A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.
A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.
The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright proceed with care.
Unscrupulous people fake it a lot; honest people are sure of their steps.
The evil-doer makes his face hard, but as for the upright, he gives thought to his way.
The wicked put on a bold face, but the upright give thought to their ways.
A wicked man hardens his face, But as for the upright, he establishes his way.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “a wicked man.”
2 tn Heb “he hardens his face.” To make the face firm or hard means to show boldness (BDB 738 s.v. עָזַז Hiph); cf. NRSV “put on a bold face.”
3 tn The “upright” is an independent nominative absolute; the pronoun becomes the formal (emphatic) subject of the verb.
4 tc The Kethib is the imperfect of כּוּן (kun), “he establishes.” This reading has the support of the Syriac, Latin, and Tg. Prov 21:29, and is followed by ASV. The Qere is the imperfect tense of בִּין (bin), “he understands; he discerns.” It has the support of the LXX and is followed by NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT. The difficulty is that both make good sense in the passage and both have support. The contrast is between the wicked who shows a bold face (reflecting a hardened heart) and the upright who either gives thought to his ways (or solidifies his ways). The sense of the Qere may form a slightly better contrast, one between the outer appearance of boldness and the inner discernment of action.