understanding will guard you,
love her, and she will guard you.
but wickedness 10 overthrows the sinner.
and his throne is upheld by loyal love. 12
but he overthrows the words of the faithless person. 15
24:12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,”
does not the one who evaluates 16 hearts consider?
Does not the one who guards your life know?
Will he not repay each person according to his deeds? 17
1 tn The infinitive construct לִנְצֹר (lintsor, “to guard”) designates the purpose of the
2 tn Heb “paths of righteousness.” The word “righteousness” is a possessive genitive, signifying the ways that the righteous take.
3 tn The imperfect tense verb יִשְׁמֹר (yishmor, “to protect”) continues the syntactical nuance of the preceding infinitive construct of purpose.
4 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.
5 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”).
6 tn Heb “will watch over you.”
7 tn Heb “her”; the 3rd person feminine singular referent is personified “wisdom,” which has been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 sn Righteousness refers to that which conforms to law and order. One who behaves with integrity will be safe from consequences of sin.
9 tn Heb “blameless of way.” The term דָּרֶךְ (darekh) is a genitive of specification: “blameless in respect to his way.” This means living above reproach in their course of life. Cf. NASB “whose way is blameless”; NAB “who walks honestly.”
10 sn Righteousness and wickedness are personified in this proverb to make the point of security and insecurity for the two courses of life.
11 tn The first line uses two Hebrew words, חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת (khesed ve’emet, “loyal love and truth”), to tell where security lies. The first word is the covenant term for “loyal love; loving-kindness; mercy”; and the second is “truth” in the sense of what is reliable and dependable. The two words often are joined together to form a hendiadys: “faithful love.” That a hendiadys is intended here is confirmed by the fact that the second line uses only the critical word חֶסֶד.
12 sn The emphasis is on the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:11-16; Ps 89:19-37). It is the
13 sn The “eyes of the
14 tn There is a slight difficulty in that the abstract noun “knowledge” is used nowhere else in the book of Proverbs with the word “watch.” C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 418) wants to make a major change to read “The eyes of the
15 tn The object of the verb is the “words of the traitor” (בֹגֵד דִּבְרֵי, divre voged); cf. NASB “the words of the treacherous man.” What treacherous people say is treachery. In this context “traitor, treacherous” refers to one who is “unfaithful” (cf. NIV).
sn The proverb affirms that God in safeguarding true knowledge will frustrate deception from faithless people – what they say will not have its intended effect.
16 tn Heb “weighs” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV) meaning “tests” or “evaluates.”
17 sn The verse completes the saying by affirming that people will be judged responsible for helping those in mortal danger. The verse uses a series of rhetorical questions to affirm that God knows our hearts and we cannot plead ignorance.