The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.
The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well, but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.
The mouth of the upright man is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the evil-doer is a bitter cup.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “mouth.” The word “mouth” is metonymy of cause, representing what the righteous say and teach.
2 tn Heb “a fountain of life is the mouth of the righteous” (NAB similar). The subject (“a fountain of life”) and the predicate (“the mouth of the righteous”) in the Hebrew text are reversed in the present translation (as in most English versions) for the sake of clarity and smoothness. The idea of this metaphor, “the fountain of life,” may come from Ps 36:9 (e.g., also Prov 13:14; 14:27; 16:22). What the righteous say is beneficial to life or life-giving. Their words are life-giving but the words of the wicked are violent. See R. B. Y. Scott, “Wise and Foolish, Righteous and Wicked,” VT 29 (1972): 145-65.
3 tn Heb “the mouth.” The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
4 tn Heb “covers.” Behind the speech of the wicked is aggressive violence (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 422).
5 tn The syntax of this line is ambiguous. The translation takes “the mouth of the wicked” as the nominative subject and “violence” as the accusative direct object; however, the subject might be “violence,” hence: “violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”