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Proverbs 14:28

Context

14:28 A king’s glory is 1  the abundance of people,

but the lack of subjects 2  is the ruin 3  of a ruler.

Proverbs 14:34-35

Context

14:34 Righteousness exalts 4  a nation,

but sin is a disgrace 5  to any people.

14:35 The king shows favor 6  to a wise 7  servant,

but his wrath falls 8  on one who acts shamefully.

1 tn The preposition serves as the beth essentiae – the glory is the abundant population, not in it.

2 tn Heb “people.” Cf. NLT “a dwindling nation.”

3 sn The word means “ruin; destruction,” but in this context it could be a metonymy of effect, the cause being an attack by more numerous people that will bring ruin to the ruler. The proverb is purely a practical and secular saying, unlike some of the faith teachings in salvation history passages.

4 sn The verb תְּרוֹמֵם (tÿromem, translated “exalts”) is a Polel imperfect; it means “to lift up; to raise up; to elevate.” Here the upright dealings of the leaders and the people will lift up the people. The people’s condition in that nation will be raised.

5 tn The term is the homonymic root II חֶסֶד (khesed, “shame; reproach”; BDB 340 s.v.), as reflected by the LXX translation. Rabbinic exegesis generally took it as I חֶסֶד (“loyal love; kindness”) as if it said, “even the kindness of some nations is a sin because they do it only for a show” (so Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived a.d. 1040-1105).

6 tn Heb “the favor of a king.” The noun “king” functions as a subjective genitive: “the king shows favor….”

7 sn The wise servant is shown favor, while the shameful servant is shown anger. Two Hiphil participles make the contrast: מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil, “wise”) and מֵבִישׁ (mevish, “one who acts shamefully”). The wise servant is a delight and enjoys the favor of the king because he is skillful and clever. The shameful one botches his duties; his indiscretions and incapacity expose the master to criticism (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 470).

8 tn Heb “is” (so KJV, ASV).



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