What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
Loyalty makes a person attractive. And it is better to be poor than dishonest.
It's only human to want to make a buck, but it's better to be poor than a liar.
The ornament of a man is his mercy, and a poor man is better than one who is false.
What is desirable in a person is loyalty, and it is better to be poor than a liar.
What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “the desire of a man” (so KJV). The noun in construct is תַּאֲוַת (ta’avat), “desire [of].” Here it refers to “the desire of a man [= person].” Two problems surface here, the connotation of the word and the kind of genitive. “Desire” can also be translated “lust,” and so J. H. Greenstone has “The lust of a man is his shame” (Proverbs, 208). But the sentence is more likely positive in view of the more common uses of the words. “Man” could be a genitive of possession or subjective genitive – the man desires loyal love. It could also be an objective genitive, meaning “what is desired for a man.” The first would be the more natural in the proverb, which is showing that loyal love is better than wealth.
2 tn Heb “[is] his loyal love”; NIV “unfailing love”; NRSV “loyalty.”
3 sn The second half of the proverb presents the logical inference: The liar would be without “loyal love” entirely, and so poverty would be better than this. A poor person who wishes to do better is preferable to a person who makes promises and does not keep them.