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Proverbs 10:3-4

Context

10:3 The Lord satisfies 1  the appetite 2  of the righteous,

but he thwarts 3  the craving 4  of the wicked.

10:4 The one who is lazy 5  becomes poor, 6 

but the one who works diligently 7  becomes wealthy. 8 

1 tn Heb “does not allow…to go hungry.” The expression “The Lord does not allow the appetite of the righteous to go hungry” is an example of tapeinosis – a figurative expression stated in the negative to emphasize the positive: The Lord satisfies the appetite of the righteous.

2 tn The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) means “soul” but its root meaning is “throat” and it has a broad range of meanings; here it denotes “appetite” (BDB 660 s.v. 5.a; see, e.g., Pss 63:6; 107:9; Prov 27:7; Isa 56:11; 58:10; Jer 50:19; Ezek 7:19). The term could denote “desire” (BDB 660 s.v. 6.a) which would include the inner urge for success. By contrast, the wicked live unfulfilled lives – as far as spiritual values are concerned.

3 tn Heb “thrusts away” (cf. ASV, NASB); NLT “refuses to satisfy.” The verb הָדַף (hadaf) means “to thrust away; to push; to drive,” either to depose or reject (BDB 213 s.v.).

4 tn This verse contrasts the “appetite” of the righteous with the “craving” of the wicked. This word הַוַּה (havvah, “craving”) means “desire” often in a bad sense, as ‘the desire of the wicked,” which could not be wholesome (Ps 52:9).

5 tn Heb “a palm of slackness.” The genitive noun רְמִיָּה (remiyyah, “slackness”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a slack palm” (BDB 941 s.v.). The term כַף (khaf, “palm”) is a synecdoche of part (= palm) for the whole person (= one who works with his hands). The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor. The “slack hand” is contrasted with the “diligent hand.” A slack hand refers to a lazy worker or careless work that such hands produce. See N. C. Habel, “Wisdom, Wealth, and Poverty Paradigms in the Book of Proverbs,” BiBh 14 (1988): 28-49.

6 tc The MT reads רָאשׁ (rash, “poor”) which is the plene spelling of רָשׁ (rash, “poor [person]”; HALOT 1229-30 s.v. רֵישׁ). Both Tg. Prov 10:4 and LXX reflect an alternate vocalization רִישׁ (rish, “poverty”) which is from the same root, and essentially means the same thing.

tn Heb “causes poverty.” The expression is literally, “the palm of slackness causes poverty.”

7 tn Heb “but the hand of the diligent” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV). The genitive noun חָרוּצִים (kharutsim, “diligence”) functions as an attributive adjective: “a diligent hand.” The noun חָרוּצִים (kharutsim) uses the plural form because the plural is often used for abstract moral qualities. The term יָד (yad, “hand”) is a synecdoche of part (= “hand”) for the whole person (= “the one who works with his hands”). The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor.

8 tn Heb “makes rich” (so NASB, NRSV). The Hiphil verb is used in a causative sense; literally, “the hand of the diligent makes rich.”



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