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Proverbs 9:9-10

Context

9:9 Give instruction 1  to a wise person, 2  and he will become wiser still;

teach 3  a righteous person and he will add to his 4  learning.

9:10 The beginning 5  of wisdom is to fear the Lord, 6 

and acknowledging 7  the Holy One 8  is understanding.

1 tn The noun “instruction” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation.

2 sn The parallelism shows what Proverbs will repeatedly stress, that the wise person is the righteous person.

3 tn The Hiphil verb normally means “to cause to know, make known”; but here the context suggests “to teach” (so many English versions).

4 tn The term “his” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for the sake of smoothness and clarity.

5 sn The difference between תְּחִלַּת (tÿkhillat) here and רֵאשִׁית (reshit) of 1:7, if there is any substantial difference, is that this term refers to the starting point of wisdom, and the earlier one indicates the primary place of wisdom (K&D 16:202).

6 tn Heb “fear of the Lord.”

7 tn Heb “knowledge of the Holy One” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

8 tn The word is in the plural in the Hebrew (literally “holy ones”; KJV “the holy”). It was translated “holy men” in Tg. Prov 9:10. But it probably was meant to signify the majestic nature of the Lord. As J. H. Greenstone says, he is “all-holy” (Proverbs, 94). This is an example of the plural of majesty, one of the honorific uses of the plural (see IBHS 122-23 §7.4.3b).



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