The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.
A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.
The rich think of their wealth as an impregnable defense; they imagine it is a high wall of safety.
The rich think their wealth protects them; they imagine themselves safe behind it.
The property of a man of wealth is his strong town, and it is as a high wall in the thoughts of his heart.
The wealth of the rich is their strong city; in their imagination it is like a high wall.
The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn This proverb forms a contrast with the previous one. The rich, unlike the righteous, trust in wealth and not in God.
2 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
3 tn Heb “city of his strength”; NIV “fortified city.” This term refers to their place of refuge, what they look to for security and protection in time of trouble.
4 tc The MT reads בְּמַשְׂכִּיתוֹ (bÿmaskito, “in his imaginations”). The LXX, Tg. Prov 18:11, and the Latin reflect בִּמְשֻׂכָּתוֹ (bimsukato, “like a fence [or, high wall]”) that is, wealth provides protection. The MT reading, on the other hand, suggests that this security is only in the mind.
tn The proverb is an observation saying, reporting a common assumption without commenting on it. The juxtaposition with the last verse is a loud criticism of this misguided faith. The final word בְּמַשְׂכִּיתוֹ (“in his imaginations”) indicates that one’s wealth is a futile place of refuge.