New English Translation
13 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,[a]
but a scoffer[b] has never listened to[c] rebuke.
2 From the fruit of his speech[d] a person eats good things,[e]
but the treacherous[f] desire[g] the fruit of violence.[h]
3 The one who guards his words[i] guards his life;
whoever is talkative[j] will come to ruin.[k]
4 The appetite[l] of the sluggard[m] craves[n] but gets nothing,
but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied.[o]
5 The righteous person will reject[p] anything false,[q]
but the wicked person will act in shameful disgrace.[r]
6 Righteousness[s] guards the one who lives with integrity,[t]
but wickedness[u] overthrows the sinner.
7 There is one who pretends to be rich[v] and yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor[w] and yet possesses great wealth.[x]
8 The ransom[y] of a person’s[z] life is his wealth,
thus the poor person has never heard[aa] a threat.[ab]
9 The light[ac] of the righteous shines brightly,[ad]
but the lamp[ae] of the wicked goes out.[af]
10 With pride[ag] comes only[ah] contention,
but wisdom is with the well-advised.[ai]
11 Wealth gained quickly[aj] will dwindle away,[ak]
but the one who gathers it little by little[al] will become rich.[am]
12 Hope[an] deferred[ao] makes the heart sick,[ap]
but a longing fulfilled[aq] is like[ar] a tree of life.
13 The one who despises instruction[as] will pay the penalty,[at]
but whoever esteems direction[au] will[av] be rewarded.[aw]
14 Instruction[ax] from the wise is like[ay] a life-giving fountain,[az]
to turn[ba] a person[bb] from deadly snares.[bc]
15 Keen insight[bd] wins[be] favor,
but the conduct[bf] of the treacherous ends[bg] in destruction.[bh]
16 Every shrewd person[bi] acts with knowledge,
but a fool displays[bj] his folly.
17 An unreliable[bk] messenger falls[bl] into trouble,[bm]
but a faithful envoy[bn] brings[bo] healing.
18 The one who neglects[bp] discipline ends up in[bq] poverty and shame,
but the one who accepts reproof is honored.[br]
19 A desire fulfilled will be sweet[bs] to the soul,
but fools abhor[bt] turning away from evil.[bu]
20 The one who associates[bv] with the wise grows wise,[bw]
but a companion of fools suffers harm.[bx]
21 Calamity[by] pursues sinners,
but prosperity rewards the righteous.[bz]
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for[ca] his grandchildren,
but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.[cb]
23 Abundant food may come from the field of the poor,[cc]
but it is swept away by injustice.[cd]
24 The one who spares his rod[ce] hates[cf] his child,[cg]
but the one who loves his child[ch] is diligent[ci] in disciplining[cj] him.
25 The righteous has enough food to satisfy[ck] his appetite,[cl]
but the belly of the wicked will be empty.[cm]
- Proverbs 13:1 tc The MT reads “a wise son, discipline of a father.” Instead of מוּסָר (musar, “discipline”), G. R. Driver suggested reading this word as מְיֻסַּר (meyussar, “allows himself to be disciplined”); see his “Hebrew Notes on Prophets and Proverbs,” JTS 41 (1940): 174. A few Medieval Hebrew manuscripts, the LXX, and the Syriac read יִשְׁמַע (yishmaʿ) “a wise son listens to/obeys his father.” The translation, “accepts…discipline,” reflects the notion intended by either.
- Proverbs 13:1 sn The “scoffer” is the worst kind of fool. He has no respect for authority, reviles worship of God, and is unteachable because he thinks he knows it all. The change to a stronger word in the second colon—“rebuke” (גָּעַר, gaʿar)—shows that he does not respond to instruction on any level. Cf. NLT “a young mocker,” taking this to refer to the opposite of the “wise son” in the first colon.
- Proverbs 13:1 tn Heb “has not listened.” The perfect verb has been chosen to emphasize the past pattern of the scoffer.
- Proverbs 13:2 tn Heb “lips” (so NIV); KJV “mouth.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause for what the lips produce: speech.
- Proverbs 13:2 tn Heb “he eats [what is] good.”
- Proverbs 13:2 tn Heb “the desire of the treacherous.” The verb בָּגַד (bagad), here a participle, means “to act treacherously, with duplicity, or to betray.”
