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Bible Commentaries

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
Proverbs 1



Verses 1-7

The external title, i.e. , the Synagogue name, of the whole collection of Proverbs is משׁלי ( Mishle ), the word with which it commences. Origen (Euseb. h. e. vi. 25) uses the name Μισλώθ , i.e. , משׁלות , which occurs in the Talmud and Midrash as the designation of the book, from its contents. In a similar way, the names given to the Psalter, תּהלּים and תּהלּות , are interchanged.

This external title is followed by one which the Book of Proverbs, viewed as to its gradual formation, and first the older portion, gives to itself. It reaches from Proverbs 1:1 to Proverbs 1:6, and names not only the contents and the author of the book, but also commends it in regard to the service which it is capable of rendering. It contains “Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel.” The books of the נבואה and חכמה , including the Canticles, thus give their own titles; among the historical books, that of the memoirs of Nehemiah is the only one that does so. משׁלי has the accent Dechî , to separate

(Note: Norzi has erroneously accented משלי with the accent Munach . The מ is besides the Masoretic majusculum , like the ב , שׁ , and א at the commencement of the Law, the Canticles, and Chronicles.)

it from the following complex genitive which it governs, and מלך ישׂראל is made the second hemistich, because it belongs to שׁלמה , not to דּוד .

(Note: If it had belonged to דוד , then the sentence would have been accented thus: משׁלי שלמה בן־דוד מלך ישראל .)

As to the fundamental idea of the word משׁל , we refer to the derivation given in the Gesch. der jud. Poesie , p. 196, from משׁל , Aram. מתל , root תל , Sanskr. tul (whence tulג , balance, similarity), Lat. tollere ; the comparison of the Arab. mathal leads to the same conclusion. “ משׁל signifies, not, as Schultens and others after him affirm, effigies ad similitudinem alius rei expressa , from משׁל in the primary signification premere, premente manu tractare ; for the corresponding Arab. verb mathal does not at all bear that meaning, but signifies to stand, to present oneself, hence to be like, properly to put oneself forth as something, to represent it; and in the Hebr. also to rule, properly with על to stand on or over something, with בּ to hold it erect, like Arab. kam with b , rem administravit [ vid . Jesaia, p. 691]. Thus e.g. , Genesis 24:2, it is said of Eliezer: המּשׁל בּכל־אשׁר־לו , who ruled over all that he (Abraham) had (Luther: was a prince over all his goods). Thus משׁל , figurative discourse which represents that which is real, similitude; hence then parable or shorter apothegm, proverb, in so far as they express primarily something special, but which as a general symbol is then applied to everything else of a like kind, and in so far stands figuratively. An example is found in 1 Samuel 10:11. It is incorrect to conclude from this meaning of the word that such memorial sayings or proverbs usually contained comparisons, or were clothed in figurative language; for that is the case in by far the fewest number of instances: the oldest have by far the simplest and most special interpretations” (Fleischer). Hence Mashal , according to its fundamental idea, is that which stands with something = makes something stand forth = representing. This something that represents may be a thing or a person; as e.g. , one may say Job is a Mashal, i.e. , a representant, similitude, type of Israel ( vide the work entitled עץ החיים , by Ahron b. Elia, c. 90, p. 143); and, like Arab. mathal (more commonly mithl = משׁל , cf. משׁל , Job 41:25), is used quite as generally as is its etymological cogn. instar ( instare ). But in Hebr. Mashal always denotes representing discourse with the additional marks of the figurative and concise, e.g. , the section which presents (Habakkuk 2:6) him to whom it refers as a warning example, but particularly, as there defined, the gnome, the apothegm or maxim, in so far as this represents general truths in sharply outlined little pictures.

Proverbs 1:2

Now follows the statement of the object which these proverbs subserve; and first, in general,

To become acquainted with wisdom and instruction,

To understand intelligent discourses.

They seek on the one side to initiate the reader in wisdom and instruction, and on the other to guide him to the understanding of intelligent discourses, for they themselves contain such discourses in which there is a deep penetrating judgment, and they sharpen the understanding of him who engages his attention with them.

(Note: לדעת is rightly pointed by Löwenstein with Dechî after Cod. 1294; vide the rule by which the verse is divided, Torath Emeth , p. 51, §12.)

As Schultens has already rightly determined the fundamental meaning of ידע , frequently compared with the Sanskr. vid , to know (whence by gunating,

(Note: Guna = a rule in Sanskrit grammar regulating the modification of vowels.)

vךda , knowledge), after the Arab. wad'a , as deponere, penes se condere , so he also rightly explains חכמה by soliditas ; it means properly (from חכם , Arab. hakm , R. hk , vide under Psalms 10:8, to be firm, closed) compactness, and then, like πυκνότης , ability, worldly wisdom, prudence, and in the higher general sense, the knowledge of things in the essence of their being and in the reality of their existence. Along with wisdom stands the moral מוּסר , properly discipline, i.e. , moral instruction, and in conformity with this, self-government, self-guidance, from יסר = וסר , cogn. אסר , properly adstrictio or constrictio ; for the מ of the noun signifies both id quod or aliquid quod ( ὅ , τι ) and quod in the conjunctional sense ( ὅτι ), and thus forms both a concrete (like מוסר = מאסר , fetter, chain) and an abstract idea. The first general object of the Proverbs is דּעת , the reception into oneself of wisdom and moral edification by means of education and training; and second is to comprehend utterances of intelligence, i.e. , such as proceed from intelligence and give expression to it (cf. אמרי אמת , Proverbs 22:21). בּין , Kal , to be distinguished (whence בּין , between, constr. of בּין , space between, interval), signifies in Hiph . to distinguish, to understand; בּינה is, according to the sense, the n. actionis of this Hiph ., and signifies the understanding as the capability effective in the possession of the right criteria of distinguishing between the true and the false, the good and the bad (1 Kings 3:9), the wholesome and the pernicious.

Proverbs 1:3-5

In the following, 2a is expanded in Proverbs 1:3-5, then 2b in Proverbs 1:6. First the immediate object:

3 To attain intelligent instruction,

Righteousness, and justice, and integrity;

4 To impart to the inexperienced prudence,

To the young man knowledge and discretion

5 Let the wise man hear and gain learning,

And the man of understanding take to himself rules of conduct.

