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Proverbs 27:18

Context

27:18 The one who tends a fig tree 1  will eat its fruit, 2 

and whoever takes care of 3  his master will be honored.

Proverbs 27:23-27

Context

27:23 Pay careful attention to 4  the condition of your flocks, 5 

give careful attention 6  to your herds,

27:24 for riches do not last 7  forever,

nor does a crown last 8  from generation to generation.

27:25 When the hay is removed and new grass appears,

and the grass from the hills is gathered in,

27:26 the lambs will be for your clothing,

and the goats will be for the price of a field. 9 

27:27 And there will be enough goat’s milk for your food, 10 

for the food of your household,

and for the sustenance 11  of your servant girls.

1 sn Tending fig trees requires closer attention than other plants; so the point here would be the diligent care that is required.

2 sn The principle is established in the first line with the emblem: Those who faithfully serve will be rewarded in kind. The second half of the proverb makes the point from this illustration.

3 sn The Hebrew participle translated “takes care of” (שֹׁמֵר, shomer) describes a careful watching over or looking after, a meticulous service, anticipating the needs and safeguarding the charge. Such a servant need not worry about his efforts going unrecognized and unrewarded (e.g., Prov 22:29; 2 Tim 2:6, 15).

4 tn The sentence uses the infinitive absolute and the imperfect from יָדַע (yada’, “to know”). The imperfect here has been given the obligatory nuance, “you must know,” and that has to be intensified with the infinitive.

5 tn Heb “the faces of your flock.”

6 tn The idiom is “place [it on] your heart” or “take to heart.” Cf. NLT “put your heart into.”

sn The care of the flock must become the main focus of the will, for it is the livelihood. So v. 23 forms the main instruction of this lengthy proverb (vv. 23-27).

7 tn Heb “riches are not forever” (so KJV, NASB); TEV “wealth is not permanent.” The term “last” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 tn The conjunction and the particle indicate that the same nuance continues here in the second colon, and so “last” has been supplied here as well.

9 sn Verse 25 is the protasis and v. 26 the apodosis. The two verses say that when the harvest is taken in, then the grass will grow, and they can sell and use their livestock. The lambs will provide clothing, and the goats when sold will pay for land.

10 sn This part of the proverb shows the proper interplay between human labor and divine provision. It teaches people to take care of what they have because it will not last forever.

11 tn Heb “life”; KJV, NAB “maintenance”; NRSV “nourishment.”



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