The one 1 who flatters 2 his neighbor spreads a net 3 for his steps. 4
Whoever flatters his neighbour is spreading a net for his feet.
A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.
To flatter people is to lay a trap for their feet.
A flattering neighbor is up to no good; he's probably planning to take advantage of you.
A man who says smooth things to his neighbour is stretching out a net for his steps.
Whoever flatters a neighbor is spreading a net for the neighbor’s feet.
A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.
for his feet
|NET © [draft] ITL|
for his steps.
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “a man,” but the context here does not suggest that the proverb refers to males only.
2 tn The form is the Hiphil participle, literally “deals smoothly,” i.e., smoothing over things that should be brought to one’s attention.
sn The flatterer is too smooth; his words are intended to gratify. In this proverb some malice is attached to the flattery, for the words prove to be destructive.
3 sn The image of “spreading a net” for someone’s steps is an implied comparison (a figure of speech known as hypocatastasis): As one would literally spread a net, this individual’s flattery will come back to destroy him. A net would be spread to catch the prey, and so the idea is one of being caught and destroyed.
4 tn There is some ambiguity concerning the referent of “his steps.” The net could be spread for the one flattered (cf. NRSV, “a net for the neighbor’s feet”; NLT, “their feet,” referring to others), or for the flatterer himself (cf. TEV “you set a trap for yourself”). The latter idea would make the verse more powerful: In flattering someone the flatterer is getting himself into a trap (e.g., 2:16; 7:5; 26:28; 28:23).