With דּעת , denoting the reception into oneself, acquiring, is interchanged (cf. Proverbs 2:1) קחת , its synonym, used of intellectual reception and appropriation, which, contemplated from the point of view of the relation between the teacher and the learner, is the correlative of תּת , παραδιδόναι , tradere (Proverbs 9:9). But מוּסר השׂכּל is that which proceeds from chokma and musar when they are blended together: discipline of wisdom, discipline training to wisdom; i.e. , such morality and good conduct as rest not on external inheritance, training, imitation, and custom, but is bound up with the intelligent knowledge of the Why and the Wherefore. השׂכּל , as Proverbs 21:16, is inf . absol . used substantively (cf. השׁקט , keeping quiet, Isaiah 32:17) of שׂכל (whence שׂכל , intellectus ), to entwine, involve; for the thinking through a subject is represented as an interweaving, complicating, configuring of the thoughts (the syllogism is in like manner represented as אשׁכּל , Aram. סגול , a bunch of grapes), (with which also סכל , a fool, and חסכּיל , to act foolishly, are connected, from the confusion of the thoughts, the entangling of the conceptions; cf. Arab. 'akl , to understand, and מעקּל ). The series of synonyms (cf. Proverbs 23:23) following in 3b, which are not well fitted to be the immediate object to לקחת , present themselves as the unfolding of the contents of the מוּסר השׂכּל , as meaning that namely which is dutiful and right and honest. With the frequently occurring two conceptions צדק וּמשׁפּט (Proverbs 2:9), (or with the order reversed as in Psalms 119:121) is interchanged משׁפּט וּצדקה (or with the order also reversed, Proverbs 21:3). The remark of Heidenheim, that in צדק the conception of the justum , and in צדקה that of the aequum prevails, is suggested by the circumstance that not צדק but צדקה signifies δικαιοσύνη (cf. Proverbs 10:2) in the sense of liberality, and then of almsgiving ( ἐλεημοσύνη ); but צדק also frequently signifies a way of thought and action which is regulated not by the letter of the law and by talio , but by love (cf. Isaiah 41:2; Isaiah 42:6). Tsedek and ts'dakah have almost the relation to one another of integrity and justice which practically brings the former into exercise. משׁפּט (from שׁפט , to make straight, to adjust, cf. שׁבט , Arab. sabita , to be smooth) is the right and the righteousness in which it realizes itself, here subjectively considered, the right mind.

(Note: According to Malbim, משׁפט is the fixed objective right, צדק the righteousness which does not at once decide according to the letter of the law, but always according to the matter and the person.)

משׁרים (defect. for מישׁרים , from ישׁר , to be straight, even) is plur. tantum ; for its sing. מישׁר (after the form מיטב ) the form מישׁור (in the same ethical sense, e.g. , Malachi 2:6) is used: it means thus a way of thought and of conduct that is straight, i.e. , according to what is right, true, i.e. , without concealment, honest, i.e. , true to duty and faithful to one's word.

Proverbs 1:4

This verse presents another aspect of the object to be served by this book: it seeks to impart prudence to the simple. The form פּתאים

(Note: Like עפאים , Psalms 104:12, וכצבאים , 1 Chronicles 12:8, cf. Michlol , 196a. In Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 1:32, the mute א is wanting.)

(in which, as in גּוים , the י plur. remains unwritten) is, in this mongrel form in which it is written (cf. Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 9:6; Proverbs 14:18; Proverbs 27:12), made up of פּתים (Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 1:32, once written plene , פּתיים , Proverbs 22:3) and פּתאים (Proverbs 7:7). These two forms with י and the transition of י into א are interchanged in the plur. of such nouns as פּתי , segolate form, “from פּתה (cogn. פּתח ), to be open, properly the open-hearted, i.e. , one whose heart stands open to every influence from another, the harmless, good-natured - a vox media among the Hebrews commonly (though not always, cf. e.g. , Psalms 116:6) in malam partem : the foolish, silly, one who allows himself to be easily persuaded or led astray, like similar words in other languages - Lat. simplex , Gr. εὐήθης , Fr. naïv ; Arab. fatyn , always, however, in a good sense: a high and noble-minded man, not made as yet mistrustful and depressed by sad experiences, therefore juvenis ingenuus, vir animi generosi ” (Fl.). The פּתאים , not of firm and constant mind, have need of ערמה ; therefore the saying Proverbs 14:15, cf. Proverbs 8:5; Proverbs 19:25. The noun ערמה (a fem. segolate form like חכמה ) means here calliditas in a good sense, while the corresponding Arab. 'aram (to be distinguished from the verb 'aram , ערם , to peel, to make bare, nudare ) is used only in a bad sense, of malevolent, deceptive conduct. In the parallel member the word נער is used, generally (collectively) understood, of the immaturity which must first obtain intellectual and moral clearness and firmness; such an one is in need of peritia et sollertia , as Fleischer well renders it; for דּעת is experimental knowledge, and מזמּה (from זמם , according to its primary signification, to press together, comprimere ; then, referred to mental concentration: to think) signifies in the sing., sensu bono , the capability of comprehending the right purposes, of seizing the right measures, of projecting the right plans.

Proverbs 1:5

In this verse the infinitives of the object pass into independent sentences for the sake of variety. That ישׁמע cannot mean audiet , but audiat , is shown by Proverbs 9:9; but ויסף is jussive (with the tone thrown back before לקח ; cf. Proverbs 10:8, and Proverbs 16:21, Proverbs 16:23, where the tone is not thrown back, as also 2 Samuel 24:3) with the consecutive Vav ( ו ) (= Arab. f ): let him hear, thus will he... or, in order that he. Whoever is wise is invited to hear these proverbs in order to add learning ( doctrinam ) to that which he already possesses, according to the principle derived from experience, Proverbs 9:9; Matthew 13:12. The segolate לקח , which in pausa retains its segol (as also בּטח , ישׁע , צמח , מלך , צדק , קדם , and others), means reception, and concretely what one takes into himself with his ear and mind; therefore learning ( διδαχὴ with the object of the ἀποδοχή ), as Deuteronomy 32:2 (parallel אמרה , as Deuteronomy 4:2 תּורה ), and then learning that has passed into the possession of the receiver, knowledge, science (Isaiah 29:24, parall. בּינה ). Schultens compares the Arab. laḳah , used of the fructification of the female palm by the flower-dust of the male. The part. נבון (the inf . of which is found only once, Isaiah 10:13) is the passive or the reflexive of the Hiph . הבין , to explain, to make to understand: one who is caused to understand or who lets himself be informed, and thus an intelligent person - that is one who may gain תּחבּות by means of these proverbs. This word, found only in the plur. (probably connected with חבל , shipmaster, properly one who has to do with the חבלים , ship's ropes, particularly handles the sails, lxx κυβέρνησιν ), signifies guidance, management, skill to direct anything (Job 32:7, of God's skill which directs the clouds), and in the plur. conception, the taking measures, designs in a good sense, or also (as in Proverbs 12:5) in a bad sense; here it means guiding thoughts, regulating principles, judicious rules and maxims, as Deuteronomy 11:14, prudent rules of government, Deuteronomy 20:18; Deuteronomy 24:6 of stratagems. Fl. compares the Arab. tedbı̂r (guidance, from דּבר , to lead cattle), with its plur. tedâbı̂r , and the Syr. dubôro , direction, management, etc.

