Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 17:2


A servant who acts wisely 1  will rule over 2  an heir 3  who behaves shamefully, 4  and will share the inheritance along with the relatives. 5 


Ge 24:4-67; Pr 10:5; Pr 11:29; Pr 14:35; Pr 19:26; Pr 29:15; Ec 4:13

NET © Notes

sn The setting is in the ancient world where a servant rarely advanced beyond his or her station in life. But there are notable exceptions (e.g., Gen 15:3 where the possibility is mentioned, 1 Chr 2:35 where it changed through marriage, and 2 Sam 16:1-4; 19:24-30, with the story of Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth). This proverb focuses on a servant who is wise, one who uses all his abilities effectively – a Joseph figure.

sn The parallelism indicates that “ruling over” and “sharing in the inheritance” means that the disgraceful son will be disinherited.

tn Heb “son.”

tn The form מֵבִישׁ (mevish) is a Hiphil participle, modifying בֵן (ben). This original heir would then be one who caused shame or disgrace to the family, probably by showing a complete lack of wisdom in the choices he made.

tn Heb “in the midst of the brothers”; NIV “as one of the brothers.”

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