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29 The one who troubles[a] his family[b] will inherit nothing,[c]
and the fool[d] will be a servant to the wise person.[e]

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  1. Proverbs 11:29 tn The verb עָכַר (ʿakhar, “to trouble”) refers to actions which make life difficult for one’s family (BDB 747 s.v.). He will be cut out of the family inheritance.
  2. Proverbs 11:29 tn Heb “his house.” The term בֵּית (bet, “house”) is a synecdoche of container (= house) for its contents (= family, household).
  3. Proverbs 11:29 tn Heb “the wind” (so KJV, NCV, NLT); NAB “empty air.” The word “wind” (רוּחַ, ruakh) refers to what cannot be grasped (Prov 27:16; Eccl 1:14, 17). The figure is a hypocatastasis, comparing wind to what he inherits—nothing he can put his hands on. Cf. CEV “won’t inherit a thing.”
  4. Proverbs 11:29 sn The “fool” here is the “troubler” of the first half. One who mismanages his affairs so badly so that there is nothing for the family may have to sell himself into slavery to the wise. The ideas of the two halves of the verse are complementary.
  5. Proverbs 11:29 tn Heb “the wise of mind.” The noun לֵב (lev, “mind, heart”) functions as a genitive of specification: “wise in the mind” or “wise-minded.” Cf. “wisehearted” NASB; “wise of heart” ESV, NKJV. The term לֵב represents the person in this case (a synecdoche of part for the whole) because it is the seat of thinking and wisdom; see BDB 525 s.v. 7.

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