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Amsal 12:21-28

Konteks

12:21 The righteous do not encounter 1  any harm, 2 

but the wicked are filled with calamity. 3 

12:22 The Lord 4  abhors a person who lies, 5 

but those who deal truthfully 6  are his delight. 7 

12:23 The shrewd person 8  conceals 9  knowledge,

but foolish people 10  publicize folly. 11 

12:24 The diligent 12  person 13  will rule,

but the slothful 14  will become a slave. 15 

12:25 Anxiety 16  in a person’s heart 17  weighs him down, 18 

but an encouraging 19  word brings him joy. 20 

12:26 The righteous person is cautious in his friendship, 21 

but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

12:27 The lazy person does not roast 22  his prey,

but personal possessions 23  are precious to the diligent.

12:28 In the path of righteousness there is life,

but another path leads to death. 24 

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[12:21]  1 tn Heb “is not allowed to meet to the righteous.”

[12:21]  2 tn Heb “all calamity.” The proper nuance of אָוֶן (’aven) is debated. It is normally understood metonymically (effect) as “harm; trouble,” that is, the result/effect of wickedness (e.g., Gen 50:20). Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived a.d. 1040-1105, took it as “wickedness,” its primary meaning; “the righteous will not be caught up in wickedness.”

[12:21]  3 tn The expression רָע מָלְאוּ (malÿu ra’, “to be full of evil”) means (1) the wicked do much evil or (2) the wicked experience much calamity (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

[12:22]  4 tn Heb “an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”) is a subjective genitive.

[12:22]  5 tn Heb “lips of lying.” The genitive שָׁקֶר (shaqer, “lying”) functions as an attributive genitive: “lying lips.” The term “lips” functions as a synecdoche of part (= lips) for the whole (= person): “a liar.”

[12:22]  6 tn Heb “but doers of truthfulness.” The term “truthfulness” is an objective genitive, meaning: “those who practice truth” or “those who act in good faith.” Their words and works are reliable.

[12:22]  7 sn The contrast between “delight/pleasure” and “abomination” is emphatic. What pleases the Lord is acting truthfully or faithfully.

[12:23]  8 tn Heb “a shrewd man” (so NAB); KJV, NIV “a prudent man”; NRSV “One who is clever.”

[12:23]  sn A shrewd person knows how to use knowledge wisely, and restrains himself from revealing all he knows.

[12:23]  9 sn The term כֹּסֶה (koseh, “covers; hides”) does not mean that he never shares his knowledge, but discerns when it is and is not appropriate to speak.

[12:23]  10 tn Heb “the heart of fools.” The term לֵב (lev, “heart”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= heart) for the whole (= person): “foolish people.” This type of fool despises correction and instruction. His intent is to proclaim all that he does – which is folly. W. McKane says that the more one speaks, the less likely he is able to speak effectively (Proverbs [OTL], 422). Cf. TEV “stupid people advertise their ignorance”; NLT “fools broadcast their folly.”

[12:23]  11 sn The noun אִוֶּלֶת (’ivvelet, “foolishness; folly”) is the antithesis of perception and understanding. It is related to the noun אֱוִּיל (’evvil, “fool”), one who is morally bad because he despises wisdom and discipline, mocks at guilt, is licentious and quarrelsome, and is almost impossible to rebuke.

[12:24]  12 tn The term חָרַץ (kharats, “diligent”) means (1) literally: “to cut; to sharpen,” (2) figurative: “to decide” and “to be diligent. It is used figuratively in Proverbs for diligence. The semantic development of the figure may be understood thus: “cut, sharpen” leads to “act decisively” which leads to “be diligent.” By their diligent work they succeed to management. The diligent rise to the top, while the lazy sink to the bottom.

[12:24]  13 tn Heb “the hand of the diligent.” The term “hand” is a synecdoche of part (= hand) for the whole (= person): diligent person. The hand is emphasized because it is the instrument of physical labor; it signifies the actions and the industry of a diligent person – what his hand does.

[12:24]  14 tn Heb “deceitful.” The term refers to one who is not diligent; this person tries to deceive his master about his work, which he has neglected.

