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Questions tagged [proverbs]

The book of Proverbs, one of the wisdom books of the Tanakh (Hebrew bible). Many of the short sayings are attributed to Solomon.

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Answer not a fool, or answer a fool?

Proverbs 26:4 (KJV) says, Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. The very next verse, verse 5, says, Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise ...
Iconoclast's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
17k views

Who is Wisdom in Proverbs

Proverbs chapter 8 uses a personification of Wisdom. Some people take this personification as a description of God, or of the Messiah. Is there any textual justification for this?
DJClayworth's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
64k views

Why is Wisdom personified as a woman?

Regardless of interpretation, I find it intriguing that Proverbs 8:22 mentions how Wisdom was the first created by the LORD (apparently even before mankind). This Wisdom is present as a feminine ...
user3236's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
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Is Proverbs 17:8 condoning bribery?

In Proverbs 17:8 (ESV) the author states, A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers. Earlier in the text in 15:27, the author states, ...
James Shewey's user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers
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Does Proverbs 8:22 say that God's wisdom was the first person/thing that God created?

Several translations have "possessed me" while others have "made me". Is "possessed me" the proper translation and if so, what does it mean? Or is "made me" the correct translation and if so, was ...
Ruminator's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
18k views

Does Proverbs 18:24 say "must be friendly" or "may come to ruin"?

In the King James, Prov. 18:24 reads "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." This appears to be an admonition for the ...
awmckinley's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
7k views

What is the tree of life in Proverbs 11:30?

While reading through Proverbs, I found a somewhat startling verse: Proverbs 11:30 (NIV) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives. My immediate ...
Richard's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
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How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and “Give!...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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10 votes
15 answers
27k views

What does "an apple of gold in a picture of silver" represent in Proverbs of Solomon?

What does "a word fitly spoken is like an apple of gold in a picture of silver" (Proverbs 25:11) mean? I know that an apple is a fruit but the apple of gold in a picture of silver part I can't ...
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10 votes
3 answers
9k views

Concealing & revealing in Proverbs 25:2

My question is about the intended meaning of this proverb: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. --Prov. 25:2, NASB I see three ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
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What is the proper translation of Proverbs 22:6?

I've read that the translation, which implies a promise to "right parenting" of Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. is not accurate ...
Καrτhικ's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
7k views

What is the meaning behind Proverbs 27:14 Loudly blessing a neighbor early in the morning, will be taken as a curse

Could anyone explain the meaning behind this proverb ? If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. Obviously a blessing is usually speaking good about ...
Marshall's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it good to "turn a slave into a son" in Proverbs 29:21?

"He who pampers his slave from childhood will in the end find him to be a son." Proverbs 29:21, NASB I want to contrast this with a prior verse: "A slave will not be instructed by words alone; for ...
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3 answers
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What is the difference between the 'life' given by wisdom in Proverbs and 'life' given by Jesus in 1 John?

These two passages are rather similar: Proverbs 8:35-36 (ESV) For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me ...
Dale's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
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What is the relationship between the prostitute and the loaf of bread in Proverbs 6:26a?

The first phrase of Proverbs 6:26 is translated in several different ways by major translations: for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread [ESV] For on account of a harlot one is ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
7 votes
9 answers
10k views

Who is he and what is the name of his son? Proverbs 30:4

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what ...
Nihil Sine Deo's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
24k views

What's the difference between a "lying tongue" and a "false witness" in Proverbs 6?

In Proverbs 6 is there a difference between a lying tongue and a false witness? Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a ...
LCIII's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
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Is the "woman of valour" in Proverbs 31 "real" or "symbolic"?

There is a lot of interest in the feminine imagery in the first nine chapters of Proverbs, especially the figure of "Lady Wisdom". The book also ends with attention to a female figure. The last ...
Dɑvïd's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Does the LXX of Proverbs 1:7 have influence on the use of εὐσέβεια in the NT?

Is there any New Testament text wherin an influence of this LXX expanded translation is of interpretive importance in the NT (esp. with regard to εὐσέβεια)? Edit (question clarification): I find this ...
Qoheleth-Tech's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
440 views

Help identifying this Hebrew word: "lesh," meaning "narcissistic"?

I am trying to track down a Hebrew word mentioned by Rabbi Rami Shapiro in his book The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: There are two types of people according to Proverbs: those who ...
Daniel Hyland's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
901 views

Why do some Bible translations differ on how Proverbs 16:31 is translated?

Some translations state that “gray hair is a crown of glory; it is found in the path of righteousness”, but other translations word it as “gray hair is a crown of glory if it is found in the path of ...
Courtney S.'s user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
17k views

What are the 7 abominations in Proverbs 26:25?

Proverbs 26:25 do not trust such a person's pretty speeches, since in the heart lurk seven abominations. What are these 7 abominations? Are these same as, Proverbs 6:16 There are six things ...
Clicker's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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In Proverbs 5:18 what is meant by "your wife in your youth"?

Please help me understand the meaning of,"your wife in your youth" in Proverbs 5:18. Thank you in advance. NIV Proverbs 5: 15Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. ...
Boateng Samuel's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Wise son related to Father and Foolish man related to Mother?

With this verse: "A wise son maketh a glad father; But a foolish man despiseth his mother" - Proverbs 15:20 I would like to know what you think about this verse, what this really implies, and ...
Xoltic's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are the proverbs about giving collateral for someone else teaching about loans?

The book of Proverbs gives serious warning about taking on a loan: Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. —Proverbs 22:7 (NLT) But it seems to focus much more ...
Kazark's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
156 views

Possible English understandings of "ba’al nefesh" in Proverbs 23:2?

