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Proverbs 16:31

Context

16:31 Gray hair is like 1  a crown of glory; 2 

it is attained 3  in the path of righteousness. 4 

Proverbs 20:29

Context

20:29 The glory 5  of young men is their strength,

and the splendor 6  of old men is gray hair. 7 

1 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.

2 sn The proverb presents the ideal, for it is not concerned with old people who may be evil. The KJV tried to qualify the interpretation by making the second half of the verse a conditional clause (“if it be found in the way of righteousness”). This is acceptable but unnecessary. The book of Proverbs is simply laying out the equity of longevity for righteousness and premature death for wicked people. In this line “gray hair” is a metonymy of adjunct/effect, representing old age; and the “glorious crown” (taking the genitive as attributive) provides a fitting metaphor to compare the hair on the head with a crown.

3 tn Heb “it is found” (so NASB) or “it will be found.”

4 sn While the proverb presents a general observation, there is a commendable lesson about old people who can look back on a long walk with God through life and can anticipate unbroken fellowship with him in glory.

5 tn The Hebrew term תִּפְאֶרֶת (tiferet) means “beauty; glory”; in a context like this it means “honor” in the sense of glorying or boasting (BDB 802 s.v. 3.b).

6 tn The Hebrew term הֲדַר (hadar), the noun in construct, means “splendor; honor; ornament.” The latter sense is used here, since grey hair is like a crown on the head.

7 sn “Grey hair” is a metonymy of adjunct; it represents everything valuable about old age – dignity, wisdom, honor, experience, as well as worry and suffering of life. At the very least, since they survived, they must know something. At the most, they were the sages and elders of the people.



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