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27 The lazy person does not roast[a] his prey,
but personal possessions are precious to the diligent.[b]

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  1. Proverbs 12:27 tc The MT reads יַחֲרֹךְ (yakharokh) from II חָרַךְ (kharakh, “to roast”?). On the other hand, several versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) reflect a Hebrew Vorlage of יַדְרִיךְ (yadrikh) from דָרַךְ (darakh, “to gain”), meaning: “a lazy person cannot catch his prey” (suggested by Gemser; cf. NAB). The MT is the more difficult reading, being a hapax legomenon, and therefore should be retained; the versions are trying to make sense out of a rare The verb II חָרַךְ (kharakh) is a hapax legomenon, appearing in the OT only here. BDB suggests that it means “to start; to set in motion” (BDB 355 s.v.). The related Aramaic and Syriac verb means “to scorch; to parch,” and the related Arabic verb means “to roast; to scorch by burning”; so it may mean “to roast; to fry” (HALOT 353 s.v. I חרך). The lazy person can’t be bothered cooking what he has hunted. The Midrash sees an allusion to Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25. M. Dahood translates it: “the languid man will roast no game for himself, but the diligent will come on the wealth of the steppe” (“The Hapax harak in Proverbs 12:27, ” Bib 63 [1982]: 60-62). This hyperbole means that the lazy person does not complete a project.
  2. Proverbs 12:27 tn Heb “the precious possession of a man, diligent.” The LXX reads “but a valuable possession [is] a pure man” while Rashi, a highly esteemed 11th century Rabbi, interpreted it as “a precious possession of a man is to be diligent” (R. Murphy, Proverbs [WBC] 88). The translation assumes that the word יָקָר (yaqar, “precious”) should either be a construct form or transposed into predicate position. The implication is not to desire or overvalue possessions themselves but to take care of what one has.

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