A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.
The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly.
The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.
The poor speak in soft supplications; the rich bark out answers.
The poor man makes requests for grace, but the man of wealth gives a rough answer.
The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly.
The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “speaks supplications”; NIV “pleads for mercy.” The poor man has to ask for help because he has no choice (cf. CEV). The Hebrew term תַּחֲנוּן (takhanun) is a “supplication for favor” (related to the verb חָנַן [khanan], “to be gracious; to show favor”). So the poor man speaks, but what he speaks is a request for favor.
2 sn The rich person responds harshly to the request. He has hardened himself against such appeals because of relentless demands. The proverb is an observation saying; it simply describes the way the world generally works, rather than setting this out as the ideal.