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Amsal 2:1-9

Konteks
Benefits of Seeking Wisdom 1 

2:1 My child, 2  if 3  you receive my words,

and store up 4  my commands within you,

2:2 by making 5  your ear 6  attentive to wisdom,

and 7  by turning 8  your heart 9  to understanding,

2:3 indeed, if 10  you call out for 11  discernment 12 

raise your voice 13  for understanding –

2:4 if 14  you seek 15  it like silver, 16 

and search for it 17  like hidden treasure,

2:5 then you will understand 18  how to fear the Lord, 19 

and you will discover 20  knowledge 21  about God. 22 

2:6 For 23  the Lord gives 24  wisdom,

and from his mouth 25  comes 26  knowledge and understanding.

2:7 He stores up 27  effective counsel 28  for the upright, 29 

and is like 30  a shield 31  for those who live 32  with integrity, 33 

2:8 to guard 34  the paths of the righteous 35 

and to protect 36  the way of his pious ones. 37 

2:9 Then you will understand 38  righteousness and justice

and equity – every 39  good 40  way. 41 

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[2:1]  1 sn The chapter begins with an admonition to receive wisdom (1-4) and then traces the benefits: the knowledge of God and his protection (5-8), moral discernment for living (9-11), protection from evil men (12-15) and immoral women (16-19), and enablement for righteous living (20-22).

[2:1]  2 tn Heb “my son.”

[2:1]  3 sn Verses 1-11 form one long conditional sentence in the Hebrew text: (1) the protasis (“if…”) encompasses vv. 1-4 and (2) the apodosis (“then…”) consists of two parallel panels in vv. 5-8 and vv. 9-11 both of which are introduced by the particle אָז (’az, “then”).

[2:1]  4 sn The verb “to store up” (צָפַן, tsafan; cf. NAB, NLT “treasure”) in the second colon qualifies the term “receive” (לָקַח, laqakh) in the first, just as “commands” intensifies “words.” This pattern of intensification through parallelism occurs throughout the next three verses. The verb “to store up; to treasure” is used in reference to things of value for future use, e.g., wealth, dowry for a bride. Since proverbs will be useful throughout life and not always immediately applicable, the idea of storing up the sayings is fitting. They will form the way people think which in turn will influence attitudes (W. G. Plaut, Proverbs, 43).

[2:2]  5 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct לְהַקְשִׁיב (lÿhaqshiv, “by making attentive”) functions as an epexegetical explanation of how one will receive the instruction.

[2:2]  6 sn The word “ear” is a metonymy of cause; the word is used as the instrument of hearing. But in parallelism with “heart” it indicates one aspect of the mental process of hearing and understanding. A “hearing ear” describes an obedient or responsive person (BDB 24 s.v. אֹזֶן 2).

[2:2]  7 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.

[2:2]  8 tn The Hiphil imperfect (“by turning”) continues the nuance introduced by the infinitive construct in the first colon (GKC 352 §114.r). The verb נָטָה (natah) normally means “to stretch out” and only occasionally “to turn” or “to incline” one’s heart to something, as is the case here.

[2:2]  9 tn Or “mind” (the center of the will, the choice).

[2:3]  10 tn Both particles retain their individual meanings, otherwise the verse would begin with a strong adversative and be a contrast to what has been said.

[2:3]  11 tn Heb “summon.”

[2:3]  12 sn The noun recalls the second purpose of the book (1:2). It is also cognate to the last word of 2:2, forming a transition. The two objects of the prepositions in this verse are actually personifications, as if they could be summoned.

[2:3]  13 tn Heb “give your voice”; the expression is idiomatic for raising or lifting the voice to make a sound that carries further (e.g., Jer 2:15). This deliberate expression indicates that something significant is being uttered. J. H. Greenstone says, “If it [understanding] does not come at your first call, raise your voice to a higher pitch, put forth greater efforts” (Proverbs, 17).

[2:4]  14 tn The conditional particle now reiterates the initial conditional clause of this introductory section (1-4); the apodosis will follow in v. 5.

[2:4]  15 tn The verb בָּקַשׁ (baqash) means “to search for; to seek; to investigate” (BDB 134 s.v.). This calls for the same diligence one would have in looking for silver.

[2:4]  16 sn The two similes affirm that the value placed on the object will influence the eagerness and diligence in the pursuit and development of wisdom (e.g., Job 28:9-11). The point is not only that the object sought is valuable, but that the effort will be demanding but rewarding.

[2:4]  17 sn The verb חָפַשׂ (khafas) means “to dig; to search” (BDB 344 s.v.; cf. NCV “hunt for it”). The Arabic cognate means “to dig for water.” It is used literally of Joseph searching his brothers’ sacks (Gen 44:12) and figuratively for searching the soul (Ps 64:7). This is a more emphatic word than the one used in the first colon and again emphasizes that acquiring wisdom will be demanding.

[2:5]  18 tn The verb בִּין (bin, “to perceive; to understand; to discern”) refers to ability to grasp, discern or be sensitive to what it means to fear the Lord.

[2:5]  19 tn Heb “the fear of the Lord.” The noun is an objective genitive; the Lord is to be the object of fear and reverence.

[2:5]  20 tn Heb “find” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).

[2:5]  21 tn The term דַּעַת (daat, “knowledge”) goes beyond cognition; it is often used metonymically (cause) for obedience (effect); see, e.g., Prov 3:6, “in all your ways acknowledge him,” and BDB 395 s.v. This means that the disciple will follow God’s moral code; for to know God is to react ethically and spiritually to his will (e.g., J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 18).

[2:5]  22 tn Heb “knowledge of God.” The noun is an objective genitive.

