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Proverbs 8:31-36

Context

8:31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, 1 

and delighting 2  in its people. 3 

8:32 “So now, children, 4  listen to me;

blessed are those who keep my ways.

8:33 Listen to my instruction 5  so that you may be wise, 6 

and do not neglect it.

8:34 Blessed is the one 7  who listens to me,

watching 8  at my doors day by day,

waiting 9  beside my doorway. 10 

8:35 For the one who finds me finds 11  life

and receives 12  favor from the Lord.

8:36 But the one who does not find me 13  brings harm 14  to himself; 15 

all who hate me 16  love death.”

1 tn The two words are synonymous in general and so could be taken to express a superlative idea – the “whole world” (cf. NIV, NCV). But תֵּבֵל (tevel) also means the inhabited world, and so the construct may be interpreted as a partitive genitive.

2 tn Heb “and my delights” [were] with/in.”

3 tn Heb “the sons of man.”

4 tn Heb “sons.”

5 tn Heb “discipline.”

6 tn The construction uses two imperatives joined with the vav (ו); this is a volitive sequence in which result or consequence is being expressed.

7 tn Heb “the man.”

8 tn The form לִשְׁקֹד (lishqod) is the infinitive construct serving epexegetically in the sentence. It explains how the person will listen to wisdom.

9 tn Heb “keeping” or “guarding.”

10 tn Heb “at the posts of my doors” (so KJV, ASV).

11 tc The Kethib reads plurals: “those who find me are finders of life”; this is reflected in the LXX and Syriac. But the Qere is singular: “whoever finds me finds life.” The Qere is generally favored as the original reading in such cases as these.

12 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive carries the same nuance as the perfect tense that came before it, setting out the timeless principle.

13 tn Heb “the one sinning [against] me.” The verb חָטָא (khata’, “to sin”) forms a contrast with “find” in the previous verse, and so has its basic meaning of “failing to find, miss.” So it is talking about the one who misses wisdom, as opposed to the one who finds it.

14 tn The Qal active participle functions verbally here. The word stresses both social and physical harm and violence.

sn Brings harm. Whoever tries to live without wisdom is inviting all kinds of disaster into his life.

15 tn Heb “his soul.”

16 tn The basic idea of the verb שָׂנֵא (sane’, “to hate”) is that of rejection. Its antonym is also used in the line, “love,” which has the idea of choosing. So not choosing (i.e., hating) wisdom amounts to choosing (i.e., loving) death.



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