A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour and a deadly snare.
The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.
Wealth created by lying is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
Make it to the top by lying and cheating; get paid with smoke and a promotion--to death!
He who gets stores of wealth by a false tongue, is going after what is only breath, and searching for death.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The first word of the verse is the noun meaning “doing, deed, work.” The BHS editors suggest reading with the LXX an active participle – “the one who makes” (cf. NAB “He who makes”). The second word means “treasure,” from the verb “lay up, store up.” It is an objective genitive here.
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 The Hebrew הֶבֶל נִדָּף (hevel nidaf) is properly “a driven vapor” (“driven” = the Niphal participle). The point of the metaphor is that the ill-gotten gains will vanish into thin air. The LXX has “pursues” (as if reading רֹדֵף, rodef); cf. NAB “chasing a bubble over deadly snares.”
4 tn The Hebrew has “seekers of death,” meaning “[they that seek them] are seekers of death,” or that the fortune is “a fleeting vapor for those who seek death.” The sense is not readily apparent. The Greek and the Latin versions have “snares of death”; the form מוֹקְשֵׁי (moqÿshe) was read instead of מְבַקְשֵׁי (mÿvaqshe). This reading does not make a more credible metaphor, and one must explain the loss of the letter ב (bet) in the textual variant. It is, however, slightly easier to interpret in the verse, and is followed by a number of English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). But whether the easier reading is the correct one in this case would be difficult to prove.