflect a Hebrew Vorlage of תֹאבֵד (to’ved) “are destroyed.” The BHS editors suggest emending the text to אֵידָם (’edam) “their calamity” from אֵיד (’ed, “calamity, distress”; BDB 15 s.v.): “the way of the faithless [leads to] their calamity.” The idea of “harsh” or “hard” could also be drawn from a meaning of the word in the MT meaning “firm,” that is, enduring.
12 tn Heb “a name.” The idea of the name being “good” is implied; it has the connotation here of a reputation (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
13 tn “To be chosen rather than” is a translation of the Niphal participle with the comparative degree taken into consideration. Cf. CEV “worth much more than.”
14 tn Heb “favor of goodness.” This is a somewhat difficult expression. Some English versions render the phrase “favor is better than silver or gold” (so NASB, NRSV) making it parallel to the first colon. But if “good” is retained as an attributive modifier, then it would mean one was well thought of, or one had engaging qualities (cf. ASV “loving favor; NLT “high esteem”). This fits with the idea of the reputation in the first colon, for a good name would bring with it the favor of others.
15 tn Or “rebukes” (NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
16 tn Heb “a man,” but the context does not indicate this should be limited only to males.
17 tn There is a problem with אַחֲרַי (’akharay), which in the MT reads “after me.” This could be taken to mean “after my instructions,” but that is forced. C. H. Toy suggests simply changing it to “after” or “afterward,” i.e., “in the end” (Proverbs [ICC], 504), a solution most English versions adopt. G. R. Driver suggested an Akkadian cognate ahurru, “common man,” reading “as a rebuker an ordinary man” (“Hebrew Notes,” ZAW 52 : 147).
18 tn The construction uses the Hiphil participle מַחֲלִיק (makhaliq, “makes smooth”) followed by the adverbial accusative of means, the metonymy “tongue” – he makes what he says smooth. This will be pleasing for the moment, but it will offer no constructive help like the rebuke would.