A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them.
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them.
The talk of fools is a rod for their backs, but the words of the wise keep them out of trouble.
Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect.
In the mouth of the foolish man is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will keep them safe.
The talk of fools is a rod for their backs, but the lips of the wise preserve them.
In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) may denote (1) exchange: “in exchange for” foolish talk there is a rod; or (2) cause: “because of” foolish talk.
2 sn The noun פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for what is said (“speech, words, talk”).
3 tc The MT reads גַּאֲוָה (ga’avah, “pride”) which creates an awkward sense “in the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride” (cf. KJV, ASV). The BHS editors suggest emending the form to גֵּוֹה (“disciplining-rod”) to create tighter parallelism and irony: “in the mouth of a fool is a rod for the back” (e.g., Prov 10:13). What the fools says will bring discipline.
tn Heb “a rod of back.” The noun גֵּוֹה functions as a genitive of specification: “a rod for his back.” The fool is punished because of what he says.
4 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause, meaning what they say. The wise by their speech will find protection.