- Proverbs 13:2 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) has a broad range of meanings, and here denotes “appetite” (e.g., Ps 17:9; Prov 23:3; Eccl 2:24; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; BDB 660 s.v. 5.c) or (2) “desire” (e.g., Deut 12:20; Prov 13:4; 19:8; 21:10; BDB 660 s.v. 6.a).
- Proverbs 13:2 tn Heb “violence.” The phrase “the fruit of” does not appear in the Hebrew but is implied by the parallelism. The term “violence” is probably a metonymy of cause: “violence” represents what violence gains—ill-gotten gains resulting from violent crime. The wicked desire what does not belong to them.tc The LXX reads “the souls of the wicked perish untimely.” The MT makes sense as it stands.
- Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “mouth” (so KJV, NAB). The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
- Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “opens wide his lips.” This is an idiom meaning “to be talkative” (BDB 832 s.v. פָּשַׂק Qal). Cf. NIV “speaks rashly”; TEV “a careless talker”; CEV “talk too much.”
- Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “ruin belongs to him.”sn Tight control over what one says prevents trouble (e.g., Prov 10:10; 17:28; Jas 3:1-12; Sir 28:25). Amenemope advises to “sleep a night before speaking” (5:15; ANET 422, n. 10). The old Arab proverb is appropriate: “Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat” (O. Zockler, Proverbs, 134).
- Proverbs 13:4 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) has a broad range of meanings, and here denotes “appetite” (e.g., Ps 17:9; Prov 23:3; Eccl 2:24; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; BDB 660 s.v. 5.c) or “desire” (e.g., Deut 12:20; Prov 19:8; 21:10; BDB 660 s.v. 6.a).
- Proverbs 13:4 sn The contrast is between the “soul (= appetite) of the sluggard” (נַפְשׁוֹ עָצֵל, nafsho ʿatsel) and the “soul (= desire) of the diligent” (נֶפֶשׁ חָרֻצִים, nefesh kharutsim)—what they each long for.
- Proverbs 13:4 tn The Hitpael verb means “to lust after; to crave.” A related verb is used in the Decalogue’s prohibition against coveting (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21).
- Proverbs 13:4 tn Heb “will be made fat” (cf. KJV, NASB); NRSV “is richly supplied.”
- Proverbs 13:5 tn Heb “will hate.” The verb שָׂנֵא (saneʾ, “to hate”) can express a range of feelings of dislike or the implications of such. It can, then, have the connotation “to reject, spurn” (see NIDOTTE 1254 s.v.).
- Proverbs 13:5 tn Heb “a word of falsehood.” The genitive “falsehood” functions as an attributive genitive. The construct noun דְּבַר (devar) means either “word” or “thing.” Hence, the phrase means “a false word” or “a false thing.”
- Proverbs 13:5 tc The versions render this phrase variously: “is ashamed and without confidence” (LXX); “is ashamed and put to the blush” (Tg. Prov 13:5); “confounds and will be confounded” (Vulgate). The variety is due in part to confusion of בָּאַשׁ (baʾash, “to stink”) and בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “to be ashamed”). Cf. NASB “acts disgustingly and shamefully.”tn Heb “acts shamefully and disgracefully.” The verb בָּאַשׁ (baʾash) literally means “to cause a stink; to emit a stinking odor” (e.g., Exod 5:21; Eccl 10:1) and figuratively means “to act shamefully” (BDB 92 s.v.). The verb וְיַחְפִּיר (veyakhpir) means “to display shame.” Together, they can be treated as a verbal hendiadys: “to act in disgraceful shame,” or more colorfully “to make a shameful smell,” or as W. McKane has it, “spread the smell of scandal” (Proverbs [OTL], 460). W. G. Plaut says, “Unhappily, the bad odor adheres not only to the liar but also to the one about whom he lies—especially when the lie is a big one” (Proverbs, 152).
- Proverbs 13:6 sn Righteousness refers to that which conforms to law and order. One who behaves with integrity will be safe from consequences of sin.
- Proverbs 13:6 tn Heb “integrity of way.” The term דָּרֶךְ (darekh) is a genitive of specification: “integrity in respect to his way.” This means living above reproach in their course of life. Cf. NASB “whose way is blameless”; NAB “who walks honestly.”
- Proverbs 13:6 sn Righteousness and wickedness are personified in this proverb to make the point of security and insecurity for the two courses of life.
- Proverbs 13:7 tn The Hitpael of עָשַׁר (ʿashar, “to be rich”) means “to pretend to be rich” (BDB 799 s.v. עָשַׁר Hithp). Here the Hitpael means to show or present oneself in a state (cf. GKC 1256 §54e, Joüon 147 §53i, IBHS 431 §26.2f).
