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Proverbs 10:10

Context

10:10 The one who winks 1  his 2  eye causes 3  trouble,

and the one who speaks foolishness 4  will come to ruin.

Proverbs 17:28

Context

17:28 Even a fool who remains silent is considered 5  wise,

and the one who holds his tongue is deemed discerning. 6 

1 tn The term (קָרַץ, qarats) describes a person who habitually “winks” his eye maliciously as a secretive sign to those conspiring evil (Prov 6:13). This is a comparison rather than a contrast. Devious gestures are grievous, but not as ruinous as foolish talk. Both are to be avoided.

2 tn Heb “the eye.”

3 tn Heb “gives.”

4 tn Heb “the fool of lips”; cf. NASB “a babbling fool.” The phrase is a genitive of specification: “a fool in respect to lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause (= lips) for effect (= speech). The word for fool (אֶוִיל, ’evil) refers to someone who despises knowledge and discernment.

5 tn The imperfect tense here denotes possibility: One who holds his tongue [may be considered] discerning.

6 tn The Niphal participle is used in the declarative/estimative sense with stative verbs: “to be discerning” (Qal) becomes “to be declared discerning” (Niphal). The proverb is teaching that silence is one evidence of wisdom, and that even a fool can thereby appear wise. D. Kidner says that a fool who takes this advice is no longer a complete fool (Proverbs [TOTC], 127). He does not, of course, become wise – he just hides his folly.



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