Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him.
Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
Pound on a fool all you like--you can't pound out foolishness.
Even if a foolish man is crushed with a hammer in a vessel among crushed grain, still his foolish ways will not go from him.
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, but the folly will not be driven out.
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The verb means “to pound” in a mortar with a pestle (cf. NRSV “Crush”; NLT “grind”). The imperfect is in a conditional clause, an unreal, hypothetical condition to make the point.
2 tn The Hebrew term רִיפוֹת (rifot) refers to some kind of grain spread out to dry and then pounded. It may refer to barley groats (coarsely ground barley), but others have suggested the term means “cheeses” (BDB 937 s.v.). Most English versions have “grain” without being more specific; NAB “grits.”
3 tn The LXX contains this paraphrase: “If you scourge a fool in the assembly, dishonoring him, you would not remove his folly.” This removes the imagery of mortar and pestle from the verse. Using the analogy of pounding something in a mortar, the proverb is saying even if a fool was pounded or pulverized, meaning severe physical punishment, his folly would not leave him – it is too ingrained in his nature.