- Proverbs 13:7 tn The Hitpolel of רוּשׁ (rush, “to be poor”) means “to pretend to be poor” (BDB 930 s.v. Hithpolel). The Hitpolel forms of hollow root verbs are the equivalent of Hitpael forms; this Hitpolel functions like the Hitpael in the first part of the verse.
- Proverbs 13:7 sn The proverb seems to be a general observation on certain people in life, but it is saying more. Although there are times when such pretending may not be wrong, the proverb is instructing people to be honest. An empty pretentious display or a concealing of wealth can come to no good.
- Proverbs 13:8 sn As the word “ransom” (כֹּפֶר, cofer) indicates, the rich are susceptible to kidnapping and robbery. But the poor man pays no attention to blackmail—he does not have money to buy off oppressors. So the rich person is exposed to legal attacks and threats of physical violence and must use his wealth as ransom.
- Proverbs 13:8 tn Heb “the life of a man.”
- Proverbs 13:8 tn Heb “has not heard.” The perfect verb form has been chosen to emphasize the pattern that has been known from past experience. It implies that the pattern is unlikely to change.
- Proverbs 13:8 tn The term גְּעָרָה (geʿarah) may mean (1) “rebuke” (so KJV, NASB) or (2) “threat” (so NIV; cf. ASV, NRSV, NLT). If “rebuke” is the sense here, it means that the burdens of society fall on the rich as well as the dangers. But the sense of “threat” better fits the context: The rich are threatened with extortion, but the poor are not (cf. CEV “the poor don’t have that problem”).
- Proverbs 13:9 sn The images of “light” and “darkness” are used frequently in scripture. Here “light” is an implied comparison: “light” represents life, joy, and prosperity; “darkness” signifies adversity and death. So the “light of the righteous” represents the prosperous life of the righteous.
- Proverbs 13:9 tn The verb יִשְׂמָח (yismakh) is normally translated “to make glad; to rejoice.” But with “light” as the subject, it has the connotation “to shine brightly” (see G. R. Driver, “Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 180).
- Proverbs 13:9 sn The lamp is an implied comparison as well, comparing the life of the wicked to a lamp that is going to be extinguished.
- Proverbs 13:9 tc The LXX adds, “Deceitful souls go astray in sins, but the righteous are pitiful and merciful.” tn The verb דָּעַךְ (daʿakh) means “to go out [in reference to a fire or lamp]; to be extinguished.” The idea is that of being made extinct, snuffed out (cf. NIV, NLT). The imagery may have been drawn from the sanctuary where the flame was to be kept burning perpetually. Not so with the wicked.
- Proverbs 13:10 sn The parallelism suggests pride here means contempt for the opinions of others. The wise listen to advice rather than argue out of stubborn pride.
- Proverbs 13:10 tn The particle רַק (raq, “only”) modifies the noun “contention”—only contention can come from such a person.
- Proverbs 13:10 tn The Niphal of יָעַץ (yaʿats, “to advise; to counsel”) means “to consult together; to take counsel.” It means being well-advised, receiving advice or consultation (cf. NCV “those who take advice are wise”).
- Proverbs 13:11 tc The MT reads מֵהֵבֶל (mehevel) “from vanity” and is followed by KJV and ASV. The word הֵבֶל (hevel) means “vapor” and figuratively refers to that which is unsubstantial, fleeting, or amounts to nothing (BDB 210 s.v.). The Greek and Latin versions, followed by RSV, reflect מְבֹהָל (mevohal, “in haste”) which exhibits metathesis. A different pointing of the MT has also been proposed: מְהֻבָּל (mehubbal) “obtained by fraud” (HALOT 236 s.v. הבל), cf. NASB, NIV, CEV. The proverb favors steady disciplined work and saving over get-rich-quick schemes, be they by fraud or by empty dreams (cf. Prov 20:21; 28:20, 22).
- Proverbs 13:11 tn Heb “will become small.” The verb מָעָט (maʿat) means “to become small; to become diminished; to become few.” Money gained without work will diminish quickly, because it was come by too easily. The verb forms a precise contrast with רָבָה (ravah), “to become much; to become many,” but in the Hiphil, “to multiply; to make much many; to cause increase.”
- Proverbs 13:11 tn Heb “by hand”; cf. KJV, ASV, NASB “by labor.”
