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(1.00) (Pro 15:12)

sn This is an understatement, the opposite being intended (a figure called tapeinosis). A scorner rejects any efforts to reform him.

(1.00) (Job 30:2)

tn The reference is to the fathers of the scorners, who are here regarded as weak and worthless.

(0.81) (Pro 22:10)

sn This proverb, written in loose synonymous parallelism, instructs that the scorner should be removed because he causes strife. The “scorner” is לֵץ (lets), the one the book of Proverbs says cannot be changed with discipline or correction, but despises and disrupts anything that is morally or socially constructive.

(0.81) (Pro 21:11)

sn The contrast here is between the simple and the wise. The simple gain wisdom when they see the scorner punished; the wise gains knowledge through instruction. The scorner does not change, but should be punished for the benefit of the simple (e.g., Prov 19:25).

(0.57) (Pro 21:24)

tn Heb “proud haughty scorner his name” (KJV similar). There are several ways that the line could be translated: (1) “Proud, arrogant—his name is scoffer” or (2) “A proud person, an arrogant person—‘Scoffer’ is his name.” BDB 267 s.v. זֵד suggests, “A presumptuous man, [who is] haughty, scoffer is his name.”

(0.57) (Pro 19:25)

sn Different people learn differently. There are three types of people in this proverb: the scorner with a closed mind, the simpleton with an empty mind, and the discerning person with an open mind (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 135). The simpleton learns by observing a scoffer being punished, even though the punishment will have no effect on the scoffer.

(0.57) (Pro 14:6)

sn The “scorner” (לֵץ, lets) is intellectually arrogant; he lacks any serious interest in knowledge or religion. He pursues wisdom in a superficial way so that he can appear wise. The acquisition of wisdom is conditioned by one’s attitude toward it (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 149).

(0.43) (Job 16:20)

tn The first two words of this verse are problematic: מְלִיצַי רֵעָי (melitsay reʿay, “my scorners are my friends”). The word מֵלִיץ (melits), from or related to the word for “scorner” (לִיץ, lits) in wisdom literature especially, can also mean “mediator” (Job 33:23), “interpreter” (Gen 42:23). This gives the idea that “scorn” has to do with the way words are used. It may be that the word here should have the singular suffix and be taken as “my spokesman.” This may not be from the same root as “scorn” (see N. H. Richardson, “Some Notes on lis and Its Derivatives,” VT 5 [1955]: 434-36). This is the view of the NIV, NJPS, JB, NAB, as well as a number of commentators. The idea of “my friends are scorners” is out of place in this section, unless taken as a parenthesis. Other suggestions are not convincing. The LXX has “May my prayer come to the Lord, and before him may my eye shed tears.” Some have tried to change the Hebrew to fit this. The word “my friends” also calls for some attention. Instead of a plural noun suffix, most would see it as a singular, a slight vocalic change. But others think it is not the word “friend.” D. J. A. Clines accepts the view that it is not “friends” but “thoughts” (רֵעַ, reaʿ). E. Dhorme takes it as “clamor,” from רוּעַ (ruaʿ) and so interprets “my claimant word has reached God.” J. B. Curtis tries “My intercessor is my shepherd,” from רֹעִי (roʿi). See “On Job’s Witness in Heaven,” JBL 102 [1983]: 549-62.

(0.43) (Pro 19:25)

tn The Hiphil imperfect תַּכֶּה (takkeh) is followed by another imperfect. It could be rendered: “strike a scorner [imperfect of instruction] and a simpleton will become prudent.” But the first of the parallel verbs can also be subordinated to the second as a temporal or conditional clause. Some English versions translate “beat” (NAB “if you beat an arrogant man”), but this could be understood to refer to competition rather than physical punishment. Therefore “flog” has been used in the translation, since it is normally associated with punishment or discipline.

(0.43) (Pro 14:6)

sn It is not that wisdom was unavailable (as if in contradiction to Prov 8). Instead the proverb enters the point of view of the person characterized by derision and scoffing. From their perspective it wasn’t there. As observers we see that the scorner did not find wisdom because of a haughty attitude. Perhaps the proverb is given in a past time reference because it also pictures a person is done with seeking wisdom. They looked. It wasn’t there. They stopped looking.

(0.29) (Pro 3:34)

tc The MT reads אִם (ʾim, “if”) and the syntax is אִם (ʾim) plus imperfect verb followed by vav plus perfect consecutive. This particle can introduce a realizable or unrealizable condition, or a concessive clause (HALOT 60-61 s.v.). A realizable condition presents the circumstance in which the apodosis is realized, “if/when he is scornful…, then he will show favor.” An unrealizable condition or a concessive clause should be rendered “even if” or “although [X would be],” referring to something that is not the case, as in, “even if he would be scornful…, then…” (cf. Num 22:18, 1 Kgs 13:8; Job 9:15; Jer 15:1). Neither of these options fit the context well. The content of the second half of the verse does not depend on the first half. And the first half is not to be understood as an unrealizable or unexpected condition, rather both are truisms. An alternative is to read the similarly sounding term עִם (ʿim, “with”), “with the scorners he is scornful” (cf. Ps 18:25-26). The LXX does not have a conditional particle, so it may not have read אִם (ʾim, “if”), but also it does not have μετὰ (meta, “with”) so it is not clear that it read עִם (ʾim, “with”). The translation presumes the particle עִם.

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