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Proverbs 6:32-35

Context

6:32 A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks wisdom, 1 

whoever does it destroys his own life. 2 

6:33 He will be beaten and despised, 3 

and his reproach will not be wiped away; 4 

6:34 for jealousy kindles 5  a husband’s 6  rage,

and he will not show mercy 7  when he takes revenge.

6:35 He will not consider 8  any compensation; 9 

he will not be willing, even if you multiply the compensation. 10 

1 tn Heb “heart.” The term “heart” is used as a metonymy of association for discernment, wisdom, good sense. Cf. NAB “is a fool”; NIV “lacks judgment”; NCV, NRSV “has no sense.”

2 tn Heb “soul.” The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) functions as a metonymy of association for “life” (BDB 659 s.v. 3.c).

3 tn Heb “He will receive a wound and contempt.”

4 sn Even though the text has said that the man caught in adultery ruins his life, it does not mean that he was put to death, although that could have happened. He seems to live on in ignominy, destroyed socially and spiritually. He might receive blows and wounds from the husband and shame and disgrace from the spiritual community. D. Kidner observes that in a morally healthy society the adulterer would be a social outcast (Proverbs [TOTC], 75).

5 tn The word “kindles” was supplied in the translation; both “rage” and “jealousy” have meanings connected to heat.

6 tn Heb “a man’s.”

7 tn The verb חָמַל (khamal) means “to show mercy; to show compassion; to show pity,” usually with the outcome of sparing or delivering someone. The idea here is that the husband will not spare the guilty man any of the punishment (cf. NRSV “he shows no restraint”).

8 tn Heb “lift up the face of,” meaning “regard.”

9 tn The word rendered “compensation” is כֹּפֶר (cofer); it is essentially a ransom price, a sum to be paid to deliver another from debt, bondage, or crime. The husband cannot accept payment as a ransom for a life, since what has happened cannot be undone so easily.

10 tn BDB 1005 s.v. שֹׁחַד suggests that this term means “hush money” or “bribe” (cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT). C. H. Toy takes it as legal compensation (Proverbs [ICC], 142).



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