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Proverbs 11:30

Context

11:30 The fruit of the righteous is like 1  a tree producing life, 2 

and the one who wins souls 3  is wise. 4 

Proverbs 10:16

Context

10:16 The reward 5  which the righteous receive 6  is life;

the recompense 7  which the wicked receive 8  is judgment. 9 

1 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.

2 tn Heb “tree of life” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). The noun חַיִּים (khayyim, “life”) is genitive of product. What the righteous produce (“fruit”) is like a tree of life – a long and healthy life as well as a life-giving influence and provision for others.

3 tc The Leningrad Codex mistakenly vocalized ש (sin or shin) as שׂ (sin) instead of שׁ (shin) in the term נְפָשׂוֹת (nefashot) which is vocalized as נְפָשׁוֹת (nefasot, “souls”) in the other medieval Hebrew mss and early printed editions of the Masoretic Text.

4 tc The MT reads חָכָם (khakham, “wise”) and seems to refer to capturing (לָקַח, laqakh; “to lay hold of; to seize; to capture”) people with influential ideas (e.g., 2 Sam 15:6). An alternate textual tradition reads חָמָס (khamas) “violent” (reflected in the LXX and Syriac) and refers to taking away lives: “but the one who takes away lives (= kills people) is violent” (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV). The textual variant was caused by orthographic confusion of ס (samek) and כ (kaf), and metathesis of מ (mem) between the 2nd and 3rd consonants. If the parallelism is synonymous, the MT reading fits; if the parallelism is antithetical, the alternate tradition fits. See D. C. Snell, “‘Taking Souls’ in Proverbs 11:30,” VT 33 (1083): 362-65.

5 tn Heb “recompense” (so NAB); NASB, NIV “wages.” The noun פְּעֻלַּה (pÿullah) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “work; deed” and (2) “reward; recompense” (BDB 821 s.v.). There is a clear correlation between a person’s conduct and its consequences. Rewards are determined by moral choices. What one receives in life depends on the use of gifts and a righteous character.

6 tn Heb “the recompense of the righteous.”

7 tn Heb “harvest.” The term תְּבוּאַת (tÿvuat, “harvest; yield”) is used figuratively here (hypocatastasis), drawing an implied comparison between the agricultural yield of a farmer’s labors with the consequences of the actions of the wicked. They will “reap” (= judgment) what they “sow” (= sin).

8 tn Heb “the harvest of the wicked.”

9 tn Heb “sin.” The term חַטָּאת (khattat, “sin”) functions as a metonymy of cause (= sin) for effect (= punishment). In contrast to the righteous who receive a reward, the wicked receive punishment for their sin (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV). See D. W. Thomas, “The Meaning of חַטָּאת in Proverbs X.16,” JTS 15 (1964): 295-96.



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