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Amsal 3:13-14

Blessings of Obtaining Wisdom

3:13 Blessed 1  is the one 2  who finds 3  wisdom,

and the one who obtains 4  understanding.

3:14 For her 5  benefit 6  is more profitable 7  than silver,

and her 8  gain 9  is better 10  than gold.

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[3:13]  1 tn Although the word אַשְׁרֵי (’ashre, “blessed”) is frequently translated “happy” here (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT), such a translation can be somewhat misleading because the word means more than that – “happiness” depends on one’s circumstances. This word reflects that inner joy and heavenly bliss which comes to the person who is pleasing to God, whose way is right before God.

[3:13]  2 tn Heb “the man” (also again in the following line).

[3:13]  3 tn The perfect tense verb may be classified as a characteristic or gnomic perfect, as the parallel imperfect tense verb suggests (see note on v. 13b).

[3:13]  4 tn The imperfect tense verb may be classified as a progressive or habitual imperfect.

[3:14]  5 tn Heb “her profit.” The 3rd person feminine singular suffix on the noun is probably a genitive of source: “from her.”

[3:14]  6 tn Heb “profit.” The noun סַחַר (sakhar, “trading profit”) often refers to the financial profit of traveling merchants (Isa 23:3, 18; 45:14; HALOT 750 s.v.). The related participle describes a traveling “trader, dealer, wholesaler, merchant” (e.g., Gen 37:28; Prov 31:14; Isa 23:2; Ezek 27:36; HALOT 750 s.v. סחר qal.2). Here the noun is used figuratively to describe the moral benefit of wisdom.

[3:14]  7 tn The noun סַחַר (“profit”) is repeated in this line for emphasis. The two usages draw upon slightly different nuances, creating a polysemantic wordplay. The moral “benefit” of wisdom is more “profitable” than silver.

[3:14]  8 tn Heb “her yield.” The 3rd person feminine singular suffix on the noun is probably a genitive of source: “from her.”

[3:14]  9 tn Heb “yield.” The noun תְּבוּאָה (tÿvuah, “product; yield”) is normally used of crops and harvests (BDB 100 s.v. 1). Here it is figurative for the moral benefit of wisdom (BDB 100 s.v. 2.b).

[3:14]  10 tn The phrase “is better” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.

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