1:1 The Proverbs 1 of 2 Solomon 3 son of David, 4 king of Israel: 5
1:2 To 6 learn 7 wisdom 8 and moral instruction, 9
and to discern 10 wise counsel. 11
1:3 To receive 12 moral instruction 13 in skillful living, 14
in 15 righteousness, 16 justice, 17 and equity. 18
1:4 To impart 19 shrewdness 20 to the morally naive, 21
and 22 a discerning 23 plan 24 to the young person. 25
1:5 (Let the wise also 26 hear 27 and gain 28 instruction,
and let the discerning 29 acquire 30 guidance! 31 )
1:6 To discern 32 the meaning of 33 a proverb and a parable, 34
the sayings of the wise 35 and their 36 riddles. 37
1:7 Fearing the Lord 38 is the beginning 39 of moral knowledge, 40
but 41 fools 42 despise 43 wisdom and instruction. 44
1:8 Listen, 45 my child, 46 to the instruction 47 from 48 your father,
and do not forsake the teaching 49 from 50 your mother.
1:9 For they will be like 51 an elegant 52 garland 53 on 54 your head,
and like 55 pendants 56 around 57 your neck.
1:10 My child, if sinners 58 try to entice 59 you,
do not consent! 60
1:11 If they say, “Come with us!
We will 61 lie in wait 62 to shed blood; 63
we will ambush 64 an innocent person 65 capriciously. 66
1:12 We will swallow them alive 67 like Sheol, 68
those full of vigor 69 like those going down to the Pit.
1:13 We will seize 70 all kinds 71 of precious wealth;
we will fill our houses with plunder. 72
We will all share 74 equally in what we steal.” 75
1:15 My child, do not go down 76 their way, 77
withhold yourself 78 from their path; 79
1:16 for they 80 are eager 81 to inflict harm, 82
and they hasten 83 to shed blood. 84
1:17 Surely it is futile to spread 85 a net
in plain sight of 86 any bird, 87
1:18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood, 88
they ambush their own lives! 89
1:19 Such 90 are the ways 91 of all who gain profit unjustly; 92
it 93 takes away the life 94 of those who obtain it! 95
1:20 Wisdom 96 calls out 97 in the street,
she shouts loudly 98 in the plazas; 99
1:21 at the head of the noisy 100 streets she calls,
in the entrances of the gates in the city 101 she utters her words: 102
1:22 “How long will you simpletons 103 love naiveté? 104
How long 105 will mockers 106 delight 107 in mockery 108
and fools 109 hate knowledge?
1:23 If only 110 you will respond 111 to my rebuke, 112
then 113 I will pour 114 out my thoughts 115 to you
and 116 I will make 117 my words known to you.
1:24 However, 118 because 119 I called but you refused to listen, 120
because 121 I stretched out my hand 122 but no one paid attention,
1:25 because 123 you neglected 124 all my advice,
and did not comply 125 with my rebuke,
1:26 so 126 I myself will laugh 127 when disaster strikes you, 128
I will mock when what you dread 129 comes,
1:27 when what you dread 130 comes like a whirlwind, 131
and disaster strikes you 132 like a devastating storm, 133
when distressing trouble 134 comes on you.
1:28 Then they will call to me, but I will not answer;
they will diligently seek 135 me, but they will not find me.
1:29 Because 136 they hated moral knowledge, 137
and did not choose to fear the Lord, 138
1:30 they did not comply with my advice,
they spurned 139 all my rebuke.
1:31 Therefore 140 they will eat from the fruit 141 of their way, 142
and they will be stuffed full 143 of their own counsel.
1:32 For the waywardness 144 of the
simpletons will kill 145 them,
and the careless ease 146 of fools will destroy them.
1:33 But the one who listens 147 to me will live in security, 148
and will be at ease 149 from the dread of harm.
2:1 My child, 151 if 152 you receive my words,
and store up 153 my commands within you,
2:2 by making 154 your ear 155 attentive to wisdom,
and 156 by turning 157 your heart 158 to understanding,
2:3 indeed, if 159 you call out for 160 discernment 161 –
raise your voice 162 for understanding –
2:4 if 163 you seek 164 it like silver, 165
and search for it 166 like hidden treasure,
2:5 then you will understand 167 how to fear the Lord, 168
and you will discover 169 knowledge 170 about God. 171
2:6 For 172 the Lord gives 173 wisdom,
and from his mouth 174 comes 175 knowledge and understanding.
2:7 He stores up 176 effective counsel 177 for the upright, 178
and is like 179 a shield 180 for those who live 181 with integrity, 182
2:8 to guard 183 the paths of the righteous 184
and to protect 185 the way of his pious ones. 186
2:9 Then you will understand 187 righteousness and justice
and equity – every 188 good 189 way. 190
2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart, 191
and moral knowledge 192 will be attractive 193 to you. 194
2:11 Discretion 195 will protect you, 196
understanding will guard you,
2:12 to deliver 197 you from the way of the wicked, 198
from those 199 speaking perversity, 200
2:13 who leave 201 the upright 202 paths
to walk on the dark 203 ways,
2:14 who delight 204 in doing 205 evil, 206
they rejoice in perverse evil; 207
2:15 whose paths 208 are morally crooked, 209
and who are devious 210 in their ways;
2:16 to deliver you 211 from the adulteress, 212
from the sexually loose woman 213 who speaks flattering 214 words; 215
2:17 who leaves 216 the husband 217 from her younger days, 218
and forgets her marriage covenant 219 made before God. 220
2:18 For her house 221 sinks 222 down to death,
and her paths lead 223 to the place of the departed spirits. 224
2:19 None who go in to her will return, 225
nor will they reach the paths of life. 226
2:20 So 227 you will walk in the way of good people, 228
and will keep on the paths of the righteous. 229
2:21 For the upright will reside in the land,
and those with integrity 230 will remain in it,
2:22 but the wicked 231 will be removed 232 from the land,
and the treacherous 233 will be torn away 234 from it.
3:1 My child, 236 do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep 237 my commandments,
3:2 for they will provide 238 a long and full life, 239
and they will add well-being 240 to you.
3:3 Do not let truth and mercy 241 leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart. 242
3:4 Then you will find 243 favor and good understanding, 244
in the sight of God and people. 245
3:5 Trust 246 in the Lord with all your heart, 247
and do not rely 248 on your own understanding. 249
3:6 Acknowledge 250 him in all your ways, 251
and he will make your paths straight. 252
3:7 Do not be wise in your own estimation; 253
fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 254
3:8 This will bring 255 healing to your body, 256
and refreshment 257 to your inner self. 258
3:9 Honor 259 the Lord from your wealth
and from the first fruits of all your crops; 260
3:10 then your barns will be filled completely, 261
and your vats 262 will overflow 263 with new wine.
3:11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord, 264
and do not loathe 265 his rebuke.
3:12 For the Lord disciplines 266 those he loves,
just as a father 267 disciplines 268 the son in whom he delights.
3:13 Blessed 269 is the one 270 who finds 271 wisdom,
and the one who obtains 272 understanding.
3:14 For her 273 benefit 274 is more profitable 275 than silver,
and her 276 gain 277 is better 278 than gold.
3:15 She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things 279 you desire 280 can compare 281 with her. 282
3:16 Long life 283 is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
3:17 Her ways are very pleasant, 284
and all her paths are peaceful.
3:18 She is like 285 a tree of life 286 to those who obtain her, 287
and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed. 288
3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth; 289
he established the heavens by understanding. 290
3:20 By his knowledge the primordial sea 291 was broken open, 292
and the clouds drip down dew. 293
3:21 My child, do not let them 294 escape from your sight;
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. 295
3:22 So 296 they will give 297 life to you, 298
and grace to adorn 299 your neck. 300
3:23 Then you will walk on your way 301 with security,
and you 302 will not stumble. 303
3:24 When 304 you lie down you will not be filled with fear; 305
when 306 you lie down your sleep will be pleasant. 307
3:25 You will not be afraid 308 of sudden 309 disaster, 310
or when destruction overtakes 311 the wicked; 312
3:26 for the Lord will be 313 the source of your confidence, 314
and he will guard your foot 315 from being caught in a trap. 316
3:27 Do not withhold good from those who need it, 317
when 318 you 319 have the ability 320 to help. 321
3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when 322 you have it with you at the time. 323
3:29 Do not plot 324 evil against your neighbor
when 325 he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
3:30 Do not accuse 326 anyone 327 without legitimate cause, 328
if he has not treated you wrongly.
3:31 Do not envy a violent man, 329
and do not choose to imitate 330 any of his ways;
3:32 for one who goes astray 331 is an abomination 332 to the Lord,
but he reveals 333 his intimate counsel 334 to the upright.
3:33 The Lord’s curse 335 is on the household 336 of the wicked, 337
but he blesses 338 the home 339 of the righteous. 340
3:34 Although 341 he is scornful to arrogant scoffers, 342
yet 343 he shows favor to the humble. 344
3:35 The wise inherit honor,
but he holds fools up 345 to public contempt. 346
4:1 Listen, children, 348 to a father’s instruction, 349
and pay attention so that 350 you may gain 351 discernment.
4:2 Because I give 352 you good instruction, 353
do not forsake my teaching.
4:3 When I was a son to my father, 354
a tender only child 355 before my mother,
4:4 he taught me, and he said to me:
“Let your heart lay hold of my words;
keep my commands so that 356 you will live.
4:5 Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding;
do not forget and do not turn aside from the words I speak. 357
4:6 Do not forsake wisdom, 358 and she will protect you;
love her, and she will guard you.
4:7 Wisdom is supreme 359 – so 360 acquire wisdom,
and whatever you acquire, 361 acquire understanding! 362
4:8 Esteem her highly 363 and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
4:9 She will place a fair 364 garland on your head;
she will bestow 365 a beautiful crown 366 on you.”
4:10 Listen, my child, 367 and accept my words,
so that 368 the years of your life will be many. 369
4:11 I will guide you 370 in the way of wisdom
and I will lead you in upright paths. 371
4:12 When you walk, your steps 372 will not be hampered, 373
and when you run, 374 you will not stumble.
4:13 Hold on to instruction, 375 do not let it go;
protect it, 376 because it is your life.
4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
or walk 377 in the way of those who are evil.
4:15 Avoid it, do not go on it;
turn away from it, and go on. 378
4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they cause harm; 379
they are robbed of sleep 380 until they make someone stumble. 381
4:17 For they eat bread 382 gained from wickedness 383
and drink wine obtained from violence. 384
4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, 385
growing brighter and brighter 386 until full day. 387
4:19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness; 388
they do not know what causes them to stumble. 389
4:20 My child, pay attention to my words;
listen attentively 390 to my sayings.
4:21 Do not let them depart 391 from your sight,
guard 392 them within your heart; 393
4:22 for they are life to those who find them
and healing to one’s entire body. 394
4:23 Guard your heart with all vigilance, 395
for from it are the sources 396 of life.
4:24 Remove perverse speech 397 from your mouth; 398
keep devious talk far from your lips. 399
4:25 Let your eyes look directly 400 in front of you
and let your gaze 401 look straight before you.
4:26 Make the path for your feet 402 level, 403
so that 404 all your ways may be established. 405
4:27 Do not turn 406 to the right or to the left;
turn yourself 407 away from evil. 408
5:1 My child, 410 be attentive to my wisdom,
pay close attention 411 to my understanding,
5:2 in order to safeguard 412 discretion, 413
and that your lips may guard knowledge.
5:3 For the lips 414 of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her seductive words 415 are smoother than olive oil,
5:4 but in the end 416 she is bitter 417 as wormwood, 418
sharp as a two-edged 419 sword.
5:5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave. 420
5:6 Lest 421 she should make level the path leading to life, 422
her paths are unstable 423 but she does not know it. 424
5:7 So now, children, 425 listen to me;
do not turn aside from the words I speak. 426
5:8 Keep yourself 427 far 428 from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
5:9 lest you give your vigor 429 to others
and your years to a cruel person,
5:10 lest strangers devour 430 your strength, 431
and your labor 432 benefit 433 another man’s house.
5:11 And at the end of your life 434 you will groan 435
when your flesh and your body are wasted away. 436
5:12 And you will say, “How I hated discipline!
My heart spurned reproof!
5:13 For 437 I did not obey my teachers 438
and I did not heed 439 my instructors. 440
5:14 I almost 441 came to complete ruin 442
in the midst of the whole congregation!” 443
5:15 Drink water from your own cistern
and running water from your own well. 444
5:16 Should your springs be dispersed 445 outside,
your streams of water in the wide plazas?
5:17 Let them be for yourself 446 alone,
and not for strangers with you. 447
5:18 May your fountain be blessed, 448
and may you rejoice 449 in your young wife 450 –
5:19 a loving doe, 451 a graceful deer;
may her breasts satisfy you at all times,
may you be captivated 452 by her love always.
5:20 But why should you be captivated, 453 my son, by an adulteress,
and embrace the bosom of a different woman? 454
5:21 For the ways of a person 455 are in front of the Lord’s eyes,
and the Lord 456 weighs 457 all that person’s 458 paths.
5:22 The wicked 459 will be captured by his 460 own iniquities, 461
and he will be held 462 by the cords of his own sin. 463
5:23 He will die because 464 there was no discipline;
because of the greatness of his folly 465 he will reel. 466
6:1 My child, 468 if you have made a pledge 469 for your neighbor,
and 470 have become a guarantor 471 for a stranger, 472
6:2 if 473 you have been ensnared 474 by the words you have uttered, 475
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
6:3 then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself, 476
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s power: 477
go, humble yourself, 478
and appeal firmly 479 to your neighbor.
6:4 Permit no sleep to your eyes 480
or slumber to your eyelids.
6:5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare, 481
and like a bird from the trap 482 of the fowler.
6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; 483
observe its ways and be wise!
6:7 It has no commander,
overseer, or 484 ruler,
6:8 yet it prepares its food in the summer;
it gathers at the harvest what it will eat. 485
6:9 How long, you sluggard, will you lie there?
When will you rise from your sleep? 486
6:10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to relax, 487
6:11 and your poverty will come like a robber, 488
and your need like an armed man. 489
6:12 A worthless and wicked person 490
walks around saying perverse 491 things; 492
6:13 he winks with his eyes,
signals with his feet,
and points with his fingers; 493
6:14 he plots evil with perverse thoughts 494 in his heart,
he spreads contention 495 at all times.
6:15 Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly;
in an instant 496 he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.
6:16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
even 497 seven 498 things that are an abomination to him: 499
6:17 haughty eyes, 500 a lying tongue, 501
and hands that shed innocent blood, 502
6:18 a heart that devises wicked plans, 503
feet that are swift to run 504 to evil,
6:19 a false witness who pours out lies, 505
and a person who spreads discord 506 among family members. 507
6:20 My child, guard the commands of your father
and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.
6:21 Bind them 508 on your heart continually;
fasten them around your neck.
6:22 When you walk about, 509 they 510 will guide you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
when you wake up, 511 they will talk 512 to you.
6:23 For the commandments 513 are like 514 a lamp, 515
instruction is like a light,
and rebukes of discipline are like 516 the road leading to life, 517
6:24 by keeping 518 you from the evil woman, 519
from the smooth tongue of 520 the loose woman. 521
6:25 Do not lust 522 in your heart for her beauty,
and do not let her captivate you with her alluring eyes; 523
6:26 for on account 524 of a prostitute one is brought down to a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another man 525 preys on your precious life. 526
6:27 Can a man hold 527 fire 528 against his chest 529
without 530 burning his clothes?
6:28 Can 531 a man walk on hot coals
without scorching his feet?
6:29 So it is with 532 the one who has sex with 533 his neighbor’s wife;
no one 534 who touches 535 her will escape 536 punishment. 537
6:30 People 538 do not despise a thief when he steals
to fulfill his need 539 when he is hungry.
6:31 Yet 540 if he is caught 541 he must repay 542 seven times over,
he might even have to give 543 all the wealth of his house.
6:32 A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks wisdom, 544
whoever does it destroys his own life. 545
6:33 He will be beaten and despised, 546
and his reproach will not be wiped away; 547
6:34 for jealousy kindles 548 a husband’s 549 rage,
and he will not show mercy 550 when he takes revenge.
6:35 He will not consider 551 any compensation; 552
he will not be willing, even if you multiply the compensation. 553
7:1 My child, 555 keep my words
and treasure up my commands in your own keeping. 556
7:2 Keep my commands 557 so that you may live, 558
and obey 559 my instruction as your most prized possession. 560
7:3 Bind them on your forearm; 561
write them on the tablet of your heart. 562
7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” 563
and call understanding a close relative,
7:5 so that they may keep you 564 from the adulterous 565 woman,
from the loose woman 566 who flatters you 567 with her words. 568
7:6 For at the window of my house
through my window lattice I looked out
7:7 and I saw among the naive –
I discerned among the youths 569 –
a young man 570 who lacked wisdom. 571
7:8 He was passing by the street near her corner,
making his way 572 along the road to her house 573
7:9 in the twilight, the evening, 574
in the dark of the night. 575
7:10 Suddenly 576 a woman came out to meet him!
She was dressed like a prostitute 577 and with secret intent. 578
7:11 (She is loud and rebellious,
she 579 does not remain 580 at home –
7:12 at one time outside, at another 581 in the wide plazas,
and by every corner she lies in wait.)
7:13 So she grabbed him and kissed him,
and with a bold expression 582 she said to him,
7:14 “I have 583 fresh meat at home; 584
today I have fulfilled my vows!
7:15 That is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you, 585 and I found you!
7:16 I have spread my bed with elegant coverings, 586
with richly colored fabric 587 from Egypt.
7:17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
7:18 Come, let’s drink deeply 588 of lovemaking 589 until morning,
let’s delight ourselves 590 with sexual intercourse. 591
7:19 For my husband 592 is not at home; 593
he has gone on a journey of some distance.
7:20 He has taken a bag of money with him; 594
he will not return until 595 the end of the month.” 596
7:21 She persuaded him 597 with persuasive words; 598
with her smooth talk 599 she compelled him. 600
7:22 Suddenly he went 601 after her
like an ox that goes to the slaughter,
like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare 602
7:23 till an arrow pierces his liver 603 –
like a bird hurrying into a trap,
and he does not know that it will cost him his life. 604
7:24 So now, sons, 605 listen to me,
and pay attention to the words I speak. 606
7:25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways –
do not wander into her pathways;
7:26 for she has brought down 607 many fatally wounded,
and all those she has slain are many. 608
7:27 Her house is the way to the grave, 609
going down 610 to the chambers 611 of death.
8:1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
8:2 At the top 613 of the elevated places along the way,
at the intersection 614 of the paths she takes her stand;
8:3 beside the gates opening into 615 the city,
at the entrance of the doorways she cries out: 616
8:4 “To you, O people, 617 I call out,
and my voice calls 618 to all mankind. 619
8:5 You who are naive, discern 620 wisdom!
And you fools, understand discernment! 621
8:6 Listen, for I will speak excellent things, 622
and my lips will utter 623 what is right.
8:7 For my mouth 624 speaks truth, 625
and my lips 626 hate wickedness. 627
8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; 628
there is nothing in them twisted 629 or crooked.
8:9 All of them are clear 630 to the discerning
and upright to those who find knowledge.
8:10 Receive my instruction 631 rather than 632 silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
and desirable things cannot be compared 633 to her.
8:12 “I, wisdom, live with prudence, 634
and I find 635 knowledge and discretion.
8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate 636 evil;
I hate arrogant pride 637 and the evil way
and perverse utterances. 638
8:14 Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me; 639
I possess understanding and might.
8:15 Kings reign by means of me,
and potentates 640 decree 641 righteousness;
8:16 by me princes rule,
as well as nobles and 642 all righteous judges. 643
8:17 I love 644 those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
8:18 Riches and honor are with me,
long-lasting wealth and righteousness.
8:19 My fruit is better than the purest gold, 645
and what I produce 646 is better than choice silver.
8:20 I walk in the path of righteousness,
in the pathway of justice,
8:21 that I may cause 647 those who love me to inherit wealth,
and that I may fill 648 their treasuries. 649
8:22 The Lord created 650 me as the beginning 651 of his works, 652
before his deeds of long ago.
8:23 From eternity I was appointed, 653
from the beginning, from before the world existed. 654
8:24 When there were no deep oceans 655 I was born, 656
when there were no springs overflowing 657 with water;
8:25 before the mountains were set in place –
before the hills – I was born,
8:26 before he made the earth and its fields, 658
or the beginning 659 of the dust of the world.
8:27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he marked out the horizon 660 over the face of the deep,
8:28 when he established the clouds above,
when the fountains of the deep grew strong, 661
8:29 when he gave the sea his decree
that the waters should not pass over his command, 662
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
8:30 then I was 663 beside him as a master craftsman, 664
and I was his delight 665 day by day,
rejoicing before him at all times,
8:31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, 666
and delighting 667 in its people. 668
8:32 “So now, children, 669 listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
8:33 Listen to my instruction 670 so that you may be wise, 671
and do not neglect it.
8:34 Blessed is the one 672 who listens to me,
watching 673 at my doors day by day,
waiting 674 beside my doorway. 675
8:35 For the one who finds me finds 676 life
and receives 677 favor from the Lord.
8:36 But the one who does not find me 678 brings harm 679 to himself; 680
all who hate me 681 love death.”
9:1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved out its seven pillars. 683
9:2 She has prepared her meat, 684 she has mixed her wine;
she also has arranged her table. 685
9:3 She has sent out her female servants;
she calls out on the highest places 686 of the city.
9:4 “Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
she says 687 to those 688 who lack understanding. 689
9:5 “Come, eat 690 some of my food,
and drink some of the wine I have mixed. 691
9:6 Abandon your foolish ways 692 so that you may live, 693
and proceed 694 in the way of understanding.”
9:7 Whoever corrects 695 a mocker is asking for 696 insult; 697
whoever reproves a wicked person receives 698 abuse.
9:8 Do not reprove 699 a mocker or 700 he will hate you;
reprove a wise person and he will love you.
9:9 Give instruction 701 to a wise person, 702 and he will become wiser still;
teach 703 a righteous person and he will add to his 704 learning.
9:10 The beginning 705 of wisdom is to fear the Lord, 706
and acknowledging 707 the Holy One 708 is understanding.
9:11 For because 709 of me your days will be many,
and years will be added 710 to your life.
9:12 If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage, 711
but if you are a mocker, 712 you alone must 713 bear it. 714
9:13 The woman called Folly 715 is brash, 716
she is naive 717 and does not know 718 anything. 719
9:14 So she sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
9:15 calling out 720 to those who are passing by her 721 in the way, 722
who go straight 723 on their way.
9:16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here,”
she says to those who lack understanding. 724
9:17 “Stolen waters 725 are sweet,
and food obtained in secret 726 is pleasant!”