- Proverbs 13:11 tn Heb “will increase.”
- Proverbs 13:12 sn The word “hope” (תּוֹחֶלֶת [tokhelet] from יָחַל [yakhal]) also has the implication of a tense if not anxious wait.
- Proverbs 13:12 tn The verb is the Pual participle from מָשַׁךְ (mashakh, “to draw; to drag”).
- Proverbs 13:12 sn Failure in realizing one’s hopes can be depressing or discouraging. People can bear frustration only so long (W. G. Plaut, Proverbs, 153).
- Proverbs 13:12 tn Heb “a desire that comes”; cf. CEV “a wish that comes true.”
- Proverbs 13:12 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
- Proverbs 13:13 tn Heb “the word.” Both the term “word” (דָּבָר, davar) and its parallel “command” (מִצְוָה, mitzvah) are used at times for scripture, but probably here for the sage’s teaching. Here the second term gives more specificity to the first.
- Proverbs 13:13 tc The MT reads יֵחָבֶל (yekhavel) the Niphal imperfect of חָבַל (khaval). This root may be one of two homonyms, meaning either “a pledge will be seized from him” or “he will fare badly” (see HALOT 285 s.v. II חבל and III חבל). But the BHS editors suggest revocalizing the text to יְחֻבָּל (yekhubbal, “he will be broken [for it]”; cf. NRSV “bring destruction on themselves”).
- Proverbs 13:13 tn Heb “fears a commandment”; NIV “respects a command.”
- Proverbs 13:13 tn Heb “he” or “that one” [will be rewarded].
- Proverbs 13:13 tc The MT reads יְשֻׁלָּם (yeshullam, “will be rewarded”); the LXX implies a different vocalization יִשְׁלָם (yishlam, “will stay well/healthy”). Also the LXX then adds: “A crafty son will have no good thing, but the affairs of a wise servant will be prosperous; and his path will be directed rightly.”
- Proverbs 13:14 tn The term תוֹרָה (torah) in legal literature means “law,” but in wisdom literature often means “instruction; teaching” (BDB 435 s.v.); cf. NAV, NIV, NRSV “teaching”; NLT “advice.”
- Proverbs 13:14 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor.
- Proverbs 13:14 tn Heb “fountain of life” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV). The genitive חַיִּים (khayyim) functions as a genitive of material, similar to the expression “fountain of water.” The metaphor means that the teaching of the wise is life-giving. The second colon is the consequence of the first, explaining this metaphor.
- Proverbs 13:14 tn The infinitive construct with preposition ל (lamed) gives the result (or, purpose) of the first statement. It could also be taken epexegetically, “by turning.”
- Proverbs 13:14 tn The term “person” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
- Proverbs 13:14 tn Heb “snares of death” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT). The genitive מָוֶת (mavet) functions as an attributive adjective. The term “snares” makes an implied comparison with hunting; death is like a hunter. W. McKane compares the idea to the Ugaritic god Mot, the god of death, carrying people off to the realm of the departed (Proverbs [OTL], 455). The expression could also mean that the snares lead to death.
- Proverbs 13:15 tn Heb “good insight.” The expression שֵׂכֶל־טוֹב (sekhel tov) describes a person who has good sense, sound judgment, or wise opinions (BDB 968 s.v. שֵׂכֶל).
- Proverbs 13:15 tn Heb “gives”; NASB “produces.”
- Proverbs 13:15 tn Heb “way,” frequently for conduct, behavior, or lifestyle.
- Proverbs 13:15 tn The Hebrew has a nominal clause: “the way [conduct] of the treacherous [is] destruction.” The verb “ends [in]” is supplied for style and in keeping with the image of a pathway leading to a destination.
- Proverbs 13:15 tc The MT reads אֵיתָן (ʾetan, “enduring; permanent; perennial”; BDB 450 s.v. יתן 1), which gives a meaning not consistent with the teachings of Proverbs. Several scholars suggest that the text here needs revision. G. R. Driver suggested that לֹא (loʾ, “not”) was dropped before the word by haplography and so the meaning would have been not “enduring” but “passing away” (“Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs,” Bib 32 : 181). The LXX reads “the ways of the contemptuous [lead] to destruction” which, supported by the Syriac, may reflect an underlying text of אֵידָם (ʾedam) “their calamity” or just אֵיד (ʾed, “calamity, distress”; BDB 15 s.v.). The Targum reflects a text of תֹאבֵד (toʾved) “will perish, be destroyed.”
