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When the righteous become numerous,[a] the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 29:2 tn The Hebrew form בִּרְבוֹת (birvot) is the Qal infinitive construct of רָבָה (ravah) with a ב (bet) preposition, forming a temporal clause with a subjective genitive following it. It is paralleled in the second colon by the same construction, showing the antithesis: וּבִמְשֹׁל (uvimshol), “and when the wicked rule.” Some commentators wish to change the first verb to make it parallel this more closely, e.g., רָדָה (radah, “to rule”), but that would be too neat and is completely unsupported. The contrast is between when the righteous increase and when the wicked rule. It is not hard to see how this contrast works out in society.
  2. Proverbs 29:2 tn The Niphal verb אָנַח (ʾanakh) means “to sigh; to groan,” usually because of grief or physical and emotional distress. The word is a metonymy of effect; the cause is the oppression and distress due to evil rulers.

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