Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 28:21

Context
NETBible

To show partiality 1  is terrible, 2  for a person will transgress over the smallest piece of bread. 3 

XREF

Ex 23:2,8; Pr 18:5; Pr 24:23; Eze 13:19; Ho 4:18; Mic 3:5; Mic 7:3; Ro 16:18; 2Pe 2:3

NET © Notes

tn The construction uses the Hiphil infinitive הַכֵּר (hakken) as the subject of the sentence: “to have respect for [or, recognize] persons is not good” (e.g., 24:23; 18:5; Deut 1:17; Lev 19:15). Such favoritism is “not good”; instead, it is a miscarriage of justice and is to be avoided.

tn Heb “not good.” This is a figure of speech known as tapeinosis – a deliberate understatement to emphasize a worst-case scenario: “it is terrible!”

tn The meaning and connection of the line is not readily clear. It could be taken in one of two ways: (1) a person can steal even a small piece of bread if hungry, and so the court should show some compassion, or it should show no partiality even in such a pathetic case; (2) a person could be bribed for a very small price (a small piece of bread being the figure representing this). This second view harmonizes best with the law.



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