Proverbs 1:6

The mediate object of these proverbs, as stated in Proverbs 1:2, is now expanded, for again it is introduced in the infinitive construction: - The reader shall learn in these proverbs, or by means of them as of a key, to understand such like apothegms generally (as Proverbs 22:17.):

To understand proverb and symbol,

The words of wise men and their enigmas.

In the Gesch. der jüd. Poesie , p. 200f., the derivation of the noun מליצה is traced from לוּץ , primarily to shine, Sanskr. las , frequently with the meanings ludere and lucere ; but the Arab. brings near another primary meaning. “ מליצה , from Arab. root las , flexit, torsit , thus properly oratio detorta, obliqua, non aperta ; hence לץ , mocker, properly qui verbis obliquis utitur : as Hiph . הליץ , to scoff, but also verba detorta retorquere , i.e. , to interpret, to explain” (Fl.). Of the root ideas found in חידה , to be sharp, pointed ( חד , perhaps related to the Sanskr. kaṭu , sharp of taste, but not to acutus ), and to be twisted (cf. אחד , אגד ,אחד , עקד , harmonizing with the at present mysterious catena ), that the preference is given to the latter already, Psalms 78:2. “The Arab. ḥâd , to revolve, to turn (whence hid , bend, turn aside!), thence חידה , στροφή , cunning, intrigue, as also enigma, dark saying, perlexe dictum ” (Fl.). The comparison made by Schultens with the Arab. ḥidt as the name of the knot on the horn of the wild-goat shows the sensible fundamental conception. In post-biblical literature חידה is the enigma proper, and מליצה poetry (with הלצה of poetical prose). The Graec. Venet. translates it ῥητορείαν .

Proverbs 1:7

The title of the book is followed by its motto, symbol, device:

The fear of Jahve is the beginning of knowledge;

Wisdom and discipline is despised by fools.

The first hemistich expresses the highest principle of the Israelitish Chokma , as it is found also in Proverbs 9:10 (cf. Proverbs 15:33), Job 28:28, and in Psalms 111:10 (whence the lxx has interpolated here two lines). ראשׁית combines in itself, as ἀρχή , the ideas of initium (accordingly J. H. Michaelis: initium cognitionis, a quo quisquis recte philosophari cupit auspicium facere debet ) and principium , i.e. , the basis, thus the root (cf. Micah 1:13 with Job 19:28).

(Note: In Sirach 1:14, 16, the Syr. has both times רישׁ חכמתא ; but in the second instance, where the Greek translation has πλησμονὴ σοφίας , שׂבע חכמה (after Psalms 16:11) may have existed in the original text.)

Wisdom comes from God, and whoever fears Him receives it (cf. James 1:5.). יראת יהוה is reverential subordination to the All-directing, and since designedly יהוה is used, and not אלהים ( ה ), to the One God, the Creator and Governor of the world, who gave His law unto Israel, and also beyond Israel left not His holy will unattested; the reverse side of the fear of Jahve as the Most Holy One is שׂנאת רע , Proverbs 8:13 (post-biblical יראת חטא ). The inverted placing of the words 7b imports that the wisdom and discipline which one obtains in the way of the fear of God is only despised by the אוילים , i.e. , the hard, thick, stupid; see regarding the root-word אול , coalescere, cohaerere, incrassari , der Prophet Jesaia , p. 424, and at Psalms 73:4. Schultens rightly compares παχεῖς , crassi pro stupidis .

(Note: Malbim's explanation is singular: the sceptics, from אוּלי , perhaps! This also is Heidenheim's view.)

בּזוּ has the tone on the penult ., and thus comes from בּוּז ; the 3rd pr. of בּזה would be בּזוּ or בּזיוּ . The perf. (cf. Proverbs 1:29) is to be interpreted after the Lat. oderunt (Ges. §126).

Verse 8-9

After the author has indicated the object which his Book of Proverbs is designed to subserve, and the fundamental principle on which it is based, he shows for whom he has intended it; he has particularly the rising generation in his eye:

8 Hear, my son, thy father's instruction,

And refuse not the teaching of thy mother;

9 For these are a fair crown to thy head,

And Jewels to thy neck.

“My son,” says the teacher of wisdom to the scholar whom he has, or imagines that he has, before him, addressing him as a fatherly friend. The N.T. representation of birth into a new spiritual life, 1 Corinthians 4:15; Philemon 1:10; Galatians 4:19, lies outside the circle of the O.T. representation; the teacher feels himself as a father by virtue of his benevolent, guardian, tender love. Father and mother are the beloved parents of those who are addressed. When the Talmud understands אביך of God, אמּך of the people ( אמּה ), that is not the grammatico-historic meaning, but the practical interpretation and exposition, after the manner of the Midrash. The same admonition (with נצר , keep, instead of שׁמע , hear, and מצות , command, instead of מוּסר , instruction) is repeated in Proverbs 6:20, and what is said of the parents in one passage is in Proverbs 10:1 divided into two synonymous parallel passages. The stricter musar , which expresses the idea of sensible means of instruction (discipline), (Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13.), is suitably attributed to the father, and the torah to the mother, only administered by the word; Wisdom also always says תּורתי (my torah ), and only once, Proverbs 8:10, מוּסרי (my musar ).

Proverbs 1:9

הם , which is also used in the neut. illa , e.g. , Job 22:24, refers here to the paternal discipline and the maternal teaching. These, obediently received and followed, are the fairest ornament of the child. לויה , from לוה , to wind, to roll, Arab. lawy (from לו , whence also לוּל = לולו , as דּוּד , to boil up, = דּודּו ), means winding, twisted ornament, and especially wreath; a crown of gracefulness is equivalent to a graceful crown, a corolla gratiosa , as Schultens translates it; cf. Proverbs 4:9, according to which, Wisdom bestows such a crown.

(Note: In לוית חן the חן has the conjunctive accent shalsheleth , on account of which the Pesiq accent is omitted. This small shalsheleth occurs only eight times. See Torath Emeth , p. 36.)

ענקים (or ענקות , Judges 8:26) are necklaces, jewels for the neck; denom. of the Arab. 'unek , and Aram. עוּנק , the neck (perhaps from ענק = עוּק , to oppress, of heavy burdens; cf. αὐχήν , the neck). גּרגּות , is, like fauces , the throat by which one swallows (Arab. ǵarǵara , taǵarǵara ), a plur. extensive (Böttcher, §695), and is better fitted than גּרון to indicate the external throat; Ezekiel, however, uses (Ezekiel 16:11) garon , as our poet (Proverbs 3:3, Proverbs 3:22; Proverbs 6:21) uses garg'roth , to represent the front neck.

(Note: The writing varies greatly. Here and at Proverbs 6:21 we have לגרגּרתך ; at Proverbs 3:3, על־גּרגּותך , Proverbs 3:22, לגרגּרתיך . Thus according to the Masora and correct texts.)