- Proverbs 13:16 sn The shrewd person knows the circumstances, dangers and pitfalls that lie ahead. So he deals with them wisely. This makes him cautious.
- Proverbs 13:16 tn Heb “spreads open” [his folly]. W. McKane suggests that this is a figure of a peddler displaying his wares (Proverbs [OTL], 456; cf. NAB “the fool peddles folly”). If given a chance, a fool will reveal his foolishness in public. But the wise study the facts and make decisions accordingly.
- Proverbs 13:17 tn Heb “bad.”
- Proverbs 13:17 tn The RSV changes this to a Hiphil to read, “plunges [men] into trouble.” But the text simply says the wicked messenger “falls into trouble,” perhaps referring to punishment for his bad service.
- Proverbs 13:17 tn Or “evil.”
- Proverbs 13:17 tn Heb “an envoy of faithfulness.” The genitive אֱמוּנִים (ʾemunim, “faithfulness”) functions as an attributive adjective: “faithful envoy.” The plural form אמונים (literally, “faithfulnesses”) is characteristic of abstract nouns. The term “envoy” (צִיר, tsir) suggests that the person is in some kind of government service (e.g., Isa 18:2; Jer 49:14; cf. KJV, ASV “ambassador”). This individual can be trusted to “bring healing”—be successful in the mission. The wisdom literature of the ancient Near East has much to say about messengers.
- Proverbs 13:17 tn The verb “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
- Proverbs 13:18 tn The verb III פָּרַע (paraʿ) normally means “to let go; to let alone” and here “to neglect; to avoid; to reject” (BDB 828 s.v.).
- Proverbs 13:18 tn The phrase “ends up in” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
- Proverbs 13:18 sn Honor and success are contrasted with poverty and shame; the key to enjoying the one and escaping the other is discipline and correction. W. McKane, Proverbs (OTL), 456, notes that it is a difference between a man of weight (power and wealth, from the idea of “heavy” for “honor”) and the man of straw (lowly esteemed and poor).
- Proverbs 13:19 tn The verb III עָרַב (ʿarav, “to be sweet”) is stative. The imperfect form of a stative verb should be future tense or modal, not present tense as in most translations.
- Proverbs 13:19 tn Heb “an abomination of fools.” The noun כְּסִילִים (kesilim, “fools”) functions as a subjective genitive: “fools hate to turn away from evil” (cf. NAB, TEV, CEV). T. T. Perowne says: “In spite of the sweetness of good desires accomplished, fools will not forsake evil to attain it” (Proverbs, 103). Cf. Prov 13:12; 29:27.
- Proverbs 13:19 tn The word רָע (raʿ, “bad”) can refer to evil and is traditionally taken as such in this verse. However, רָע can also refer to something of little worth. Perhaps the verse comments on the fool’s unwillingness to forego what is inferior or to avoid cutting corners and to persevere for what is truly desirable.
- Proverbs 13:20 tn Heb “walks.” When used with the preposition אֶת (ʾet, “with”), the verb הָלַךְ (halakh, “to walk”) means “to associate with” someone (BDB 234 s.v. הָלַךְ II.3.b; e.g., Mic 6:8; Job 34:8). The active participle of הָלַךְ (“to walk”) stresses continual, durative action. One should stay in close association with the wise, and move in the same direction they do.
- Proverbs 13:20 tc The Kethib of the MT and two important Greek witnesses read “Walk with the wise and become wise.” The Qere and other important Greek witnesses along with the Syriac, Targum and Vulgate read “One who walks with the wise will become wise.”
- Proverbs 13:20 tn The verb form יֵרוֹעַ (yeroaʿ) is the Niphal imperfect of רָעַע (raʿaʿ), meaning “to suffer hurt.” Several have attempted to parallel the repetition in the wordplay of the first colon. A. Guillaume has “he who associates with fools will be left a fool” (“A Note on the Roots רִיע, יָרַע, and רָעַע in Hebrew,” JTS 15 : 294). Knox translated the Vulgate thus: “Fool he ends that fool befriends” (cited by D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 104).
- Proverbs 13:21 tn Heb “evil.” The term רָעָה (raʿah, “evil”) here functions in a metonymical sense meaning “calamity.” “Good” is the general idea of good fortune or prosperity; the opposite, “evil,” is likewise “misfortune” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV) or calamity.
