Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 26:23

Context
NETBible

Like a coating of glaze 1  over earthenware are fervent 2  lips with an evil heart. 3 

XREF

2Sa 20:9,10; Pr 10:18; Eze 33:31; Lu 22:47,48

NET © Notes

tn The traditional translation of “silver dross” (so KJV, ASV, NASB) never did make much sense because the parallel idea deals with hypocrisy – “fervent lips with an evil heart.” But silver dross would not be used over earthenware – instead it is discarded. Yet the MT clearly has “silver dross” (כֶּסֶף סִיגִים, kesef sigim). Ugaritic turned up a word spsg which means “glaze,” and this found a parallel in Hittite zapzaga[y]a. H. L. Ginsberg repointed the Hebrew text to k’sapsagim, “like glaze,” and this has been adopted by many commentators and recent English versions (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). The final ם (mem) is then classified as enclitic. See, among others, K. L. Barker, “The Value of Ugaritic for Old Testament Studies,” BSac 133 (1976): 128-29.

tn The word translated “fervent” actually means “burning, glowing”; the LXX has “flattering lips” (as if from חָלַק [khalaq] rather than דָּלַק [dalaq]).

sn The analogy fits the second line very well. Glaze makes a vessel look beautiful and certainly different from the clay that it actually is. So is one who has evil intent (“heart”) but covers it with glowing speech.



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