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Amsal 1:7

Konteks
Introduction to the Theme of the Book

1:7 Fearing the Lord 1  is the beginning 2  of moral knowledge, 3 

but 4  fools 5  despise 6  wisdom and instruction. 7 

Amsal 8:10

Konteks

8:10 Receive my instruction 8  rather than 9  silver,

and knowledge rather than choice gold.

Amsal 8:32-36

Konteks

8:32 “So now, children, 10  listen to me;

blessed are those who keep my ways.

8:33 Listen to my instruction 11  so that you may be wise, 12 

and do not neglect it.

8:34 Blessed is the one 13  who listens to me,

watching 14  at my doors day by day,

waiting 15  beside my doorway. 16 

8:35 For the one who finds me finds 17  life

and receives 18  favor from the Lord.

8:36 But the one who does not find me 19  brings harm 20  to himself; 21 

all who hate me 22  love death.”

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[1:7]  1 tn Heb “fear of the Lord.” The expression יְהוָה יִרְאַת (yirat yÿhvah, “fear of Yahweh”) is a genitive-construct in which יְהוָה (“the Lord”) functions as an objective genitive: He is the object of fear. The term יָרַא (yara’) is the common word for fear in the OT and has a basic three-fold range of meanings: (1) “dread; terror” (Deut 1:29; Jonah 1:10), (2) “to stand in awe” (1 Kgs 3:28), (3) “to revere; to respect” (Lev 19:3). With the Lord as the object, it captures the polar opposites of shrinking back in fear and drawing close in awe and adoration. Both categories of meaning appear in Exod 20:20 (where the Lord descended upon Sinai amidst geophysical convulsions); Moses encouraged the Israelites to not be afraid of God arbitrarily striking them dead for no reason (“Do not fear!”) but informed the people that the Lord revealed himself in such a terrifying manner to scare them from sinning (“God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him in you so that you do not sin”). The fear of the Lord is expressed in reverential submission to his will – the characteristic of true worship. The fear of the Lord is the foundation for wisdom (9:10) and the discipline leading to wisdom (15:33). It is expressed in hatred of evil (8:13) and avoidance of sin (16:6), and so results in prolonged life (10:27; 19:23).

[1:7]  2 tn The noun רֵאשִׁית (reshit) has a two-fold range of meaning (BDB 912 s.v.): (1) “beginning” = first step in a course of action (e.g., Ps 111:10; Prov 17:14; Mic 1:13) or (2) “chief thing” as the principal aspect of something (e.g., Prov 4:7). So fearing the Lord is either (1) the first step in acquiring moral knowledge or (2) the most important aspect of moral knowledge. The first option is preferred because 1:2-6 focuses on the acquisition of wisdom.

[1:7]  3 tn Heb “knowledge.” The noun דָּעַת (daat, “knowledge”) refers to experiential knowledge, not just cognitive knowledge, including the intellectual assimilation and practical application (BDB 394 s.v.). It is used in parallelism to מוּסָר (musar, “instruction, discipline”) and חָכְמָה (khokhmah, “wisdom, moral skill”).

[1:7]  4 tn The conjunction “but” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the antithetical parallelism. It is supplied in the translation for clarity.

[1:7]  5 tn The term אֱוִיל (’evil, “fool”) refers to a person characterized by moral folly (BDB 17 s.v.). Fools lack understanding (10:21), do not store up knowledge (10:14), fail to attain wisdom (24:7), and refuse correction (15:5; 27:22). They are arrogant (26:5), talk loosely (14:3) and are contentious (20:3). They might have mental intelligence but they are morally foolish. In sum, they are stubborn and “thick-brained” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 6).

[1:7]  6 tn The verb of בָּזָה (bazah, “despise”) means to treat things of value with contempt, as if they were worthless (BDB 102 s.v.). The classic example is Esau who despised his birthright and sold it for lentil stew (Gen 25:34). The perfect tense of this verb may be classified as characteristic perfect (what they have done and currently do) or gnomic perfect (what they always do in past, present and future). The latter is preferred; this describes a trait of fools, and elsewhere the book says that fools do not change.

[1:7]  7 sn Hebrew word order is emphatic here. Normal word order is: verb + subject + direct object. Here it is: direct object + subject + verb (“wisdom and instruction fools despise”).

[8:10]  8 tn Heb “discipline.” The term refers to instruction that trains with discipline (e.g., Prov 1:2).

[8:10]  9 tn Heb “and not” (so KJV, NASB); NAB “in preference to.”

[8:32]  10 tn Heb “sons.”

[8:33]  11 tn Heb “discipline.”

[8:33]  12 tn The construction uses two imperatives joined with the vav (ו); this is a volitive sequence in which result or consequence is being expressed.

[8:34]  13 tn Heb “the man.”

[8:34]  14 tn The form לִשְׁקֹד (lishqod) is the infinitive construct serving epexegetically in the sentence. It explains how the person will listen to wisdom.

[8:34]  15 tn Heb “keeping” or “guarding.”

[8:34]  16 tn Heb “at the posts of my doors” (so KJV, ASV).

[8:35]  17 tc The Kethib reads plurals: “those who find me are finders of life”; this is reflected in the LXX and Syriac. But the Qere is singular: “whoever finds me finds life.” The Qere is generally favored as the original reading in such cases as these.

[8:35]  18 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive carries the same nuance as the perfect tense that came before it, setting out the timeless principle.

[8:36]  19 tn Heb “the one sinning [against] me.” The verb חָטָא (khata’, “to sin”) forms a contrast with “find” in the previous verse, and so has its basic meaning of “failing to find, miss.” So it is talking about the one who misses wisdom, as opposed to the one who finds it.

[8:36]  20 tn The Qal active participle functions verbally here. The word stresses both social and physical harm and violence.

[8:36]  sn Brings harm. Whoever tries to live without wisdom is inviting all kinds of disaster into his life.

[8:36]  21 tn Heb “his soul.”

[8:36]  22 tn The basic idea of the verb שָׂנֵא (sane’, “to hate”) is that of rejection. Its antonym is also used in the line, “love,” which has the idea of choosing. So not choosing (i.e., hating) wisdom amounts to choosing (i.e., loving) death.



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