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Proverbs 11:16-17

Context

11:16 A generous woman 1  gains honor,

and ruthless men 2  seize wealth. 3 

11:17 A kind person 4  benefits 5  himself, 6 

but a cruel person brings himself trouble. 7 

Proverbs 11:16-17

Context

11:16 A generous woman 8  gains honor,

and ruthless men 9  seize wealth. 10 

11:17 A kind person 11  benefits 12  himself, 13 

but a cruel person brings himself trouble. 14 

Proverbs 12:10

Context

12:10 A righteous person cares for 15  the life of his animal,

but even the most compassionate acts 16  of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:25

Context

12:25 Anxiety 17  in a person’s heart 18  weighs him down, 19 

but an encouraging 20  word brings him joy. 21 

Proverbs 21:10

Context

21:10 The appetite 22  of the wicked desires 23  evil;

his neighbor is shown no favor 24  in his eyes.

Proverbs 28:13

Context

28:13 The one who covers 25  his transgressions will not prosper, 26 

but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy. 27 

Proverbs 28:13

Context

28:13 The one who covers 28  his transgressions will not prosper, 29 

but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy. 30 

Proverbs 28:13

Context

28:13 The one who covers 31  his transgressions will not prosper, 32 

but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy. 33 

1 tn Heb “a woman of grace.” The genitive חֵן (khen, “grace”) functions as an attributive adjective. The contrast is between “a gracious woman” (אֵשֶׁת־חֵן, ’eshet-khen), a woman who is not only graceful but generous, and “powerful men,” a term usually having a bad sense, such as tyrants or ruthless men.

2 tn Heb “those who are terrifying.” The term עָרִיץ (’arits) refers to a person who strikes terror into the hearts of his victims. The term refers to a ruthless person who uses violence to overcome his victims (BDB 792 s.v.). Cf. ASV, NASB, NLT “violent men”; NRSV “the aggressive.”

3 tc The LXX adds: “She who hates virtue makes a throne for dishonor; the idle will be destitute of means.” This reading is followed by several English versions (e.g., NAB, NEB, NRSV, TEV). C. H. Toy concludes that MT provides remnants of the original, but that the LXX does not provide the full meaning (Proverbs [ICC], 229).

sn The implication is that the ruthless men will obtain wealth without honor, and therefore this is not viewed as success by the writer.

4 tn Heb “man of kindness.”

sn This contrasts the “kind person” and the “cruel person” (one who is fierce, cruel), showing the consequences of their dispositions.

5 tn The term גֹּמֶל (gomel) means “to deal fully [or “adequately”] with” someone or something. The kind person will benefit himself.

6 tn Heb “his own soul.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole (= person): “himself” (BDB 660 s.v. 4).

7 tn Heb “brings trouble to his flesh.”

sn There may be a conscious effort by the sage to contrast “soul” and “body”: He contrasts the benefits of kindness for the “soul” (translated “himself”) with the trouble that comes to the “flesh/body” (translated “himself”) of the cruel.

8 tn Heb “a woman of grace.” The genitive חֵן (khen, “grace”) functions as an attributive adjective. The contrast is between “a gracious woman” (אֵשֶׁת־חֵן, ’eshet-khen), a woman who is not only graceful but generous, and “powerful men,” a term usually having a bad sense, such as tyrants or ruthless men.

9 tn Heb “those who are terrifying.” The term עָרִיץ (’arits) refers to a person who strikes terror into the hearts of his victims. The term refers to a ruthless person who uses violence to overcome his victims (BDB 792 s.v.). Cf. ASV, NASB, NLT “violent men”; NRSV “the aggressive.”

10 tc The LXX adds: “She who hates virtue makes a throne for dishonor; the idle will be destitute of means.” This reading is followed by several English versions (e.g., NAB, NEB, NRSV, TEV). C. H. Toy concludes that MT provides remnants of the original, but that the LXX does not provide the full meaning (Proverbs [ICC], 229).

sn The implication is that the ruthless men will obtain wealth without honor, and therefore this is not viewed as success by the writer.

11 tn Heb “man of kindness.”

sn This contrasts the “kind person” and the “cruel person” (one who is fierce, cruel), showing the consequences of their dispositions.

12 tn The term גֹּמֶל (gomel) means “to deal fully [or “adequately”] with” someone or something. The kind person will benefit himself.

13 tn Heb “his own soul.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole (= person): “himself” (BDB 660 s.v. 4).

14 tn Heb “brings trouble to his flesh.”

sn There may be a conscious effort by the sage to contrast “soul” and “body”: He contrasts the benefits of kindness for the “soul” (translated “himself”) with the trouble that comes to the “flesh/body” (translated “himself”) of the cruel.

15 tn Heb “knows”; NLT “concerned for the welfare of.” The righteous take care of animals, not just people.

16 tn Heb “but the mercies.” The additional words appear in the translation for the sake of clarification. The line can be interpreted in two ways: (1) when the wicked exhibit a kind act, they do it in a cruel way, or (2) even the kindest of their acts is cruel by all assessments, e.g., stuffing animals with food to fatten them for market – their “kindness” is driven by ulterior motives (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 129).

17 tn The word “anxiety” (דְּאָגָה, dÿagah) combines anxiety and fear – anxious fear (e.g., Jer 49:23; Ezek 4:16); and for the verb (e.g., Ps 38:18; Jer 17:8).