9:18 But they do not realize 727 that the dead 728 are there,
that her guests are in the depths of the grave. 729
1 tn The Hebrew noun translated “proverb” is derived from the root מָשַׁל (mashal) which means “likeness.” The related Niphal verb means “to be like, be comparable with,” e.g., “he is like [נִמְשַׁל, nimshal] the beasts that perish” (Ps 49:12). The noun can mean an object lesson based on or using a comparison or analogy. It may be a short pithy statement (Ezek 16:44), object lesson drawn from experience (Ps 78:2-6), saying or by-word (Deut 28:37) or an oracle of future blessing (Ezek 21:1-5). Here it means an object lesson setting out courses of action. It helps one choose the course of action to follow or avoid.
2 tn The name שְׁלֹמֹה (shÿlomoh, “of Solomon”) is a genitive of authorship or source. While Solomon wrote a majority of the proverbial sayings in the book, some proverbial sayings were written by others (e.g., 22:17-24:34; 30:1-33; 31:1-9) and perhaps collected by Solomon. The name also forms a phonetic wordplay on the similarly sounding word מִשְׁלֵי (mishley, “proverbs”), as if to say the name is almost synonymous with proverbs.
3 sn The phrase “The Proverbs of Solomon” is a title for the entire book. The title does not imply that Solomon authored all the proverbs in this collection; some sections are collections from different authors: the sayings of the wise (22:17-24:22), more sayings of the wise (24:23-34), the words of Agur (Prov 30:1-33) and Lemuel (Prov 31:1-9). The title does not imply that the book was in its final canonical form in the days of Solomon; the men of Hezekiah added a collection of Solomonic proverbs to the existing form of the book (25:1-29:27). The original collection of Solomonic proverbs appears to be the collection of short pithy sayings in 10:1-22:16, and the title might have originally introduced only these. There is question whether chapters 1-9 were part of the original form of the book in the days of Solomon because they do not fit under the title; they are not “proverbs” per se (sentence sayings) but introductory admonitions (longer wisdom speeches). Chapters 1-9 could have been written by Solomon and perhaps added later by someone else. Or they could have been written by someone else and added later in the days of Hezekiah.
4 tn The designation “son of David” is in apposition to the name Solomon, as are the following nouns, further explaining the name.
5 tn The phrase “the king of Israel” is in apposition to the name Solomon.
6 tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here designates purpose. This is the first of five purpose clauses in the opening section (1:2a, 2b, 3a, 4a, 6a). This clause reveals the purpose of the collection of proverbs in general. The three purpose clauses that follow qualify this general purpose.
7 tn Heb “to know.” The verb יָדַע (yada’) here means “to gain knowledge of” or “to become wise in” (BDB 394 s.v. 5). This term refers to experiential knowledge, not just cognitive knowledge; it includes the intellectual assimilation and practical use of what is acquired.
8 sn The noun “wisdom” (חָכְמָה, khokhmah) could be nuanced “moral skill.” It refers to “skill” that produces something of value. It is used in reference to the skill of seamen (Ps 107:27), abilities of weavers (Exod 35:26), capabilities of administrators (1 Kgs 3:28), or skill of craftsmen (Exod 31:6). In the realm of moral living, it refers to skill in living – one lives life with moral skill so that something of lasting value is produced from one’s life.
9 tn Heb “instruction.” The noun מוּסָר (musar) has a three-fold range of meanings: (1) physical or parental: “discipline; chastisement” (2) verbal: “warning; exhortation” and (3) moral: “training; instruction” (BDB 416 s.v. מוּסָר; HALOT 557 s.v. מוּסָר). Its parallelism with חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom, moral skill”) suggests that it refers to moral training or instruction that the Book of Proverbs offers to its readers. This instruction consists of wisdom acquired by observing the consequences of foolish actions in others and developing the ability to control the natural inclination to folly. This sometimes comes through experiencing chastisement from God. Sensing something of this nuance, the LXX translated this term with the Greek word for “child-training.”
10 tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here designates a second purpose of the book: to compare and to make proper evaluation of the sayings of the wise. The term בִין (bin, “to discern”) refers to the ability to make distinctions between things. This is illustrated by its derivatives: The related preposition means “between” and the related noun means “space between.” So the verb refers to the ability to discern between moral options.
11 tn Heb “words of discernment.” The noun בִינָה (binah, “discernment”) functions as an attributive genitive: “discerning words” or “wise sayings” (so NLT). This noun is a cognate accusative of the infinitive of the same root לְהָבִין (lÿhavin, “to discern”). The phrase “to discern words of discernment” refers to the ability (1) to distinguish truth from falsehood or (2) to understand wise sayings, such as in Proverbs.
12 tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here designates a further purpose of the book: This focuses on the purpose of the book from the perspective of the student/disciple. The verb לָקַח (laqakh, “receive”) means to acquire something worth having. It is parallel to the verb “treasure up” in 2:1.
13 tn Heb “instruction.” See note on the same term in 1:2.
14 tc MT reads the genitive-construct phrase מוּסַר הַשְׂכֵּל (musar haskel, “discipline of prudence”). Syriac adds vav (ו) and reads מוּסַר וְהַשְׂכֵּל (musar wÿhaskel, “discipline and prudence”). MT is the more difficult reading in terms of syntax, so is preferred as the original reading.
tn Heb “discipline of prudence.” The term הַשְׂכֵּל (haskel, “of prudence”) is a Hiphil infinitive absolute, functioning as an emphatic genitive of result, describing the results of a self-disciplined life. The basic meaning of שָׂכַל is “to be prudent, circumspect,” and the Hiphil stem means “to give attention to, consider, ponder; have insight, understanding” (BDB 968 s.v. I שָׂכַל). It is a synonym of חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom”), but while חָכְמָה focuses on living skillfully, שָׂכַל (sakhal) focuses on acting prudently. The word can also focus on the results of acting prudently: to have success (e.g., Isa 52:12). Elsewhere, the term describes the prudent actions of Abigail in contrast to her foolish husband Nabal (1 Sam 25).
15 tn Heb “righteousness and justice and equity.” The three nouns that follow “self-discipline of prudence” are adverbial accusatives of manner, describing the ways in which the disciplined prudent activity will be manifested: “in righteousness, justice, and equity.” The term “in” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the syntax; it is inserted in the translation for clarity.
16 sn The word “righteousness” (צֶדֶק, tsedeq) describes conduct that conforms to a standard. Elsewhere it is used in a concrete sense to refer to commercial weights and measures that conform to a standard (Deut 25:15). In the moral realm it refers to “righteous” conduct that conforms to God’s law.
17 tn Heb “and justice.” The conjunction “and” appears in the Hebrew text, but is omitted in the translation for the sake of English style and smoothness.
sn The noun מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat, “justice, judgment”) refers to the ability to make a decision that is just (e.g., Deut 16:18; 1 Kgs 3:28). From this legal background, the term came to mean one’s right or precedent. The person with prudence will make decisions that are just and right.
18 sn The Hebrew noun translated “equity” comes from the root יָשָׁר (yashar) which has the basic idea of “upright, straight, right.” It refers to activity that is morally upright and straight, that is, on the proper moral path. Elsewhere it is used in a concrete sense to describe cows walking straight down a path without turning right or left (1 Sam 6:12). Wisdom literature often uses the motif of the straight path to describe a morally “straight” life.
19 tn Heb “to give.” The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) here introduces the fourth purpose of the book: It reveals the purpose from the perspective of the teacher. It is what the wise instructor/sage wants to impart to the naive youths.
20 tn The noun עָרְמָה (’arÿmah) “prudence, shrewdness, craftiness” (BDB 791 s.v.) or “cleverness” (HALOT 886 s.v. 1) refers to a shrewd plan of action, viewed positively or negatively. It is used negatively of planned deception (Josh 9:4) and premeditated murder (Exod 21:14). The related adjective described the serpent as “shrewd, crafty, cunning” (Gen 3:1); it describes cunning plans (Job 5:12) and deception (Job 15:5). The related verb describes a wicked concocted plan (Ps 83:4). The term is used positively of a morally prudent lifestyle (Prov 8:5, 12; 15:5; 19:25). There is no virtue for simpletons to be unaware in this world; they need to be wise as serpents. Proverbs provide a morally shrewd plan for life.
21 tn Heb “the naive” or “simpleton.” The substantival adjective פֶּתִי (peti) means “simple; open-minded” in the sense of being open and easily influenced by either wisdom or folly (BDB 834 s.v.; HALOT 989 s.v. I פֶּתִי). The simpleton is easily enticed and misled (Prov 1:32; 7:7; 9:6; 22:3; 27:12); believes everything, including bad counsel (Prov 14:15); lacks moral prudence (Prov 8:5; 19:25); needs discernment (Prov 21:11); but is capable of learning (Prov 9:4, 16). The related verb means “to be wide open; open-minded; enticed, deceived” (BDB 834). The term describes one easily persuaded and gullible, open to any influence, good or bad (cf. NLT “the simpleminded”). This is the “wide-eyed youth” who is headed for trouble unless he listens to the counsel of wisdom.
22 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text but is implied; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and style.
23 tn Heb “knowledge and purpose.” The noun דַּעַת (da’at, “knowledge”) may be nuanced “discernment” here (HALOT 229 s.v. I דַּעַת 4). The nouns וּמְזִמָּה דַּעַת (da’at umÿzimmah, “discernment and purpose”) form a hendiadys (two nouns joined with vav to describe the same thing): The first noun functions adjectivally and the second functions as a noun: “discerning plan.” This parallels “a shrewd plan for the morally naive” or “a discerning plan for the young person.”
24 tn The noun מְזִמָּה (mÿzimmah) may mean (1) “plan” or (2) “discretion” (BDB 273 s.v.; HALOT 566 s.v.). It describes the ability to make plans or formulate the best course of action for gaining a goal (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 7). The related verb זָמַם (zamam) means “to plan; to devise” (BDB 273 s.v.; HALOT 272 s.v. I זמם; e.g., Gen 11:6). Here the nouns “knowledge and plan” (וּמְזִמָּה דַּעַת, da’at umÿzimmah) form a hendiadys: knowledge of how to form and carry out a morally wise plan for life.
25 tn Heb “young man” or “youth.”
26 tn The term “also” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
sn Verse 5 functions as a parenthesis in the purpose statements of 1:1-7. There are two purpose statements in 1:2 (“to know wisdom” and “to discern sayings”). The first is stated in detail in 1:3-4, first from the perspective of the student then the teacher. 1:6 will state the second purpose of 1:2. But between the two the writer notes that even the wise can become wiser. The book is not just for neophytes; it is for all who want to grow in wisdom.
27 tn The verb יִשְׁמַע (yishma’) functions as a jussive of advice or counsel (“Let him hear!”) rather than a customary imperfect (“he will hear”). The jussive is supported by the parallelism with the following Hiphil jussive וְיוֹסֶף (vÿyosef, “Let him add!”).
28 tn Heb “add.”
29 tn The Niphal substantival participle נָבוֹן (navon, “discerning”), rather than the noun, is used to describe a person who is habitually characterized by discernment. 1:5 forms a striking contrast to 1:4 – there was the simpleton and the youth, here the wise and discerning. Both need this book.
30 tn The Hiphil verb וְיוֹסֶף (vÿyosef) is a jussive rather than an imperfect as the final short vowel (segol) and accent on the first syllable shows (BDB 415 s.v. יָסַף Hiph).
31 tn The noun תַּחְבֻּלָה (takhbulah, “direction; counsel”) refers to moral guidance (BDB 287 s.v.). It is related to חֹבֵל (khovel, “sailor”), חִבֵּל (khibel, “mast”) and חֶבֶל (khevel, “rope; cord”), so BDB suggests it originally meant directing a ship by pulling ropes on the mast. It is used in a concrete sense of God directing the path of clouds (Job 37:12) and in a figurative sense of moral guidance (Prov 11:14; 20:18; 24:6). Here it refers to the ability to steer a right course through life (A. Cohen, Proverbs, 2).
32 tn The infinitive construct + ל (lamed) means “to discern” and introduces the fifth purpose of the book. It focuses on the benefits of proverbs from the perspective of the reader. By studying proverbs the reader will discern the hermeneutical key to understanding more and more proverbs.
33 tn The phrase “the meaning of” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
34 tn The noun מְלִיצָה (mÿlitsah) means “allusive expression; enigma” in general, and “proverb, parable” in particular (BDB 539 s.v.; HALOT 590 s.v.). The related noun מֵלִיץ means “interpreter” (Gen 42:23). The related Arabic root means “to turn aside,” so this Hebrew term might refer to a saying that has a “hidden meaning” to its words; see H. N. Richardson, “Some Notes on לִיץ and Its Derivatives,” VT 5 (1955): 163-79.
35 tn This line functions in apposition to the preceding, further explaining the phrase “a proverb and a parable.”
36 tn The term “their” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but seems to be implied; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
37 tn The noun חִידָה (khidah, “riddle”) designates enigmatic sayings whose meaning is obscure or hidden, such as a riddle (Num 12:8; Judg 14:12, 19), allegory (Ezek 17:2), perplexing moral problem (Pss 49:5; 78:2), perplexing question (1 Kgs 10:1 = 2 Chr 9:1) or ambiguous saying (Dan 8:23); see BDB 295 s.v. and HALOT 309 s.v. If this is related to Arabic hada (“to turn aside, avoid”), it refers to sayings whose meanings are obscure. The sayings of the wise often take the form of riddles that must be discerned.
38 tn Heb “fear of the
39 tn The noun רֵאשִׁית (re’shit) has a two-fold range of meaning (BDB 912 s.v.): (1) “beginning” = first step in a course of action (e.g., Ps 111:10; Prov 17:14; Mic 1:13) or (2) “chief thing” as the principal aspect of something (e.g., Prov 4:7). So fearing the
40 tn Heb “knowledge.” The noun דָּעַת (da’at, “knowledge”) refers to experiential knowledge, not just cognitive knowledge, including the intellectual assimilation and practical application (BDB 394 s.v.). It is used in parallelism to מוּסָר (musar, “instruction, discipline”) and חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom, moral skill”).
41 tn The conjunction “but” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the antithetical parallelism. It is supplied in the translation for clarity.
42 tn The term אֱוִיל (’evil, “fool”) refers to a person characterized by moral folly (BDB 17 s.v.). Fools lack understanding (10:21), do not store up knowledge (10:14), fail to attain wisdom (24:7), and refuse correction (15:5; 27:22). They are arrogant (26:5), talk loosely (14:3) and are contentious (20:3). They might have mental intelligence but they are morally foolish. In sum, they are stubborn and “thick-brained” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 6).
43 tn The verb of בָּזָה (bazah, “despise”) means to treat things of value with contempt, as if they were worthless (BDB 102 s.v.). The classic example is Esau who despised his birthright and sold it for lentil stew (Gen 25:34). The perfect tense of this verb may be classified as characteristic perfect (what they have done and currently do) or gnomic perfect (what they always do in past, present and future). The latter is preferred; this describes a trait of fools, and elsewhere the book says that fools do not change.
44 sn Hebrew word order is emphatic here. Normal word order is: verb + subject + direct object. Here it is: direct object + subject + verb (“wisdom and instruction fools despise”).
45 tn The imperative שְׁמַע (shÿma’, “Listen!”) forms an urgent exhortation which expects immediate compliance with parental instruction.
46 tn Heb “my son.” It is likely that collections of proverbs grew up in the royal courts and were designed for the training of the youthful prince. But once the collection was included in the canon, the term “son” would be expanded to mean a disciple, for all the people were to learn wisdom when young. It would not be limited to sons alone but would include daughters – as the expression “the children of (בְּנֵי, bÿne) Israel” (including males and females) clearly shows. Several passages in the Mishnah and Talmud record instructions to teach daughters the Mosaic law so that they will be righteous and avoid sin as well. The translation “my child,” although not entirely satisfactory, will be used here.
47 tn Heb “training” or “discipline.” See note on 1:2.
48 tn Heb “of.” The noun אָבִיךָ (’avikha, “of your father”) may be classified as a genitive of source.
49 tn Heb “instruction.” In Proverbs the noun תּוֹרַה (torah) often means “instruction” or “moral direction” rather than “law” (BDB 435 s.v. 1.a). It is related to יָרָה (yarah, “to point [or, show] the way” in the Hiphil (BDB 435). Instruction attempts to point a person in the right direction (e.g., Gen 46:28).
50 tn Heb “of.” The noun אִמֶּךָ (’immekha, “of your mother”) may be classified as a genitive of source.
51 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
52 tn Heb “a garland of grace.” The word חֵן (khen, “grace”) refers to qualities that make a person pleasant and agreeable, e.g., a gracious and charming person (BDB 336 s.v.). The metaphor compares the teachings that produce these qualities to an attractive wreath.
53 tn The noun לִוְיַה (livyah, “wreath; garland”) refers to a headdress and appears only twice in the OT (Prov 1:9; 4:9; BDB 531 s.v.; HALOT 524 s.v.).
54 tn Heb “for.”
55 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
56 tn Cf. KJV, ASV “chains”; NIV “a chain”; but this English term could suggest a prisoner’s chain to the modern reader rather than adornment.
57 tn Heb “for.”
58 tn The term חַטָּא (khatta’) is the common word for “sinner” in the OT. Because the related verb is used once of sling-shot throwers who miss the mark (Judg 20:16), the idea of sin is often explained as “missing the moral mark” (BDB 306-8 s.v.). But the term should not be restricted to the idea of a sin of ignorance or simply falling short of the moral ideal. Its meaning is more likely seen in the related Akkadian term “to revolt, rebel.” It is active rebellion against authority. It is used here in reference to a gang of robbers.
59 tn The imperfect tense verb יְפַתּוּךָ (yÿftukha) may be nuanced in a connotative sense: “(If) they attempt to
persuade you.” The verb פָּתָה (patah) means “to persuade, entice” a person to sin (BDB 834 s.v. פָּתָה 1; see, e.g., Judg 14:15; 16:5; Prov 16:29; Hos 2:16).
60 tc The MT reads the root אָבָה (’avah, “to be willing; to consent”). Some medieval Hebrew
61 tn This cohortative נֶאֶרְבָה (ne’ervah) could denote resolve (“We will lie in wait!”) or exhortation (“Let us lie in wait!”). These sinners are either expressing their determination to carry out a violent plan or they are trying to entice the lad to participate with them.
62 tn The verb אָרַב (’arav, “to lie in wait”) it is used for planning murder (Deut 19:11), kidnapping (Judg 21:20), or seduction (Prov 23:28).
63 tn Heb “for blood.” The term דָּם (dam, “blood”) functions as a metonymy of effect for “blood shed violently” through murder (HALOT 224 s.v. 4).
64 tn Heb “lie in hiding.”
65 tn The term “innocent” (נָקִי, naqi) intimates that the person to be attacked is harmless.
66 tn Heb “without cause” (so KJV, NASB); NCV “just for fun.” The term חִנָּם (khinnam, “without cause”) emphasizes that the planned attack is completely unwarranted.
67 tn Heb “lives.” The noun חַיִּים (khayyim, “lives”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner: “alive.” The form is a plural of state, used to describe a condition of life which encompasses a long period of time – in this case a person’s entire life. Murder cuts short a person’s life.
68 tn The noun שְׁאוֹל (shÿ’ol) can mean (1) “death,” cf. NCV; (2) “the grave,” cf. KJV, NIV, NLT (3) “Sheol” as the realm of departed spirits, cf. NAB “the nether world,” and (4) “extreme danger.” Here it is parallel to the noun בוֹר (vor, “the Pit”) so it is the grave or more likely “Sheol” (cf. ASV, NRSV). Elsewhere Sheol is personified as having an insatiable appetite and swallowing people alive as they descend to their death (e.g., Num 16:30, 33; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5). In ancient Near Eastern literature, the grave is often personified in similar manner, e.g., in Ugaritic mythological texts Mot (= “death”) is referred to as “the great swallower.”
69 tn Heb “and whole.” The vav (ו) is asseverative or appositional (“even”); it is omitted in the translation for the sake of style and smoothness. The substantival adjective תָּמִים (tamim, “whole; perfect; blameless”) is an adverbial accusative describing the condition and state of the object. Used in parallel to חַיִּים (khayyim, “alive”), it must mean “full of health” (BDB 1071 s.v. תָּמִים 2). These cutthroats want to murder a person who is full of vigor.
70 tn Heb “find.” The use of the verb מָצָא (matsa’, “to find”) is deliberate understatement to rhetorically down-play the heinous act of thievery.
71 tn Heb “all wealth of preciousness.”
72 tn The noun שָׁלָל (shalal, “plunder”) functions as an adverbial accusative of material: “with plunder.” This term is normally used for the spoils of war (e.g., Deut 20:14; Josh 7:21; Judg 8:24, 25; 1 Sam 30:20) but here refers to “stolen goods” (so NCV, CEV; e.g., Isa 10:2; Prov 16:19; BDB 1022 s.v. 3). The enticement was to join a criminal gang and adopt a life of crime to enjoy ill-gotten gain (A. Cohen, Proverbs, 4). Cf. NAB, NRSV “booty”; TEV “loot.”
73 tn Heb “Throw in your lot with us.” This is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis) urging the naive to join their life of crime and divide their loot equally. The noun גּוֹרָל (goral, “lot”) can refer to (1) lot thrown for decision-making processes, e.g., choosing the scapegoat (Lev 16:8), discovering a guilty party (Jonah 1:7) or allocating property (Josh 18:6); (2) allotted portion (Josh 15:1) and (3) allotted fate or future destiny (Prov 1:14; Dan 12:13; see BDB 174 s.v.). Here the criminals urged the lad to share their life. The verb תַּפִּיל (tappil) is an imperfect of injunction: “Throw in…!” but might also be an imperfect of permission: “you may throw.” It functions metonymically as an invitation to join their life of crime: “share with us” (BDB 658 s.v. 3).
74 tn Heb “there will be to all of us.”
75 tn Heb “one purse” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV). The term כִּיס (kis, “purse; bag”) is a synecdoche of container (= purse) for contents (= stolen goods). The adjective אֶחָד (’ekhad, “one”) indicates that the thieves promised to share equally in what they had stolen.
76 tn Heb “do not walk.”
77 tn Heb “in the way with them.”
78 tn Heb “your foot.” The term “foot” (רֶגֶל, regel) is a synecdoche of part (= your foot) for the whole person (= yourself).
79 sn The word “path” (נְתִיבָה, nÿtivah) like the word “way” (דֶּרֶךְ, derekh) is used as an idiom (developed from a hypocatastasis), meaning “conduct, course of life.”
80 tn Heb “their feet.” The term “feet” is a synecdoche of the part (= their feet) for the whole person (= they), stressing the eagerness of the robbers.