- Proverbs 13:21 sn This statement deals with recompense in generalizing terms. It is this principle in an absolute sense, without allowing for any of the exceptions that Proverbs itself acknowledges, that Job’s friends applied (incorrectly) to his suffering.
- Proverbs 13:22 sn In ancient Israel the idea of leaving an inheritance was a sign of God’s blessing; blessings extended to the righteous and not the sinners.
- Proverbs 13:22 sn In the ultimate justice of God, the wealth of the wicked goes to the righteous after death (e.g., Ps 49:10, 17).
- Proverbs 13:23 tn Heb “abundance of food, fallow ground of רָאשִׁים (raʾshim).” The line has several difficulties. The word רָאשִׁים is spelled as if from ראֹשׁ (roʾsh, “head”) meaning a tribal head, leader, chief (HALOT 1166 s.v.). It is usually assumed however that it is a participle from רוּשׁ (rush) meaning “to be poor” (HALOT 1209 s.v.). The lack of a verb also poses a problem. Some translations assume that the food is in the field or the field produces the food (NASB, KJV, BBE, NIV , Holman), but this runs counter to the notion of fallow ground. If it is full of crops, it isn’t fallow (if indeed נִיר [nir] means prepared unplanted soil). Other translations are modal, stating that the field “may” or “would” produce much food (NIV , ESV, NLT, NRSV). Perhaps it is fallow after a harvest; or perhaps the saying is about presuming the crops before they are actually there (like counting your chickens before they are hatched). BDB proposes the possibility: “abundant food [yields] the fallow ground of poor men” (BDB 644 s.v. נִיר). If food leads to fallow ground, it may imply not seeing a need to plant all the fields, which later results in poverty. Any of these options seems equally speculative.
- Proverbs 13:23 tc The MT reads “there is what is swept away without justice” (וְיֵשׁ נִסְפֶּה בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט, veyesh nispeh beloʾ mishpat). The LXX reads “the great enjoy wealth many years, but some men perish little by little.” The Syriac reads “those who have no habitation waste wealth many years, and some waste it completely.” Tg. Prov 13:23 reads “the great man devours the land of the poor, and some men are taken away unjustly.” The Vulgate has “there is much food in the fresh land of the fathers, and for others it is collected without judgment.” C. H. Toy says that the text is corrupt (Proverbs [ICC], 277). Nevertheless, the MT makes sense: The ground could produce enough food for people if there were no injustice in the land.
- Proverbs 13:24 sn R. N. Whybray cites an Egyptian proverb that says that “boys have their ears on their backsides; they listen when they are beaten” (Proverbs [CBC], 80). Cf. Prov 4:3-4, 10-11; Eph 6:4; Heb 12:5-11.
- Proverbs 13:24 tn Or “is hating.” Most stative verbs by nature cannot have participle forms. But some do, including שָׂנֵא (saneʾ, “to hate”), in contexts where they take on dynamic overtones. So the nuance may be less on the overall felt emotion, and more on the particular action: the rod-sparer is hating his child (in this regard).sn The importance of parental disciplining is stressed by the verbs “hate” and “love.” “Hating” a child in this sense means in essence abandoning or rejecting him; “loving” a child means embracing and caring for him. Failure to discipline a child is tantamount to hating him—not caring about his character.
- Proverbs 13:24 tn Heb “his son.”
- Proverbs 13:24 tn Heb “him”; the referent (his child) is specified in the translation for clarity.
- Proverbs 13:24 tn Heb “seeks him.” The verb שָׁחַר (shakhar, “to be diligent; to do something early”; BDB 1007 s.v.) could mean “to be diligent to discipline,” or “to be early or prompt in disciplining.” See G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes on Prophets and Proverbs,” JTS 41 (1940): 170.
- Proverbs 13:24 tn The noun מוּסָר (musar, “discipline”) functions as an adverbial accusative of reference: “he is diligent in reference to discipline.”
- Proverbs 13:25 tn Heb “eats to the abundance of.”
- Proverbs 13:25 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (traditionally “soul”; cf. KJV, ASV) here means “appetite” (BDB 660 s.v. 5.a).
- Proverbs 13:25 tn The imperfect verb תֶּחְסָר (tekhsar) is from the stative root סָחַר (sakhar, “to be devoid of, to decrease, to be empty”) and so should be future tense. sn The wicked may go hungry, or lack all they desire, just as the first colon may mean that what the righteous acquire proves satisfying to them.