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Proverbs 6:19

Context

6:19 a false witness who pours out lies, 1 

and a person who spreads discord 2  among family members. 3 

Proverbs 14:5

Context

14:5 A truthful witness 4  does not lie,

but a false witness 5  breathes out lies. 6 

Proverbs 14:25

Context

14:25 A truthful witness 7  rescues lives, 8 

but the one who breathes lies brings 9  deception. 10 

Proverbs 19:9

Context

19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished,

and the one who spouts out 11  lies will perish. 12 

1 sn The Lord hates perjury and a lying witness (e.g., Ps 40:4; Amos 2:4; Mic 1:4). This is a direct violation of the law (Exod 20).

2 sn Dissension is attributed in Proverbs to contentious people (21:9; 26:21; 25:24) who have a short fuse (15:8).

3 tn Heb “brothers,” although not limited to male siblings only. Cf. NRSV, CEV “in a family”; TEV “among friends.”

sn These seven things the Lord hates. To discover what the Lord desires, one need only list the opposites: humility, truthful speech, preservation of life, pure thoughts, eagerness to do good, honest witnesses, and peaceful harmony. In the NT the Beatitudes present the positive opposites (Matt 5). It has seven blessed things to match these seven hated things; moreover, the first contrasts with the first here (“poor in spirit” of 5:5 with “haughty eyes”), and the seventh (“peacemakers” of 5:7) contrasts with the seventh here (“sows dissension”).

4 tn Heb “a witness of faithfulness.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “faithful witness” (so KJV, NRSV); TEV “reliable witness.”

5 tn Heb “a witness of falsehood.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “false witness.”

6 sn This saying addresses the problem of legal testimony: A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness does lie – naturally. The first colon uses the verb כָּזַב (kazav, “to lie”) and the second colon uses the noun כָּזָב (kazav, “lie; falsehood”).

7 tn Heb “a witness of truth”; cf. CEV “an honest witness.”

8 tn The noun נְפָשׁוֹת (nÿfashot) often means “souls,” but here “lives” – it functions as a metonymy for life (BDB 659 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 3.c).

sn The setting of this proverb is the courtroom. One who tells the truth “saves” (מַצִּיל [matsil, “rescues; delivers”]) the lives of those falsely accused.

9 tn The term “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity. Also possible, “is deceitful.”

10 tc Several commentators suggest emending the text from the noun מִרְמָה (mirmah, “deception”) to the participle מְרַמֶּה (mÿrameh, “destroys”). However, this revocalization is not necessary because the MT makes sense as it stands: A false witness destroys lives.

11 tn Heb “breathes out”; NAB “utters”; NIV “pours out.”

12 sn The verse is the same as v. 5, except that the last word changes to the verb “will perish” (cf. NCV “will die”; CEV, NLT “will be destroyed”; TEV “is doomed”).



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