18 tn Heb “the heart of a man.”

19 tn Heb “bows it [= his heart] down.” Anxiety weighs heavily on the heart, causing depression. The spirit is brought low.

20 tn Heb “good.” The Hebrew word “good” (טוֹב, tov) refers to what is beneficial for life, promotes life, creates life or protects life. The “good word” here would include encouragement, kindness, and insight – the person needs to regain the proper perspective on life and renew his confidence.

21 tn Heb “makes it [= his heart] glad.” The similarly sounding terms יַשְׁחֶנָּה (yashkhennah, “weighs it down”) and יְשַׂמְּחֶנָּה (yÿsammÿkhennah, “makes it glad”) create a wordplay (paronomasia) that dramatically emphasizes the polar opposite emotional states: depression versus joy.

22 tn Heb “soul.” The Hebrew text uses נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally, “soul”) as the formal subject of the sentence – “the soul of a wicked man desires.” This term has at its core the idea of appetites, and so its use here underscores that the cravings are deep-seated (BDB 660 s.v. 5), and the translation “appetite” reflects this.

23 sn The word has the meanings of “desire, crave, long for, lust after.” It usually has “soul” as its subject. The word is used in the Ten Commandments in the prohibition against coveting a neighbor’s house (Deut 5:18).

24 tn The form יֻחַן (yukhan) is a Hophal imperfect from חָנַן (khanan); it means “to be shown mercy” – here negated to mean “he will not be shown mercy.” The person who lives to satisfy his own craving for evil will not be interested in meeting the needs of others.

25 tn The Hebrew participles provide the subject matter in this contrast. On the one hand is the person who covers over (מְכַסֶּה, mÿkhasseh) his sins. This means refusing to acknowledge them in confession, and perhaps rationalizing them away. On the other hand there is the one who both “confesses” (מוֹדֶה, modeh) and “forsakes” (עֹזֵב, ’ozev) the sin. To “confess” sins means to acknowledge them, to say the same thing about them that God does.

26 sn The verse contrasts the consequences of each. The person who refuses to confess will not prosper. This is an understatement (a figure of speech known as tapeinosis); the opposite is the truth, that eventually such a person will be undone and ruined. On the other hand, the penitent will find mercy. This expression is a metonymy of cause for the effect – although “mercy” is mentioned, what mercy provides is intended, i.e., forgiveness. In other passages the verb “conceal” is used of God’s forgiveness – he covers over the iniquity (Ps 32:1). Whoever acknowledges sin, God will cover it; whoever covers it, God will lay it open.

27 sn This verse is unique in the book of Proverbs; it captures the theology of forgiveness (e.g., Pss 32 and 51). Every part of the passage is essential to the point: Confession of sins as opposed to concealing them, coupled with a turning away from them, results in mercy.

28 tn The Hebrew participles provide the subject matter in this contrast. On the one hand is the person who covers over (מְכַסֶּה, mÿkhasseh) his sins. This means refusing to acknowledge them in confession, and perhaps rationalizing them away. On the other hand there is the one who both “confesses” (מוֹדֶה, modeh) and “forsakes” (עֹזֵב, ’ozev) the sin. To “confess” sins means to acknowledge them, to say the same thing about them that God does.

29 sn The verse contrasts the consequences of each. The person who refuses to confess will not prosper. This is an understatement (a figure of speech known as tapeinosis); the opposite is the truth, that eventually such a person will be undone and ruined. On the other hand, the penitent will find mercy. This expression is a metonymy of cause for the effect – although “mercy” is mentioned, what mercy provides is intended, i.e., forgiveness. In other passages the verb “conceal” is used of God’s forgiveness – he covers over the iniquity (Ps 32:1). Whoever acknowledges sin, God will cover it; whoever covers it, God will lay it open.

30 sn This verse is unique in the book of Proverbs; it captures the theology of forgiveness (e.g., Pss 32 and 51). Every part of the passage is essential to the point: Confession of sins as opposed to concealing them, coupled with a turning away from them, results in mercy.

31 tn The Hebrew participles provide the subject matter in this contrast. On the one hand is the person who covers over (מְכַסֶּה, mÿkhasseh) his sins. This means refusing to acknowledge them in confession, and perhaps rationalizing them away. On the other hand there is the one who both “confesses” (מוֹדֶה, modeh) and “forsakes” (עֹזֵב, ’ozev) the sin. To “confess” sins means to acknowledge them, to say the same thing about them that God does.

32 sn The verse contrasts the consequences of each. The person who refuses to confess will not prosper. This is an understatement (a figure of speech known as tapeinosis); the opposite is the truth, that eventually such a person will be undone and ruined. On the other hand, the penitent will find mercy. This expression is a metonymy of cause for the effect – although “mercy” is mentioned, what mercy provides is intended, i.e., forgiveness. In other passages the verb “conceal” is used of God’s forgiveness – he covers over the iniquity (Ps 32:1). Whoever acknowledges sin, God will cover it; whoever covers it, God will lay it open.

33 sn This verse is unique in the book of Proverbs; it captures the theology of forgiveness (e.g., Pss 32 and 51). Every part of the passage is essential to the point: Confession of sins as opposed to concealing them, coupled with a turning away from them, results in mercy.



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