81 tn Heb “run.” The verb רוּץ (ruts, “run”) functions here as a metonymy of association, meaning “to be eager” to do something (BDB 930 s.v.).
82 tn Heb “to harm.” The noun רַע (ra’) has a four-fold range of meanings: (1) “pain, harm” (Prov 3:30), (2) “calamity, disaster” (13:21), (3) “distress, misery” (14:32) and (4) “moral evil” (8:13; see BDB 948-49 s.v.). The parallelism with “swift to shed blood” suggests it means “to inflict harm, injury.”
83 tn The imperfect tense verbs may be classified as habitual or progressive imperfects describing their ongoing continual activity.
84 tc The BHS editors suggest deleting this entire verse from MT because it does not appear in several versions (Codex B of the LXX, Coptic, Arabic) and is similar to Isa 59:7a. It is possible that it was a scribal gloss (intentional addition) copied into the margin from Isaiah. But this does not adequately explain the differences. It does fit the context well enough to be original.
85 tn Heb “for the net to be spread out.” The Pual participle of זָרָה (zarah) means “to be spread” (HALOT 280 s.v. I זרה pu.1). The subject of this verbal use of the participle is the noun הָרָשֶׁת (harashet, “the net”). It is futile for the net to be spread out in plain view of birds.
86 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
sn This means either: (1) Spreading a net in view of birds is futile because birds will avoid the trap; but the wicked are so blind that they fail to see danger; or (2) it does not matter if a net is spread because birds are so hungry they will eat anyway and be trapped; the wicked act in a similar way.
87 tn Heb “all of the possessors of wings.”
88 sn They think that they are going to shed innocent blood, but in their blindness they do not realize that it is their own blood they shed. Their greed will lead to their destruction. This is an example of ironic poetic justice. They do not intend to destroy themselves; but this is what they accomplish.
89 tn Heb “their own souls.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is used as a metonymy (= soul) of association (= life). The noun נֶפֶשׁ often refers to physical “life” (Exod 21:23; Num 17:3; Judg 5:18; Prov 12:10; BDB 659 s.v. 3.c).
90 tn The exclamation כֵּן (ken, “so; thus; such”) marks a conclusion (BDB 485 s.v.). It draws a comparison between the destruction of the wicked in v. 18 and the concluding statement in v. 19.
91 tc The MT reads אָרְחוֹת (’orkhot, “paths; ways” as figure for mode of life): “so are the ways [or, paths] of all who gain profit unjustly.” The BHS editors suggest emending the text to אַחֲרִית (’akharit, “end” as figure for their fate) by simple metathesis between ח (khet) and ר (resh) and by orthographic confusion between י (yod) and ו (vav), both common scribal errors: “so is the fate of all who gain profit unjustly.” The external evidence supports MT, which is also the more difficult reading. It adequately fits the context which uses “way” and “path” imagery throughout 1:10-19.
92 tn Heb “those who unjustly gain unjust gain.” The participle בֹּצֵעַ (boysea’, “those who unjustly gain”) is followed by the cognate accusative of the same root בָּצַע (batsa’, “unjust gain”) to underscore the idea that they gained their wealth through heinous criminal activity.
sn The verb followed by the cognate noun usually means seeking gain in an unjust way (1 Sam 8:3), or for selfish purposes (Gen 37:26), or gaining by violence. The word may have the sense of covetousness.
93 tn The subject of the verb is the noun בָּצַע (“unjust gain”), which is also the referent of the 3rd person masculine singular suffix on בְּעָלָיו (bÿ’alav, “its owners”). Greed takes away the life of those who live by greed (e.g., 15:27; 26:27). See G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 (1951): 173-74.
94 tn The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is used as a metonymy (= soul) of association (= life). The noun נֶפֶשׁ often refers to physical “life” (Exod 21:23; Num 17:3; Judg 5:18; Prov 12:10; BDB 659 s.v. 3.c).
95 tn Heb “its owners.”
96 tn The noun חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom”) is the abstract feminine plural form. It probably functions as a plural of intensity, stressing the all-embracing, elevated wisdom (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 272). As in 8:1-9:11, Wisdom is personified as a righteous woman in 1:20-33.
97 sn The verb רָנַן (ranan, “to cry out, give a ringing cry”) always expresses excitement, whether of joyful praise or lamentable sorrow (BDB 943 s.v.). Here it is an excited summons.
98 tn Heb “she gives her voice.” The expression means to shout loudly (BDB 679 s.v. נָתַן Qal.x).
99 sn The word רְחֹבוֹת (rÿkhovot, “plazas”) refers to the wide plazas or broad open spaces near the gate where all the people assembled. The personification of wisdom as a woman crying out in this place would be a vivid picture of the public appeal to all who pass by.
100 tc MT reads הֹמִיּוֹת (homyyot, “noisy streets”; Qal participle feminine plural from הָמָה [hamah], “to murmur; to roar”), referring to the busy, bustling place where the street branches off from the gate complex. The LXX reads τειχέων (teicewn) which reflects חֹמוֹת (khomot), “walls” (feminine plural noun from חוֹמָה [khomah], “wall”): “She proclaims on the summits of the walls.” MT is preferred because it is the more difficult form. The LXX textual error was caused by simple omission of yod (י). In addition, the LXX expands the verse to read, “she sits at the gates of the princes, at the gates of the city she boldly says.” The shorter MT reading is preferred.
101 sn The phrase “in the city” further defines the area of the entrance just inside the gate complex, the business area. In an ancient Near Eastern city, business dealings and judicial proceedings would both take place in this area.
102 tn Heb “she speaks her words.”
103 tn Wisdom addresses three types of people: simpletons (פְּתָיִם, pÿtayim), scoffers (לֵצִים, letsim) and fools (כְּסִילִים, kÿsilim). For the term “simpleton” see note on 1:4. Each of these three types of people is satisfied with the life being led and will not listen to reason. See J. A. Emerton, “A Note on the Hebrew Text of Proverbs 1:22-23,” JTS 19 (1968): 609-14.
104 tn Heb “simplicity” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “inanity.” The noun פֶּתִי (peti) means “simplicity; lack of wisdom” (BDB 834 s.v.; HALOT 989 s.v. II פֶּתִי). It is related to the term פְּתָיִם (pÿtayim) “simpletons” and so forms a striking wordplay. This lack of wisdom and moral simplicity is inherent in the character of the naive person.
105 tn The second instance of “How long?” does not appear in the Hebrew text; it is supplied in the translation for smoothness and style.
106 sn The term לֵצִים (leysim, “scoffers; mockers”) comes from the root לִיץ (lits, “to scorn; to mock; to speak indirectly” (BDB 539 s.v. לִיץ). They are cynical and defiant freethinkers who ridicule the righteous and all for which they stand (e.g., Ps 1:1).
107 tn Heb “delight.” The verb (חָמַד, khamad) is often translated “to take pleasure; to delight” but frequently has the meaning of a selfish desire, a coveting of something. It is the term, for example, used for coveting in the Decalogue (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21) and for the covetous desire of Eve (Gen 3:6) and Achan (Josh 7:21). It is tempting to nuance it here as “illicit desire” for mockery.
108 tn Heb “for themselves.” The ethical dative לָהֶם (lahem, “for themselves”) is normally untranslated. It is a rhetorical device emphasizing that they take delight in mockery for their own self-interests.
109 sn The term “fool” (כְּסִיל, kÿsil) refers to the morally insensitive dullard (BDB 493 s.v.).
110 tn The imperfect tense is in the conditional protasis without the conditional particle, followed by the clause beginning with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “then”). The phrase “If only…” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the syntax; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
111 tn Heb “turn.” The verb is from שׁוּב (shuv, “to return; to respond; to repent”).
112 sn The noun תּוֹכַחַת (tokhakhat, “rebuke”) is used in all kinds of disputes including rebuking, arguing, reasoning, admonishing, and chiding. The term is broad enough to include here warning and rebuke. Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “reproof”; TEV “when I reprimand you”; CEV “correct you.”
113 tn Heb “Behold!”
114 tn The Hiphil cohortative of נָבַע (nava’, “to pour out”) describes the speaker’s resolution to pour out wisdom on those who respond.
115 tn Heb “my spirit.” The term “spirit” (רוּחַ, ruakh) functions as a metonymy (= spirit) of association (= thoughts), as indicated by the parallelism with “my words” (דְּבָרַי, dÿbaray). The noun רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) can have a cognitive nuance, e.g., “spirit of wisdom” (Exod 28:3; Deut 34:9). It is used metonymically for “words” (Job 20:3) and “mind” (Isa 40:13; Ezek 11:5; 20:32; 1 Chr 28:12; see BDB 925 s.v. רוּחַ 6). The “spirit of wisdom” produces skill and capacity necessary for success (Isa 11:2; John 7:37-39).
116 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
117 tn Here too the form is the cohortative, stressing the resolution of wisdom to reveal herself to the one who responds.
118 tn The term “however” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the contrast between the offer in 1:23 and the accusation in 1:24-25. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
119 tn The particle יַעַן (ya’an, “because”) introduces a causal clause which forms part of an extended protasis; the apodosis is 1:26.
120 tn The phrase “to listen” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
121 tn The term “because” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
122 sn This expression is a metonymy of adjunct; it is a gesture that goes with the appeal for some to approach.
123 tn Heb “and.”
124 tn The verb III פָּרַע means “to let go; to let alone” (BDB 828 s.v.). It can refer to unkempt hair of the head (Lev 10:6) or lack of moral restraint: “to let things run free” (Exod 32:25; Prov 28:19). Here it means “to avoid, neglect” the offer of wisdom (BDB 829 s.v. 2).
125 tn The verbs are characteristic perfects or indefinite pasts. For the word “comply, consent,” see 1:20.
126 tn The conclusion or apodosis is now introduced.
127 sn Laughing at the consequences of the fool’s rejection of wisdom does convey hardness against the fool; it reveals the folly of rejecting wisdom (e.g., Ps 2:4). It vindicates wisdom and the appropriateness of the disaster (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 60).
128 tn Heb “at your disaster.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is either (1) a genitive of worth: “the disaster due you” or (2) an objective genitive: “disaster strikes you.” The term “disaster” (אֵיד, ’ed) often refers to final life-ending calamity (Prov 6:15; 24:22; BDB 15 s.v. 3). The preposition ב (bet) focuses upon time here.
129 tn Heb “your dread” (so NASB); KJV “your fear”; NRSV “panic.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is a subjective genitive: “that which you dread.”
130 tn Heb “your dread.” See note on 1:31.
131 sn The term “whirlwind” (NAB, NIV, NRSV; cf. TEV, NLT “storm”) refers to a devastating storm and is related to the verb שׁוֹא (sho’, “to crash into ruins”; see BDB 996 s.v. שׁוֹאָה). Disaster will come swiftly and crush them like a devastating whirlwind.
132 tn Heb “your disaster.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix is an objective genitive: “disaster strikes you.”
133 tn Heb “like a storm.” The noun סוּפָה (sufah, “storm”) is often used in similes to describe sudden devastation (Isa 5:28; Hos 8:7; Amos 1:14).
134 tn Heb “distress and trouble.” The nouns “distress and trouble” mean almost the same thing so they may form a hendiadys. The two similar sounding terms צוּקָה (tsuqah) and צָרָה (tsarah) also form a wordplay (paronomasia) which also links them together.
135 tn Heb “look to.” The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar, “to look”) is used figuratively of intensely looking (=seeking) for deliverance out of trouble (W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 366); cf. NLT “anxiously search for.” It is used elsewhere in parallelism with בָּקַשׁ (baqash, “to seek rescue”; Hos 5:15). It does not mean “to seek early” (cf. KJV) as is popularly taught due to etymological connections with the noun שַׁחַר (shakhar, “dawn”; so BDB 1007 s.v. שָׁחַר).
136 tn The causal particle תַּחַת כִּי (takhat ki, “for the reason that”) introduces a second accusation of sin and reason for punishment.
137 tn Heb “knowledge.” The noun דָעַת (da’at, “knowledge”) refers to moral knowledge. See note on 1:7.
138 tn Heb “the fear of the
139 tn The verb “spurned” (נָאַץ, na’ats) is parallel to “comply, accede to, be willing” (e.g., 1:10). This is how the morally stubborn fool acts (e.g., 15:5).
140 tn The vav (ו) prefixed to the verb וְיֹאכְלוּ (vÿyo’khÿlu) functions in a consecutive logical sense: “therefore.”
141 sn The expression “eat the fruit of” is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis) that compares the consequences of sin to agricultural growth that culminates in produce. They will suffer the consequences of their sinful actions, that is, they will “reap” what they “sow.”
142 sn The words “way” (דֶּרֶךְ, derekh) and “counsel” (מוֹעֵצָה, mo’etsah) stand in strong contrast to the instruction of wisdom which gave counsel and rebuke to encourage a better way. They will bear the consequences of the course they follow and the advice they take (for that wrong advice, e.g., Ps 1:1).
143 tn Heb “to eat to one’s fill.” The verb שָׂבֵעַ (savea’) means (1) positive: “to eat one’s fill” so that one’s appetite is satisfied and (2) negative: “to eat in excess” as a glutton to the point of sickness and revulsion (BDB 959 s.v.). Fools will not only “eat” the fruit of their own way (v. 31a), they will be force-fed this revolting “menu” which will make them want to vomit (v. 31b) and eventually kill them (v. 32).
144 tn Heb “turning away” (so KJV). The term מְשׁוּבַת (mÿshuvat, “turning away”) refers to moral defection and apostasy (BDB 1000 s.v.; cf. ASV “backsliding”). The noun מְשׁוּבַת (“turning away”) which appears at the end of Wisdom’s speech in 1:32 is from the same root as the verb תָּשׁוּבוּ (tashuvu, “turn!”) which appears at the beginning of this speech in 1:23. This repetition of the root שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn”) creates a wordplay: Because fools refuse to “turn to” wisdom (1:23), they will be destroyed by their “turning away” from wisdom (1:32). The wordplay highlights the poetic justice of their judgment. But here they have never embraced the teaching in the first place; so it means turning from the advice as opposed to turning to it.
145 sn The Hebrew verb “to kill” (הָרַג, harag) is the end of the naive who refuse to change. The word is broad enough to include murder, massacre, killing in battle, and execution. Here it is judicial execution by God, using their own foolish choices as the means to ruin.
146 tn Heb “complacency” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “smugness.” The noun שַׁלְוַה (shalvah) means (1) positively: “quietness; peace; ease” and (2) negatively: “self-sufficiency; complacency; careless security” (BDB 1017 s.v.), which is the sense here. It is “repose gained by ignoring or neglecting the serious responsibilities of life” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 29).
147 tn The participle is used substantivally here: “whoever listens” will enjoy the benefits of the instruction.
148 tn The noun בֶּטַח (betakh, “security”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner: “in security.” The phrase refers to living in a permanent settled condition without fear of danger (e.g., Deut 33:12; Ps 16:9). It is the antithesis of the dread of disaster facing the fool and the simple.
149 tn The verb שַׁאֲנַן (sha’anan) is a Palel perfect of שָׁאַן (sha’an) which means “to be at ease; to rest securely” (BDB 983 s.v. שָׁאַן). Elsewhere it parallels the verb “to be undisturbed” (Jer 30:10), so it means “to rest undisturbed and quiet.” The reduplicated Palel stem stresses the intensity of the idea. The perfect tense functions in the so-called “prophetic perfect” sense, emphasizing the certainty of this blessing for the wise.
150 sn The chapter begins with an admonition to receive wisdom (1-4) and then traces the benefits: the knowledge of God and his protection (5-8), moral discernment for living (9-11), protection from evil men (12-15) and immoral women (16-19), and enablement for righteous living (20-22).
151 tn Heb “my son.”
152 sn Verses 1-11 form one long conditional sentence in the Hebrew text: (1) the protasis (“if…”) encompasses vv. 1-4 and (2) the apodosis (“then…”) consists of two parallel panels in vv. 5-8 and vv. 9-11 both of which are introduced by the particle אָז (’az, “then”).
153 sn The verb “to store up” (צָפַן, tsafan; cf. NAB, NLT “treasure”) in the second colon qualifies the term “receive” (לָקַח, laqakh) in the first, just as “commands” intensifies “words.” This pattern of intensification through parallelism occurs throughout the next three verses. The verb “to store up; to treasure” is used in reference to things of value for future use, e.g., wealth, dowry for a bride. Since proverbs will be useful throughout life and not always immediately applicable, the idea of storing up the sayings is fitting. They will form the way people think which in turn will influence attitudes (W. G. Plaut, Proverbs, 43).
154 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct לְהַקְשִׁיב (lÿhaqshiv, “by making attentive”) functions as an epexegetical explanation of how one will receive the instruction.
155 sn The word “ear” is a metonymy of cause; the word is used as the instrument of hearing. But in parallelism with “heart” it indicates one aspect of the mental process of hearing and understanding. A “hearing ear” describes an obedient or responsive person (BDB 24 s.v. אֹזֶן 2).
156 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
157 tn The Hiphil imperfect (“by turning”) continues the nuance introduced by the infinitive construct in the first colon (GKC 352 §114.r). The verb נָטָה (natah) normally means “to stretch out” and only occasionally “to turn” or “to incline” one’s heart to something, as is the case here.
158 tn Or “mind” (the center of the will, the choice).
159 tn Both particles retain their individual meanings, otherwise the verse would begin with a strong adversative and be a contrast to what has been said.
160 tn Heb “summon.”
161 sn The noun recalls the second purpose of the book (1:2). It is also cognate to the last word of 2:2, forming a transition. The two objects of the prepositions in this verse are actually personifications, as if they could be summoned.
162 tn Heb “give your voice”; the expression is idiomatic for raising or lifting the voice to make a sound that carries further (e.g., Jer 2:15). This deliberate expression indicates that something significant is being uttered. J. H. Greenstone says, “If it [understanding] does not come at your first call, raise your voice to a higher pitch, put forth greater efforts” (Proverbs, 17).
163 tn The conditional particle now reiterates the initial conditional clause of this introductory section (1-4); the apodosis will follow in v. 5.
164 tn The verb בָּקַשׁ (baqash) means “to search for; to seek; to investigate” (BDB 134 s.v.). This calls for the same diligence one would have in looking for silver.
165 sn The two similes affirm that the value placed on the object will influence the eagerness and diligence in the pursuit and development of wisdom (e.g., Job 28:9-11). The point is not only that the object sought is valuable, but that the effort will be demanding but rewarding.
166 sn The verb חָפַשׂ (khafas) means “to dig; to search” (BDB 344 s.v.; cf. NCV “hunt for it”). The Arabic cognate means “to dig for water.” It is used literally of Joseph searching his brothers’ sacks (Gen 44:12) and figuratively for searching the soul (Ps 64:7). This is a more emphatic word than the one used in the first colon and again emphasizes that acquiring wisdom will be demanding.
167 tn The verb בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to understand; to discern”) refers to ability to grasp, discern or be sensitive to what it means to fear the
168 tn Heb “the fear of the
169 tn Heb “find” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).
170 tn The term דַּעַת (da’at, “knowledge”) goes beyond cognition; it is often used metonymically (cause) for obedience (effect); see, e.g., Prov 3:6, “in all your ways acknowledge him,” and BDB 395 s.v. This means that the disciple will follow God’s moral code; for to know God is to react ethically and spiritually to his will (e.g., J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 18).
171 tn Heb “knowledge of God.” The noun is an objective genitive.
172 tn This is a causal clause. The reason one must fear and know the
173 tn The verb is an imperfect tense which probably functions as a habitual imperfect describing a universal truth in the past, present and future.
174 sn This expression is an anthropomorphism; it indicates that the
175 tn The verb “comes” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
176 tc The form is a Kethib/Qere reading. The Kethib וְצָפַן (vÿtsafan; Qal perfect + vav consecutive) is supported by the LXX and Syriac. The Qere יִצְפֹּן (yitspon; Qal imperfect) is supported by the Aramaic Targum of Prov 2:7 (the Aramaic translations of the Hebrew scriptures were called Targums) and Latin Vulgate. Internal evidence favors the imperfect; another imperfect appears in v. 6a with a similar sense. The Qere is normally preferred; the scribes are indicating that the received reading is corrupt. The Kethib reflects orthographic confusion between י (yod) and ו (vav). As in v. 6a, this Qal imperfect functions as a habitual imperfect describing a universal truth in past, present and future.
sn The verbal root צָפַן (tsafan, “to store up; to treasure up”) is repeated in 2:1 and 2:7. In 2:1, it is the responsibility of man to “store up” wisdom; but in 2:7, it is God who “stores up” wisdom for the wise person who seeks him.
177 tn The noun תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “sound wisdom” (so KJV, NRSV); “effective counsel” and (2) result (metonymy of effect): “abiding success” (BDB 444 s.v.; W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 388; cf. NIV “victory”). It refers to competent wisdom and its resultant ability to achieve moral success (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 80).
178 sn The Hebrew word translated “upright” (יָשָׁר, yashar) is one of the terms used for the righteous. It points to the right conduct of the believer – that which is right or pleasing in the eyes of God. It stresses that the life of the individual is upright, straightforward, and just. It is paralleled with “those who walk in integrity.”
179 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
180 tn The word can be taken as in apposition explaining the subject of the first colon – the
181 tn Heb “walk.” The verb “to walk” (הָלַךְ, halakh) is an idiom (based upon hypocatastasis: implied comparison) for habitual manner of life (BDB 234 s.v. 3.e).
182 tn Heb “those who walk of integrity.” The noun תֹם (tom, “integrity”) functions as a genitive of manner.
183 tn The infinitive construct לִנְצֹר (lintsor, “to guard”) designates the purpose of the
184 tn Heb “paths of righteousness.” The word “righteousness” is a possessive genitive, signifying the ways that the righteous take.
185 tn The imperfect tense verb יִשְׁמֹר (yishmor, “to protect”) continues the syntactical nuance of the preceding infinitive construct of purpose.
186 tc The Kethib is the singular noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידוֹ (khasido) “his pious one.” The Qere reads the plural noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידָיו (khasidav) “his pious ones.” The LXX εὐλαβουμένων αὐτόν (eujlaboumenwn aujton) supports the Qere reading.
tn The noun חֶסֶד (khesed, “the pious”) describes those who show “covenantal faithful love” or “loyal love” to God and his people. The description of the righteous by this term indicates their active participation in the covenant, for which God has promised his protection.
187 tn Heb “discern.” See preceding note on בִּין (bin) in 2:5.
188 tn The phrase “every good way” functions appositionally to the preceding triad of righteous attributes, further explaining and defining them.
189 tn Heb “every way of good.” The term טוֹב (tov, “good”) functions as an attributive genitive: “good way.”
