A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
A poor man who oppresses the lowly Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.
A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
The wicked who oppress the poor are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
A man of wealth who is cruel to the poor is like a violent rain causing destruction of food.
A ruler who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food.
A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.
|NET © [draft] ITL
|NET © Notes
1 tc The MT reads “a poor man,” גֶּבֶר רָשׁ (gever rash); cf. KJV, NASB, NLT. The problem is that the poor in the book of Proverbs is not an oppressor and does not have the power to be such. So commentators assume the word is incorrect. By a slight change to רָשָׁע (rasha’) the reading becomes “a wicked ruler” [Heb “a wicked mighty man”]. There is no textual support for this change. The LXX, however, reads, “A courageous man oppresses the poor with impieties.” If “a poor man” is retained, then the oppression would include betrayal – one would expect a poor man to have sympathy for others who are impoverished, but in fact that is not the case. It is a sad commentary on human nature that the truly oppressed people can also be oppressed by other poor people.
2 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
3 sn “Food” is a metonymy of effect here. The picture is of the driving rain that should cause crops to grow so that food can be produced – but does not (some English versions assume the crops are destroyed instead, e.g., NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT). The point the proverb is making is that a show of strength may not produce anything except ruin.