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Proverbs 3:24-26

Context

3:24 When 1  you lie down you will not be filled with fear; 2 

when 3  you lie down your sleep will be pleasant. 4 

3:25 You will not be afraid 5  of sudden 6  disaster, 7 

or when destruction overtakes 8  the wicked; 9 

3:26 for the Lord will be 10  the source of your confidence, 11 

and he will guard your foot 12  from being caught in a trap. 13 

1 tn The particle אִם (’im, “if”) here functions in its rare temporal sense (“when”) followed by an imperfect tense (e.g., Num 36:4; BDB 50 s.v. 1.b.4.b).

2 tn Heb “terror.” The verb פָּחַד (pakhad, “terror”) describes emotion that is stronger than mere fear – it is dread.

3 tn The construction of vav consecutive + perfect tense followed by vav (ו) consecutive + perfect tense depicts a temporal clause. The temporal nuance is also suggested by the parallelism of the preceding colon.

4 tn The verb עָרְבָה (’orvah) is from III עָרַב (“to be sweet; to be pleasing; to be pleasant”; BDB 787 s.v. III עָרַב). It should not be confused with the other five homonymic roots that are also spelled עָרַב (’arav; see BDB 786-88).

5 tn Heb “do not be afraid.” The negative exhortation אַל־תִּירָא (’al-tira’, “do not be afraid”) is used rhetorically to emphasize that the person who seeks wisdom will have no reason to fear the consequences of wicked actions.

6 tn Heb “terror of suddenness.” The noun פִּתְאֹם (pitom, “sudden”) functions as an attributive genitive: “sudden terror” (e.g., Job 22:10; BDB 837 s.v.).

7 tn Heb “terror.” The noun פַּחַד (pakhad, “terror”) is a metonymy of effect for cause (= disaster); see BDB 808 s.v. 2. This is suggested by the parallelism with the noun מִשֹּׁאַת (mishoat, “destruction”) in the following colon. The term פַּחַד (“terror”) often refers to the object (or cause) of terror (e.g., Job 3:25; 15:21; 22:10; 31:23; Pss 31:12; 36:2; Isa 24:18; Jer 48:44).

8 tn Heb “or the destruction of the wicked when it comes.”

9 tn Heb “destruction of the wicked.” The noun רְשָׁעִים (rÿshaim, “wicked ones”) probably functions as an objective genitive (the destruction that comes on the wicked) or a genitive of source (the destruction that the wicked bring on others).

10 tn Or “the Lord will be at your side.” Assuming that the noun כֶּסֶל (kesel) is related to the root II כָסַל (“confidence”; BDB 492 s.v. כֶּסֶל 3), the preposition ב (bet) introduces the predicate noun כִּסְלֶךָ (kislekha, “your confidence”) and functions as a beth essentiae (GKC 379 §119.i) which emphasizes the quality or nature of the noun (BDB 88 s.v. בְּ 7; HALOT 104 s.v. בְּ 3): “the Lord will be your confidence.” However, if the noun is related to I כסל (“loins; side”; HALOT 489 s.v. I כֶּסֶל 2), the preposition ב (bet) would function in a locative sense: “the Lord will be at your side.” See tn on the following phrase “source of your confidence.”

11 tn Heb “your confidence” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV) or “at your side.” There is debate whether the term כֶּסֶל (kesel) is related to the root I כָסַל “loins; side” (so HALOT 489 s.v. I כֶּסֶל 2) or II כָסַל “confidence” (so BDB 492 s.v. כֶּסֶל 3). The Vulgate relates it to I כָסַל and offers “the Lord will be at your side (latus).” Others relate it to II כָסַל “confidence” (e.g., Job 8:14; 31:24; Ps 78:7) and take it as a metonymy (= confidence) of adjunct (= object of confidence): “the Lord will be the source [or, object] of your confidence.”

12 sn The term רַגְלְךָ (raglekha, “your foot”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= your foot) for the whole person (= you). This synecdoche develops the extended comparison between the hunter’s snare and calamity that afflicts the wicked.

13 tn Heb “from capture.” The noun לָכֶד (lakhed, “capture; snare”) occurs only here in OT (BDB 540 s.v.; HALOT 530 s.v. לֶכֶד). It is figurative for the calamity of v. 25. God will protect the wise (or, righteous) from the consequences of sin (snares) that afflict the wicked.



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