9:4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
9:16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here,”
she says to those who lack understanding. 4
24:30 I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of one who lacks wisdom. 9
the ground 11 was covered with weeds,
and its stone wall was broken down.
I received instruction from what I saw: 13
24:33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax,
24:34 and your poverty will come like a bandit,
and your need like an armed robber.” 14
25:6 Do not honor yourself before the king,
and do not stand in the place of great men;
than to put you lower 17 before a prince,
whom your eyes have seen. 18
1 tn Heb “lacking of heart she says to him.” The pronominal suffix is a resumptive pronoun, meaning, “she says to the lacking of heart.”
2 tn Heb “him.”
3 tn Heb “heart”; cf. NIV “to those who lack judgment.”
4 tn This expression is almost identical to v. 4, with the exception of the addition of conjunctions in the second colon: “and the lacking of understanding and she says to him.” The parallel is deliberate, of course, showing the competing appeals for those passing by.
5 tn Heb “on the lips” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for the words spoken by the lips.
6 tn Heb “the one who is discerning.” The term “discerning” describes someone who is critically perceptive and has understanding. He can be relied on to say things that are wise.
7 tn Heb “the one lacking of heart.” The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a genitive of specification: “lacking in respect to heart.” The term לֵב functions in a figurative sense (metonymy of association) for wisdom because the heart is viewed as the seat of common sense (BDB 524 s.v. 3.a).
8 tn Heb “a rod is for the back of the one lacking heart.” The term שֵׁבֶט (shevet, “rod”) functions figuratively: synecdoche of specific (= rod of discipline) for general (= discipline in general). The term גֵו (gev, “back”) is a synecdoche of part (= back) for the whole (= person as a whole). The back is emphasized because it was the object of physical corporeal discipline. This proverb is not limited in its application to physical corporeal punishment because the consequences of foolishness may come in many forms, physical corporeal discipline being only one form.
9 tn Heb “lacks heart”; KJV “understanding”; NAB, NASB, NLT “sense.”
10 tn The Hebrew term וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, traditionally “and, lo” [KJV, ASV]) is a deictic particle that calls attention to what comes next. “And look” is too abrupt here; “I saw” calls attention to the field that was noticed.
11 tn Heb “its face” (so KJV, ASV).
12 sn Heb “I set my heart.” The “heart” represents the mind and the will combined; to “set” the mind and will means to give careful consideration to what was observed.
13 tn Heb “I looked, I received instruction.” There are four verbs in the two parts of this verse: “I saw…I set…I saw…I received.” It is clear that the first two verbs in each half verse are the foundation for the next two. At the beginning of the verse the form is the preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive; it can be subordinated as a temporal clause to the next verb, probably to be identified as a preterite with the vav – “when I saw, I put.” The next two verbs are both perfect tenses; their construction would parallel the first half of the verse, even though there are no conjunctions here – “[when] I saw, I received.”
sn The teacher makes several observations of the state of the sluggard that reveal that his continued laziness will result in poverty. The reminiscence used here may be a literary device to draw a fictional but characteristically true picture of the lazy person.
14 tn Heb “a man of shield.” This could refer to an armed warrior (so NRSV) but in this context, in collocation with the other word for “robber” in the previous line, it must refer to an armed criminal.
15 tn The phrase “for him” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
16 sn This proverb, covering the two verses, is teaching that it is wiser to be promoted than to risk demotion by self-promotion. The point is clear: Trying to promote oneself could bring on public humiliation; but it would be an honor to have everyone in court hear the promotion by the king.
17 tn The two infinitives construct form the contrast in this “better” sayings; each serves as the subject of its respective clause.
18 tc Most modern commentators either omit this last line or attach it to the next verse. But it is in the text of the MT as well as the LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, and most modern English versions (although some of them do connect it to the following verse, e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).