Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 17:7

Context
NETBible

Excessive 1  speech 2  is not becoming for a fool; 3  how much less are lies 4  for a ruler! 5 

XREF

2Sa 23:3; Job 34:12; Ps 50:16,17; Ps 101:3-5; Pr 12:19; Pr 16:10-13; Pr 26:7; Pr 29:12; Mt 7:5

NET © Notes

tn The word יֶתֶר (yeter) could be rendered either “arrogant” (cf. NIV) or “excellent” (cf. KJV, NASB; NLT “eloquent”) because the basic idea of the word is “remainder; excess,” from the verb “be left over.” It describes “lofty” speech (arrogant or excellent) that is not suited for the fool. The Greek version, using pista, seems to support the idea of “excellent,” and makes a contrast: “words that are excellent do not fit a fool.” The idea of arrogance (NIV) fits if it is taken in the sense of lofty, heightened, or excessive language.

tn “a lip of excess.” The term “lip” is a metonymy for what is said.

sn The “fool” proper, described by the term נָבָל (naval), occurs only here, in v. 21, and in 30:22 in the book. It describes someone who is godless and immoral in an overbearing way (e.g., 1 Sam 25:25; Ps 14:1). A fool should restrain his words lest his foolishness spew out.

tn Heb “speech of falsehood”; NRSV “false speech.”

sn This “ruler” (KJV, NASB “prince”; NAB “noble”) is a gentleman with a code of honor, to whom truthfulness is second nature (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 507). The word describes one as “inclined, generous, noble” (BDB 622 s.v. נָדִיב). It is cognate to the word for the “free will offering.” So for such a noble person lies are not suited. The argument is from the lesser to the greater – if fools shouldn’t speak lofty things, then honorable people should not lie (or, lofty people should not speak base things).



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