A toss of a coin 1 ends 2 disputes, and settles the issue 3 between strong opponents. 4
Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart.
The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones.
Casting lots can end arguments and settle disputes between powerful opponents.
You may have to draw straws when faced with a tough decision.
The decision of chance puts an end to argument, parting the strong.
Casting the lot puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders.
Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart.
between the mighty
|NET © [draft] ITL|
A toss of a coin
, and settles the issue
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “casting the lot.” Because modern readers are not familiar with the ancient practice of casting lots, the image of the coin toss to decide an issue has been employed in the translation (cf. CEV “drawing straws”). Although the casting of lots is often compared to throwing dice, the translation “throwing dice ends disputes” in this context could be misunderstood to mean “participating in a game of dice ends disputes.”
2 tn The verb יַשְׁבִּית (yashbit) is the Hiphil imperfect from שָׁבַת (shavat), meaning “to cause to cease; to bring to an end; to end”; cf. NIV “settles disputes.” The assumption behind this practice and this saying is that providence played the determining role in the casting of lots. If both parties accepted this, then the issue could be resolved.
3 tn Heb “makes a separation” or “decides.” In the book of Proverbs this verb often has a negative connotation, such as separating close friends (e.g., 16:9). But here it has a positive nuance: Opponents are “separated” by settling the issue.
4 tn The word is the adjective, “mighty” (so KJV, NAB, NASB) used here substantivally as the object of the preposition.