When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.
When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.
When the wicked take charge, people hide. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly multiply.
When corruption takes over, good people go underground, but when the crooks are thrown out, it's safe to come out.
When evil-doers are lifted up, men take cover; but when destruction overtakes them, the upright are increased.
When the wicked prevail, people go into hiding; but when they perish, the righteous increase.
When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “the wicked rise,” referring to an accession to power, as in a government. Cf. TEV “come to power”; NLT “take charge.”
2 tn Heb “a man” or “mankind” in a generic sense.
3 tn The form is the Niphal imperfect of סָתַר (satar, “to hide”); in this stem it can mean “to hide themselves” or “to go into hiding.” In either case the expression would be a hyperbole; the populace would not go into hiding, but they would tread softly and move about cautiously. G. R. Driver suggests the Akkadian sataru instead, which means “to demolish,” and is cognate to the Aramaic “to destroy.” This would produce the idea that people are “destroyed” when the wicked come to power (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 192-93). That meaning certainly fits the idea, but there is no reason for the change because the MT is perfectly readable as it is and makes good sense.
4 tn The two clauses have parallel constructions: They both begin with infinitives construct with prepositions functioning as temporal clauses, followed by subjective genitives (first the wicked, and then the pronoun referring to them). This heightens the antithesis: “when the wicked rise…when they perish.”