190 tn Heb “track”; KJV, NIV, NRSV “path.” The noun מַעְגַּל (ma’gal) is used (1) literally of “wagon-wheel track; firm path” and (2) figuratively (as a metaphor) to describe the course of life (Pss 17:5; 23:3; 140:6; Prov 2:9, 15, 18; 4:11, 26; 5:6, 21; Isa 26:7; 59:8; see BDB 722-23 s.v. 2; KBL 2:609). It is related to the feminine noun עֲגָלָה (’agalah, “cart”) and the verb עָגַל (’agal) “to be round” (Qal) and “to roll” (Niphal). As a wagon-wheel cuts a deep track in a much traversed dirt road, so a person falls into routines and habits that reveal his moral character. In Proverbs the “paths” of the righteous are characterized by uprightness and integrity.
191 tn The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a metonymy of association for “mind” and “thoughts” (BDB 524 s.v. 3). It represents the center of the inner life where the volition and emotions join to bring about actions. It is used here in parallelism with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”), for which see note.
192 tn Heb “knowledge.” For the noun דַּעַת (da’at), see the note on 1:7.
193 tn Heb “pleasant.” The verb יִנְעָם (yin’am, “to be pleasant”) describes what is attractive. It is used of being physically attracted to one’s lover (Song 7:7) or to a close friendship (2 Sam 1:26). Here wisdom becomes attractive to the righteous, that is, the righteous desires to acquire it.
194 tn Heb “your soul.” The term נַפְשְׁךָ (nafshÿkha, “your soul”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole person (= you); see BDB 660 s.v. 4.a.2. It also might function as a metonymy of association for emotions and passions (BDB 660 s.v. 6) or mental cognition (BDB 660 s.v. 7).
195 tn The word מְזִמָּה (mÿzimmah, “discretion”) is the ability to know the best course of action for achieving one’s goal. It is knowledge and understanding with a purpose. This kind of knowledge enables one to make the right choices that will protect him from blunders and their consequences (cf. NLT “wise planning”; CEV “sound judgment”).
196 tn Heb “will watch over you.”
197 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct of נָצַל (natsal, “to deliver”) expresses the purpose of understanding right conduct: to protect a person from the wicked. The verb נָצַל (natsal) means “to save; to deliver; to rescue,” as in snatching away prey from an animal, rescuing from enemies, plucking a brand from the fire, retrieving property, or the like. Here it portrays rescue from the course of action of the wicked.
198 tn The term “wicked” (רַע, ra’) means “bad, harmful, painful.” Rather than referring to the abstract concept of “wickedness” in general, the term probably refers to wicked people because of the parallelism with “those speaking perversity.”
199 tn Heb “man.” The singular noun אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) here will be further defined in vv. 13-15 with plural forms (verbs, nouns and suffixes). So the singular functions in a collective sense which is rendered in a plural sense in the translation for the sake of clarification and smoothness.
200 tn Heb “perversities.” The plural form of תַּהְפֻּכוֹת (tahpukhot) may denote a plurality of number (“perverse things”) or intensification: “awful perversity.” As here, it often refers to perverse speech (Prov 8:13; 10:31, 32; 23:33). It is related to the noun הֶפֶךְ (hefekh, “that which is contrary, perverse”) which refers to what is contrary to morality (Isa 29:16; Ezek 16:34; BDB 246 s.v. הֶפֶךְ). The related verb הָפַךְ (hafakh, “to turn; to overturn”) is used (1) literally of turning things over, e.g., tipping over a bowl (2 Kgs 21:13) and turning over bread-cakes (Judg 7:13; Hos 7:8) and (2) figuratively of perverting things so that they are morally upside down, so to speak (Jer 23:36). These people speak what is contrary to morality, wisdom, sense, logic or the truth.
201 tn The articular plural active participle functions as attributive adjective for אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) in v. 12b, indicating that אִישׁ (“man”) is collective.
202 tn Heb “paths of uprightness.” The noun יָשָׁר (yashar, “uprightness; straightness”) is an attributive genitive. The moral life is described in Proverbs as the smooth, straight way (2:13; 4:11). The wicked abandon the clear straight path for an evil, crooked, uncertain path.
203 tn Heb “ways of darkness.” Darkness is often metaphorical for sinfulness, ignorance, or oppression. Their way of life lacks spiritual illumination.
204 tn The articular plural active participle functions as the second attributive adjective for אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) in v. 12b.
205 tn The Qal infinitive construct is the complementary use of the form, expressing the direct object of the participle.
206 tn Or “harm.”
207 tn Heb “the perversity of evil” (so NASB). The noun רָע (ra’, “evil”) functions as an attributed genitive which is modified by the construct noun תַהְפֻּכוֹת (tahpukhot, “perversity”) which functions as an attributive adjective.
208 tn The noun in this relative clause is an accusative of specification: The evil people are twisted with respect to their paths/conduct.
209 tn Heb “crooked.” The adjective עִקֵּשׁ (’iqqesh, “crooked; twisted”) uses the morphological pattern of adjectives that depict permanent bodily defects, e.g., blindness, lameness. Their actions are morally defective and, apart from repentance, are permanently crooked and twisted.
210 tn The Niphal participle of לוּז (luz, “devious; crooked”) describes conduct that is morally deceptive, crafty, and cunning (Isa 30:12).
211 sn This purpose clause introduced by לְהַצִּילְךָ (lÿhatsilkha, “to deliver you”) parallels the purpose clause introduced by לְהַצִּילְךָ (“to deliver you”) in v. 12. There it introduced deliverance from the evil man, and now from the evil woman. The description of the evil man encompassed four poetic lines in the Hebrew text (vv. 12-15); likewise, the description of the evil woman is four poetic lines (vv. 16-19).
212 tn Heb “strange woman” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “the loose woman.” The root זוּר (zur, “to be a stranger”) sometimes refers to people who are ethnically foreign to Israel (Isa 1:7; Hos 7:9; 8:7) but it often refers to what is morally estranged from God or his covenant people (Pss 58:4; 78:30; BDB 266 s.v.). Referring to a woman, it means adulteress or prostitute (Prov 2:16; 5:3, 20; 7:5; 22:14; 23:33; see BDB 266 s.v. 2.b). It does not mean that she is a foreigner but that she is estranged from the community with its social and religious values (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 285). It describes her as outside the framework of the covenant community (L. A. Snijders, “The Meaning of זוּר in the Old Testament: An Exegetical Study,” OTS 10 : 85-86). Here an Israelite woman is in view because her marriage is called a “covenant with God.” She is an adulteress, acting outside the legal bounds of the marriage contract.
213 tn Heb “alien woman.” The adjective נָכְרִי (nokhri, “foreign; alien”) refers to (1) people who are ethnically alien to Israel (Exod 21:8; Deut 17:15; Judg 19:12; Ruth 2:10; 1 Kgs 11:1, 8; Ezra 10:2, 10, 11; see BDB 649 s.v. 1); (2) people who are morally alienated from God and his covenant people (Job 19:15; Ps 69:9; Prov 20:16; Eccl 6:2; Jer 2:21; see BDB 649 s.v. 3) and (3) as a technical term in Proverbs for a harlot or promiscuous woman as someone who is morally alienated from God and moral society (Prov 2:16; 5:20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27; 27:13; see BDB 649 s.v. 2). The description of the woman as a “strange woman” and now an “alien woman” is within the context of the people of Israel. She is a “foreigner” in the sense that she is a nonconformist, wayward and loose. It does not necessarily mean that she is not ethnically Israelite (though BDB notes that most harlots in Israel were originally chiefly foreigners by reason of their otherwise homeless condition).
214 tn Heb “makes smooth.” The Hiphil of II חָלַק (“to be smooth; to be slippery”) means (1) “to make smooth” (metal with hammer) and (2) “to use smooth words,” that is, to flatter (Pss 5:10; 36:3; Prov 2:16; 7:5; 28:23; 29:5; see BDB 325 s.v. 2; HALOT 322 s.v. I חלק hif.2). The related Arabic cognate verb means “make smooth, lie, forge, fabricate.” The seductive speech of the temptress is compared to olive oil (5:3) and is recounted (7:14-20).
215 tn Heb “whose words she makes smooth.” The phrase is a relative clause that does not have a relative pronoun. The antecedent of the 3rd person feminine singular suffix is clearly “the sexually loose woman” earlier in the line.
sn For descriptions of seductive speech, see Prov 5:3 where it is compared to olive oil, and 7:14-20 where such speech is recorded.
216 tn The construction is the active participle of עָזַב (’azav) with the article, serving as an attributive adjective. The verb means “to forsake; to leave; to abandon.”
217 tn Heb “companion” (so NAB, NASB); NIV “partner.” The term אַלּוּף (’alluf, “companion”) is from the root אָלַף (’alaf, “to be familiar with; to cleave to”) and refers to a woman’s husband (Prov 2:17; Jer 3:4; see BDB 48 s.v. אַלּוּף 2). This noun follows the passive adjectival formation and so signifies one who is well-known.
218 tn Heb “of her youth.” The noun נְעוּרֶיהָ (nÿ’ureha, “her youth”) functions as a temporal genitive. The plural form is characteristic of nouns that refer to long periods of duration in the various stages of life. The time of “youth” encompasses the entire formative period within marriage.
219 tn Heb “the covenant.” This could refer to the Mosaic covenant that prohibits adultery, or more likely, as in the present translation, the marriage covenant (cf. also TEV, CEV). The lexicons list this use of “covenant” (בְּרִית, bÿrit) among other referents to marriage (Prov 2:17; Ezek 16:8; Mal 2:14; BDB 136 s.v. 1.5; HALOT 157 s.v. A.9).
220 tn Heb “covenant of God.” The genitive-construct could mean “covenant made before God.” The woman and her husband had made a marriage-covenant in which God was invoked as witness. Her sin is against her solemn pledge to her husband, as well as against God.
221 tn Or “she sinks her house down to death.” The syntax of this line is difficult. The verb שָׁחָה is Qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular of שׁוּחַ (“to sink down”) which must take a feminine singular subject – most likely the “loose woman” of 2:16-17. However, most English versions take בֵּיתָהּ (betah) “her house” (ms noun + 3rd person feminine singular suffix) as the subject (e.g., KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, CEV): “her house sinks down to death.” But בֵּיתָהּ “her house” (ms noun + 3rd person feminine singular suffix) is masculine rather than feminine so it cannot be the subject. K&D 16:83 suggests that בֵּיתָהּ (“her house”) is a permutative noun that qualifies the subject: “she together with all that belongs to her [her house] sinks down to death” (GKC 425 §131.k). D. Kidner suggests that “her house” is in apposition to “death” (e.g., Job 17:13; 30:23; Prov 9:18; Eccl 12:5), meaning that death is her house: “she sinks down to death, which is her house” (Proverbs [TOTC], 62). The BHS editors attempt to resolve this syntactical problem by suggesting a conjectural emendation of MT בֵּיתָהּ (“her house”) to the feminine singular noun נְתִיבֹתֶהָּ (“her path”) which appears in 7:27, to recover a feminine subject for the verb: “her path sinks down to death.” However, the reading of the MT is supported by all the versions.
222 tc The MT reads שָׁחָה (Qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular of שׁוּחַ “to sink down”): “she sinks her house down to death.” The LXX reflects שָׁתָה (shatah, Qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular of שִׁית (shith) “to place; to put”): “she established her house near death.” This is a matter of simple orthographic confusion between ח (khet) and ת (tav). The MT preserves the more difficult reading (see following note) so it is probably the original.
223 tn The verb “lead” is not in the Hebrew but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
224 tn Heb “to the departed spirits” or “to the Rephaim.” The term רְפָאִים (rÿfa’im, “Rephaim”) refers to spirits of the dead who are inhabitants of Sheol (BDB 952 s.v.; HALOT 1274-75 s.v. I רְפָאִים). It is used in parallelism with מֵתִים (metim, “the dead”) to refer to the departed spirits of the dead in Sheol (Ps 88:11; Isa 26:14). The Rephaim inhabit מָוֶת (mavet, “[place of] death”; Prov 2: 18), שְׁאוֹל (shÿ’ol, “Sheol”; Job 26:5; Prov 9:18; Isa 14:9), “darkness and the land of forgetfulness” (Ps 88:14), and “the land of the Rephaim” (Isa 26:19). Scholars debate whether רְפָאִים is derived from the root (1) רָפָא (rafa’, “to heal”), meaning “the healers” or (2) רָפָה (rafah, “to be weak; to sink down”), meaning “the powerless ones” or “those who sink down (to Sheol)” (BDB 952 s.v.; HALOT 1274-75 s.v.). The related term occurs in Phoenician and Neo-Punic meaning “spirits of the dead” (DISO 282) and in Ugaritic referring to “spirits of the dead” who inhabited the underworld and were viewed as healers (UT 2346; WUS 2527). The Hebrew term is often translated “the shades” as a description of the shadowy existence of those who dwelling in Sheol who have lost their vitality (R. F. Schnell, IDB 4:35). Used here in parallelism with מָוֶת (“[place of] death”), רְפָאִים (“the Rephaim”) probably functions as a synecdoche of inhabitants (= the departed spirits of the dead) for the place inhabited (= Sheol). The point of this line is that those who fall prey to an adulteress will end up among the departed spirits in the realm of the dead. This might mean (1) physical death: he will get himself killed by her zealous husband (e.g., Prov 5:23; 6:32-35; 7:23-27) or (2) spiritual death: he will find himself estranged from the community, isolated from the blessings of God, a moral leper, living a shadowy existence of “death” in the land of no return (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 288).
225 tn Heb “all who go in to her will not return.”
226 sn The phrase “reach the paths of life” is a figurative expression for experiencing joy and fullness of blessing (BDB 673 s.v. נָשַׂג 2.a).
227 tn The conjunction לְמַעַן (lÿma’an, “so; as a result”) introduces the concluding result (BDB 775 s.v. מַעַן 2; HALOT 614 s.v. מַעַן 2.c) of heeding the admonition to attain wisdom (2:1-11) and to avoid the evil men and women and their destructive ways (2:12-19).
228 tn The noun “good” (טוֹבִים, tovim) does not function as an attributive genitive (“the good way”) because it is a plural noun and the term “way” (דֶרֶךְ, derekh) is singular. Rather it functions as a genitive of possession identifying the people who walk on this path: “the way of the good people.”
229 tn In the light of the parallelism, the noun “righteous” (צַדִּיקִים, tsadiqim) functions as a genitive of possession rather than an attributive genitive.
230 tn Heb “the blameless” (so NASB, NIV); NAB “the honest”; NRSV “the innocent.” The term תְּמִימִים (tÿmimim, “the blameless”) describes those who live with integrity. They are blameless in that they live above reproach according to the requirements of the law.
231 tn Heb “the guilty.” The term רְשָׁעִים (rÿsha’im, “the wicked”) is from the root רָשַׁע (rasha’, “to be guilty”) and refers to those who are (1) guilty of sin: moral reprobates or (2) guilty of crime: criminals deserving punishment (BDB 957 s.v. רָשָׁע). This is the person who is probably not a covenant member and manifests that in the way he lives, either by sinning against God or committing criminal acts. The noun sometimes refers to guilty criminals who deserve to die (Num 16:26; 35:31; 2 Sam 4:11). Here they will be “cut off” and “torn away” from the land.
232 tn Heb “cut off.” The verb כָּרַת (karat, “to be cut off”) indicates either that the guilty will (1) die prematurely, (2) be excommunicated from the community or (3) be separated eternally in judgment. The Mishnah devoted an entire tractate (m. Keritot) to this topic. The context suggests that the guilty will be “removed” from the land where the righteous dwell in security either through death or expulsion.
233 tn The word בָּגַד (bagad) means “to act treacherously” (BDB 93 s.v.; HALOT 108 s.v. בגד). It describes those who deal treacherously, unfaithfully or deceitfully in marriage relations, matters of property or personal rights, in violating covenants, and in their words and general conduct.
234 tn The consonantal form יסחו (yskhv) is vocalized in the MT as יִסְּחוּ (yissÿkhu, Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural from נָסַח, nasakh, “to tear away”) but this produces an awkward sense: “they [= the righteous in vv. 20-21] will tear away the treacherous from it” (BDB 650 s.v. נָסַח). Due to the parallelism, the BHS editors suggest emending the form to יִנָּסְחוּ (yinnaskhu, Niphal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural): “the treacherous will be torn away from it.” However, Tg. Prov 2:22 points the form as יֻסְחוּ (yuskhu) which reflects an old Qal passive vocalization – probably the best solution to the problem: “the treacherous will be torn away from it.”
235 sn The chapter begins with an introductory exhortation (1-4), followed by an admonition to be faithful to the
236 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 11, 21).
237 tn The verb יִצֹּר (yitsor) is a Qal jussive and the noun לִבֶּךָ (libbekha, “your heart”) functions as the subject: “let your heart keep my commandments.”
238 tn The phrase “they will provide” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
239 tn Heb “length of days and years of life” (so NASB, NRSV). The idiom “length of days” refers to a prolonged life and “years of life” signifies a long time full of life, a life worth living (T. T. Perowne, Proverbs, 51). The term “life” refers to earthly felicity combined with spiritual blessedness (BDB 313 s.v. חַיִּים).
240 tn The noun שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) here means “welfare, health, prosperity” (BDB 1022 s.v. 3). It can be used of physical health and personal well-being. It is the experience of positive blessing and freedom from negative harm and catastrophe.
241 tn The two words חֶסֶד וֶאֶמֶת (khesed ve’emet, “mercy and truth”) form a nominal hendiadys, the second word becoming an adjective: “faithful covenant love” or “loyal [covenant] love and faithfulness.”
242 sn This involves two implied comparisons (hypocatastasis). One is a comparison of living out the duties and responsibilities taught with binding a chain around the neck, and the other is a comparison of the inward appropriation of the teachings with writing them on a tablet. So the teachings are not only to become the lifestyle of the disciple but his very nature.
243 tn The form וּמְצָא (umÿtsa’, “find”) is the imperative but it functions as a purpose/result statement. Following a string of imperatives (v. 3), the imperative with a prefixed vav introduces a volitive sequence expressing purpose or result (v. 4).
244 tn The noun שֵׂכֶל (sekhel, “understanding”) does not seem to parallel חֵן (khen, “favor”). The LXX attaches the first two words to v. 3 and renders v. 4: “and devise excellent things in the sight of the
245 tn Heb “man.”
246 sn The word בְּטַח (bÿtakh, “trust”) is used in the OT in (1) literal physical sense: to physically lean upon something for support and (2) figurative sense: to rely upon someone or something for help or protection (BDB 105 s.v. I בְּטַח; HALOT 120 s.v. I בטח). The verb is often used with false securities, people trusting in things that prove to be worthless. But here the object of the secure trust is the
247 sn The “heart” functions as a metonymy of subject encompassing mind, emotions and will (BDB 524 s.v. לֵב 2).
248 tn Heb “do not lean.” The verb שָׁעַן (sha’an, “to lean; to rely”) is used in (1) literal physical sense of leaning upon something for support and (2) figurative sense of relying upon someone or something for help or protection (BDB 1043 s.v.). Here it functions figuratively (hypocatastasis: implied comparison); relying on one’s own understanding is compared to leaning on something that is unreliable for support (e.g., Isa 10:20).
249 tn Heb “your understanding.” The term בִּינָה (binah, “understanding”) is used elsewhere in this book of insight given by God from the instructions in Proverbs (Prov 2:3; 7:4; 8:14; 9:6, 10; 23:23). Here it refers to inherent human understanding that functions in relative ignorance unless supplemented by divine wisdom (Job 28:12-28; 39:26). The reflexive pronoun “own” is supplied in the translation to clarify this point. It is dangerous for a person to rely upon mere human wisdom (Prov 14:12; 16:25).
250 tn Heb “know him.” The verb יָדַע (yadah, “to know”) includes mental awareness of who God is and the consequential submission to his lordship. To know him is to obey him. The sage is calling for a life of trust and obedience in which the disciple sees the
251 tn The term דֶרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) is figurative (hypocatastasis: implied comparison) referring to a person’s course of life, actions and undertakings (Prov 2:8; 3:6, 23; 11:5; 20:24; 29:27; 31:3; BDB 203 s.v. 5; cf. TEV “in everything you do”; NCV, NLT “in all you do”). This is a call for total commitment in trust for obedience in all things.
252 tn The verb יָשָׁר (yashar) means “to make smooth; to make straight” (BDB 444 s.v.). This phrase means “to make the way free from obstacles,” that is, to make it successful (e.g., Isa 40:3). The straight, even road is the right road; God will make the way smooth for the believer.
253 tn Heb “in your own eyes” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.”
254 sn The second colon clarifies the first. If one fears the
255 tn Heb “it will be.” The form is Qal jussive of הָיָה (hayah) and is one of the rare uses of the volitive to express purpose or result, even though there is no vav prefixed to it. This indicates that v. 8 is the outcome of v. 7. If a person trusts in the
256 tc Heb “your navel” (cf. KJV, ASV). MT reads שָׁרֶּךָ (sharrekha, “your navel”) which functions as a synecdoche of part (= navel) for the whole (= body), meaning “your body” (BDB 1057 s.v. שׂר). The geminate noun שֹׂר (sor, “navel; navel-string [= umbilical cord]”) occurs only two other times in OT (Ezek 16:4; Song 7:3). The LXX reads τῷ σώματί σου (tw swmati sou, “your body”). So the BHS editors suggest emending MT to the more commonly used terms בְּשָׂרֶךָ (bÿsarekha, “your flesh”) or שְׁאֵרֶךָ (shÿ’erekha, “your body”). But this kind of emendation runs counter to the canons of textual criticism; normally the more difficult reading or rarer term is preferred as original rather than a smooth reading or common term. Since “navel” occurs only twice elsewhere, it is difficult to imagine that it would have been confused for these two more common terms and that a scribe would mistakenly write “your navel” instead. If MT “your navel” is a synecdoche for “your body,” the LXX is not pointing to a different textual tradition but is merely interpreting MT accordingly. In similar fashion, the English versions which read “your body” are not rejecting the MT reading; they are merely interpreting the term as a figure (synecdoche) for “your body.”
257 tn Heb “drink.” The noun שִׁקּוּי (shiqquy, “drink”) is a figure: metonymy of cause (= drink) for the effect (= refreshment); see BDB 1052 s.v. Just as a drink of water would bring physical refreshment to one’s body, trusting in God and turning away from evil will bring emotional refreshment to one’s soul.
258 tn Heb “your bones.” The term עַצְמוֹתֶיךָ (’atsmotekha, “your bones”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= bones) for the whole person (= physical and moral aspects); cf. Pss 6:3; 35:10; Prov 3:8; 14:30: 15:30; 16:24; Isa 66:14 and BDB 782 s.v. עֶצֶם 1.d. Scripture often uses the body to describe the inner person (A. R. Johnson, The Vitality of the Individual in the Thought of Ancient Israel, 67-8).