[2:6]  23 tn This is a causal clause. The reason one must fear and know the Lord is that he is the source of true, effectual wisdom.

[2:6]  24 tn The verb is an imperfect tense which probably functions as a habitual imperfect describing a universal truth in the past, present and future.

[2:6]  25 sn This expression is an anthropomorphism; it indicates that the Lord is the immediate source or author of the wisdom. It is worth noting that in the incarnation many of these “anthropomorphisms” become literal in the person of the Logos, the Word, Jesus, who reveals the Father.

[2:6]  26 tn The verb “comes” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.

[2:7]  27 tc The form is a Kethib/Qere reading. The Kethib וְצָפַן (vÿtsafan; Qal perfect + vav consecutive) is supported by the LXX and Syriac. The Qere יִצְפֹּן (yitspon; Qal imperfect) is supported by the Aramaic Targum of Prov 2:7 (the Aramaic translations of the Hebrew scriptures were called Targums) and Latin Vulgate. Internal evidence favors the imperfect; another imperfect appears in v. 6a with a similar sense. The Qere is normally preferred; the scribes are indicating that the received reading is corrupt. The Kethib reflects orthographic confusion between י (yod) and ו (vav). As in v. 6a, this Qal imperfect functions as a habitual imperfect describing a universal truth in past, present and future.

[2:7]  sn The verbal root צָפַן (tsafan, “to store up; to treasure up”) is repeated in 2:1 and 2:7. In 2:1, it is the responsibility of man to “store up” wisdom; but in 2:7, it is God who “stores up” wisdom for the wise person who seeks him.

[2:7]  28 tn The noun תּוּשִׁיָּה (tushiyyah) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “sound wisdom” (so KJV, NRSV); “effective counsel” and (2) result (metonymy of effect): “abiding success” (BDB 444 s.v.; W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 388; cf. NIV “victory”). It refers to competent wisdom and its resultant ability to achieve moral success (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 80).

[2:7]  29 sn The Hebrew word translated “upright” (יָשָׁר, yashar) is one of the terms used for the righteous. It points to the right conduct of the believer – that which is right or pleasing in the eyes of God. It stresses that the life of the individual is upright, straightforward, and just. It is paralleled with “those who walk in integrity.”

[2:7]  30 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.

[2:7]  31 tn The word can be taken as in apposition explaining the subject of the first colon – the Lord is a shield, the Lord stores up. The word then is a metaphor for the protection afforded by the Lord.

[2:7]  32 tn Heb “walk.” The verb “to walk” (הָלַךְ, halakh) is an idiom (based upon hypocatastasis: implied comparison) for habitual manner of life (BDB 234 s.v. 3.e).

[2:7]  33 tn Heb “those who walk of integrity.” The noun תֹם (tom, “integrity”) functions as a genitive of manner.

[2:8]  34 tn The infinitive construct לִנְצֹר (lintsor, “to guard”) designates the purpose of the Lord giving “effective counsel” and being a “shield” to the upright. The verb נָצַר (natsar, “to guard”) has a broad range of meanings: (1) to watch over, guard or protect a vineyard from theft (Prov 27:18); (2) to guard one’s lips or heart from evil (Prov 4:23; 13:3); (3) to protect a person from moral or physical danger (Prov 2:8, 11; 4:6; 13:6; 20:28; 22:12; 24:12) and (4) to guard with fidelity = to observe commands, law or covenant (Prov 3:1, 21; 4:13; 5:2; 6:20; 28:7; see BDB 665-66 s.v.). Here God guards the way of the just, that is, the course and conduct of life from the influence of evil.

[2:8]  35 tn Heb “paths of righteousness.” The word “righteousness” is a possessive genitive, signifying the ways that the righteous take.

[2:8]  36 tn The imperfect tense verb יִשְׁמֹר (yishmor, “to protect”) continues the syntactical nuance of the preceding infinitive construct of purpose.

[2:8]  37 tc The Kethib is the singular noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידוֹ (khasido) “his pious one.” The Qere reads the plural noun + 3rd person masculine singular suffix חֲסִידָיו (khasidav) “his pious ones.” The LXX εὐλαβουμένων αὐτόν (eujlaboumenwn aujton) supports the Qere reading.

[2:8]  tn The noun חֶסֶד (khesed, “the pious”) describes those who show “covenantal faithful love” or “loyal love” to God and his people. The description of the righteous by this term indicates their active participation in the covenant, for which God has promised his protection.

[2:9]  38 tn Heb “discern.” See preceding note on בִּין (bin) in 2:5.

[2:9]  39 tn The phrase “every good way” functions appositionally to the preceding triad of righteous attributes, further explaining and defining them.

[2:9]  40 tn Heb “every way of good.” The term טוֹב (tov, “good”) functions as an attributive genitive: “good way.”

[2:9]  41 tn Heb “track”; KJV, NIV, NRSV “path.” The noun מַעְגַּל (magal) is used (1) literally of “wagon-wheel track; firm path” and (2) figuratively (as a metaphor) to describe the course of life (Pss 17:5; 23:3; 140:6; Prov 2:9, 15, 18; 4:11, 26; 5:6, 21; Isa 26:7; 59:8; see BDB 722-23 s.v. 2; KBL 2:609). It is related to the feminine noun עֲגָלָה (’agalah, “cart”) and the verb עָגַל (’agal) “to be round” (Qal) and “to roll” (Niphal). As a wagon-wheel cuts a deep track in a much traversed dirt road, so a person falls into routines and habits that reveal his moral character. In Proverbs the “paths” of the righteous are characterized by uprightness and integrity.



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