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Proverbs 29:23

Context

29:23 A person’s pride 1  will bring him low, 2 

but one who has a lowly spirit 3  will gain honor.

1 tn Heb “pride of a man,” with “man” functioning as a possessive. There is no indication in the immediate context that this is restricted only to males.

2 tn There is a wordplay here due to the repetition of the root שָׁפֵל (shafel). In the first line the verb תִּשְׁפִּילֶנּוּ (tishpilennu) is the Hiphil imperfect of the root, rendered “will bring him low.” In the second line the word is used in the description of the “lowly of spirit,” שְׁפַל־רוּחַ (shÿfal-ruakh). The contrast works well: The proud will be brought “low,” but the one who is “lowly” will be honored. In this instance the wordplay can be preserved in the translation.

3 tn Heb “low in spirit”; KJV “humble in spirit.” This refers to an attitude of humility.

sn The Hebrew word translated “lowly” forms an implied comparison: To be humble is like being low, base, earthbound; whereas pride is often compared to being high, lofty – at least in one’s own eyes.



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