259 tn The imperative כַּבֵּד (kabbed, “honor”) functions as a command, instruction, counsel or exhortation. To honor God means to give him the rightful place of authority by rendering to him gifts of tribute. One way to acknowledge God in one’s ways (v. 6) is to honor him with one’s wealth (v. 9).
260 tn Heb “produce.” The noun תְּבוּאָה (tÿvu’ah) has a two-fold range of meaning: (1) “product; yield” of the earth (= crops; harvest) and (2) “income; revenue” in general (BDB 100 s.v.). The imagery in vv. 9-10 is agricultural; however, all Israelites – not just farmers – were expected to give the best portion (= first fruits) of their income to
261 tn Heb “with plenty” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV “to overflowing.” The noun שָׂבָע (sava’, “plenty; satiety”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner or contents: “completely.”
262 sn This pictures the process of pressing grapes in which the upper receptacle is filled with grapes and the lower one catches the juice. The harvest of grapes will be so plentiful that the lower vat will overflow with grape juice. The pictures in v. 10 are metonymies of effect for cause (= the great harvest that God will provide when they honor him).
263 tn Heb “burst open.” The verb פָּרַץ (parats, “to burst open”) functions as hyperbole here to emphasize the fullness of the wine vats (BDB 829 s.v. 9).
264 tn Heb “the discipline of the
265 tn The verb קוּץ (quts) has a two-fold range of meaning: (1) “to feel a loathing; to abhor” and (2) “to feel a sickening dread” (BDB 880 s.v.). The parallelism with “do not despise” suggests the former nuance here. The common response to suffering is to loathe it; however, the righteous understand that it refines one’s moral character and that it is a means to the blessing.
266 tn Heb “chastens.” The verb יָכַח (yakhakh) here means “to chasten; to punish” (HALOT 410 s.v. יכח 1) or “to correct; to rebuke” (BDB 407 s.v. 6). The context suggests some kind of corporeal discipline rather than mere verbal rebuke or cognitive correction. This verse is quoted in Heb 12:5-6 to show that suffering in the service of the
267 tc MT reads וּכְאָב (ukh’av, “and like a father”) but the LXX reflects the Hiphil verb וְיַכְאִב (vÿyakh’iv, “and scourges every son he receives”). Both readings fit the parallelism; however, it is unnecessary to emend MT which makes perfectly good sense. The fact that the writer of Hebrews quotes this passage from the LXX and it became part of the inspired NT text does not mean that the LXX reflects the original Hebrew reading here.
268 tn The verb “disciplines” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
269 tn Although the word אַשְׁרֵי (’ashre, “blessed”) is frequently translated “happy” here (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT), such a translation can be somewhat misleading because the word means more than that – “happiness” depends on one’s circumstances. This word reflects that inner joy and heavenly bliss which comes to the person who is pleasing to God, whose way is right before God.
270 tn Heb “the man” (also again in the following line).
271 tn The perfect tense verb may be classified as a characteristic or gnomic perfect, as the parallel imperfect tense verb suggests (see note on v. 13b).
272 tn The imperfect tense verb may be classified as a progressive or habitual imperfect.
273 tn Heb “her profit.” The 3rd person feminine singular suffix on the noun is probably a genitive of source: “from her.”
274 tn Heb “profit.” The noun סַחַר (sakhar, “trading profit”) often refers to the financial profit of traveling merchants (Isa 23:3, 18; 45:14; HALOT 750 s.v.). The related participle describes a traveling “trader, dealer, wholesaler, merchant” (e.g., Gen 37:28; Prov 31:14; Isa 23:2; Ezek 27:36; HALOT 750 s.v. סחר qal.2). Here the noun is used figuratively to describe the moral benefit of wisdom.
275 tn The noun סַחַר (“profit”) is repeated in this line for emphasis. The two usages draw upon slightly different nuances, creating a polysemantic wordplay. The moral “benefit” of wisdom is more “profitable” than silver.
276 tn Heb “her yield.” The 3rd person feminine singular suffix on the noun is probably a genitive of source: “from her.”
277 tn Heb “yield.” The noun תְּבוּאָה (tÿvu’ah, “product; yield”) is normally used of crops and harvests (BDB 100 s.v. 1). Here it is figurative for the moral benefit of wisdom (BDB 100 s.v. 2.b).
278 tn The phrase “is better” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
279 tn Heb “all of your desires cannot compare with her.”
280 tn Heb “your desires.” The 2nd person masculine singular suffix on the noun probably functions as subjective genitive.
281 tn The imperfect tense verb יָסַד (yasad, “to establish be like; to resemble”) has a potential nuance here: “can be compared with.”
282 tn Heb “All of your desires do not compare with her.”
283 tn Heb “length of days” (so KJV, ASV).
284 tn Heb “her ways are ways of pleasantness” (so KJV, NRSV). The present translation contracts this expression for the sake of smoothness. The plural of דֶרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) is repeated for emphasis. The noun נֹעַם (no’am, “pleasantness”) functions as an attributive genitive: “pleasant ways.”
285 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
286 sn The metaphor compares wisdom to the symbol of vitality and fullness of life. This might be an allusion to Gen 3:22, suggesting that what was lost as a result of the Fall may be recovered through wisdom: long and beneficial life (R. Marcus, “The Tree of Life in Proverbs,” JBL 62 : 117-20).
287 tn Heb “lay hold of her.”
288 tn The singular participle מְאֻשָּׁר (mÿ’ushar, literally, “he will be blessed”) functions as a distributive singular for a plural subject (GKC 464 §145.l): “each and everyone will be blessed.” Not recognizing this point of syntax, the BHS editors unnecessarily suggest emending this singular form to the plural.
289 tn Heb “founded the earth.” The verb יָסַד (yasad, “to establish; to found”) describes laying the foundation of a building (1 Kgs 5:31 [HT]; 7:10; 2 Chr 3:3; Ezra 3:10-12; Zech 4:9) and God laying the foundation of the earth (Job 38:4; Pss 24:2; 89:12; 102:26; 104:5; Isa 48:13; 51:13, 16; Zech 12:1).
290 sn The theme of God’s use of wisdom in creation is developed in Prov 8:22-31. Because God established the world to operate according to the principle of wisdom it is impossible for anyone to live successfully in his world apart from the wisdom that only God can give.
291 sn The word תְּהוֹמוֹת (tÿhomot, “primordial sea”) alludes to the chaotic “deep” in Gen 1:2 (BDB 1063 s.v. תְּהוֹם 3). This was viewed in the ancient world as a force to be reckoned with. However, God not only formed it but controls it (see J. Emerton, “Spring and Torrent in Ps 74:15,” VT 15 : 125).
292 sn This might refer to God’s action of dividing the waters to form the dry ground on the third day (Gen 1:9-10) or, less likely, to the breaking up of the fountains of the deep at the flood (Gen 7:11).
293 sn The two colons form a merism: The wisdom of God is behind all forces of nature, whether the violent breaking forth of its watery forces at creation or the provision of the gentle rain and dew throughout history (T. T. Perowne, Proverbs, 55).
294 tn The object of the verb “escape” is either (1) wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in vv. 13-20 or (2) “wisdom and discretion” in the second colon of this verse. Several English versions transpose the terms “wisdom and discretion” from the second colon into the first colon for the sake of clarity and smoothness (e.g., RSV, NRSV, NIV, TEV, CEV).
NIV takes the subject from the second colon and reverses the clauses to clarify that.
295 tn Or: “purpose,” “power of devising.”
296 tn Heb “and.” The vav probably denotes purpose/result.
297 tn Heb “they will be.”
298 tn Heb “your soul.” The noun נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= inner soul) for the whole person (= you); see BDB 600 s.v. 4.a.2.
299 tn The phrase “to adorn” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
300 tn Heb “grace for your neck.” See note on 1:9.
301 tn The noun דַּרְכֶּךָ (darkekha, “your way”) functions as an adverbial accusative of location: “on your way.”
302 tn Heb “your foot.” The term רַגְלְךָ (raglÿkha, “your foot”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= foot) for the whole person (= you).
303 sn The verb נָגַף (ragaf, “to strike; to smite”) sometimes means “to stumble” against a stone (e.g., Ps 91:12). Here the object (“stone”) is implied (BDB 619 s.v.). This is a figure (hypocatastasis) comparing stumbling on a stone in the path to making serious mistakes in life that bring harm.
304 tn The particle אִם (’im, “if”) here functions in its rare temporal sense (“when”) followed by an imperfect tense (e.g., Num 36:4; BDB 50 s.v. 1.b.4.b).
305 tn Heb “terror.” The verb פָּחַד (pakhad, “terror”) describes emotion that is stronger than mere fear – it is dread.
306 tn The construction of vav consecutive + perfect tense followed by vav (ו) consecutive + perfect tense depicts a temporal clause. The temporal nuance is also suggested by the parallelism of the preceding colon.
307 tn The verb עָרְבָה (’orvah) is from III עָרַב (“to be sweet; to be pleasing; to be pleasant”; BDB 787 s.v. III עָרַב). It should not be confused with the other five homonymic roots that are also spelled עָרַב (’arav; see BDB 786-88).
308 tn Heb “do not be afraid.” The negative exhortation אַל־תִּירָא (’al-tira’, “do not be afraid”) is used rhetorically to emphasize that the person who seeks wisdom will have no reason to fear the consequences of wicked actions.
309 tn Heb “terror of suddenness.” The noun פִּתְאֹם (pit’om, “sudden”) functions as an attributive genitive: “sudden terror” (e.g., Job 22:10; BDB 837 s.v.).
310 tn Heb “terror.” The noun פַּחַד (pakhad, “terror”) is a metonymy of effect for cause (= disaster); see BDB 808 s.v. 2. This is suggested by the parallelism with the noun מִשֹּׁאַת (misho’at, “destruction”) in the following colon. The term פַּחַד (“terror”) often refers to the object (or cause) of terror (e.g., Job 3:25; 15:21; 22:10; 31:23; Pss 31:12; 36:2; Isa 24:18; Jer 48:44).
311 tn Heb “or the destruction of the wicked when it comes.”
312 tn Heb “destruction of the wicked.” The noun רְשָׁעִים (rÿsha’im, “wicked ones”) probably functions as an objective genitive (the destruction that comes on the wicked) or a genitive of source (the destruction that the wicked bring on others).
313 tn Or “the
314 tn Heb “your confidence” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV) or “at your side.” There is debate whether the term כֶּסֶל (kesel) is related to the root I כָסַל “loins; side” (so HALOT 489 s.v. I כֶּסֶל 2) or II כָסַל “confidence” (so BDB 492 s.v. כֶּסֶל 3). The Vulgate relates it to I כָסַל and offers “the
315 sn The term רַגְלְךָ (raglekha, “your foot”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= your foot) for the whole person (= you). This synecdoche develops the extended comparison between the hunter’s snare and calamity that afflicts the wicked.
316 tn Heb “from capture.” The noun לָכֶד (lakhed, “capture; snare”) occurs only here in OT (BDB 540 s.v.; HALOT 530 s.v. לֶכֶד). It is figurative for the calamity of v. 25. God will protect the wise (or, righteous) from the consequences of sin (snares) that afflict the wicked.
317 tn The MT has “from its possessors” and the LXX simply has “from the poor.” C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 77) suggests emending the text to read “neighbors” (changing בְּעָלָיו [be’alav] to רֵעֶיךָ, re’ekha) but that is gratuitous. The idea can be explained as being those who need to possess it, or as BDB 127 s.v. בַּעַל has it with an objective genitive, “the owner of it” = the one to whom it is due.
318 tn The infinitive construct with preposition ב (bet) introduces a temporal clause: “when….”
319 tc The form יָדֶיךָ (yadekha) is a Kethib/Qere reading. The Kethib is the dual יָדֶיךָ (“your hands”) and the Qere is the singular יָדְךָ (yadÿkha, “your hand”). Normally the Qere is preferred because it represents an alternate textual tradition that the Masoretes viewed as superior to the received text.
tn Heb “your hand.” The term יָדְךָ (“your hand”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= your hand) for the whole person (= you).
320 tn Heb “it is to the power of your hand.” This expression is idiomatic for “it is in your power” or “you have the ability” (Gen 31:29; Deut 28:23; Neh 5:5; Mic 2:1). The noun אֵל (’el) means “power” (BDB 43 s.v. 7), and יָד (yad, “hand”) is used figuratively to denote “ability” (BDB 390 s.v. 2). Several translations render this as “when it is in your power to do it” (KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB) or “when it is in your power to act” (NIV). W. McKane suggests, “when it is in your power to confer it” (Proverbs [OTL], 215).
321 tn Heb “to do [it]” (cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV).
322 tn Heb “and it is with you.” The prefixed vav introduces a circumstantial clause: “when …”
323 tn The words “at the time” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
324 sn The verb חָרַשׁ (kharash) means “to cut in; to engrave; to plough; to devise.” The idea of plotting is metaphorical for working, practicing or fabricating (BDB 360 s.v.).
325 tn The vav (ו) prefixed to the pronoun introduces a disjunctive circumstantial clause: “when….”
326 sn The term רִיב (riv) can mean “quarrel” or “legal accusation” (BDB 936 s.v.). Both ideas would work but the more technical legal accusation fits the context better. This is a warning to not bring legal accusations against anyone without a legitimate reason.
327 tn Heb “a man.”
328 tn Heb “gratuitously”; NIV, TEV “for no (+ good NCV) reason.” The adverb חִנָּם (khinam) means “without cause, undeservedly,” especially of groundless hostility (HALOT 334 s.v. 3; BDB 336 s.v. c).
329 tn Heb “a man of violence.” The noun חָמָס (khamas, “violence”) functions as an attributive genitive. The word itself means “violence, wrong” (HALOT 329 s.v.) and refers to physical violence, social injustice, harsh treatment, wild ruthlessness, injurious words, hatred, and general rudeness (BDB 329 s.v.).
330 tn Heb “do not choose.”
331 tn The basic meaning of the verb לוּז (luz) is “to turn aside; to depart” (BDB 531 s.v.). The Niphal stem is always used figuratively of moral apostasy from the path of righteousness: (1) “to go astray” (Prov 2:15; 3:32; 14:2) and (2) “crookedness” in action (Isa 30:12; see HALOT 522 s.v. לוז nif; BDB 531 s.v. Niph).
332 tn Heb “abomination of the
333 tn Heb “but with the upright is his intimate counsel.” The phrase “he reveals” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and clarity.
334 tn Heb “his counsel.” The noun סוֹד (sod) can refer to (1) “intimate circle” of friends and confidants, (2) “confidential discussion” among friends and confidants, or “secret counsel” revealed from one confidant to another and kept secret and (3) relationship of “intimacy” with a person (BDB 691 s.v.; HALOT 745 s.v.). God reveals his secret counsel to the heavenly assembly (Job 15:8; Jer 23:18, 22) and his prophets (Amos 3:7). God has brought the angels into his “intimate circle” (Ps 89:8). Likewise, those who fear the
335 tn Heb “the curse of the
336 tn Heb “house.” The term בֵּית (bet, “house”) functions as a synecdoche of container (= house) for the persons contained (= household). See, e.g., Exod 1:21; Deut 6:22; Josh 22:15 (BDB 109 s.v. 5.a).
337 sn The term “wicked” is singular; the term “righteous” in the second half of the verse is plural. In scripture such changes often hint at God’s reluctance to curse, but eagerness to bless (e.g., Gen 12:3).
338 sn The term “bless” (בָּרַךְ, barakh) is the antithesis of “curse.” A blessing is a gift, enrichment, or endowment. The blessing of God empowers one with the ability to succeed, and brings vitality and prosperity in the material realm, but especially in one’s spiritual relationship with God.
339 tn Heb “habitation.” The noun נָוֶה (naveh, “habitation; abode”), which is the poetic parallel to בֵּית (bet, “house”), usually refers to the abode of a shepherd in the country: “habitation” in the country (BDB 627 s.v. נָוֶה). It functions as a synecdoche of container (= habitation) for the contents (= people in the habitation and all they possess).
340 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically (AB:BA): “The curse of the
341 tn The particle אִם (’im, “though”) introduces a concessive clause: “though….”
342 tn Heb “he mocks those who mock.” The repetition of the root לִיץ (lits, “to scorn; to mock”) connotes poetic justice; the punishment fits the crime. Scoffers are characterized by arrogant pride (e.g., Prov 21:24), as the antithetical parallelism with “the humble” here emphasizes.
343 tn The prefixed vav (ו) introduces the apodosis to the concessive clause: “Though … yet …”
344 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically (AB:BA): “he scorns / arrogant scoffers // but to the humble / he gives grace.” The word order in the translation is reversed for the sake of smoothness and readability.
345 tc MT reads מֵרִים (merim, “he lifts up”): singular Hiphil participle of רוּם (rum, “to rise; to exalt”), functioning verbally with the
346 tn The noun קָלוֹן (qalon, “ignominy; dishonor; contempt”) is from קָלָה (qalah) which is an alternate form of קָלַל (qalal) which means (1) “to treat something lightly,” (2) “to treat with contempt [or, with little esteem]” or (3) “to curse.” The noun refers to personal disgrace or shame. While the wise will inherit honor, fools will be made a public display of dishonor. God lets fools entangle themselves in their folly in a way for all to see.
347 sn The chapter includes an exhortation to acquire wisdom (1-4a), a list of the benefits of wisdom (4b-9), a call to pursue a righteous lifestyle (10-13), a warning against a wicked lifestyle (14-19), and an exhortation to righteousness (20-27).
348 tn Heb “sons.”
349 tn Heb “discipline.”
350 tn The Qal infinitive construct with preposition ל (lamed) indicates the purpose/result of the preceding imperative.
351 tn Heb “know” (so KJV, ASV).
352 tn The perfect tense has the nuance of instantaneous perfect; the sage is now calling the disciples to listen. It could also be a perfect of resolve, indicating what he is determined to do.
353 tn The word לֶקַח (leqakh, “instruction”) can be subjective (instruction acquired) or objective (the thing being taught). The latter fits best here.
354 tn Or “a boy with my father.”
355 tc The LXX introduces the ideas of “obedient” and “beloved” for these two terms. This seems to be a free rendering, if not a translation of a different Hebrew textual tradition. The MT makes good sense and requires no emendation.
tn Heb “tender and only one.” The phrase רַךְ וְיָחִיד (rakh vÿyakhid, “tender and only one”) is a hendiadys meaning “tender only child.” The adjective רַךְ (rakh) means “tender; delicate” (BDB 940 s.v. רַךְ), and describes a lad who is young and undeveloped in character (e.g., 2 Sam 3:39). The adjective יָחִיד (yakhid) means “only one” (BDB 402 s.v. יָחִיד) and refers to a beloved and prized only child (e.g., Gen 22:2).
356 tn The imperative with the vav expresses volitional sequence after the preceding imperative: “keep and then you will live,” meaning “keep so that you may live.”
357 tn Heb “from the words of my mouth” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); TEV, CEV “what I say.”
sn The verse uses repetition for the imperative “acquire” to underscore the importance of getting wisdom; it then uses two verb forms for the one prepositional phrase to stress the warning.
358 tn Heb “her”; the 3rd person feminine singular referent is personified “wisdom,” which has been specified in the translation for clarity.
359 tn The absolute and construct state of רֵאשִׁית (re’shit) are identical (BDB 912 s.v.). Some treat רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה (re’shit khokhmah) as a genitive-construct phrase: “the beginning of wisdom” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV). Others take רֵאשִׁית as an absolute functioning as predicate and חָכְמָה as the subject: “wisdom is the first/chief thing” (cf. KJV, ASV). The context here suggests the predicate.
360 tn The term “so” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and style.
361 tn The noun קִנְיָן (qinyan) means “thing got or acquired; acquisition” (BDB 889 s.v.). With the preposition that denotes price, it means “with (or at the price of) all that you have acquired.” The point is that no price is too high for wisdom – give everything for it (K&D 16:108).
362 tc The verse is not in the LXX; some textual critics delete the verse as an impossible gloss that interrupts vv. 6 and 8 (e.g., C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 88).
363 tn The verb is the Pilpel imperative from סָלַל (salal, “to lift up; to cast up”). So the imperative means “exalt her; esteem her highly; prize her.”
364 sn The personification of wisdom continues with the bestowal of a wreath for the head (e.g., 1:9). The point is that grace will be given to the individual like a wreath about the head.
365 tn The verb מָגַן (magan) is a Piel (denominative) verb from the noun “shield.” Here it means “to bestow” (BDB 171 s.v.).
366 sn This verse uses wedding imagery: The wife (wisdom) who is embraced by her husband (the disciple) will place the wedding crown on the head of her new bridegroom. Wisdom, like a virtuous wife, will crown the individual with honor and grace.
367 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in v. 20).
368 tn The vav prefixed to the imperfect verb follows an imperative; this volitive sequence depicts purpose/result.
369 tn Heb “and the years of life will be many for you.”
370 tn The form הֹרֵתִיךָ (horetikha) is the Hiphil perfect with a suffix from the root יָרָה (yarah, “to guide”). This and the parallel verb should be taken as instantaneous perfects, translated as an English present tense: The sage is now instructing or pointing the way.
sn The verb יָרָה (yarah) means “to teach; to instruct; to guide.” This is from the same root as the Hebrew word for “law” (torah). See G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes,” VT 1 (1951): 241-50; and J. L. Crenshaw, “The Acquisition of Knowledge in Israelite Wisdom Literature,” WW 7 (1986): 9.
371 tn Heb “in the tracks of uprightness”; cf. NAB “on straightforward paths.” Both the verb and the object of the preposition make use of the idiom – the verb is the Hiphil perfect from דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, related to “road; way”) and the object is “wagon tracks, paths.”
372 sn The noun צַעֲדֶךָ (tsa’adekha, “your steps”) and the temporal infinitive בְּלֶכְתְּךָ (belekhtÿkha, “when you walk”) use the idiom of walking to represent the course of life. On that course there will be no obstacles; the “path” will be straight – morally and practically.
373 sn The verb צָרַר (tsarar, “to be narrow; to be constricted”) refers to that which is narrow or constricted, signifying distress, trouble, adversity; that which was wide-open or broad represents freedom and deliverance.
374 sn The progression from walking to running is an idiom called “anabasis,” suggesting that as greater and swifter progress is made, there will be nothing to impede the progress (e.g., Isa 40:31).
375 tn Heb “discipline.”
376 tn The form נִצְּרֶהָ (nitsÿreha, from נָצַר, natsar) has an anomalous doubled letter (see GKC 73 §20.h).
377 tn The verb אָשַׁר (’ashar, “to walk”) is not to be confused with the identically spelled homonym אָשַׁר “to pronounce happy” as in BDB 80 s.v. אָשַׁר.
