Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.
Like a trampled spring and a polluted well Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
If the godly compromise with the wicked, it is like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
A good person who gives in to a bad person is a muddied spring, a polluted well.
Like a troubled fountain and a dirty spring, is an upright man who has to give way before evil-doers.
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain are the righteous who give way before the wicked.
A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.
|NET © [draft] ITL
|NET © Notes
1 tn The Niphal participle is from רָפַס (rafas), which means “to stamp; to tread; to foul by treading [or, by stamping].” BDB 952 s.v. defines it here as a “fountain befouled.” The picture is one of a spring of water where men and beasts gather and muddy it by their trampling in and out of it.
2 tn The Hophal participle from שָׁחַת (shakhat, “to ruin; to destroy; to corrupt”) provides a general description – the well has been “ruined” or “corrupted” (so ASV) and is therefore unusable.
3 tn The verb מָט (mat) means “to give way; to move.” This probably refers to the integrity of the righteous being lost – comparing it to moving [off course]. T. T. Perowne writes, “To see a righteous man moved from his steadfastness through fear or favour in the presence of the wicked is as disheartening as to find the stream turbid and defiled at which you were longing to quench your thirst” (Proverbs, 161). But the line may refer to the loss of social standing and position by the righteous due to the plots of the wicked – just as someone muddied the water, someone made the righteous slip from his place.