Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 9:17


“Stolen waters 1  are sweet, and food obtained in secret 2  is pleasant!”


Ge 3:6; 2Ki 5:24-27; Pr 7:18-20; Pr 20:17; Pr 23:31,32; Pr 30:20; Ro 7:8; Eph 5:12; Jas 1:14,15

NET © Notes

sn The offer is not wine and meat (which represented wisdom), but water that is stolen. The “water” will seem sweeter than wine because it is stolen – the idea of getting away with something exciting appeals to the baser instincts. In Proverbs the water imagery was introduced earlier in 5:15-19 as sexual activity with the adulteress, which would seem at the moment more enjoyable than learning wisdom. Likewise bread will be drawn into this analogy in 30:20. So the “calling out” is similar to that of wisdom, but what is being offered is very different.

tn Heb “bread of secrecies.” It could mean “bread [eaten in] secret places,” a genitive of location; or it could mean “bread [gained through] secrets,” a genitive of source, the secrecies being metonymical for theft. The latter makes a better parallelism in this verse, for bread (= sexually immoral behavior) gained secretly would be like stolen water.

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