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Proverbs 28:8

Context

28:8 The one who increases his wealth by increasing interest 1 

gathers it for someone who is gracious 2  to the needy.

Proverbs 28:16

Context

28:16 The prince who is a great oppressor lacks wisdom, 3 

but the one who hates 4  unjust gain will prolong his days.

Proverbs 28:20

Context

28:20 A faithful person 5  will have an abundance of blessings,

but the one who hastens 6  to gain riches will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 28:22

Context

28:22 The stingy person 7  hastens after riches

and does not know that poverty will overtake him. 8 

1 tn Heb “by interest and increase” (so ASV; NASB “by interest and usury”; NAB “by interest and overcharge.” The two words seem to be synonyms; they probably form a nominal hendiadys, meaning “by increasing [exorbitant] interest.” The law prohibited making a commission or charging interest (Exod 22:25; Lev 25:36-37; Deut 23:20; Ps 15:5). If the poor needed help, the rich were to help them – but not charge them interest.

2 tn The term חוֹנֵן (khonen, “someone who shows favor”) is the active participle.

sn The verse is saying that in God’s justice wealth amassed unjustly will eventually go to the poor. God will take the wealth away from them and give it to people who will distribute it better to the poor.

3 tn Heb “A prince lacking of understanding [is] also a great oppressor” (both KJV, ASV similar) The last clause, “and a great oppressor,” appears to modify “the prince.” There is little difference in meaning, only in emphasis. The LXX has “lacks income” (reading תְּבוּאוֹת [tÿvuot] instead of תְּבוּנוֹת [tÿvunot]). C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 501) suggests deleting the word for “prince” altogether, but this emendation is gratuitous.

4 tc This follows the Qere reading of the participle which is singular (as opposed to the plural). The implication is that this one is also a ruler, paralleling the first half. But since he “hates” (= rejects) unjust gain he will extend [his] days, meaning he will enjoy a long and happy life (cf. NIV, NRSV, CEV).

5 tn Heb “a man of faithfulness,” although the context does not indicate this should be limited only to males.

sn The text does not qualify the nature of the faithfulness. While this would certainly have implications for the person’s righteous acts, its primary meaning may be his diligence and reliability in his work. His faithful work will bring the returns.

6 sn The proverb is not rebuking diligent labor. One who is eager to get rich quickly is the opposite of the faithful person. The first person is faithful to God and to the covenant community; the second is trying to get rich as quickly as possible, at the least without doing an honest day’s work and at the worst dishonestly. In a hurry to gain wealth, he falls into various schemes and will pay for it. Tg. Prov 28:20 interprets this to say he hastens through deceit and wrongdoing.

7 tn Heb “a man with an evil eye” (as opposed to the generous man who has a “good” eye). This individual is selfish, unkind, unsympathetic to others. He looks only to his own gain. Cf. NAB “The avaricious man”; NLT “A greedy person.”

8 sn The one who is hasty to gain wealth is involved in sin in some way, for which he will be punished by poverty. The idea of “hastening” after riches suggests a dishonest approach to acquiring wealth.



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