378 sn The verb עָבַר (’avar, “to cross over; to travel through”) ends both cola. In the first it warns against going on wrong paths; in the second it means “to go your own way,” but may hint that the way will cross over the wrong way. The rapid sequence of commands stresses the urgency of the matter.
379 sn The verb is רָעַע (ra’a’), which means “to do evil; to harm.” The verse is using the figure of hyperbole to stress the preoccupation of some people with causing trouble. R. L. Alden says, “How sick to find peace only at the price of another man’s misfortune” (Proverbs, 47).
380 sn Heb “their sleep is robbed/seized”; these expressions are metonymical for their restlessness in plotting evil.
381 sn The Hiphil imperfect (Kethib) means “cause to stumble.” This idiom (from hypocatastasis) means “bring injury/ruin to someone” (BDB 505-6 s.v. כָּשַׁל Hiph.1).
382 tn The noun is a cognate accusative stressing that they consume wickedness.
383 tn Heb “the bread of wickedness” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). There are two ways to take the genitives: (1) genitives of apposition: wickedness and violence are their food and drink (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT), or (2) genitives of source: they derive their livelihood from the evil they do (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 93).
384 tn Heb “the wine of violence” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). This is a genitive of source, meaning that the wine they drink was plundered from their violent crime. The Hebrew is structured in an AB:BA chiasm: “For they eat the bread of wickedness, and the wine of violence they drink.” The word order in the translation is reversed for the sake of smoothness and readability.
385 tn Heb “like light of brightness.” This construction is an attributive genitive: “bright light.” The word “light” (אוֹר, ’or) refers to the early morning light or the dawn (BDB 21 s.v.). The point of the simile is that the course of life that the righteous follow is like the clear, bright morning light. It is illumined, clear, easy to follow, and healthy and safe – the opposite of what darkness represents.
386 tn The construction uses the Qal active participle of הָלַךְ (halakh) in a metaphorical sense to add the idea of continuance or continually to the participle הוֹלֵךְ (holekh). Here the path was growing light, but the added participle signifies continually.
387 tn Heb “until the day is established.” This expression refers to the coming of the full day or the time of high noon.
388 sn The simile describes ignorance or spiritual blindness, sinfulness, calamity, despair.
389 tn Heb “in what they stumble.”
390 tn Heb “incline your ear.” The verb הַט (hat) is the Hiphil imperative from נָטָה (natah, Hiphil: “to turn to; to incline”). The idiom “to incline the ear” gives the picture of “lean over and listen closely.”
sn Commentators note the use of the body in this section: ear (v. 20), eyes (v. 21), flesh (v. 22), heart (v. 23), lips (v. 24), eyes (v. 25), feet (v. 26), and hands and feet (v. 27). Each is a synecdoche of part representing the whole; the total accumulation signifies the complete person in the process.
391 tn The Hiphil form יַלִּיזוּ (yallizu) follows the Aramaic with gemination. The verb means “to turn aside; to depart” (intransitive Hiphil or inner causative).
392 tn Or “keep” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV and many others).
393 sn The words “eyes” and “heart” are metonymies of subject representing the faculties of each. Cf. CEV “think about it all.”
394 tn Heb “to all of his flesh.”
395 tn Heb “more than all guarding.” This idiom means “with all vigilance.” The construction uses the preposition מִן (min) to express “above; beyond,” the word “all” and the noun “prison; guard; act of guarding.” The latter is the use here (BDB 1038 s.v. מִשְׁמָר).
396 sn The word תּוֹצְאוֹת (tots’ot, from יָצָא, yatsa’) means “outgoings; extremities; sources.” It is used here for starting points, like a fountainhead, and so the translation “sources” works well.
397 tn Heb “crookedness.” The noun עִקְּשׁוּת (’iqqÿshut) refers to what is morally twisted or perverted. Here it refers to things that are said (cf. NAB “dishonest talk”; NRSV “crooked speech”). The term “mouth” functions as a metonymy of cause for perverse speech. Such perverse talking could be subtle or blatant.
398 tn Heb “crookedness of mouth.”
399 tn Heb “deviousness of lips put far from you.”
400 tn The jussives in this verse are both Hiphil, the first from the verb “to gaze; to look intently [or, carefully],” (נָבַט, navat) and the second from the verb “to be smooth, straight” (יָשָׁר, yashar).
401 tn Heb “your eyelids.” The term “eyelids” is often a poetic synonym for “eye” (it is a metonymy of adjunct, something connected with the eye put for the eye that sees); it may intensify the idea as one might squint to gain a clearer look.
402 tn Heb “path of your foot.”
403 sn The verb is a denominative Piel from the word פֶּלֶס (peles), “balance; scale.” In addition to telling the disciple to keep focused on a righteous life, the sage tells him to keep his path level, which is figurative for living the righteous life.
404 tn The vav prefixed to the beginning of this dependent clause denotes purpose/result following the preceding imperative.
405 tn The Niphal jussive from כּוּן (cun, “to be fixed; to be established; to be steadfast”) continues the idiom of walking and ways for the moral sense in life.
406 sn The two verbs in this verse are from different roots, but nonetheless share the same semantic domain. The first verb is תֵּט (tet), a jussive from נָטָה (natah), which means “to turn aside” (Hiphil); the second verb is the Hiphil imperative of סוּר (sur), which means “to cause to turn to the side” (Hiphil). The disciple is not to leave the path of righteousness; but to stay on the path he must leave evil.
407 tn Heb “your foot” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV). The term רַגְלְךָ (raglÿkha, “your foot”) is a synecdoche of part (= foot) for the whole person (= “yourself”).
408 tc The LXX adds, “For the way of the right hand God knows, but those of the left hand are distorted; and he himself will make straight your paths and guide your goings in peace.” The ideas presented here are not out of harmony with Proverbs, but the section clearly shows an expansion by the translator. For a brief discussion of whether this addition is Jewish or early Christian, see C. H. Toy, Proverbs (ICC), 99.
409 sn In this chapter the sage/father exhorts discretion (1, 2) then explains how to avoid seduction (3-6); this is followed by a second exhortation to prevention (7, 8) and an explanation that obedience will avoid ruin and regret (9-14); finally, he warns against sharing love with strangers (15-17) but to find it at home (18-23). For an analysis of the chapter, see J. E. Goldingay, “Proverbs V and IX,” RB 84 (1977): 80-93.
410 tn The text again has “my son.” In this passage perhaps “son” would be the most fitting because of the warning against going to the adulterous woman. However, since the image of the adulterous woman probably represents all kinds of folly (through personification), and since even in this particular folly the temptation works both ways, the general address to either young men or women should be retained. The text was certainly not intended to convey that only women could seduce men.
411 tn Heb “incline your ear” (so NAB, NRSV); NLT “listen carefully.”
412 tn Heb “keep, protect, guard.”
413 sn This “discretion” is the same word in 1:4; it is wise, prudential consideration, careful planning, or the ability to devise plans with a view to the best way to carry them out. If that ability is retained then temptations to digress will not interfere.
414 sn “Lips” is a metonymy of cause, referring to her words. Dripping honey is an implied comparison between the product and her words, which are flattering and smooth (cf. Song 4:11). See M. Dahood, “Honey That Drips. Notes on Proverbs 5:2-3,” Bib 54 (1973): 65-66.
415 tn Heb “her palate.” The word חֵךְ (khekh, “palate; roof of the mouth; gums”) is a metonymy of cause (= organ of speech) for what is said (= her seductive speech). The present translation clarifies this metonymy with the phrase “her seductive words.”
416 sn Heb “her end” (so KJV). D. Kidner notes that Proverbs does not allow us to forget that there is an afterward (Proverbs [TOTC], 65).
417 sn The verb “to be bitter” (מָרַר, marar) describes things that are harmful and destructive for life, such as the death of the members of the family of Naomi (Ruth 1:20) or finding water that was undrinkable (Exod 15:22-27). The word indicates that the sweet talking will turn out badly.
418 tn The Hebrew term translated “wormwood” refers to the aromatic plant that contrasts with the sweetness of honey. Some follow the LXX and translate it as “gall” (cf. NIV). The point is that there was sweetness when the tryst had alluring glamour, but afterward it had an ugly ring (W. G. Plaut, Proverbs, 74).
419 sn The Hebrew has “like a sword of [two] mouths,” meaning a double-edged sword that devours/cuts either way. There is no movement without damage. There may be a wordplay here with this description of the “sword with two mouths,” and the subject of the passage being the words of her mouth which also have two sides to them. The irony is cut by the idiom.
420 tn The term שְׁאוֹל (she’ol, “grave”) is paralleled to “death,” so it does not refer here to the realm of the unblessed.
sn The terms death and grave could be hyperbolic of a ruined life, but probably refer primarily to the mortal consequences of a life of debauchery.
421 tn The particle פֶּן (pen) means “lest” (probably from “for the aversion of”). It occurs this once, unusually, preceding the principal clause (BDB 814 s.v.). It means that some action has been taken to avert or avoid what follows. She avoids the path of life, albeit ignorantly.
422 tn Heb “the path of life.” The noun חַיִּים (khayyim, “of life”) functions as a genitive of direction (“leading to”).
423 sn The verb נוּעַ (nua’) means “to quiver; to wave; to waver; to tremble”; cf. KJV “her ways are moveable”; NAB “her paths will ramble”; NLT “She staggers down a crooked trail.” The ways of the adulterous woman are unstable (BDB 631 s.v.).
424 sn The sadder part of the description is that this woman does not know how unstable her life is, or how uneven. However, Thomas suggests that it means, “she is not tranquil.” See D. W. Thomas, “A Note on לא תדע in Proverbs v 6,” JTS 37 (1936): 59.
425 tn Heb “sons.”
426 tn Heb “the words of my mouth” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV).
427 tn Heb “your way.”
428 sn There is a contrast made between “keep far away” (הַרְחֵק, harkheq) and “do not draw near” (וְאַל־תִּקְרַב, vÿ’al-tiqrav).
429 sn The term הוֹד (hod, “vigor; splendor; majesty”) in this context means the best time of one’s life (cf. NIV “your best strength”), the full manly vigor that will be wasted with licentiousness. Here it is paralleled by “years,” which refers to the best years of that vigor, the prime of life. Life would be ruined by living this way, or the revenge of the woman’s husband would cut it short.
430 tn Or “are sated, satisfied.”
431 tn The word כֹּחַ (coakh, “strength”) refers to what laborious toil would produce (so a metonymy of cause). Everything that this person worked for could become the property for others to enjoy.
432 tn “labor, painful toil.”
433 tn The term “benefit” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
434 tn Heb “at your end.”
435 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav consecutive; it is equal to a specific future within this context.
sn The verb means “to growl, groan.” It refers to a lion when it devours its prey, and to a sufferer in pain or remorse (e.g., Ezek 24:23).
436 tn Heb “in the finishing of your flesh and your body.” The construction uses the Qal infinitive construct of כָּלָה (calah) in a temporal clause; the verb means “be complete, at an end, finished, spent.”
437 tn The vav that introduces this clause functions in an explanatory sense.
438 tn The Hebrew term מוֹרַי (moray) is the nominal form based on the Hiphil plural participle with a suffix, from the root יָרָה (yarah). The verb is “to teach,” the common noun is “instruction, law [torah],” and this participle form is teacher (“my teachers”).
439 sn The idioms are vivid: This expression is “incline the ear”; earlier in the first line is “listen to the voice,” meaning “obey.” Such detailed description emphasizes the importance of the material.
440 tn The form is the Piel plural participle of לָמַד (lamad) used substantivally.
441 tn The expression כִּמְעַט (kim’at) is “like a little.” It means “almost,” and is used of unrealized action (BDB 590 s.v. 2). Cf. NCV “I came close to”; NLT “I have come to the brink of.”
442 tn Heb “I was in all evil” (cf. KJV, ASV).
443 tn The text uses the two words “congregation and assembly” to form a hendiadys, meaning the entire assembly.
444 sn Paul Kruger develops this section as an allegory consisting of a series of metaphors. He suggests that what is at issue is private versus common property. The images of the cistern, well, or fountain are used of a wife (e.g., Song 4:15) because she, like water, satisfies desires. Streams of water in the street would then mean sexual contact with a lewd woman. According to 7:12 she never stays home but is in the streets and is the property of many (P. Kruger, “Promiscuity and Marriage Fidelity? A Note on Prov 5:15-18,” JNSL 13 : 61-68).
445 tn The verb means “to be scattered; to be dispersed”; here the imperfect takes a deliberative nuance in a rhetorical question.
446 tn The ל (lamed) preposition denotes possession: “for you” = “yours.” The term לְבַדֶּךָ (lÿvadekha) is appositional, underscoring the possession as exclusive.
447 sn The point is that what is private is not to be shared with strangers; it belongs in the home and in the marriage. The water from that cistern is not to be channeled to strangers or to the public.
448 sn The positive instruction is now given: Find pleasure in a fulfilling marriage. The “fountain” is another in the series of implied comparisons with the sexual pleasure that must be fulfilled at home. That it should be blessed (the passive participle of בָּרַךְ, barakh) indicates that sexual delight is God-given; having it blessed would mean that it would be endowed with fruitfulness, that it would fulfill all that God intended it to do.
449 tn The form is a Qal imperative with a vav (ו) of sequence; after the jussive of the first half this colon could be given an equivalent translation or logically subordinated.
450 tn Or “in the wife you married when you were young” (cf. NCV, CEV); Heb “in the wife of your youth” (so NIV, NLT). The genitive functions as an attributive adjective: “young wife” or “youthful wife.” Another possibility is that it refers to the age in which a man married his wife: “the wife you married in your youth.”
451 tn The construct expression “a doe of loves” is an attributive genitive, describing the doe with the word “loves.” The plural noun may be an abstract plural of intensification (but this noun only occurs in the plural). The same construction follows with a “deer of grace” – a graceful deer.
sn The imagery for intimate love in marriage is now employed to stress the beauty of sexual fulfillment as it was intended. The doe and deer, both implied comparisons, exhibit the grace and love of the wife.
452 sn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah) means “to swerve; to meander; to reel” as in drunkenness; it signifies a staggering gait expressing the ecstatic joy of a captivated lover. It may also mean “to be always intoxicated with her love” (cf. NRSV).
453 tn In the interrogative clause the imperfect has a deliberative nuance.
454 tn Heb “foreigner” (so ASV, NASB), but this does not mean that the woman is non-Israelite. This term describes a woman who is outside the moral boundaries of the covenant community – she is another man’s wife, but since she acts with moral abandonment she is called “foreign.”
455 tn Heb “man.”
456 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
457 tn BDB 814 s.v. פָּלַס 2 suggests that the participle מְפַּלֵּס (mÿpalles) means “to make level [or, straight].” As one’s ways are in front of the eyes of the
458 tn Heb “all his”; the referent (the person mentioned in the first half of the verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
459 tn The suffix on the verb is the direct object suffix; “the wicked” is a second object by apposition: They capture him, the wicked. Since “the wicked” is not found in the LXX, it could be an old scribal error; or the Greek translator may have simply smoothed out the sentence. C. H. Toy suggests turning the sentence into a passive idea: “The wicked will be caught in his iniquities” (Proverbs [ICC], 117).
460 tn The word is the subject of the clause, but the pronominal suffix has no clear referent. The suffix is proleptic, referring to the wicked.
461 tn Heb “his own iniquities will capture the wicked.” The translation shifts the syntax for the sake of smoothness and readability.
462 sn The lack of discipline and control in the area of sexual gratification is destructive. The one who plays with this kind of sin will become ensnared by it and led to ruin.
463 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically: “his own iniquities will capture the wicked, by the cords of his own sin will he be held.”
464 tn The preposition בּ (bet) is used in a causal sense: “because” (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV).
465 sn The word אִוַּלְתּוֹ (’ivvalto, “his folly”) is from the root אול and is related to the noun אֶוִיל (’evil, “foolish; fool”). The noun אִוֶּלֶת (’ivvelet, “folly”) describes foolish and destructive activity. It lacks understanding, destroys what wisdom builds, and leads to destruction if it is not corrected.
466 sn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah, “to swerve; to reel”) is repeated in a negative sense. If the young man is not captivated by his wife but is captivated with a stranger in sinful acts, then his own iniquities will captivate him and he will be led to ruin.
467 sn The chapter advises release from foolish indebtedness (1-5), admonishes avoiding laziness (6-11), warns of the danger of poverty (9-11) and deviousness (12-15), lists conduct that the
468 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 3, 20).
469 sn It was fairly common for people to put up some kind of financial security for someone else, that is, to underwrite another’s debts. But the pledge in view here was foolish because the debtor was a neighbor who was not well known (זָר, zar), perhaps a misfit in the community. The one who pledged security for this one was simply gullible.
470 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
471 tn Heb “struck your hands”; NIV “have struck hands in pledge”; NASB “have given a pledge.” The guarantee of a pledge was signaled by a handshake (e.g., 11:15; 17:18; 22:26).
472 tn Heb “stranger.” The term זוּר (zur, “stranger”) probably refers to a neighbor who was not well-known. Alternatively, it could describe a person who is living outside the norms of convention, a moral misfit in the community. In any case, this “stranger” is a high risk in any financial arrangement.
473 tn The term “if” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
474 tn The verb יָקַשׁ (yaqash) means “to lay a bait; to lure; to lay snares.” In the Niphal it means “to be caught by bait; to be ensnared” – here in a business entanglement.
475 tn Heb “by the words of your mouth.” The same expression occurs at the end of the following line (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). Many English versions vary the wording slightly, presumably for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
476 tn The syntactical construction of imperative followed by an imperative + vav consecutive denotes purpose: “in order to be delivered.” The verb means “to deliver oneself, be delivered” in the Niphal. The image is one of being snatched or plucked quickly out of some danger or trouble, in the sense of a rescue, as in a “brand snatched [Hophal stem] from the fire” (Zech 3:2).
477 tn Heb “have come into the hand of your neighbor” (so NASB; cf. KJV, ASV). The idiom using the “hand” means that the individual has come under the control or the power of someone else. This particular word for hand is used to play ironically on its first occurrence in v. 1.
478 tn In the Hitpael the verb רָפַס (rafas) means “to stamp oneself down” or “to humble oneself” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV). BDB 952 s.v. Hithp suggests “become a suppliant.” G. R. Driver related it to the Akkadian cognate rapasu, “trample,” and interpreted as trampling oneself, swallowing pride, being unremitting in effort (“Some Hebrew Verbs, Nouns, and Pronouns,” JTS 30 : 374).
479 tn Heb “be bold.” The verb רָהַב (rahav) means “to act stormily; to act boisterously; to act arrogantly.” The idea here is a strong one: storm against (beset, importune) your neighbor. The meaning is that he should be bold and not take no for an answer. Cf. NIV “press your plea”; TEV “beg him to release you.”
480 tn Heb “do not give sleep to your eyes.” The point is to go to the neighbor and seek release from the agreement immediately (cf. NLT “Don’t rest until you do”).
481 tn Heb “from the hand.” Most translations supply “of the hunter.” The word “hand” can signify power, control; so the meaning is that of a gazelle freeing itself from a snare or a trap that a hunter set.
482 tc Heb “hand” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV). Some
483 sn The sluggard (עָצֵל, ’atsel) is the lazy or sluggish person (cf. NCV “lazy person”; NRSV, NLT “lazybones”).
484 tn The conjunction vav (ו) here has the classification of alternative, “or” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §433).
485 tc The LXX adds a lengthy section at the end of the verse on the lesson from the bee: “Or, go to the bee and learn how diligent she is and how seriously she does her work – her products kings and private persons use for health – she is desired and respected by all – though feeble in body, by honoring wisdom she obtains distinction.” The Greek translator thought the other insect should be mentioned (see C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 124).
tn Heb “its food.”
486 sn The use of the two rhetorical questions is designed to rebuke the lazy person in a forceful manner. The sluggard is spending too much time sleeping.
487 sn The writer might in this verse be imitating the words of the sluggard who just wants to take “a little nap.” The use is ironic, for by indulging in this little rest the lazy one comes to ruin.
488 tn Heb “like a wayfarer” or “like a traveler” (cf. KJV). The LXX has “swiftness like a traveler.” It has also been interpreted as a “highwayman” (cf. NAB) or a “dangerous assailant.” W. McKane suggests “vagrant” (Proverbs [OTL], 324); cf. NASB “vagabond.” Someone traveling swiftly would likely be a robber.
489 tn The Hebrew word for “armed” is probably connected to the word for “shield” and “deliver” (s.v. גָּנַן). G. R. Driver connects it to the Arabic word for “bold; insolent,” interpreting its use here as referring to a beggar or an insolent man (“Studies in the Vocabulary of the Old Testament, IV,” JTS 33 : 38-47).
490 sn The terms describe one who is both worthless and wicked. Some suggest that בְּלִיַּעַל (bÿliyya’al) is a compound of the negative בְּלִי (bÿli) and a noun יַעַל (ya’al, “profit; worth”). Others suggest that the root is from בַּעַל (ba’al, “lord [of goats]”) or a derivative of בָּלַע (bala’) with reduplication (“confusion” or “engulfing ruin”), or a proper name from Babylonian Bililu. See B. Otzen, TDOT 2:131-36; and D. W. Thomas, “בְּלִיַּעַל in the Old Testament,” Biblical and Patristic Studies in Memory of Robert Pierce Casey, 11-19. Whatever the etymology, usage shows that the word describes people who violate the law (Deut 15:9; Judg 19:22; 1 Kgs 21:10, 13; Prov 16:27; et al.) or act in a contemptuous and foolish manner against cultic observance or social institutions (1 Sam 10:27; 25:17; 30:22); cf. NRSV “a scoundrel and a villain” (NAB and NIV similar). The present instruction will focus on the devious practice of such wicked and worthless folk.
491 tn Heb “crooked” or “twisted.” This term can refer to something that is physically twisted or crooked, or something morally perverse. Cf. NAB “crooked talk”; NRSV “crooked speech.”
492 tn Heb “walks around with a perverse mouth.” The term “mouth” is a metonymy of cause, an organ of speech put for what is said. This is an individual who says perverted or twisted things.
493 sn The sinister sign language and gestures of the perverse individual seem to indicate any kind of look or gesture that is put on and therefore a form of deception if not a way of making insinuations. W. McKane suggests from the presence of חֹרֵשׁ (khoresh) in v. 14 that there may be some use of magic here (Proverbs [OTL], 325).
494 tn The noun is an adverbial accusative of manner, explaining the circumstances that inform his evil plans.
495 tn The word “contention” is from the root דִּין (din); the noun means “strife, contention, quarrel.” The normal plural form is represented by the Qere, and the contracted form by the Kethib.
496 tn This word is a substantive that is used here as an adverbial accusative – with suddenness, at an instant.
497 tn The conjunction has the explicative use here (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §434).
