Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 21:20


There is desirable treasure and olive oil 1  in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish person 2  devours all he has. 3 


Ps 23:5; Ps 112:3; Pr 10:22; Pr 15:6; Ec 5:19; Ec 7:11; Ec 10:19; Jer 41:8; Mt 6:19,20; Mt 25:3,4; Mt 25:3,4,8; Lu 6:45; Lu 15:14; Lu 16:1,19-25

NET © Notes

tn The mention of “olive oil” (שֶׁמֶן, shemen) is problematic in the line – how can a fool devour it? Several attempts have been made to alleviate the problem. The NIV interprets “treasure” as “choice food,” so that food and oil would make more sense being swallowed. C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 406) suggests dropping “oil” altogether based on the reading in the LXX, but the Greek is too general for any support: It has “precious treasure will rest on the mouth of the sage.” W. McKane wants to change “oil” to an Arabic word “expensive” to read “desirable and rare wealth” (Proverbs [OTL], 552), but this idea does not match the metaphor any better. The figure of “devouring” in the second line simply means the fool uses up whatever he has.

tn Heb “a fool of a man.”

tn Heb “he swallows it.” The imagery compares swallowing food with consuming one’s substance. The fool does not prepare for the future.

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