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Proverbs 5:10

Context

5:10 lest strangers devour 1  your strength, 2 

and your labor 3  benefit 4  another man’s house.

Proverbs 6:1

Context
Admonitions and Warnings against Dangerous and Destructive Acts 5 

6:1 My child, 6  if you have made a pledge 7  for your neighbor,

and 8  have become a guarantor 9  for a stranger, 10 

Proverbs 11:15

Context

11:15 The one who puts up security for a stranger 11  will surely have trouble, 12 

but whoever avoids 13  shaking hands 14  will be secure.

Proverbs 20:16

Context

20:16 Take a man’s 15  garment 16  when he has given security for a stranger, 17 

and when he gives surety for strangers, 18  hold him 19  in pledge.

1 tn Or “are sated, satisfied.”

2 tn The word כֹּחַ (coakh, “strength”) refers to what laborious toil would produce (so a metonymy of cause). Everything that this person worked for could become the property for others to enjoy.

3 tn “labor, painful toil.”

4 tn The term “benefit” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.

5 sn The chapter advises release from foolish indebtedness (1-5), admonishes avoiding laziness (6-11), warns of the danger of poverty (9-11) and deviousness (12-15), lists conduct that the Lord hates (16-19), and warns about immorality (20-35).

6 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 3, 20).

7 sn It was fairly common for people to put up some kind of financial security for someone else, that is, to underwrite another’s debts. But the pledge in view here was foolish because the debtor was a neighbor who was not well known (זָר, zar), perhaps a misfit in the community. The one who pledged security for this one was simply gullible.

8 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.

9 tn Heb “struck your hands”; NIV “have struck hands in pledge”; NASB “have given a pledge.” The guarantee of a pledge was signaled by a handshake (e.g., 11:15; 17:18; 22:26).

10 tn Heb “stranger.” The term זוּר (zur, “stranger”) probably refers to a neighbor who was not well-known. Alternatively, it could describe a person who is living outside the norms of convention, a moral misfit in the community. In any case, this “stranger” is a high risk in any financial arrangement.

11 sn The “stranger” could refer to a person from another country or culture, as it often does; but it could also refer to an unknown Israelite, with the idea that the individual stands outside the known and respectable community.

12 tn The sentence begins with the Niphal imperfect and the cognate (רַע־יֵרוֹעַ, ra-yeroa’), stressing that whoever does this “will certainly suffer hurt.” The hurt in this case will be financial responsibility for a bad risk.

13 tn Heb “hates.” The term שֹׂנֵא (shoneh) means “to reject,” and here “to avoid.” The participle is substantival, functioning as the subject of the clause. The next participle, תֹקְעִים (toqim, “striking hands”), is its object, telling what is hated. The third participle בּוֹטֵחַ (boteakh, “is secure”) functions verbally.

14 tn Heb “striking.” The imagery here is shaking hands to seal a contract. The term “hands” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

15 tn Heb “his garment.”

16 sn Taking a garment was the way of holding someone responsible to pay debts. In fact, the garment was the article normally taken for security (Exod 22:24-26; Deut 24:10-13). Because this is a high risk security pledge (e.g., 6:1-5), the creditor is to deal more severely than when the pledge is given by the debtor for himself.

17 tc The Kethib has the masculine plural form, נָכְרִים (nakhrim), suggesting a reading “strangers.” But the Qere has the feminine form נָכְרִיָּה (nakhriyyah), “strange woman” or “another man’s wife” (e.g., 27:13). The parallelism would suggest “strangers” is the correct reading, although theories have been put forward for the interpretation of “strange woman” (see below).

sn The one for whom the pledge is taken is called “a stranger” and “foreign.” These two words do not necessarily mean that the individual or individuals are non-Israelite – just outside the community and not well known.

18 tn M. Dahood argues that the cloak was taken in pledge for a harlot (cf. NIV “a wayward woman”). Two sins would then be committed: taking a cloak and going to a prostitute (“To Pawn One’s Cloak,” Bib 42 [1961]: 359-66; also Snijders, “The Meaning of זָר,” 85-86). In the MT the almost identical proverb in 27:13 has a feminine singular form here.

19 tn Or “hold it” (so NIV, NCV).



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