498 sn This saying involves a numerical ladder, paralleling six things with seven things (e.g., also 30:15, 18, 21, 24, 29). The point of such a numerical arrangement is that the number does not exhaust the list (W. M. Roth, “The Numerical Sequence x / x +1 in the Old Testament,” VT 12 : 300-311; and his “Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament,” VT 13 : 86).
499 tn Heb “his soul.”
500 sn The expression “high/ lofty [רָמוֹת, ramot] eyes” refers to a proud look suggesting arrogant ambition (cf. NCV “a proud look”). The use of “eyes” is a metonymy of adjunct, the look in the eyes accompanying the attitude. This term “high” is used in Num 15:30 for the sin of the “high hand,” i.e., willful rebellion or defiant sin. The usage of “haughty eyes” may be illustrated by its use with the pompous Assyrian invader (Isa 10:12-14) and the proud king of the book of Daniel (11:12). God does not tolerate anyone who thinks so highly of himself and who has such ambition.
501 tn Heb “a tongue of deception.” The genitive noun functions attributively. The term “tongue” functions as a metonymy. The term is used of false prophets who deceive (Jer 14:14), and of a deceiver who betrays (Ps 109:2). The
502 sn The hands are the instruments of murder (metonymy of cause), and God hates bloodshed. Gen 9:6 prohibited shedding blood because people are the image of God. Even David being a man of blood (in war mostly) was not permitted to build the Temple (1 Chr 22:8). But shedding innocent blood was a greater crime – it usually went with positions of power, such as King Manasseh filling the streets with blood (2 Kgs 21:16), or princes doing it for gain (Ezek 22:27).
503 tn Heb “heart that devises plans of wickedness.” The latter term is an attributive genitive. The heart (metonymy of subject) represents the will; here it plots evil schemes. The heart is capable of evil schemes (Gen 6:5); the heart that does this is deceitful (Prov 12:20; 14:22).
504 tc The MT reads “make haste to run,” that is, be eager to seize the opportunity. The LXX omits “run,” that is, feet hastening to do evil. It must have appeared to the LXX translator that the verb was unnecessary; only one verb occurs in the other cola.
sn The word “feet” is here a synecdoche, a part for the whole. Being the instruments of movement, they represent the swift and eager actions of the whole person to do some harm.
505 sn The
506 sn Dissension is attributed in Proverbs to contentious people (21:9; 26:21; 25:24) who have a short fuse (15:8).
507 tn Heb “brothers,” although not limited to male siblings only. Cf. NRSV, CEV “in a family”; TEV “among friends.”
sn These seven things the
508 sn The figures used here are hypocatastases (implied comparisons). There may also be an allusion to Deut 6 where the people were told to bind the law on their foreheads and arms. The point here is that the disciple will never be without these instructions. See further, P. W. Skehan, Studies in Israelite Poetry and Wisdom (CBQMS), 1-8.
509 tn The verbal form is the Hitpael infinitive construct with a preposition and a suffixed subjective genitive to form a temporal clause. The term הָלַךְ (halakh) in this verbal stem means “to go about; to go to and fro.” The use of these terms in v. 22 also alludes to Deut 6:7.
510 tn Heb “it will guide you.” The verb is singular and the instruction is the subject.
511 tn In both of the preceding cola an infinitive construct was used for the temporal clauses; now the construction uses a perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. The verb would then be equivalent to an imperfect tense, but subordinated as a temporal clause here.
512 sn The Hebrew verb means “talk” in the sense of “to muse; to complain; to meditate”; cf. TEV, NLT “advise you.” Instruction bound to the heart will speak to the disciple on awaking.
513 tn Heb “the commandment” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).
514 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
515 sn The terms “lamp,” “light,” and “way” are all metaphors. The positive teachings and commandments will illumine or reveal to the disciple the way to life; the disciplinary correctives will provide guidance into fullness of life.
516 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
517 tn Heb “the way of life” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV, NLT “the way to life.” The noun “life” is a genitive following the construct “way.” It could be an attributive genitive modifying the kind of way/course of life that instruction provides, but it could also be objective in that the course of life followed would produce and lead to life.
518 tn The infinitive construct is epexegetical here, explaining how these teachings function as lights: “by keeping you.” This verse is the transition from the general admonition about heeding the teachings to the practical application.
519 tc The word translated “woman” is modified by רַע (ra’, “evil”) in the sense of violating the codes of the community and inflicting harm on others. The BHS editors propose changing it to read “strange woman” as before, but there is not support for that. Some commentaries follow the LXX and read רַע as “wife of a neighbor” (cf. NAB; also NRSV “the wife of another”; CEV “someone else’s wife”) but that seems to be only a clarification.
520 tn The word “tongue” is not in construct; the word “foreign woman” is in apposition to “smooth of tongue,” specifying whose it is. The word “smooth” then is the object of the preposition, “tongue” is the genitive of specification, and “foreign woman” in apposition.
521 sn The description of the woman as a “strange woman” and now a “loose [Heb “foreign”] woman” is within the context of the people of Israel. She is a “foreigner” in the sense that she is a nonconformist, wayward, and loose. It does not necessarily mean that she is not ethnically an Israelite.
522 tn The negated jussive gives the young person an immediate warning. The verb חָמַד (khamad) means “to desire,” and here in the sense of lust. The word is used in the Decalogue of Deut 5:21 for the warning against coveting.
sn Lusting after someone in the heart, according to Jesus, is a sin of the same kind as the act, not just the first step toward it (Matt 5:28). Playing with temptation in the heart – the seat of the will and the emotions – is only the heart reaching out after the sin.
523 tn Heb “her eyelids” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “eyelashes”; TEV “flirting eyes”). This term is a synecdoche of part (eyelids) for the whole (eyes) or a metonymy of association for painted eyes and the luring glances that are the symptoms of seduction (e.g., 2 Kgs 9:30). The term “alluring” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarification.
524 tn The word בְעַד (bÿ’ad) may be taken either as “on account of” (= by means of a) prostitute (cf. ASV, NASB), or “for the price of” a prostitute (cf. NAB). Most expositors take the first reading, though that use of the preposition is unattested, and then must supply “one is brought to.” The verse would then say that going to a prostitute can bring a man to poverty, but going to another man’s wife can lead to death. If the second view were taken, it would mean that one had a smaller price than the other. It is not indicating that one is preferable to the other; both are to be avoided.
525 tn Heb “the wife of a man.”
526 tn These two lines might be an example of synthetic parallelism, that is, “A, what’s more B.” The A-line describes the detrimental moral effect of a man going to a professional prostitute; the B-line heightens this and describes the far worse effect – moral and mortal! – of a man committing adultery with another man’s wife. When a man goes to a prostitute, he lowers himself to become nothing more than a “meal ticket” to sustain the life of that woman; however, when a man commits adultery, he places his very life in jeopardy – the rage of the husband could very well kill him.
527 tn The Qal imperfect (with the interrogative) here has a potential nuance – “Is it possible to do this?” The sentence is obviously a rhetorical question making an affirmation that it is not possible.
528 sn “Fire” provides the analogy for the sage’s warning: Fire represents the sinful woman (hypocatastasis) drawn close, and the burning of the clothes the inevitable consequences of the liaison. See J. L. Crenshaw, “Impossible Questions, Sayings, and Tasks,” Semeia 17 (1980): 19-34. The word “fire” (אֵשׁ, ’esh) plays on the words “man” (אִישׁ,’ish) and “woman” (אִשָּׁה, ’ishah); a passage like this probably inspired R. Gamaliel’s little explanation that what binds a man and a woman together in a holy marriage is י (yod) and ה (he), the two main letters of the holy name Yah. But if the
529 tn Heb “snatch up fire into his bosom.”
530 tn The second colon begins with the vav (ו) disjunctive on the noun, indicating a disjunctive clause; here it is a circumstantial clause.
531 tn The particle indicates that this is another rhetorical question like that in v. 27.
532 tn Heb “thus is the one.”
533 tn Heb “who goes in to” (so NAB, NASB). The Hebrew verb בּוֹא (bo’, “to go in; to enter”) is used throughout scripture as a euphemism for the act of sexual intercourse. Cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT “who sleeps with”; NCV “have sexual relations with.”
534 tn Heb “anyone who touches her will not.”
535 sn The verb “touches” is intended here to be a euphemism for illegal sexual contact (e.g., Gen 20:6).
536 tn Heb “will be exempt from”; NASB, NLT “will not go unpunished.”
537 tn The verb is יִנָּקֶה (yinnaqeh), the Niphal imperfect from נָקָה (naqah, “to be empty; to be clean”). From it we get the adjectives “clean,” “free from guilt,” “innocent.” The Niphal has the meanings (1) “to be cleaned out” (of a plundered city; e.g., Isa 3:26), (2) “to be clean; to be free from guilt; to be innocent” (Ps 19:14), (3) “to be free; to be exempt from punishment” [here], and (4) “to be free; to be exempt from obligation” (Gen 24:8).
538 tn Heb “they do not despise.”
539 tn Heb “himself” or “his life.” Since the word נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) refers to the whole person, body and soul, and since it has a basic idea of the bundle of appetites that make up a person, the use here for satisfying his hunger is appropriate.
540 tn The term “yet” is supplied in the translation.
541 tn Heb “is found out.” The perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive is equivalent to the imperfect nuances. Here it introduces either a conditional or a temporal clause before the imperfect.
542 tn The imperfect tense has an obligatory nuance. The verb in the Piel means “to repay; to make restitution; to recompense”; cf. NCV, TEV, CEV “must pay back.”
543 tn This final clause in the section is somewhat cryptic. The guilty thief must pay back sevenfold what he stole, even if it means he must use the substance of his whole house. The verb functions as an imperfect of possibility: “he might even give.”
544 tn Heb “heart.” The term “heart” is used as a metonymy of association for discernment, wisdom, good sense. Cf. NAB “is a fool”; NIV “lacks judgment”; NCV, NRSV “has no sense.”
545 tn Heb “soul.” The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) functions as a metonymy of association for “life” (BDB 659 s.v. 3.c).
546 tn Heb “He will receive a wound and contempt.”
547 sn Even though the text has said that the man caught in adultery ruins his life, it does not mean that he was put to death, although that could have happened. He seems to live on in ignominy, destroyed socially and spiritually. He might receive blows and wounds from the husband and shame and disgrace from the spiritual community. D. Kidner observes that in a morally healthy society the adulterer would be a social outcast (Proverbs [TOTC], 75).
548 tn The word “kindles” was supplied in the translation; both “rage” and “jealousy” have meanings connected to heat.
549 tn Heb “a man’s.”
550 tn The verb חָמַל (khamal) means “to show mercy; to show compassion; to show pity,” usually with the outcome of sparing or delivering someone. The idea here is that the husband will not spare the guilty man any of the punishment (cf. NRSV “he shows no restraint”).
551 tn Heb “lift up the face of,” meaning “regard.”
552 tn The word rendered “compensation” is כֹּפֶר (cofer); it is essentially a ransom price, a sum to be paid to deliver another from debt, bondage, or crime. The husband cannot accept payment as a ransom for a life, since what has happened cannot be undone so easily.
553 tn BDB 1005 s.v. שֹׁחַד suggests that this term means “hush money” or “bribe” (cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT). C. H. Toy takes it as legal compensation (Proverbs [ICC], 142).
554 sn The chapter begins with the important teaching of the father (1-5), then it focuses on the seduction: first of the victim (6-9), then the temptress (10-12), then the seduction (13-20), and the capitulation (21-23); the chapter concludes with the deadly results of consorting (24-27).
555 tn Heb “my son.”
556 tn Heb “within you” (so NASB, NIV); KJV, ASV, NRSV “with you.” BDB 860 s.v. צָפַן Qal.1 suggests that “within you” means “in your own keeping.”
557 tc Before v. 2 the LXX inserts: “My son, fear the
558 tn The construction of an imperative with the vav (ו) of sequence after another imperative denotes a logical sequence of purpose or result: “that you may live,” or “and you will live.”
559 tn The term “obey” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied for the sake of clarity and smoothness. Some English versions, in light of the second line of v. 1, supply “guard” (e.g., NIV, NCV, NLT).
560 tn Heb “the little man in your eye.” Traditionally this Hebrew idiom is translated into English as “the apple of your eye” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); a more contemporary rendering would be “as your most prized possession.” The word for “man” has the diminutive ending on it. It refers to the pupil, where the object focused on – a man – is reflected in miniature. The point is that the teaching must be the central focus of the disciple’s vision and attention.
561 tn Heb “fingers” (so KJV and many other English versions). In light of Deut 6:8, “fingers” appears to be a metonymy for the lower part of the arm.
562 sn This is an allusion to Deut 6:8. Binding the teachings on the fingers and writing them on the tablets here are implied comparisons for preserving the teaching in memory so that it can be recalled and used with ease.
563 sn The metaphor is meant to signify that the disciple will be closely related to and familiar with wisdom and understanding, as close as to a sibling. Wisdom will be personified in the next two chapters, and so referring to it as a sister in this chapter certainly prepares for that personification.
564 tn The infinitive construct with the preposition shows the purpose of associating closely with wisdom: Wisdom will obviate temptations, the greatest being the sexual urge.
565 tn Heb “strange” (so KJV, ASV).
566 tn Heb “strange woman.” This can be interpreted as a “wayward wife” (so NIV) or an “unfaithful wife” (so NCV). As discussed earlier, the designations “strange woman” and “foreign woman” could refer to Israelites who stood outside the community in their lawlessness and loose morals – an adulteress or wayward woman. H. Ringgren and W. Zimmerli, however, suggest that she is also a promoter of a pagan cult, but that is not entirely convincing (Spruche/Prediger [ATD], 19).
567 tn The term “you” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
568 tn Heb “she makes smooth her words.” This expression means “she flatters with her words.”
569 tn Heb “sons.”
570 tn Heb “lad” or “youth.”
571 tn Heb “heart.”
sn This young man who lacked wisdom is one of the simpletons, lacking keen judgment, one void of common sense (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT) or understanding (cf. KJV, ASV). He is young, inexperienced, featherbrained (so D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 75).
572 tn The verb צָעַד (tsa’ad) means “to step; to march.” It suggests that the youth was intentionally making his way to her house. The verb is the imperfect tense; it stresses continual action parallel to the active participle that began the verse, but within a context that is past time.
573 tn Heb “way of her house.” This expression uses an adverbial accusative of location, telling where he was marching along. The term “house” is the genitive of location, giving the goal.
574 tn Heb “in the evening of the day.”
575 tn Heb “in the middle of the night, and dark”; KJV “in the black and dark night”; NRSV “at the time of night and darkness.”
576 tn The particle וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh) introduces a dramatic sense of the immediate to the narrative; it has a deictic force, “and look! – there was a woman,” or “all of a sudden this woman….”
577 tn Heb “with the garment of a prostitute.” The noun שִׁית (shith, “garment”) is an adverbial accusative specifying the appearance of the woman. The words “she was” are supplied in the translation to make a complete English sentence.
578 tn Heb “kept secret of heart”; cf. ASV, NRSV “wily of heart.” The verbal form is the passive participle from נָצַר (natsar) in construct. C. H. Toy lists the suggestions of the commentators: false, malicious, secret, subtle, excited, hypocritical (Proverbs [ICC], 149). The LXX has “causes the hearts of the young men to fly away.” The verb means “to guard; to watch; to keep”; to be guarded of heart means to be wily, to have secret intent – she has locked up her plans and gives nothing away (e.g., Isaiah 48:6 as well). Interestingly enough, this contrasts with her attire which gives everything away.
579 tn Heb “her feet.” This is a synecdoche, a part for the whole; the point is that she never stays home, but is out and about all the time.
580 tn Heb “dwell” or “settle”; NAB “her feet cannot rest.”
581 tn The repetition of the noun “time, step,” usually translated “now, this time,” signifies here “at one time…at another time” (BDB 822 s.v. פַּעַם 3.e).
582 tn Heb “she makes bold her face.” The Hiphil perfect of עָזַז (’azar, “to be strong”) means she has an impudent face (cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV), a bold or brazen expression (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).
583 tn Heb “with me.”
584 tn Heb “I have peace offerings.” The peace offerings refer to the meat left over from the votive offering made at the sanctuary (e.g., Lev 7:11-21). Apparently the sacrificial worship meant as little to this woman spiritually as does Christmas to modern hypocrites who follow in her pattern. By expressing that she has peace offerings, she could be saying nothing more than that she has fresh meat for a meal at home, or that she was ceremonially clean, perhaps after her period. At any rate, it is all probably a ruse for winning a customer.
585 tn Heb “to look diligently for your face.”
586 tn Heb “with spreads.” The sentence begins with the cognate accusative: “with spreads I have spread my bed.” The construction enhances the idea – she has covered her bed.
587 tn The feminine noun means “dark-hued stuffs” (BDB 310 s.v. חֲטֻבוֹת). The form is a passive participle from a supposed root II חָטַב (khatav), which in Arabic means to be of a turbid, dusky color mixed with yellowish red. Its Aramaic cognate means “variegated”; cf. NAB “with brocaded cloths of Egyptian linen.” BDB’s translation of this colon is unsatifactory: “with dark hued stuffs of yarn from Egypt.”
588 tn The form נִרְוֶה (nirveh) is the plural cohortative; following the imperative “come” the form expresses the hortatory “let’s.” The verb means “to be saturated; to drink one’s fill,” and can at times mean “to be intoxicated with.”
589 tn Heb “loves.” The word דּוֹד (dod) means physical love or lovemaking. It is found frequently in the Song of Solomon for the loved one, the beloved. Here the form (literally, “loves”) is used in reference to multiple acts of sexual intercourse, as the phrase “until morning” suggests.
590 tn The form is the Hitpael cohortative of עָלַס (’alas), which means “to rejoice.” Cf. NIV “let’s enjoy ourselves.”
591 tn Heb “with love.”
592 tn Heb “the man.” The LXX interpreted it as “my husband,” taking the article to be used as a possessive. Many English versions do the same.
593 tn Heb “in his house.”
594 tn Heb “in his hand.”
595 tn Heb “he will come back at.”
596 tn Heb “new moon.” Judging from the fact that the husband took a purse of money and was staying away until the next full moon, the woman implies that they would be safe in their escapade. If v. 9 and v. 20 are any clue, he could be gone for about two weeks – until the moon is full again.
597 tn Heb “she turned him aside.” This expression means that she persuaded him. This section now begins the description of the capitulation, for the flattering speech is finished.
598 sn The term לֶקַח (leqakh) was used earlier in Proverbs for wise instruction; now it is used ironically for enticement to sin (see D. W. Thomas, “Textual and Philological Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VTSup 3 : 280-92).
599 tn Heb “smooth of her lips”; cf. NAB “smooth lips”; NASB “flattering lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause representing what she says.
600 tn The verb means “to impel; to thrust; to banish,” but in this stem in this context “to compel; to force” into some action. The imperfect tense has the nuance of progressive imperfect to parallel the characteristic perfect of the first colon.
601 tn The participle with “suddenly” gives a more vivid picture, almost as if to say “there he goes.”
602 tn The present translation follows R. B. Y. Scott (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 64). This third colon of the verse would usually be rendered, “fetters to the chastening of a fool” (KJV, ASV, and NASB are all similar). But there is no support that עֶכֶס (’ekhes) means “fetters.” It appears in Isaiah 3:16 as “anklets.” The parallelism here suggests that some animal imagery is required. Thus the ancient versions have “as a dog to the bonds.”
603 sn The figure of an arrow piercing the liver (an implied comparison) may refer to the pangs of a guilty conscience that the guilty must reap along with the spiritual and physical ruin that follows (see on these expressions H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament).
604 tn The expression that it is “for/about/over his life” means that it could cost him his life (e.g., Num 16:38). Alternatively, the line could refer to moral corruption and social disgrace rather than physical death – but this would not rule out physical death too.
605 tn The literal translation “sons” works well here in view of the warning. Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “children.”
606 tn Heb “the words of my mouth.”
607 tn Heb “she has caused to fall.”
608 tn Heb “numerous” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT) or “countless.”
609 tn The noun “Sheol” in parallelism to “the chambers of death” probably means the grave. The noun is a genitive of location, indicating the goal of the road(s). Her house is not the grave; it is, however, the sure way to it.
sn Her house is the way to the grave. The young man’s life is not destroyed in one instant; it is taken from him gradually as he enters into a course of life that will leave him as another victim of the wages of sin. The point of the warning is to prevent such a course from starting. Sin can certainly be forgiven, but the more involvement in this matter the greater the alienation from the healthy community.
610 tn The Qal active participle modifies “ways” to Sheol. The “road,” as it were, descends to the place of death.
611 tn “Chambers” is a hypocatastasis, comparing the place of death or the grave with a bedroom in the house. It plays on the subtlety of the temptation. Cf. NLT “Her bedroom is the den of death.”
612 sn In this chapter wisdom is personified. In 1:20-33 wisdom proclaims her value, and in 3:19-26 wisdom is the agent of creation. Such a personification has affinities with the wisdom literature of the ancient Near East, and may have drawn on some of that literature, albeit with appropriate safeguards (Claudia V. Camp, Wisdom and the Feminine in the Book of Proverbs, 23-70). Wisdom in Proverbs 8, however, is not a deity like Egypt’s Ma`at or the Assyrian-Babylonian Ishtar. It is simply presented as if it were a self-conscious divine being distinct but subordinate to God; but in reality it is the personification of the attribute of wisdom displayed by God (R. B. Y. Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes [AB], 69-72; and R. Marcus, “On Biblical Hypostases of Wisdom,” HUCA 23 [1950-1951]: 157-71). Many have equated wisdom in this chapter with Jesus Christ. This connection works only in so far as Jesus reveals the nature of the Father, just as Proverbs presents wisdom as an attribute of God. Jesus’ claims included wisdom (Matt 12:42) and a unique knowledge of God (Matt 11:25-27). He even personified wisdom in a way that was similar to Proverbs (Matt 11:19). Paul saw the fulfillment of wisdom in Christ (Col 1:15-20; 2:3) and affirmed that Christ became our wisdom in the crucifixion (1 Cor 1:24, 30). So this personification in Proverbs provides a solid foundation for the similar revelation of wisdom in Christ. But because wisdom is a creation of God in Proverbs 8, it is unlikely that wisdom here is to be identified with Jesus Christ. The chapter unfolds in three cycles: After an introduction (1-3), wisdom makes an invitation (4, 5) and explains that she is noble, just, and true (6-9); she then makes another invitation (10) and explains that she is valuable (11-21); and finally, she tells how she preceded and delights in creation (22-31) before concluding with the third invitation (32-36).
613 tn Heb “head.” The word רֹאשׁ (ro’sh, “head”) refers to the highest area or most important place in the elevated area. The contrast with chapter 7 is striking. There the wayward woman lurked at the corners in the street at night; here wisdom is at the highest point in the open places in view of all.
