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Proverbs 1:24-31

Context

1:24 However, 1  because 2  I called but you refused to listen, 3 

because 4  I stretched out my hand 5  but no one paid attention,

1:25 because 6  you neglected 7  all my advice,

and did not comply 8  with my rebuke,

1:26 so 9  I myself will laugh 10  when disaster strikes you, 11 

I will mock when what you dread 12  comes,

1:27 when what you dread 13  comes like a whirlwind, 14 

and disaster strikes you 15  like a devastating storm, 16 

when distressing trouble 17  comes on you.

1:28 Then they will call to me, but I will not answer;

they will diligently seek 18  me, but they will not find me.

1:29 Because 19  they hated moral knowledge, 20 

and did not choose to fear the Lord, 21 

1:30 they did not comply with my advice,

they spurned 22  all my rebuke.

1:31 Therefore 23  they will eat from the fruit 24  of their way, 25 

and they will be stuffed full 26  of their own counsel.

1 tn The term “however” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the contrast between the offer in 1:23 and the accusation in 1:24-25. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

2 tn The particle יַעַן (yaan, “because”) introduces a causal clause which forms part of an extended protasis; the apodosis is 1:26.

3 tn The phrase “to listen” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

4 tn The term “because” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.

5 sn This expression is a metonymy of adjunct; it is a gesture that goes with the appeal for some to approach.

6 tn Heb “and.”

7 tn The verb III פָּרַע means “to let go; to let alone” (BDB 828 s.v.). It can refer to unkempt hair of the head (Lev 10:6) or lack of moral restraint: “to let things run free” (Exod 32:25; Prov 28:19). Here it means “to avoid, neglect” the offer of wisdom (BDB 829 s.v. 2).

8 tn The verbs are characteristic perfects or indefinite pasts. For the word “comply, consent,” see 1:20.

9 tn The conclusion or apodosis is now introduced.

10 sn Laughing at the consequences of the fool’s rejection of wisdom does convey hardness against the fool; it reveals the folly of rejecting wisdom (e.g., Ps 2:4). It vindicates wisdom and the appropriateness of the disaster (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 60).

11 tn Heb “at your disaster.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is either (1) a genitive of worth: “the disaster due you” or (2) an objective genitive: “disaster strikes you.” The term “disaster” (אֵיד, ’ed) often refers to final life-ending calamity (Prov 6:15; 24:22; BDB 15 s.v. 3). The preposition ב (bet) focuses upon time here.

12 tn Heb “your dread” (so NASB); KJV “your fear”; NRSV “panic.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is a subjective genitive: “that which you dread.”

13 tn Heb “your dread.” See note on 1:31.

14 sn The term “whirlwind” (NAB, NIV, NRSV; cf. TEV, NLT “storm”) refers to a devastating storm and is related to the verb שׁוֹא (sho’, “to crash into ruins”; see BDB 996 s.v. שׁוֹאָה). Disaster will come swiftly and crush them like a devastating whirlwind.

15 tn Heb “your disaster.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is an objective genitive: “disaster strikes you.”

16 tn Heb “like a storm.” The noun סוּפָה (sufah, “storm”) is often used in similes to describe sudden devastation (Isa 5:28; Hos 8:7; Amos 1:14).

17 tn Heb “distress and trouble.” The nouns “distress and trouble” mean almost the same thing so they may form a hendiadys. The two similar sounding terms צוּקָה (tsuqah) and צָרָה (tsarah) also form a wordplay (paronomasia) which also links them together.

18 tn Heb “look to.” The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar, “to look”) is used figuratively of intensely looking (=seeking) for deliverance out of trouble (W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 366); cf. NLT “anxiously search for.” It is used elsewhere in parallelism with בָּקַשׁ (baqash, “to seek rescue”; Hos 5:15). It does not mean “to seek early” (cf. KJV) as is popularly taught due to etymological connections with the noun שַׁחַר (shakhar, “dawn”; so BDB 1007 s.v. שָׁחַר).

19 tn The causal particle תַּחַת כִּי (takhat ki, “for the reason that”) introduces a second accusation of sin and reason for punishment.

20 tn Heb “knowledge.” The noun דָעַת (daat, “knowledge”) refers to moral knowledge. See note on 1:7.

21 tn Heb “the fear of the Lord.” The noun is an objective genitive; the Lord is to be the object of fear. See note on 1:7.

22 tn The verb “spurned” (נָאַץ, naats) is parallel to “comply, accede to, be willing” (e.g., 1:10). This is how the morally stubborn fool acts (e.g., 15:5).

23 tn The vav (ו) prefixed to the verb וְיֹאכְלוּ (vÿyokhÿlu) functions in a consecutive logical sense: “therefore.”

24 sn The expression “eat the fruit of” is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis) that compares the consequences of sin to agricultural growth that culminates in produce. They will suffer the consequences of their sinful actions, that is, they will “reap” what they “sow.”

25 sn The words “way” (דֶּרֶךְ, derekh) and “counsel” (מוֹעֵצָה, moetsah) stand in strong contrast to the instruction of wisdom which gave counsel and rebuke to encourage a better way. They will bear the consequences of the course they follow and the advice they take (for that wrong advice, e.g., Ps 1:1).

26 tn Heb “to eat to one’s fill.” The verb שָׂבֵעַ (savea’) means (1) positive: “to eat one’s fill” so that one’s appetite is satisfied and (2) negative: “to eat in excess” as a glutton to the point of sickness and revulsion (BDB 959 s.v.). Fools will not only “eat” the fruit of their own way (v. 31a), they will be force-fed this revolting “menu” which will make them want to vomit (v. 31b) and eventually kill them (v. 32).



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