[12:24]  15 tn Heb “will be for slave labor.” The term מַס (mas, “slave labor”) refers to a person forced into labor from slavery.

[12:25]  16 tn The word “anxiety” (דְּאָגָה, dÿagah) combines anxiety and fear – anxious fear (e.g., Jer 49:23; Ezek 4:16); and for the verb (e.g., Ps 38:18; Jer 17:8).

[12:25]  17 tn Heb “the heart of a man.”

[12:25]  18 tn Heb “bows it [= his heart] down.” Anxiety weighs heavily on the heart, causing depression. The spirit is brought low.

[12:25]  19 tn Heb “good.” The Hebrew word “good” (טוֹב, tov) refers to what is beneficial for life, promotes life, creates life or protects life. The “good word” here would include encouragement, kindness, and insight – the person needs to regain the proper perspective on life and renew his confidence.

[12:25]  20 tn Heb “makes it [= his heart] glad.” The similarly sounding terms יַשְׁחֶנָּה (yashkhennah, “weighs it down”) and יְשַׂמְּחֶנָּה (yÿsammÿkhennah, “makes it glad”) create a wordplay (paronomasia) that dramatically emphasizes the polar opposite emotional states: depression versus joy.

[12:26]  21 tn The line has several possible translations: (1) The verb יָתֵר (yater) can mean “to spy out; to examine,” which makes a good contrast to “lead astray” in the parallel colon. (2) יָתֵר could be the Hophal of נָתַר (natar, Hiphil “to set free”; Hophal “to be set free”): “the righteous is delivered from harm” [reading mera`ah] (J. A. Emerton, “A Note on Proverbs 12:26,” ZAW 76 [1964]: 191-93). (3) Another option is, “the righteous guides his friend aright” (cf. NRSV, NLT).

[12:27]  22 tc The MT reads יַחֲרֹךְ (yakharokh) from II חָרַךְ (kharakh, “to roast”?). On the other hand, several versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) reflect a Hebrew Vorlage of יַדְרִיךְ (yadrikh) from דָרַךְ (darakh, “to gain”), meaning: “a lazy person cannot catch his prey” (suggested by Gemser; cf. NAB). The MT is the more difficult reading, being a hapax legomenon, and therefore should be retained; the versions are trying to make sense out of a rare expression.

[12:27]  tn The verb II חָרַךְ (kharakh) is a hapax legomenon, appearing in the OT only here. BDB suggests that it means “to start; to set in motion” (BDB 355 s.v.). The related Aramaic and Syriac verb means “to scorch; to parch,” and the related Arabic verb means “to roast; to scorch by burning”; so it may mean “to roast; to fry” (HALOT 353 s.v. I חרך). The lazy person can’t be bothered cooking what he has hunted. The Midrash sees an allusion to Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25. M. Dahood translates it: “the languid man will roast no game for himself, but the diligent will come on the wealth of the steppe” (“The Hapax harak in Proverbs 12:27,” Bib 63 [1982]: 60-62). This hyperbole means that the lazy person does not complete a project.

[12:27]  23 tn Heb “the wealth of a man.”

[12:28]  24 tc The consonants אל־מות (’l-mvt) are vocalized by the MT as אַל־מָוֶת (’al-mavet, “no death”), meaning: “the journey of her path is no-death” = immortality. However, many medieval Hebrew mss and all the versions vocalize it as אֶל־מָוֶת (’el-mavet, “to death”), meaning: “but another path leads to death” (cf. NAB, NCV). W. McKane adopts this reading, and suggests that MT is a scribal change toward eternal life (Proverbs [OTL], 451-52). Others adopt this reading because they do not find the term “life” used in Proverbs for eternal life, nor do they find references to immortality elsewhere in Proverbs.

[12:28]  tn Heb “no death.” This phrase may mean “immortality.” Those who enter the path of righteousness by faith and seek to live righteously are on their way to eternal life. However, M. Dahood suggests that it means permanence (“Immortality in Proverbs 12:28,” Bib 41 [1960]: 176-81).



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