614 tn Heb “at the house of the paths.” The “house” is not literal here, but refers to where the paths meet (cf. ASV, NIV), that is, the “crossroads” (so NAB, NRSV, NLT).
615 tn Heb “at the mouth of.”
616 tn The cry is a very loud ringing cry that could not be missed. The term רָנַן (ranan) means “to give a ringing cry.” It is often only a shrill sound that might come with a victory in battle, but its use in the psalms for praise shows that it also can have clear verbal content, as it does here. For wisdom to stand in the street and give such a ringing cry would mean that it could be heard by all. It was a proclamation.
617 tn Heb “men.” Although it might be argued in light of the preceding material that males would be particularly addressed by wisdom here, the following material indicates a more universal appeal. Cf. TEV, NLT “to all of you.”
618 tn The verb “calls” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of style.
619 tn Heb “sons of man.” Cf. NAB “the children of men”; NCV, NLT “all people”; NRSV “all that live.”
620 tn The imperative of בִּין (bin) means “to understand; to discern.” The call is for the simple to understand what wisdom is, not just to gain it.
621 tn Heb “heart.” The noun לֵב (lev, “heart”) often functions metonymically for wisdom, understanding, discernment.
622 tn Heb “noble” or “princely.” Wisdom begins the first motivation by claiming to speak noble things, that is, excellent things.
623 tn Heb “opening of my lips” (so KJV, NASB). The noun “lips” is a metonymy of cause, with the organ of speech put for what is said.
624 tn Heb “roof of the mouth.” This expression is a metonymy of cause for the activity of speaking.
625 tn The word “truth” (אֱמֶת, ’emet) is derived from the verbal root אָמַן (’aman) which means “to support.” There are a number of derived nouns that have the sense of reliability: “pillars,” “master craftsman,” “nurse,” “guardian.” Modifiers related to this group of words includes things like “faithful,” “surely,” “truly” (amen). In the derived stems the verb develops various nuances: The Niphal has the meanings of “reliable, faithful, sure, steadfast,” and the Hiphil has the meaning “believe” (i.e., consider something dependable). The noun “truth” means what is reliable or dependable, firm or sure.
626 sn Wise lips detest wickedness; wisdom hates speaking wicked things. In fact, speaking truth results in part from detesting wickedness.
627 tn Heb “wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV).
628 tn The phrase could be rendered with an understood ellipsis: “all the words of my mouth [are said] in righteousness”; or the preposition could be interpreted as a beth essentiae: “all the words of my mouth are righteousness.”
629 sn The verb פָּתַל (patal) means “to twist.” In the Niphal it means “to wrestle” (to twist oneself). It was used in Gen 30:8 for the naming of Naphtali, with the motivation for the name from this verb: “with great struggling.” Here it describes speech that is twisted. It is a synonym for the next word, which means “twisted; crooked; perverse.”
630 tn Heb “front of.” Describing the sayings as “right in front” means they are open, obvious, and clear, as opposed to words that might be twisted or perverse. The parallel word “upright” means “straight, smooth, right.” Wisdom’s teachings are in plain view and intelligible for those who find knowledge.
631 tn Heb “discipline.” The term refers to instruction that trains with discipline (e.g., Prov 1:2).
632 tn Heb “and not” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “in preference to.”
633 tn The verb יִשְׁווּ (yishvu, from שָׁוָה, shavah) can be rendered “are not comparable” or in a potential nuance “cannot be compared” with her.
634 tn The noun is “shrewdness,” i.e., the right use of knowledge in special cases (see also the discussion in 1:4); cf. NLT “good judgment.” The word in this sentence is an adverbial accusative of specification.
635 tn This verb form is an imperfect, whereas the verb in the first colon was a perfect tense. The perfect should be classified as a gnomic perfect, and this form a habitual imperfect, because both verbs describe the nature of wisdom.
636 tn The verb שָׂנֵא (sane’) means “to hate.” In this sentence it functions nominally as the predicate. Fearing the
sn The verb translated “hate” has the basic idea of rejecting something spontaneously. For example, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Mal 1:2b, 3a). It frequently has the idea of disliking or loathing (as English does), but almost always with an additional aspect of rejection. To “hate evil” is not only to dislike it, but to reject it and have nothing to do with it.
637 tn Since both גֵּאָה (ge’ah, “pride”) and גָּאוֹן (ga’on, “arrogance; pride”) are both from the same verbal root גָּאָה (ga’ah, “to rise up”), they should here be interpreted as one idea, forming a nominal hendiadys: “arrogant pride.”
638 tn Heb “and a mouth of perverse things.” The word “mouth” is a metonymy of cause for what is said; and the noun תַהְפֻּכוֹת (tahpukhot, “perverse things”) means destructive things (the related verb is used for the overthrowing of Sodom).
639 tc In the second half of v. 14 instead of אֲנִי (’ani) the editors propose reading simply לִי (li) as the renderings in the LXX, Latin, and Syriac suggest. Then, in place of the לִי that comes in the same colon, read וְלִי (vÿli). While the MT is a difficult reading, it can be translated as it is. It would be difficult to know exactly what the ancient versions were reading, because their translations could have been derived from either text. They represent an effort to smooth out the text.
tn Heb “To me [belong] counsel and sound wisdom.” The second colon in the verse has: “I, understanding, to me and might.”
sn In vv. 14-17 the pronouns come first and should receive greater prominence – although it is not always easy to do this with English.
640 tn The verb רָזַן (razan) means “to be weighty; to be judicious; to be commanding.” It only occurs in the Qal active participle in the plural as a substantive, meaning “potentates; rulers” (e.g., Ps 1:1-3). Cf. KJV, ASV “princes”; NAB “lawgivers.”
641 sn This verb יְחֹקְקוּ (yÿkhoqqu) is related to the noun חֹק (khoq), which is a “statute; decree.” The verb is defined as “to cut in; to inscribe; to decree” (BDB 349 s.v. חָקַק). The point the verse is making is that when these potentates decree righteousness, it is by wisdom. History records all too often that these rulers acted as fools and opposed righteousness (cf. Ps 2:1-3). But people in power need wisdom to govern the earth (e.g., Isa 11:1-4 which predicts how Messiah will use wisdom to do this very thing). The point is underscored with the paronomasia in v. 15 with “kings” and “will reign” from the same root, and then in v. 16 with both “princes” and “rule” being cognate. The repetition of sounds and meanings strengthens the statements.
642 tn The term “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and readability.
643 tc Many of the MT
644 sn In contrast to the word for “hate” (שָׂנֵא, shaneh) the verb “love” (אָהֵב, ’ahev) includes within it the idea of choosing spontaneously. So in this line loving and seeking point up the means of finding wisdom.
645 tn The two synonyms, “than gold, than fine gold” probably form a hendiadys here to express “the very finest gold.”
646 sn The language of the text with “fruit” and “ingathering” is the language of the harvest – what the crops yield. So the figure is hypocatastasis, comparing what wisdom produces to such crops.
647 tn The infinitive construct expressing the purpose of the preceding “walk” in the way of righteousness. These verses say that wisdom is always on the way of righteousness for the purposes of bestowing the same to those who find her. If sin is involved, then wisdom has not been followed.
648 tn The Piel imperfect continues the verbal idea that the infinitive began in the parallel colon even though it does not have the vav on the form.
649 tc The LXX adds at the end of this verse: “If I declare to you the things of daily occurrence, I will remember to recount the things of old.”
650 tn There are two roots קָנָה (qanah) in Hebrew, one meaning “to possess,” and the other meaning “to create.” The earlier English versions did not know of the second root, but suspected in certain places that a meaning like that was necessary (e.g., Gen 4:1; 14:19; Deut 32:6). Ugaritic confirmed that it was indeed another root. The older versions have the translation “possess” because otherwise it sounds like God lacked wisdom and therefore created it at the beginning. They wanted to avoid saying that wisdom was not eternal. Arius liked the idea of Christ as the wisdom of God and so chose the translation “create.” Athanasius translated it, “constituted me as the head of creation.” The verb occurs twelve times in Proverbs with the meaning of “to acquire”; but the Greek and the Syriac versions have the meaning “create.” Although the idea is that wisdom existed before creation, the parallel ideas in these verses (“appointed,” “given birth”) argue for the translation of “create” or “establish” (R. N. Whybray, “Proverbs 8:22-31 and Its Supposed Prototypes,” VT 15 : 504-14; and W. A. Irwin, “Where Will Wisdom Be Found?” JBL 80 : 133-42).
651 tn Verbs of creation often involve double accusatives; here the double accusative involves the person (i.e., wisdom) and an abstract noun in construct (IBHS 174-75 §10.2.3c).
652 tn Heb “his way” (so KJV, NASB). The word “way” is an idiom (implied comparison) for the actions of God.
sn The claim of wisdom in this passage is that she was foundational to all that God would do.
653 tn The first parallel verb is נִסַּכְתִּי (nissakhti), “I was appointed.” It is not a common word; it occurs here and in Ps 2:6 for the coronation of the king. It means “installed, set.”
654 tn The verb “existed” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation in the light of the context.
655 sn The summary statements just given are now developed in a lengthy treatment of wisdom as the agent of all creation. This verse singles out “watery deeps” (תְּהֹמוֹת, tÿhomot) in its allusion to creation because the word in Genesis signals the condition of the world at the very beginning, and because in the ancient world this was something no one could control. Chaos was not there first – wisdom was.
656 tn The third parallel verb is חוֹלָלְתִּי (kholalti), “I was given birth.” Some (e.g., KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV) translate it “brought forth” – not in the sense of being presented, but in the sense of being “begotten, given birth to.” Here is the strongest support for the translation of קָנָה (qanah) as “created” in v. 22. The verb is not literal; it continues the perspective of the personification.
657 tn Heb “made heavy.”
658 tn Heb “open places.”
659 tn Here רֹאשׁ (ro’sh) means “beginning” with reference to time (BDB 911 s.v. 4.b).
660 sn The infinitive construct בְּחוּקוֹ (bÿkhuqo, “to cut; to engrave; to mark”) and the noun חוּג (khug, “horizon; circle”) form a paronomasia in the line.
661 tn To form a better parallel some commentators read this infinitive בַּעֲזוֹז (ba’azoz), “when [they] grew strong,” as a Piel causative, “when he made firm, fixed fast” (cf. NIV “fixed securely”; NLT “established”). But the following verse (“should not pass over”) implies the meaning “grew strong” here.
662 tn Heb “his mouth.”
663 tn The verb form is a preterite with vav consecutive, although it has not been apocopated. It provides the concluding statement for the temporal clauses as well as the parallel to v. 27.
664 tn Critical to the interpretation of this line is the meaning of אָמוֹן (’amon). Several suggestions have been made: “master craftsman” (cf. ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV), “nursing child” (cf. NCV), “foster father.” R. B. Y. Scott chooses “faithful” – a binding or living link (“Wisdom in Creation: The ‘Amon of Proverbs 8:30,” VT 10 : 213-23). The image of a child is consistent with the previous figure of being “given birth to” (vv. 24, 25). However, “craftsman” has the most support (LXX, Vulgate, Syriac, Tg. Prov 8:30, Song 7:1; Jer 52:15; also P. W. Skehan, “Structures in Poems on Wisdom: Proverbs 8 and Sirach 24,” CBQ 41 : 365-79).
665 tn The word is a plural of intensification for “delight”; it describes wisdom as the object of delight. The LXX has the suffix; the Hebrew does not.
666 tn The two words are synonymous in general and so could be taken to express a superlative idea – the “whole world” (cf. NIV, NCV). But תֵּבֵל (tevel) also means the inhabited world, and so the construct may be interpreted as a partitive genitive.
667 tn Heb “and my delights” [were] with/in.”
668 tn Heb “the sons of man.”
669 tn Heb “sons.”
670 tn Heb “discipline.”
671 tn The construction uses two imperatives joined with the vav (ו); this is a volitive sequence in which result or consequence is being expressed.
672 tn Heb “the man.”
673 tn The form לִשְׁקֹד (lishqod) is the infinitive construct serving epexegetically in the sentence. It explains how the person will listen to wisdom.
674 tn Heb “keeping” or “guarding.”
675 tn Heb “at the posts of my doors” (so KJV, ASV).
676 tc The Kethib reads plurals: “those who find me are finders of life”; this is reflected in the LXX and Syriac. But the Qere is singular: “whoever finds me finds life.” The Qere is generally favored as the original reading in such cases as these.
677 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive carries the same nuance as the perfect tense that came before it, setting out the timeless principle.
678 tn Heb “the one sinning [against] me.” The verb חָטָא (khata’, “to sin”) forms a contrast with “find” in the previous verse, and so has its basic meaning of “failing to find, miss.” So it is talking about the one who misses wisdom, as opposed to the one who finds it.
679 tn The Qal active participle functions verbally here. The word stresses both social and physical harm and violence.
sn Brings harm. Whoever tries to live without wisdom is inviting all kinds of disaster into his life.
680 tn Heb “his soul.”
681 tn The basic idea of the verb שָׂנֵא (sane’, “to hate”) is that of rejection. Its antonym is also used in the line, “love,” which has the idea of choosing. So not choosing (i.e., hating) wisdom amounts to choosing (i.e., loving) death.
682 sn Chapter 9 forms the conclusion of the lengthy introduction to the book. Both wisdom and folly will make their final appeals; and both appeal to the simpletons. Wisdom offers life with no mention of pleasure; folly offers pleasure with no mention of death. The first twelve verses concern accepting wisdom: the invitation of wisdom (1-6), the description of the responses (7-11), and the consequence (12). Verses 13-18 concern accepting folly: the invitation (13-17) and the consequence (18).
683 sn Wisdom is personified as a wise woman. She has prepared a house and established it on seven pillars. This is a reference to the habitable world (e.g., 8:31). For the equation of the house and the world, e.g., 8:29; Job 38:6; and Psalm 104:5 (also G. Boström, Proverbiastudien [LUÅ], 1-14). The “seven pillars” have been variously interpreted, but since seven is a number for completeness and sacredness, the idea seems to be that wisdom produced a perfect world.
684 tn Heb “she has killed her killing.” Cf. KJV “hath killed her beasts”; NAB “has dressed her meat”; NASB “has prepared her food.”
685 sn Wisdom has prepared a sumptuous banquet in this house and sends out her maids to call the simple to come and eat (M. Lichtenstein, “The Banquet Motif in Keret and in Proverbs 9,” JANESCU 1 [1968/69]: 19-31). The figures of meat and wine represent the good teaching of wisdom that will be palatable and profitable (implied comparisons). Compare Isaiah 55:1-2 and John 6:51, 55 for similar uses of the figures. The idea of mixing wine could refer to the practice of mixing wine with spices or with water (as the LXX text assumes; e.g., Prov 23:30; Isa 5:22). Mixed wine was the most intoxicating; thus, her wisdom is attractive. All the imagery lets the simple know that what wisdom has to offer is marvelous.
686 tn The text uses two synonymous terms in construct to express the superlative degree.
687 tn Heb “lacking of heart she says to him.” The pronominal suffix is a resumptive pronoun, meaning, “she says to the lacking of heart.”
688 tn Heb “him.”
689 tn Heb “heart”; cf. NIV “to those who lack judgment.”
690 tn The construction features a cognate accusative (verb and noun from same root). The preposition בּ (bet) has the partitive use “some” (GKC 380 §119.m).
691 tn The final verb actually stands in a relative clause although the relative pronoun is not present; it modifies “wine.”
sn The expressions “eat” and “drink” carry the implied comparison forward; they mean that the simple are to appropriate the teachings of wisdom.
692 tn There are two ways to take this word: either as “fools” or as “foolish ways.” The spelling for “foolishness” in v. 13 differs from this spelling, and so some have taken that as an indicator that this should be “fools.” But this could still be an abstract plural here as in 1:22. Either the message is to forsake fools (i.e., bad company; cf. KJV, TEV) or forsake foolishness (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT).
693 tn The two imperatives are joined with vav; this is a volitive sequence in which result or consequence is expressed.
694 tn The verb means “go straight, go on, advance” or “go straight on in the way of understanding” (BDB 80 s.v. אָשַׁר).
695 tn The active participle יֹסֵר (yoser) describes one who tries to correct by means of instruction and discipline; it is paralleled by the Hiphil participle which refers to someone who rebukes or reproves another. Anyone trying this on these types of people would be inviting trouble.
696 tn Heb “receives for himself.”
697 tn The word means “dishonor” or “disgrace.” It is paralleled with מוּמוֹ (mumo), translated “abuse.” The latter term means “blemish,” although some would emend the text to read “reproach.” The MT is figurative but not impossible to interpret: Whoever tries to rebuke a wicked person will receive only insults and perhaps physical attack.
698 tn The verb “receives” is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
699 tn In view of the expected response for reproof, the text now uses a negated jussive to advise against the attempt. This is paralleled antithetically by the imperative in the second colon. This imperative is in an understood conditional clause: “if you reprove a wise person.”
700 tn Heb “lest he hate you.” The particle פֶּן (pen, “lest”) expresses fear or precaution (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 79, §476). The antonyms “love” and “hate” suggest that the latter means “reject” and the former means “choosing and embracing.”
701 tn The noun “instruction” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation.
702 sn The parallelism shows what Proverbs will repeatedly stress, that the wise person is the righteous person.
703 tn The Hiphil verb normally means “to cause to know, make known”; but here the context suggests “to teach” (so many English versions).
704 tn The term “his” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for the sake of smoothness and clarity.
705 sn The difference between תְּחִלַּת (tÿkhillat) here and רֵאשִׁית (re’shit) of 1:7, if there is any substantial difference, is that this term refers to the starting point of wisdom, and the earlier one indicates the primary place of wisdom (K&D 16:202).
706 tn Heb “fear of the
707 tn Heb “knowledge of the Holy One” (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
708 tn The word is in the plural in the Hebrew (literally “holy ones”; KJV “the holy”). It was translated “holy men” in Tg. Prov 9:10. But it probably was meant to signify the majestic nature of the
709 tn The preposition בּ (bet) here may have the causal sense (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 45, §247), although it could also be means (Williams, 44, §243).
710 tn The verb וְיוֹסִיפוּ (vÿyosifu) is the Hiphil imperfect, third masculine plural; but because there is no expressed subject the verb may be taken as a passive.
711 tn The text simply has the preposition לְ (lamed) with a suffix; but this will be the use of the preposition classified as “interest,” either for advantage or disadvantage (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 48-49, §271).
712 tn The perfect tense is here in a conditional clause because of the conjunction following the first colon of the verse that begins with “if.” The perfect tense then lays down the antithetical condition – “if you mock,” or “if you are a mocker.”
713 tn The use of the imperfect tense here could be the simple future tense (cf. NASB, NRSV “you…will bear it”), but the obligatory nuance is more appropriate – “you must bear it.” These words anticipate James’ warnings that the words we speak will haunt us through life (e.g., James 3:1-12).
714 tc The LXX has an addition: “Forsake folly, that you may reign forever; and seek discretion and direct understanding in knowledge.”
715 tn Heb “a woman of foolishness.” This could be translated as “foolish woman,” taking the genitive as attributive (cf. KJV, ASV, NRSV). But in view of the contrast with the personification of wisdom, this word probably also represents a personification and so can be taken as a genitive of apposition, the woman who is folly, or “the woman, Folly” (cf. NIV). For clarity and stylistic reasons the word “called” has been supplied in the translation.
716 tn The meaning of the word comes close to “riotous.” W. McKane describes her as restless and rootless (Proverbs [OTL], 366).
717 tn The noun means “foolishness” (cf. KJV “simple”; NAB “inane”). Here it could be classified as a metonymy of adjunct, or as a predictive apposition (when a substantive is used in place of a noun; see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 15, §67).
718 tn The ignorance here in Proverbs must be moral ignorance. But see D. W. Thomas for the idea that the verb means “become still,” “be at rest,” yielding here the idea of restless (“A Note on בַל־יָדְעָה in Proverbs 913,” JTS 4 : 23-24).
719 tc The text of v. 13 has been difficult for translators. The MT has, “The foolish woman is boisterous, simplicity, and knows not what.” The LXX reads, “A foolish and impudent woman comes to lack a morsel, she who knows not shame.” The Syriac has, “a woman lacking in discretion, seductive.” Tg. Prov 9:13 translates it, “a foolish woman and a gadabout, ignorant, and she knows not good.” The Vulgate has, “a woman foolish and noisy, and full of wiles, and knowing nothing at all.”
720 tn The infinitive construct “calling out” functions epexegetically in the sentence, explaining how the previous action was accomplished.
721 tn The term “her” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
722 tn The noun is a genitive of location after the construct participle. Its parallel word is also an adverbial accusative of location.
723 tn The participle modifies the participle in the first colon. To describe the passers-by in this context as those “who go straight” means that they are quiet and unwary.
724 tn This expression is almost identical to v. 4, with the exception of the addition of conjunctions in the second colon: “and the lacking of understanding and she says to him.” The parallel is deliberate, of course, showing the competing appeals for those passing by.
725 sn The offer is not wine and meat (which represented wisdom), but water that is stolen. The “water” will seem sweeter than wine because it is stolen – the idea of getting away with something exciting appeals to the baser instincts. In Proverbs the water imagery was introduced earlier in 5:15-19 as sexual activity with the adulteress, which would seem at the moment more enjoyable than learning wisdom. Likewise bread will be drawn into this analogy in 30:20. So the “calling out” is similar to that of wisdom, but what is being offered is very different.
726 tn Heb “bread of secrecies.” It could mean “bread [eaten in] secret places,” a genitive of location; or it could mean “bread [gained through] secrets,” a genitive of source, the secrecies being metonymical for theft. The latter makes a better parallelism in this verse, for bread (= sexually immoral behavior) gained secretly would be like stolen water.
727 tn Heb “he does not know.”
728 sn The “dead” are the Rephaim, the “shades” or dead persons who lead a shadowy existence in Sheol (e.g., Prov 2:18-19; Job 3:13-19; Ps 88:5; Isa 14:9-11). This approximates an “as-if” motif of wisdom literature: The ones ensnared in folly are as good as in Hell. See also Ptah-hotep’s sayings (ANET 412-414).
729 tc The LXX adds to the end of v. 18: “But turn away, linger not in the place, neither set your eye on her: for thus will you go through alien water; but abstain from alien water, drink not from an alien fountain, that you may live long, that years of life may be added to you.”
sn The text has “in the depths of Sheol” (בְּעִמְקֵי שְׁאוֹל, bÿ’imqe shÿ’ol). The parallelism stresses that those who turn to this way of life are ignorant and doomed. It may signal a literal death lying ahead in the not too distant future, but it is more likely an analogy. The point is that the life of folly, a life of undisciplined, immoral, riotous living, runs counter to God’s appeal for wisdom and leads to ruin. That is the broad way that leads to destruction.