Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 20:27

Context
NETBible

The human spirit 1  is like 2  the lamp 3  of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. 4 

XREF

Ge 2:7; Job 32:8; Pr 20:20; Pr 20:30; Ro 2:15; 1Co 2:11; 2Co 4:2-6; Heb 4:12,13; 1Jo 3:19-21

NET © Notes

sn The expression translated “the human spirit” is the Hebrew term נִשְׁמַת (nishmat), a feminine noun in construct. This is the inner spiritual part of human life that was breathed in at creation (Gen 2:7) and that constitutes humans as spiritual beings with moral, intellectual, and spiritual capacities.

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.

tn The “lamp” is the metaphor in the line; it signifies that the human spirit functions as a conscience, enabling people to know and please God, and directing them in choices that will be life-giving. E. Loewenstamm unnecessarily reads נִיר (nir, “to plow”) instead of נֵר (ner, “lamp”) to say that God plows and examines the soul (“Remarks on Proverbs 17:12 and 20:27,” VT 37 [1967]: 233). The NIV supplies a verb (“searches”) from the second half of the verse, changing the emphasis somewhat.

tn Heb “all the chambers of the belly.” This means “the inner parts of the body” (BDB 293 s.v. חֶדֶר); cf. NASB “the innermost parts of his being.”



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