Verse 10

The general counsel of Proverbs 1:9 is here followed by a more special warning:

My son, if sinners entice thee

Consent thou not.

The בּני

(Note: The accent Pazer over the בּני has the force of Athnach .)

(my son) is emphatically repeated. The intensive from חטּאים (signifies men to whom sin has become a habit, thus vicious, wicked. פּתּה ( Pi . of פּתה , to open) is not denom., to make or wish to make a פּתי ; the meaning, to entice (harmonizing with πείθειν ), פּתּה obtains from the root-meaning of the Kal , for it is related to it as pandere ( januam ) to patere : to open, to make accessible, susceptible, namely to persuasion. The warning 10b is as brief as possible a call of alarm back from the abyss. In the form תּבא (from אבה , to agree to, to be willing, see Wetstein in Job, p. 349) the preformative א is wanting, as in תּמרוּ , 2 Samuel 19:14, cf. Psalms 139:20, Ges. §68, 2, and instead of תּבה (= תּאבה , 1 Kings 20:8) is vocalized not תּבא (cf. Proverbs 11:25), but after the Aram. תּבא (cf. יגלי ); see Genesis 26:29, and Comment. on Isaiah , p. 648; Gesen. §75, 17.

Verses 11-14

Of the number of wicked men who gain associates to their palliation and strengthening, they are adduced as an example whom covetousness leads to murder.

11 If they say, “Go with us, we will lurk for blood,

Lie in wait for the innocent without cause;

12 Like the pit we will swallow them alive

And in perfect soundness like them that go down to the grave.

13 We find all manner of precious treasure,

Fill our houses with spoil.

14 Thou shalt cast thy lot amongst us,

We all have only one purse.”

Proverbs 1:11

The verb ארב signifies nectere , to bind fast (from רב , close, compact), (see under Isaiah 25:11), and particularly (but so that it bears in itself its object without ellipse) insidias nectere = insidiari . Regarding לדם Fleischer remarks: “Either elliptically for לשׁפּך־דּם (Jewish interp.), or, as the parallelism and the usage of the language of this book rather recommend, per synecd . for: for a man, with particular reference to his blood to be poured out (cf. our saying ' ein junges Blut ,' a young blood = a youth, with the underlying conception of the blood giving colour to the body as shining through it, or giving to it life and strength), as Psalms 94:21.” As in post-biblical Heb. בּשׂר ודם (or inverted, αἱμα καὶ σάρξ , Hebrews 2:14), used of men as such, is not so used in the O.T., yet דּם , like נפשׁ , is sometimes used synecdochically for the person, but never with reference to the blood as an essentially constituent part of corporealness, but always with reference to violent putting to death, which separates the blood from the body (cf. my System der bibl. Psychologie , p. 242). Here לדם is explained by לדמים , with which it is interchanged, Micah 7:2 : let us lurk for blood (to be poured out). The verb צפן is never, like טמן (to conceal), connected with חבלים , מוקשׁים ,ח , פּח , רשׁת - thus none of these words is here to be supplied; the idea of gaining over one expressed in the organic root צף (whence צפּה , diducendo obducere ) has passed over into that of restraining oneself, watching, lurking, hence צפן (cog. Aram. כּמן ) in the sense of speculari, insidiari , interchanges with צפה (to spy), (cf. Psalms 10:8; Psalms 56:7 with Psalms 37:32). The adv. חנּם (an old accus. from חן ) properly means in a gracious manner, as a free gift ( δωρεάν , gratis = gratiis ), and accordingly, without reward, also without cause, which frequently = without guilt; but it never signifies sine effectu qui noceat , i.e. , with impunity (Löwenst.). We have thus either to connect together נקי חנּם “innocent in vain” (as איבי חנּם , my enemies without a cause, Lamentations 3:52): his innocence helps him nothing whom God protects not against us notwithstanding his innocence (Schultens, Bertheau, Elster, and others); or connect חנם with the verb (lie in wait for), for which Hitzig, after the lxx, Syr., Rashi,

(Note: Rashi, i.e. , Rabbi Salomo Isaaki, of Troyes, died a.d. 1105. Ralbag, i.e. , Rabbi Levi ben Gershon, usually referred to by Christian writers as Master Leo de Bannolis, or Gersonides, a native of Banolas near Gerona, died about 1342.)

Ralbag, Immanuel, rightly decides in view of 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 25:31; cf. also Job 9:17, where the succession of the accents is the same ( Tarcha transmuted from Mugrash ). Frequently there are combined together in his חנם (cf. Isaiah 28:14.), that which the author thinks, and that which those whom he introduces as speaking think.

Proverbs 1:12

The first clause of this verse Hitzig translates: “as the pit (swallows) that which lives.” This is untenable, because כּ with the force of a substantive (as instar , likeness) is regarded as a preposition, but not a conjunction (see at Psalms 38:14.). חיּים (the living) is connected with נבלעם , and is the accus. of the state ( hâl , according to the terminology of the Arab. grammarians) in which they will, with impunity, swallow them up like the pit (the insatiable, Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16), namely, while these their sacrifices are in the state of life's freshness,

(Note: Only in this sense is the existing accentuation of this verse (cf. the Targ.) to be justified.)

“the living,” - without doubt, like Psalms 55:16; Psalms 63:10; Psalms 124:3, in fact and in expression an allusion to the fate of the company of Korah, Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33. If this is the meaning of חיים , then תּמימים as the parallel word means integros not in an ethical sense, in which it would be a synonym of נקי of Proverbs 1:11 (cf. Proverbs 29:10 with Psalms 19:14), but in a physical sense ( Graec. Venet. καὶ τελείους ; Parchon as Rashi, בריאים ושלמים , vid ., Böttcher, De Inferis, §293). This physical sense is claimed for תּם , Job 21:23, for תּם probably, Psalms 73:4, and why should not תמים , used in the law regarding sacrifices ( e.g. , Exodus 12:5, “without blemish”) of the faultlessness of the victim, also signify such an one אשׁר אין־בּו מתם (Isaiah 1:6)? In the midst of complete external health they will devour them like those that go down to the grave (cf. Psalms 28:1; Psalms 88:5, with Isaiah 14:19), i.e. , like those under whose feet the earth is suddenly opened, so that, without leaving any trace behind, they sink into the grave and into Hades. The connection of the finite with the accus. of place, Psalms 55:16, lies at the foundation of the genitive connection יורדי בור (with the tone thrown back): those that go down to the grave.

Proverbs 1:13-14

(Note: Here, in Proverbs 1:14, גורלך is to be written with Munach (not Metheg ) in the second syllable; vid ., Torath Emeth , p. 20. Accentuationssystem , vii. §2.)

