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26 The righteous person is cautious in his friendship,[a]
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

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  1. Proverbs 12:26 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. So perhaps, it means “searches out his neighbor/friend,” though this bypasses the preposition “from.” (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 מֵרָעָה, meraʿah] (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).

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