The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
Sometimes the wicked are punished to save the godly, and the treacherous for the upright.
What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs; the plotter gets it in the end.
The evil-doer will be given as a price for the life of the good man, and the worker of deceit in the place of the upright.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright.
The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The term “become” is supplied in the translation.
2 sn The Hebrew word translated “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, kofer) normally refers to the price paid to free a prisoner. R. N. Whybray (Proverbs [CBC], 121) gives options for the meaning of the verse: (1) If it means that the wicked obtain good things that should go to the righteous, it is then a despairing plea for justice (which would be unusual in the book of Proverbs); but if (2) it is taken to mean that the wicked suffers the evil he has prepared for the righteous, then it harmonizes with Proverbs elsewhere (e.g., 11:8). The ideal this proverb presents – and the future reality – is that in calamity the righteous escape and the wicked suffer in their place (e.g., Haman in the book of Esther).
3 tn Or “treacherous” (so ASV, NASB, NLT); NIV “the unfaithful.”
4 tn The phrase “are taken” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for smoothness.