To their invitation, bearing in itself its own condemnation, they add as a lure the splendid self-enriching treasures which in equal and just fellowship with them they may have the prospect of sharing. הון (from הוּן , levem , then facilem esse , être aisé, à son aise ) means aisance , convenience, opulence, and concretely that by which life is made agreeable, thus money and possessions (Fleischer in Levy's Chald. Wörterbuch , i. 423f.). With this הון with remarkable frequency in the Mishle יקר (from יקר , Arab. waḳar , grave esse ) is connected in direct contrast, according to its primary signification; cf. Proverbs 12:27; Proverbs 24:4 : heavy treasures which make life light. Yet it must not be maintained that, as Schultens has remarked, this oxymoron is intended, nor also that it is only consciously present in the language. מצא has here its primitive appropriate signification of attaining, as Isaiah 10:14 of reaching. שׁלל (from שׁלל , to draw from, draw out, from של , cf. שׁלה , שׁלף , Arab. salab , Comm. on Isa. p. 447) is that which is drawn away from the enemy, exuviae , and then the booty and spoil taken in war generally. נמלּא , to fill with anything, make full, governs a double accusative, as the Kal (to become full of anything) governs only one. In Proverbs 1:14, the invitation shows how the prospect is to be realized. Interpreters have difficulty in conceiving what is here meant. Do not a share by lot and a common purse exclude one another? Will they truly, in the distribution of the booty by lot, have equal portions at length, equally much in their money-bags? Or is it meant that, apart from the portion of the booty which falls to every one by lot, they have a common purse which, when their business is ebbing, must supply the wants of the company, and on which the new companion can maintain himself beforehand? Or does it mean only that they will be as mutually helpful to one another, according to the principle τὰ τῶν φίλων κοινά ( amicorum omnia communia ), as if they had only one purse? The meaning is perfectly simple. The oneness of the purse consists in this, that the booty which each of them gets, belongs not wholly or chiefly to him, but to the whole together, and is disposed of by lot; so that, as far as possible, he who participated not at all in the affair in obtaining it, may yet draw the greatest prize. This view harmonizes the relation between 14b and 14a. The common Semitic כּים is even used at the present day in Syria and elsewhere as the name of the Exchange (“ Börse ”) (plur. akjâs ); here it is the purse (“ Kasse ”) ( χρημάτων δοχεῖον , Procop.), which is made up of the profits of the business. This profit consists not merely in gold, but is here thought of in regard to its worth in gold. The apparent contradiction between distributing by lot and having a common purse disappears when the distribution by lot of the common property is so made, that the retaining of a stock-capital, or reserve fund, is not excluded.

Verse 15

After the men are described against whose enticements a warning is given forth, the warning is emphatically repeated, and is confirmed by a threefold reason:

My son! go not in the way with them.

Keep back thy foot from their path.

If בּדרך (in the way), taken alone, cannot be equivalent to בדרך אחד (in one way), so is אתּם (with them) to be regarded as its determination.

(Note: The Arab. grammarians regard this as half determination, and call it takhsys ; that אתּם has with them the force of a virtually coordinated attributive; while, according to the Arab. gram., it is also possible that בּדרך , “in one way,” is equivalent to on the common way, for in the indetermination sometimes there lies the conception not merely of âhad , but of weahad .)

Foot (not feet), as eye, hand, etc., is used where the members come less under consideration than what they unitedly bring about (Proverbs 4:26.). נתיבה , from נתב , signifies properly that which is raised, especially the (raised) footstep.

Verse 16

The first argument to enforce the warning:

For their feet run to the evil,

And hasten to shed blood.

That this is their object they make no secret (Proverbs 1:11.); but why is it that such an object as this should furnish no ground of warning against them, especially as on this beginning the stamp of that which is morally blamable is here impressed with לרע ? Besides, this circular movement of the thoughts is quite after the manner of this poet; and that Proverbs 1:16 is his style, Proverbs 6:18 shows. The want of this distich (Proverbs 1:16 = Romans 3:15) in lxx B. א . weighs heavier certainly than the presence of it in lxx A. (Procop., Syro-Hezap.), since the translation is not independent, but is transferred from Isaiah 59:7; but if for the first time, at a later period, it is supplied in the lxx, yet it has the appearance of an addition made to the Hebr. text from Isaiah 59:7 (Hitzig, Lagarde); cf. Comm. on Isaiah , 40-66. לשׁפּך is always pointed thus; for, as a regular rule, after ל as well as מ sa llew s the aspiration disappears; but in Ezekiel 17:17 בּשׁפּך is also found, and in this case (cf. at Psalms 40:15) the punctuation is thus inconsequent.

Verse 17

The second argument in support of the warning.

For in vain is the net spread out

In the eyes of all (the winged) birds.

The interpretation conspersum est rete , namely, with corn as a bait, which was put into circulation by Rashi, is inadmissible; for as little as הזּה ( Hiph . of נזה ) can mean to strew, can זרה mean to spread. The object is always that which is scattered ( gestreut ), not that which is spread ( bestreut ). Thus, expansum est rete , but not from מזר , extendere , from which מזורה

(Note: The MS Masora remarks לית וחסר , and hence מזרה is written defectively in the Erfurt, 1, 2, 3, Frankf. 1294, in the edition of Norzi and elsewhere.)

in this form cannot be derived (it would in that case be מזוּרה ), but from זרה , pass. of זרה , to scatter, spread out. The alluring net, when it is shaken out and spread, is, as it were, scattered, ventilatur . But if this is done incautiously before the eyes of the birds to be caught, they forthwith fly away. The principle stress lies on the בּעיני (before the eyes) as the reason of the חנּם (in vain), according to the saying of Ovid, Quae nimis apparent retia, vitat avis . The applicatio similitudinis lying near, according to J. H. Michaelis, is missed even by himself and by most others. If the poet wished to say that they carried on their work of blood with such open boldness, that he must be more than a simpleton who would allow himself to be caught by them, that would be an unsuitable ground of warning; for would there not be equally great need for warning against fellowship with them, if they had begun their enticement with more cunning, and reckoned on greater success? Hitzig, Ewald, Zöckler, and others, therefore interpret חנם , not in the sense of in vain, inasmuch as they do not let themselves be caught; but: in vain, for they see not the net, but only the scattered corn. But according to the preceding, הרשׁת (the net) leads us to think only either of the net of the malicious designs, or the net of the alluring deceptions. Thus, as Ziegler has noticed, the warned ought to make application of the similitude to himself: Go not with them, for their intention is bad; go not with them, for if the bird flees away from the net which is spread out before it, thou wilt not surely be so blind as suffer thyself to be ensnared by their gross enticements. בּעל כּנף : the furnished with the wing (wings in Ecclesiastes 10:20); בּעל forms the idea of property (lord).

