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Proverbs 6:30-31

Context

6:30 People 1  do not despise a thief when he steals

to fulfill his need 2  when he is hungry.

6:31 Yet 3  if he is caught 4  he must repay 5  seven times over,

he might even have to give 6  all the wealth of his house.

1 tn Heb “they do not despise.”

2 tn Heb “himself” or “his life.” Since the word נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) refers to the whole person, body and soul, and since it has a basic idea of the bundle of appetites that make up a person, the use here for satisfying his hunger is appropriate.

3 tn The term “yet” is supplied in the translation.

4 tn Heb “is found out.” The perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive is equivalent to the imperfect nuances. Here it introduces either a conditional or a temporal clause before the imperfect.

5 tn The imperfect tense has an obligatory nuance. The verb in the Piel means “to repay; to make restitution; to recompense”; cf. NCV, TEV, CEV “must pay back.”

6 tn This final clause in the section is somewhat cryptic. The guilty thief must pay back sevenfold what he stole, even if it means he must use the substance of his whole house. The verb functions as an imperfect of possibility: “he might even give.”



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