Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.
The start of fighting is like the letting out of water: so give up before it comes to blows.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water; so stop before the quarrel breaks out.
The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “the beginning of a quarrel”; TEV, CEV “The start of an argument.”
2 tn The verse simply begins with “letting out water.” This phrase is a metaphor, but most English versions have made it a simile (supplying “like” or “as”). R. N. Whybray takes it literally and makes it the subject of the clause: “stealing water starts a quarrel” (Proverbs [CBC], 100). However, the verb more likely means “to let out, set free” and not “to steal,” for which there are clearer words.
sn The image involves a small leak in a container or cistern that starts to spurt out water. The problem will get worse if it is not stopped. Strife is like that.
tc The LXX has “The outpouring of words is the beginning of strife.” This would make it a warning against thoughtless talk.
3 tn The temporal clause is formed with the prepositional “before,” the infinitive construct, and the following subjective genitive. The verb גָּלַע (gala’) means “to expose; to lay bare,” and in the Hitpael “to disclose oneself; to break out.”