Verse 18

The causal conj. כּי (for) in Proverbs 1:16 and Proverbs 1:17 are coordinated; and there now follows, introduced by the conj. ו (“and”), a third reason for the warning:

And they lie in wait for their own blood,

They lay snares for their own lives.

The warning of Proverbs 1:16 is founded on the immorality of the conduct of the enticer; that of Proverbs 1:17 on the audaciousness of the seduction as such, and now on the self-destruction which the robber and murderer bring upon themselves: they wish to murder others, but, as the result shows, they only murder themselves. The expression is shaped after Proverbs 1:11, as if it were: They lay snares, as they themselves say, for the blood of others; but it is in reality for their own blood: they certainly lie in wait, as they say; but not, as they add, for the innocent, but for their own lives (Fl.). Instead of לדמם , there might be used לדמיהם , after Micah 7:2; but לנפשׁם would signify ipsis (post-biblical, לעצמם ), while לנפשׁתם leaves unobliterated the idea of the life: animis ipsorum ; for if the O.T. language seeks to express ipse in any other way than by the personal pronoun spoken emphatically, this is done by the addition of נפשׁ (Isaiah 53:11). המו was on this account necessary, because Proverbs 1:17 has another subject (cf. Psalms 63:10).

Verse 19

An epiphonema :

Such is the lot of all who indulge in covetousness;

It takes away the life of its owner.

This language is formed after Job 8:13. Here, as there, in the word ארחות , the ideas of action and issue, manner of life and its result, are all combined. בּצע signifies properly that which is cut off, a piece, fragment broken off, then that which one breaks off and takes to himself - booty, gain, particularly unjust gain (Proverbs 28:16). בּצע בּצע is he who is greedy or covetous. The subject to יקּח is בּצע , covetousness, πλεονεξία (see Isaiah 57:17). As Hoses, Job 4:11, says of three other things that they taken away לב , the understanding ( νοῦς ), so here we are taught regarding unjust gain or covetousness, that it takes away נפשׁ , the life ( ψυχή ) ( לקח נפשׁ , to take away the life, 1 Kings 19:10; Psalms 31:14). בּעליו denotes not the possessor of unjust gain, but as an inward conception, like בעל אף , Proverbs 22:24, cf. Proverbs 23:2; Proverbs 24:8; Ecclesiastes 10:11, him of whom covetousness is the property. The sing. נפשׁ does not show that בּעליו is thought of as sing.; cf. Proverbs 22:23, Ps. 34:23; but according to Proverbs 3:27; Proverbs 16:22; Ecclesiastes 8:8, this is nevertheless probable, although the usage without the suffix is always בּעל בּצע , and not בּעלי (of plur. intens. בּעלים ).

Verse 20

Looking to its form and vocalization, חכמות may be an Aramaizing abstract formation (Gesen.; Ew. 165, c ; Olsh. 219, b ); for although the forms אחות and גּלות are of a different origin, yet in רבּות and הוללות such abstract formations lie before us. The termination ûth is here, by the passing over of the u into the less obscure but more intensive o (cf. יהו in the beginning and middle of the word, and יהוּ יהו at the end of the word), raised to ôth , and thereby is brought near to the fem. plur. (cf. חכמות , Proverbs 14:1, sapientia , as our plur. of the neut. sapiens , חכמה ), approaching to the abstract. On the other hand, that חכמות is sing. of abstract signification, is not decisively denoted by its being joined to the plur. of the predicate (for תּרנּה here, as at Proverbs 8:3, is scarcely plur.; and if ראמות , Proverbs 24:7, is plur., חכמות as the numerical plur. may refer to the different sciences or departments of knowledge); but perhaps by this, that it interchanges with תּבוּנות , Psalms 49:4, cf. Proverbs 11:12; Proverbs 28:16, and that an abstract formation from חכמה (fem. of חכם , חכם ), which besides is not concrete, was unnecessary. Still less is חכמות = חכמת a singular, which has it in view to change חכמה into a proper name, for proof of which Hitzig refers to תּהומות , Psalms 78:15; the singular ending ôth without an abstract signification does not exist. After that Dietrich, in his Abhandl . 1846, has shown that the origin of the plur. proceeds not from separate calculation, but from comprehension,

(Note: In the Indo-Germanic languages the s of the plur. also probably proceeds from the prep. sa ( sam ) = συν . See Schleicher, Compend. der vergl. Gram. §247.)

and that particularly also names denoting intellectual strength are frequently plur., which multiply the conception not externally but internally, there is no longer any justifiable doubt that חכמות signifies the all-comprehending, absolute, or, as Böttcher, §689, expresses it, the full personal wisdom. Since such intensive plurals are sometimes united with the plur. of the predicate, as e.g. , the monotheistically interpreted Elohim, Genesis 35:7 (see l.c.), so תּרנּה may be plur. On the other hand, the idea that it is a forma mixta of תּרן (from רנן ) and תּרנה (Job 39:23) or תּרנּה , the final sound in ah opposes. It may, however, be the emphatic form of the 3rd fem. sing. of רנן ; for, that the Hebr. has such an emphatic form, corresponding to the Arab. taktubanna , is shown by these three examples (keeping out of view the suspicion of a corruption of the text, Olsh. p. 452), Judges 5:26; Job 17:16; Isaiah 28:3; cf. תּשׁלחנה , Obadiah 1:13 (see Caspari, l.c.), an example of the 2nd masc. sing. of this formation. רנן (with רנה ) is a word imitative of sound (Schallwort), used to denote “a clear-sounding, shrill voice (thence the Arab. rannan , of a speaker who has a clear, piercing voice); then the clear shrill sound of a string or chord of a bow, or the clear tinkle of the arrow in the quiver, and of the metal that has been struck” (Fl.). The meaning of רחבות is covered by plateae (Luke 14:21), wide places; and חוּץ , which elsewhere may mean that which is without, before the gates of the city and courts, here means the “open air,” in contradistinction to the inside of the houses.

Verse 21

המיּות (plur. of הומי , the ground-form of הומה , from המי = המה ), “they who are making noise;” for the epithet is poetically used (Isaiah 22:2) as a substantive, crowded noisy streets or places. ראשׁ is the place from which on several sides streets go forth: cf. ras el - ain , the place where the well breaks forth; ras en - nahr , the place from which the stream divides itself; the sing. is meant distributively as little as at Proverbs 8:2. פּתח , if distinguished from שׁער (which also signifies cleft, breach), is the opening of the gate, the entrance by the gate. Four times the poet says that Wisdom goes forth preaching, and four times that she preaches publicly; the בּעיר used in five places implies that Wisdom preaches not in the field, before the few who there are met with, but in the city, which is full of people.

Verse 22

The poet has now reached that part of his introduction where he makes use of the very words uttered by Wisdom:

How long, ye simple, will ye love simplicity,

And scorners delight in scorning,

And fools hate knowledge?

