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Proverbs 3:29-30

Context

3:29 Do not plot 1  evil against your neighbor

when 2  he dwells by you unsuspectingly.

3:30 Do not accuse 3  anyone 4  without legitimate cause, 5 

if he has not treated you wrongly.

1 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.).

2 tn The vav (ו) prefixed to the pronoun introduces a disjunctive circumstantial clause: “when….”

3 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.

4 tn Heb “a man.”

5 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).



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