"Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.
Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
Never slander a person to his employer. If you do, the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
Don't blow the whistle on your fellow workers behind their backs; They'll accuse you of being underhanded, and then [you'll] be the guilty one!
Do not say evil of a servant to his master, or he will put a curse on you, and you will get into trouble.
Do not slander a servant to a master, or the servant will curse you, and you will be held guilty.
Do not malign a servant to his master, Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The form תַּלְשֵׁן (talshen) is the Hiphil jussive (with the negative אַל, ’al); it is a denominative verb from the noun “tongue” (Heb “wag the tongue”). It means “to defame; to slander,” if the accusation is untrue. Some have suggested that the word might have the force of “denouncing” a slave to his master, accusing him before authorities (e.g., Deut 23:15-16). This proverb would then be a warning against meddling in the affairs of someone else.
2 tn If what was said were true, then there would be no culpability. But the implication here is that it was slander. And the effect of that will be a curse – the person who is the target of the slander will “curse” the person who slandered him (קָלַל [qalal] in the Piel means “to treat lightly [or, with contempt]; to curse”), and culpability will result (the verb וֹשׁם means “to be guilty; to make a guilt offering [or, reparation offering]”). This word for guilt suggests a connection to the Levitical teaching that the guilty had to make reparation for damages done (Lev 5). Cf. NAB “you will have to pay the penalty”; NIV, NLT “you will pay for it.”