Three classes of men are here addressed: the פּתים , the simple, who, being accessible to seduction, are only too susceptible of evil; the לצים , mockers, i.e. , free-thinkers (from לוּץ , Arab. luṣ , flectere, torquere , properly qui verbis obliquis utitur ); and the כּסילים , fools, i.e. , the mentally imbecile and stupid (from כּסל , Arab. kasal , to be thick, coarse, indolent). The address to these passes immediately over into a declaration regarding them; cf. the same enallage, Proverbs 1:27. עד־מתי has the accent Mahpach , on account of the Pasek following; vid ., Torath Emeth , p. 26. Intentionally, Wisdom addresses only the פתים , to whom she expects to find soonest access. Between the futt., which express the continuing love and hatred, stands the perf. חמדוּ , which expresses that in which the mockers found pleasure, that which was the object of their love. להם is the so-called dat. ethicus , which reflexively refers to that which is said to be the will and pleasure of the subject; as we say, “I am fond of this and that.” The form תּאהבוּ , Abulwalîd, Parchon, and Kimchi regard as Piel ; but תּאהבוּ instead of תּאהבוּ would be a recompensatio of the virtual doubling, defacing the character of the Piel . Schultens regards it as a defectively written Paiël (in Syr.), but it is not proved that this conjugation exists in Hebr.; much rather תּאהבוּ is the only possible Kal form with תּאהבוּן without the pause, regularly formed from תּאהבוּ ( vid ., Ewald, §193, a). The division by the accent Mercha - Mahpach of the two words תאהבו פתי is equal in value to the connecting of them by Makkeph ; vid ., Baer's Psalterium , p. x. In codd., and also in correct texts, תאהבו is written with the accent Galgal on the first syllable, as the servant of the Mercha - Mahpach . The Gaja is incorrectly here and there placed under the תּ .

Verse 23

To the call to thoughtfulness which lies in the complaint “How long?” there follows the entreaty:

Turn ye at my reproof!

Behold! I would pour out my Spirit upon you,

I would make you to know my words.

23a is not a clause expressive of a wish, which with the particle expressive of a wish, which is wanting, would be תּשׁוּבוּ־נא , or according to Proverbs 23:1 and Proverbs 27:23 would be שׁוב תּשׁוּבוּ . The הנּה , introducing the principal clause, stamps 23a as the conditional clause; the relation of the expressions is as Isaiah 26:10; Job 20:24. תּשׁוּבוּ

(Note: In the Hagiographa everywhere written plene , with exception of Job 17:10.)

is not equivalent to si convertamini , which would require תּפנוּ , but to si revertamini ; but לתוכהתּי

(Note: The Metheg belongs to the ת , under which it should be placed (and not to the ל ), as the commencing sound of the second syllable before the tone-syllable; cf. Proverbs 1:25.)

does not therefore mean at my reproof, i.e. , in consequence of it (Hitzig, after Numbers 16:34), but it is a constructio praegnans : turning and placing yourselves under my reproof. With תוכחת there is supposed an ἔλεγχος (lxx, Symm.): bringing proof, conviction, punishment. If they, leaving their hitherto accustomed way, permit themselves to be warned against their wickedness, then would Wisdom cause her words to flow forth to them, i.e. , would without reserve disclose and communicate to them her spirit, cause them to know (namely by experience) her words. הבּיע (from נבע , R. נב ; vid ., Genesis, p. 635) is a common figurative word, expressive of the free pouring forth of thoughts and words, for the mouth is conceived of as a fountain (cf. Proverbs 18:4 with Matthew 12:34), and the ῥῆσις ( vid ., lxx) as ῥεῦσις ; only here it has the Spirit as object, but parallel with דּברי , thus the Spirit as the active power of the words, which, if the Spirit expresses Himself in them, are πνεῦμα καὶ ζωή , John 6:63. The addresses of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs touch closely upon the discourses of the Lord in the Logos-Gospel. Wisdom appears here as the fountain of the words of salvation for men; and these words of salvation are related to her, just as the λόγοι to the divine λόγος expressing Himself therein.

Verses 24-27

The address of Wisdom now takes another course. Between Proverbs 1:23 and Proverbs 1:24 there is a pause, as between Isaiah 1:20 and Isaiah 1:21. In vain Wisdom expects that her complaints and enticements will be heard. Therefore she turns her call to repentance into a discourse announcing judgment.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused;

Stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 And ye have rejected all my counsel

And to my reproof have not yielded:

26 Therefore will I also laugh at your calamity,

Will mock when your terror cometh;

27 When like a storm your terror cometh,

And your destruction swept on like a whirlwind;

When distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Commencing with יען (which, like מען , from ענה , to oppose, denotes the intention, but more the fundamental reason or the cause than, as למען , the motive or object), the clause, connected with גּם־אני , ego vicissim , turns to the conclusion. As here יען קראתי (as the word of Jahve) are connected by גּם־אני to the expression of the talio in Isaiah 66:4, so also מאם , with its contrast אבה , Isaiah 1:19. The construction quoniam vocavi et renuistis for quoniam quum vocarem renuistis (cf. Isaiah 12:1) is the common diffuse ( zerstreute ) Semitic, the paratactic instead of the periodizing style. The stretching out of the hand is, like the “spreading out” in Isaiah 65:2, significant of striving to beckon to the wandering, and to bring them near. Regarding הקשׁיב , viz., אזנו , to make the ear still (R. קש ), arrigere , incorrectly explained by Schultens, after the Arab ḳashab , polire , by aurem purgare , vid ., Isaiah, p. 257, note.

Proverbs 1:25

פּרע is synonymous with נטשׁ , Proverbs 1:8; cf. Proverbs 4:15 פּרעהוּ , turn from it. Gesenius has inaccurately interpreted the phrase פרע ראש of the shaving off of the hair, instead of the letting it fly loose. פרע means to loosen (= to lift up, syn. החל ), to release, to set free; it combines the meanings of loosening and making empty, or at liberty, which is conveyed in Arab. by fr' and frg . The latter means, intrans., to be set free, therefore to be or to become free from occupation or business; with mn of an object, to be free from it, i.e. , to have accomplished it, to have done with it (Fl.). Thus: since ye have dismissed ( missum fecistis ) all my counsel ( עצה as לדה , from יעץ , Arabic w'd ), i.e. , what I always would advise to set you right. אבה combines in itself the meanings of consent, Proverbs 1:10, and compliance, Proverbs 1:30 (with ל ), and, as here, of acceptance. The principal clause begins like an echo of Psalms 2:4 (cf. Jeremiah 20:7).

