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Proverbs 17:18-19

Context

17:18 The one who lacks wisdom 1  strikes hands in pledge, 2 

and puts up financial security 3  for his neighbor. 4 

17:19 The one who loves a quarrel loves transgression; 5 

whoever builds his gate high seeks destruction. 6 

1 tn Heb “heart”; KJV, ASV “a man void of understanding”; NIV “a man lacking in judgment.”

2 tn The phrase “in pledge” is supplied for the sake of clarification.

3 tn The line uses the participle עֹרֵב (’orev) with its cognate accusative עֲרֻבָּה (’arubah), “who pledges a pledge.”

4 sn It is foolish to pledge security for someone’s loans (e.g., Prov 6:1-5).

5 tn Heb “the one who loves transgression the one who loves a quarrel.” There is some ambiguity in the first line. The meaning would not differ greatly if either were taken as the subject; but the parallelism suggests that the proverb is about a quarrelsome and arrogant person who loves sin and invites destruction.

6 tn Some have taken this second line literally and interpreted it to mean he has built a pretentious house. Probably it is meant to be figurative: The gate is the mouth (the figure would be hypocatastasis) and so to make it high is to say lofty things – he brags too much (e.g., 1 Sam 2:3; Prov 18:12; 29:23); cf. NCV, TEV, NLT. C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 348) wishes to emend פִּתְחוֹ (pitkho, “his gate”) to פִּיו (piv, “his mouth”), but that is unnecessary since the idea can be obtained by interpretation.



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