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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 21

Verses 1-31

Proverbs 21:1 . watercourses: not the natural brooks and wadys of Palestine, but the artificial irrigation canals of Egypt or Babylonia, which could be diverted in any direction at will.

Proverbs 21:4 . Apparently two unconnected lines belonging to different couplets. A connexion can be established only by forced exegesis. The Heb. is lit. “ lofty of look and arrogant of heart, the tillage of the wicked is sin.” RV “ lamp” for “ tillage” depends on a different pointing, but does not improve the sense.

Proverbs 21:6 . Lit. “ The getting of treasures by a lying tongue (is) a driven breath, seekers of death.” RV clearly inserts more than the text warrants to make sense of Proverbs 21:6 b. Read “ a snare of death” (LXX).

Proverbs 21:8 . him that is laden with guilt: a rendering of an unknown Heb. form based on a doubtful etymology. A slight emendation gives “ the insolent.”

Proverbs 21:9 . a wide house: text is emended. MT reads “ house of a companion”— a difficult phrase, which may mean a house where there is company, in contrast to the quiet isolation of Proverbs 21:9 a.

Proverbs 21:11 . cf. Proverbs 19:25.

Proverbs 21:12 . Lit. “ A righteous one ( i.e. God, cf. Job 34:17) considers the house of the wicked, he overturns the wicked (pl.) to calamity.” RV is inadmissible; read mg.

Proverbs 21:15 a. RV destroys the point; render “ the execution of justice is a joy to the righteous.”

Proverbs 21:16 . the dead: Proverbs 21:8 *.

Proverbs 21:18 . An expansion of the thought which finds a more restrained expression in Proverbs 11:8 *, a strange inversion of “ just for unjust” in 1 Peter 3:18. Toy’ s weakening of the thought, crude as it seems, is hardly justifiable. Cf. also 4Ma_6:28 f. Psalms 29:5 f. exemplifies the line of thought that could yield such an aphorism. The presence within Jewish theology of two such opposite conceptions of vicarious suffering illustrates the extent of the divergence of the national and the individual eschatology.

Proverbs 21:21 . cf. Romans 2:7 .

Proverbs 21:26 a. RV is inadmissible. Lit. “ all day long he desires desire,” which gives neither sense nor antithesis. LXX, “ the wicked desires all the day,” yields both.

Proverbs 21:27 . Both RV and RVm are possible, but RVm seems to give a better sense. The sacrifice of the wicked is doubly hateful to God when brought with the superstitious purpose of escaping thereby from the consequences of sin.

Proverbs 21:28 b yields no intelligible sense. RV is not admissible, and RVm gives an unjustifiable turn to the Heb. The Heb. is “ the man who hears will speak for ever.” It is possibly another example of two disconnected stanzas.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 21". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/proverbs-21.html. 1919.