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28 In the path of righteousness there is life,
but another path[a] leads to death.[b]

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  1. Proverbs 12:28 tc The MT has דֶרֶך נְתִיבָה (derekh netivah) “a way, a path.” The duplication of meaning is awkward. If the first word is repointed as a Qal participle (דֹּרֵך, dorekh) it could be understood as “treading a path [that leads to…].” The editors of BHS propose that the second word be emended to מְשׁוּבָה (meshuvah, “[way of] apostacy”) or תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, “[way of] abomination”). The LXX reads “the ways of the revengeful [lead] to death.”
  2. Proverbs 12:28 tc The consonants אל־מות (ʾl mvt) are vocalized by the MT as אַל־מָוֶת (ʾal mavet, “no death”), perhaps meaning immortality (“the journey of [her] path is no-death”). M. Dahood suggests that it means permanence (“Immortality in Proverbs 12:28, ” Bib 41 [1960]: 176-81). However, many medieval Hebrew mss and all the versions vocalize it as אֶל־מָוֶת (ʾel mavet), meaning “leads to death” (cf. NAB, NCV). W. McKane adopts this reading, and suggests that MT is a scribal change toward eternal life (Proverbs [OTL], 451-52). Others adopt this reading because they do not find the term “life” used in Proverbs for eternal life, nor do they find references to immortality elsewhere in Proverbs.

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