Proverbs 28:21

NET ©

To show partiality is terrible, for a person will transgress over the smallest piece of bread.

NIV ©

To show partiality is not good—yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.

NASB ©

To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

NLT ©

Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for something as small as a piece of bread.

MSG ©

Playing favorites is always a bad thing; you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.

BBE ©

It is not good to have respect for a man’s position: for a man will do wrong for a bit of bread.

NRSV ©

To show partiality is not good—yet for a piece of bread a person may do wrong.

NKJV ©

To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

KJV
To have respect
<05234> (8687)
of persons
<06440>
[is] not good
<02896>_:
for for a piece
<06595>
of bread
<03899>
[that] man
<01397>
will transgress
<06586> (8799)_.
HEBREW
rbg
<01397>
espy
<06586>
Mxl
<03899>
tp
<06595>
lew
<05921>
bwj
<02896>
al
<03808>
Mynp
<06440>
rkh (28:21)
<05234>
LXXM
(35:21) ov
<3739>  
R-NSM
ouk
<3364>  
ADV
aiscunetai
<153>  
V-PMI-3S
proswpa
<4383>  
N-APN
dikaiwn
<1342>  
A-GPM
ouk
<3364>  
ADV
agayov
<18>  
A-NSM
o
<3588>  
T-NSM
toioutov
<5108>  
A-NSM
qwmou
 
N-GSM
artou
<740>  
N-GSM
apodwsetai
<591>  
V-FMI-3S
andra
<435>  
N-ASM
NET © [draft] ITL
To show partiality
<05234>
is terrible
<02896>
, for a person will transgress
<06586>
over
<05921>
the smallest piece
<06595>
of bread
<03899>
.
NET © Notes

tn The construction uses the Hiphil infinitive הַכֵּר (hakken) as the subject of the sentence: “to have respect for [or, recognize] persons is not good” (e.g., 24:23; 18:5; Deut 1:17; Lev 19:15). Such favoritism is “not good”; instead, it is a miscarriage of justice and is to be avoided.

tn Heb “not good.” This is a figure of speech known as tapeinosis – a deliberate understatement to emphasize a worst-case scenario: “it is terrible!”

tn The meaning and connection of the line is not readily clear. It could be taken in one of two ways: (1) a person can steal even a small piece of bread if hungry, and so the court should show some compassion, or it should show no partiality even in such a pathetic case; (2) a person could be bribed for a very small price (a small piece of bread being the figure representing this). This second view harmonizes best with the law.