Proverbs 1:26-27

שׂחק , as Proverbs 31:25 shows, is not to be understood with בּ ; בּ is that of the state or time, not of the object. Regarding איד , calamitas opprimens, obruens (from אוּד = Arabic âda , to burden, to oppress), see at Psalms 31:12. בא is related to יאתה as arriving to approaching; פחדּכם is not that for which they are in terror - for those who are addressed are in the condition of carnal security - but that which, in the midst of this, will frighten and alarm them. The Chethı̂b שאוה is pointed thus, שׁאוה (from שׁאו = שׁאה , as ראוה , זעוה after the form אהבה , דּאבה ); the Kerı̂ substitutes for this infinitive name the usual particip. שׁאה (where then the Vav is יתיר , “superfluous”), crashing (fem. of שׁאה ), then a crash and an overthrow with a crash; regarding its root-meaning (to be waste, and then to sound hollow), see under Psalms 35:8. סוּפה (from סוּף = ספה ), sweeping forth as a (see Proverbs 10:25) whirlwind. The infinitive construction of 27a is continued in 27b in the finite. “This syntactical and logical attraction, by virtue of which a modus or tempus passes by ו or by the mere parallel arrangement (as Proverbs 2:2) from one to another, attracted into the signification and nature of the latter, is peculiar to the Hebr. If there follows a new clause or section of a clause where the discourse takes, as it were, a new departure, that attraction ceases, and the original form of expression is resumed; cf. 1:22, where after the accent Athnach the future is returned to, as here in 27c the infinitive construction is restored” (Fl.). The alliterating words צרה וצוּקה , cf. Isaiah 30:6; Zephaniah 1:15, are related to each other as narrowness and distress (Hitzig); the Mashal is fond of the stave-rhyme.

(Note: Jul. Ley, in his work on the Metrical Forms of Hebrew Poetry , 1866, has taken too little notice of these frequently occurring alliteration staves; Lagarde communicated to me (8th Sept. 1846) his view of the stave-rhyme in the Book of Proverbs, with the remark, “Only the Hebr. technical poetry is preserved to us in the O.T. records; but in such traces as are found of the stave-rhyme, there are seen the echoes of the poetry of the people, or notes passing over from it.”)

Verses 28-31

Then - this sublime preacher in the streets continues - distress shall teach them to pray:

28 Then shall they call on me, and I will not answer;

They shall early seek after me, and not find me;

29 Because that they hated knowledge,

And did not choose the fear of Jahve.

30 They have not yielded to my counsel,

Despised all my reproof:

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their way,

And satiate themselves with their own counsels.

In the full emphatic forms, יקראנני , they shall call on me, ישׁחרנני , they shall seek me, and ימצאנני , they shall find me, the suffix ני may be joined to the old plur. ending ûn (Gesenius, Olshausen, Böttcher); but open forms like יברכנהוּ , He will bless him, יכבּדנני , He will honour me (from יכבּדנּי ), and the like, rather favour the conclusion that נ is epenthetic (Ew. §250, b).

(Note: In the Codd. יקראנני is written; in this case the Metheg indicates the tone syllable: vid ., Torath Emeth , p. 7 note, p. 21 note; and Accentssystem , ii. §1, note. In ישׁחרנני the Rebia is to be placed over the ר . In the Silluk -word ימצאנני it appears undoubtedly that the form is to be spoken as Milel , i.e. , with tone on the penult .)

The address here takes the form of a declaration: Stultos nunc indignos censet ulteriori alloquio (Mich.). It is that laughter and scorn, Proverbs 1:26, which here sounds forth from the address of the Judge regarding the incorrigible. שׁחר is denom. of שׁחר , to go out and to seek with the morning twilight, as also בּקּר , Psalms 27:5, perhaps to appear early, and usually (Arab.) bakar (I, II, IV), to rise early, to be zealous (Lane: “He hastened to do or accomplish, or attain the thing needed”). Zöckler, with Hitzig, erroneously regards Proverbs 1:29, Proverbs 1:30 as the antecedent to Proverbs 1:31. With ויאכלוּ , “and they shall eat,” the futt. announcing judgment are continued from Proverbs 1:28; cf. Deuteronomy 28:46-48. The conclusion after תּהת כּי , “therefore because,” or as usually expressed (except here and Deuteronomy 4:37, cf. Genesis 4:25), תּהת אשׁר ( ἀνθ ̓ ὧν ), is otherwise characterized, Deuteronomy 22:29; 2 Chronicles 21:12; and besides, תהת אשׁר stands after ( e.g. , 1 Samuel 26:21; 2 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 29:19) oftener than before the principal clause. בּחר combines in itself the meanings of eligere and diligere (Fl.). The construction of אבה ל (to be inclining towards) follows that of the analogous שׁמע ל (to hear). Each one eats of the fruit of his way - good fruit of good ways (Isaiah 3:10), and evil fruit of evil ways. “The מן , 31b, introduces the object from which, as a whole, that which one eats, and with which he is satisfied, is taken as a part, or the object from which, as from a fountain, satisfaction flows forth” (Fl.). In correct texts, ויאכלוּ has the accent Dechî , and at the same time Munach as its servant. Regarding the laws of punctuation, according to which וּממּעצתיהם (with Munach on the tone-syllable, Tarcha on the antepenult, and Metheg before the Chateph-Pathach ) is to be written, see Baer's Torath Emeth , p. 11, Accentssystem , iv. §4. Norzi accents the word incorrectly with Rebia Mugrash . With the exception of Proverbs 22:22, the pluralet

(Note: A plur. denoting unity in the circumstances, and a similarity in the relations of time and space.)

מועצות has always the meaning of ungodly counsels.

Verse 32-33

The discourse is now summarily brought to a close:

32 For the perverseness of the simple slays them,

And the security of fools destroys them.

33 But whoever harkeneth to me dwells secure,

And is at rest from fear of evil.

Of the two interpretations of שׁוּב , a turning towards (with אל and the like, conversion) or a turning away (with מאחרי or מעל , desertion), in משׁוּבה the latter (as in the post-Bib. תּשׁוּבה , repentance, the former) is expressed; apostasy from wisdom and from God are conjoined. שׁלוה is here carnalis securitas ; but the word may also denote the external and the internal peace of the righteous, as שׁאנן , whence שׁלאנן , Job 21:23, as a superlative is formed by the insertion of the ל of שׁלו , is taken in bonam et malam partem . שׁאנן is, according to the Masora (also in Jeremiah 30:10; Jeremiah 46:27; Jeremiah 48:11), 3rd perf. Pilel (Ewald, §120, a), from the unused שׁאן , to be quiet: he has attained to full quietness, and enjoys such. The construction with מן follows the analogy of הניח מן (to give rest from), שׁקט מן (to rest from), and the like. The negative interpretation of מן , sine ullo pavore mali (Schultens, Ewald), is unnecessary; also Job 21:9 may be explained by “peace from terror,” especially since שׁלום is derived from the root של , extrahere . פּחד רעה , “fear of evil,” one may perhaps distinguish from פחד רע as the genitive of combination.


Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 1:4". 1854-1889.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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