If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.
A sage trying to work things out with a fool gets only scorn and sarcasm for his trouble.
If a wise man goes to law with a foolish man, he may be angry or laughing, but there will be no rest.
If the wise go to law with fools, there is ranting and ridicule without relief.
If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “a wise man…a foolish man.”
2 tn The verb שָׁפַט (shafat) means “to judge.” In the Niphal stem it could be passive, but is more frequently reciprocal: “to enter into controversy” or “to go to court.” The word is usually used in connection with a lawsuit (so many recent English versions), but can also refer to an argument (e.g., 1 Sam 12:7; Isa 43:26); cf. NAB “disputes”; NASB “has a controversy.”
3 tn The noun נָחַת (nakhat) is a derivative of נוּחַ (nuakh, “to rest”) and so means “quietness” or “rest,” i.e., “peace.”
sn The proverb is saying that there will be no possibility of settling the matter in a calm way, no matter what mood the fool is in (e.g., Prov 26:4). R. N. Whybray says one can only cut the losses and have no further dealings with the fool (Proverbs [CBC], 168).
4 tn Heb “and he is angry and he laughs.” The construction uses the conjunctive vav to express alternate actions: “whether…or.”