Proverbs 27:16

NET ©

Whoever hides her hides the wind or grasps oil with his right hand.

NIV ©

restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

NASB ©

He who would restrain her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.

NLT ©

Trying to stop her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or hold something with greased hands.

MSG ©

You can't turn it off, and you can't get away from it.

BBE ©

He who keeps secret the secret of his friend, will get himself a name for good faith.

NRSV ©

to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in the right hand.

NKJV ©

Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.

KJV
Whosoever hideth
<06845> (8802)
her hideth
<06845> (8804)
the wind
<07307>_,
and the ointment
<08081>
of his right hand
<03225>_,
[which] bewrayeth
<07121> (8799)
[itself].
HEBREW
arqy
<07121>
wnymy
<03225>
Nmsw
<08081>
xwr
<07307>
Npu
<06845>
hynpu (27:16)
<06845>
LXXM
(34:16) boreav
 
N-NSM
sklhrov
<4642>  
A-NSM
anemov
<417>  
N-NSM
onomati
<3686>  
N-DSN
de
<1161>  
PRT
epidexiov
 
A-NSM
kaleitai
<2564>  
V-PMI-3S
NET © [draft] ITL
Whoever hides
<06845>
her hides
<06845>
the wind
<07307>
or grasps
<07121>

<06845>
oil
<08081>
with his right hand
<03225>
.
NET © Notes

tn The participle and verb both are from the root צָפַן (tsafan, “to hide”). This combination could be translated “hiding her is [like] hiding the wind.”

sn A contentious woman is uncontrollable. The wind can gust at any moment; so too the contentious woman can nag or complain without warning. If anyone can hide the wind he can hide her.

sn The verb is the Qal imperfect of קָרָא (qara’); BDB 895 s.v. 5.b defines it here as “call for = demand, require,” but acknowledge that it is probably corrupt. R. B. Y. Scott interprets it to mean “grasping” oil in the hand, an expression he compares to the modern “butterfingers” (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 163). Others have interpreted it to mean “betrays” – “ointment of his right hand betrays itself,” meaning its smell persists. However, the connection to the proverb does not seem obvious with that interpretation.

tc The LXX took an etymologizing approach to the whole verse and translated it “the north wind is a severe wind, but by its name is termed auspicious.” In this rendering the Hebrew text’s “oil” became “its name,” “right hand” became “auspicious,” and “grasp” became “called.”