The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.
Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight.
The first speech in a court case is always convincing--until the cross-examination starts!
The man who first puts his cause before the judge seems to be in the right; but then his neighbour comes and puts his cause in its true light.
The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines.
The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “in his legal case”; NAB “who pleads his case first.”
2 tn The term “seems” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness (cf. KJV “seemeth”).
3 tn Heb “his neighbor”; NRSV “the other.”
4 tn Heb “comes and.” The Kethib is the imperfect יָבֹא (yavo’), and the Qere is the conjunction with the participle/perfect tense form וּבָא (uva’). The latter is reflected in most of the ancient versions. There is not an appreciable difference in the translations, except for the use of the conjunction.
5 sn The proverb is a continuous sentence teaching that there must be cross-examination to settle legal disputes. There are two sides in any disputes, and so even though the first to present his case sounds right, it must be challenged. The verb הָקַר (haqar, translated “cross-examines”) is used for careful, diligent searching and investigating to know something (e.g., Ps 139:1).