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Proverbs 25:14

Context

25:14 Like cloudy skies and wind that produce no rain, 1 

so is the one who boasts 2  of a gift not given. 3 

Proverbs 25:18

Context

25:18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow, 4 

so is the one who testifies against 5  his neighbor as a false witness. 6 

1 sn The emblem now is one of clouds and winds that would be expected to produce rain; they gain attention and raise people’s expectations but prove to be disappointing when no rain is forthcoming, and hence could be thought of as deceitful.

2 tn The form מִתְהַלֵּל (mithallel) is the Hitpael participle of the well-known word for “praise”; but in this stem it means “to praise oneself” or “to boast.” The description of “windbag” seems appropriate in this context.

3 tn Heb “a gift of falsehood.” This would mean that the individual brags about giving a gift, when there is no gift.

4 sn The first line identifies the emblem of the proverb: False witnesses are here compared to deadly weapons because they can cause the death of innocent people (e.g., Exod 20:16; Deut 5:20; and Prov 14:5).

5 tn The verb עָנָה (’anah) followed by the preposition בְּ (bet) with its object means “to testify against” (answer against someone). With the preposition לְ (lamed) it would mean “to testify for” someone. Here the false witness is an adversary, hence the comparison with deadly weapons.

6 tn While עֵד (’ed) could be interpreted as “evidence” (a meaning that came from a metonymy – what the witness gives in court), its normal meaning is “witness.” Here it would function as an adverbial accusative, specifying how he would answer in court.



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