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Proverbs 19:4

Context

19:4 Wealth adds many friends,

but a poor person is separated 1  from his friend. 2 

Proverbs 19:6

Context

19:6 Many people entreat the favor 3  of a generous person, 4 

and everyone is the friend 5  of the person who gives gifts. 6 

Proverbs 19:17

Context

19:17 The one who is gracious 7  to the poor lends 8  to the Lord,

and the Lord 9  will repay him 10  for his good deed. 11 

1 tn The Niphal imperfect probably should be taken in the passive sense (the poor person is deserted by his “friend,” cf. NAB, NIV) rather than as a direct middle (the poor person deserted his friend).

2 sn This proverb simply makes an observation on life: People pursue wealthy folk hoping that they can gain something from the rich, but the poor are deserted even by friends, who fear that the poor will try to gain something from them.

3 tn The verb יְחַלּוּ (yÿkhalu) is a Piel imperfect of חָלָה (khalah) meaning “to seek favor; to entreat favor; to mollify; to appease”; cf. NIV “curry favor.” It literally means “making the face of someone sweet or pleasant,” as in stroking the face. To “entreat the favor” of someone is to induce him to show favor; the action aims at receiving gifts, benefits, or any other kind of success.

sn The Hebrew verb translated “entreat the favor” is often used to express prayer when God is the one whose favor is being sought; here it is the prince who can grant requests.

4 tn Heb “the face of a generous man”; ASV “the liberal man.” The term “face” is a synecdoche of part (= face) for the whole (= person).

5 sn The proverb acknowledges the fact of life; but it also reminds people of the value of gifts in life, especially in business or in politics.

6 tn Heb “a man of gifts.” This could be (1) attributive genitive: a man characterized by giving gifts or (2) objective genitive: a man who gives gifts (IBHS 146 §9.5.2b).

7 sn The participle חוֹנֵן (khonen, “shows favor to”) is related to the word for “grace.” The activity here is the kind favor shown poor people for no particular reason and with no hope of repayment. It is literally an act of grace.

8 tn The form מַלְוֵה (malveh) is the Hiphil participle from לָוָה (lavah) in construct; it means “to cause to borrow; to lend.” The expression here is “lender of the Lord.” The person who helps the poor becomes the creditor of God.

9 tn Heb “he.” The referent of the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun is “the Lord” in the preceding line, which has been supplied here in the translation for clarity.

10 sn The promise of reward does not necessarily mean that the person who gives to the poor will get money back; the rewards in the book of Proverbs involve life and prosperity in general.

11 tn Heb “and his good deed will repay him.” The word גְּמֻלוֹ (gÿmulo) could be (1) the subject or (2) part of a double accusative of the verb. Understanding it as part of the double accusative makes better sense, for then the subject of the verb is God. How “his deed” could repay him is not immediately obvious.



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