It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs.
Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves too quickly may go the wrong way.
Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.
Further, without knowledge desire is not good; and he who is over-quick in acting goes out of the right way.
Desire without knowledge is not good, and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “not good.” This is a figure known as tapeinosis (a deliberate understatement to emphasize a worst-case scenario): “it is dangerous!”
2 tn The interpretation of this line depends largely on the meaning of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) which has a broad range of meanings: (1) the breathing substance of man, (2) living being, (3) life, (4) person, (5) seat of the appetites, (6) seat of emotions and passions, (7) activities of intellect, emotion and will, (8) moral character, etc. (BDB 659-61 s.v.). In light of the synonymous parallelism, the most likely nuance here is “zeal, passion” (HALOT 713 s.v. 8). NIV takes the word in the sense of “vitality” and “drive” – “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge” (cf. NCV, TEV, and NLT which are all similar).
3 tn Heb “he who is hasty with his feet.” The verb אוּץ (’uts) means “to be pressed; to press; to make haste.” The verb is followed by the preposition בְּ (bet) which indicates that with which one hastens – his feet. The word “feet” is a synecdoche of part for the whole person – body and mind working together (cf. NLT “a person who moves too quickly”).
4 tn Heb “misses the goal.” The participle חוֹטֵא (khote’) can be translated “sins” (cf. KJV, ASV), but in this context it refers only to actions without knowledge, which could lead to sin, or could lead simply to making poor choices (cf. NAB “blunders”; NASB “errs”; NCV “might make a mistake”).
sn The basic meaning of the verb is “to miss a goal or the way.” D. Kidner says, “How negative is the achievement of a man who wants tangible and quick rewards” – he will miss the way (Proverbs [TOTC], 132).