I'm wondering about how "ba’al nefesh" could resonably be understood in modern English (USA)? I note the renderings from various translations (https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Proverbs%2023:2) ...
EdNerd's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

In Proverbs 11:30, what does it mean to "take lives"?

"Soul-winning" is a commonly used phrase in some christian circles to refer to "getting people saved" by "witnessing" and seems to derive from a slightly anachronistic ...
Ruminator's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does "Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil" (Proverbs 15:16) mean?

Proverbs 15:16 is Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. What does this mean? Is it some Biblical equivalent of minimalism? The word turmoil puzzles me as in the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
5 answers
10k views

What are the 7 Pillars of Wisdom's House?

In Mishlei / Proverbs 9, we are told Chakmot (חָכְמוֹת) resides in a House built on 7 Pillars. Proverbs 9 [1] Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. (חָכְמוֹת בָּנְתָ֣ה בֵיתָ֑הּ ...
חִידָה's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Proverbs 26:10 - Are modern translations right to involve an 'archer'?

I'm trying to interpret Proverbs 26:10, but as I've attempted to cross-reference more and more sources, I keep finding radically different translations: "Like an archer who wounds at random, so ...
Steve can help's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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Do Proverbs 6:16 and Proverbs 30:18 contain a figure of speech? [duplicate]

If you look at Proverbs 6:16 and Proverbs 30:18, they are written in a certain format: "There are six things the LORD hates--no, seven things he detests" "There are three things that ...
Stephen Igwue's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
72 views

Is the ESV's rendering of Proverbs 14:1 at odds with the common rendering from other translations?

Proverbs 14:1 (ESV): The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Meanwhile in other versions (For example, NASB and NKJV respectively) The wise woman builds ...
User2280's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

In Proverbs 17:19, what does "makes his door high" mean?

Proverbs 17:19 Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction. What does it mean to make your door high? Keep people out?
Lou Visconti's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
142 views

How should we understand the concepts of "seek" and "find" in Proverbs 8:17?

Proverbs 8:12-21 (ESV): 12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
195 views

Does the LXX translate חוללתי as γεννάω to create an allusion to Genesis 4?

In various places Proverbs personifies Wisdom as a woman. In one she deviates from teaching to speak about herself. She starts by announcing her "קָנָה" at the beginning: 22 “The Lord possessed me ...
Revelation Lad's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
894 views

What is the context of Proverbs 7:17?

I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (Proverbs 7:17 NRSVCE) Forgive my over-literalness, but this seems like it's describing something really stupid: the impudent woman is pouring ...
Fomalhaut's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Proverbs: differences between the LXX and the MT

What is the origin of the differences in the order of some verses in the book of Proverbs between the LXX and the MT? Here are two examples:1 the verses 30:1—14 are after 24:22 and the verses 30:15—...
Paul Vargas's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Why was the Hebrew "possessed" translated into Greek as "created" in Proverbs 8:22?

Why was the Hebrew "possessed" translated into Greek as "created" in Proverbs 8:22? Proverbs 8:22 English Standard Version “The LORD possessed me (קָ֭נָנִי) at the beginning of ...
R. Brown's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
139 views

What is the purpose of listing two different birds in the curse of Proverbs 30:17?

Proverbs 30:17 describes the fate of those who disobey their parents, concluding they will have an unnatural death and be eaten by birds of prey: The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a ...
ThaddeusB's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Request for parallels between Psalms and Proverbs

Can someone either post themselves or give me a link to a somewhat detailed comparison between Psalms and Proverbs where fairly word for word parallels are found? I am looking for all the instances ...
Joshua Robison's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
170 views

Is Matthew 25:40 establishing Proverbs 19:17 is a 'prophecy' about Jesus being King YHVH?

Wisdom חָכְמָה allowed מֶ֜֗לֶךְ King שְׁלֹמֹ֣ה Shlomoh (Solomon) to reveal Proverb 19:17 stating "He who is gracious to a poor man lends to YHVH, and He will repay him his reward." ( ...
חִידָה's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
164 views

What are the 30 chapters in Proverbs 22:20?

Proverbs 22:20 Have I not written for you thirty chapters of advice and knowledge... What are these 30 chapters? Who wrote these to whom? Have these chapters ever found?
Clicker's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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What is the meaning of "excellent things" in Proverbs 22:20?

Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth... -- Proverbs 22:20 (KJV) In the KJV, the Hebrew word ...
Christopher Pfeifer's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
134 views

God made them in what sense? Proverbs 22:2

“The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:2‬ ‭ Is this text saying God is the maker (creator) of both men? Genesis 1:26 God is the one who made (...
Nihil Sine Deo's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
11k views

What are the "security" and "pledge" of Proverbs 27:13?

Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress. (ESV) What does it mean to "put up security" and to "hold it ...
WHY's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
259 views

How are the Proverbs in the Proverbs book organized? By author? Theme? Chronologically?

I would love to know if the book is compiled in any specific manner. It follows a theme order it seems, but is that intended by the authors, or some were organized later on and placed in some kind of ...
jbdo's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
102 views

Proverbs 5:2-3 - Does the LXX preserve a dropped line or make an editorial addition?

The Masoretic Text and NRSV versions of the opening verses of Proverbs 5 are as follows (the MT follows the Aleppo Codex and is taken from the Mechon-Mamre website): MT NRSV א בְּ֭נִי לְחָכְמָתִ֣י ...
Adrian Mole's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
86 views

Meaning of N .. N+1 pattern in Amos, Proverbs, Job and Psalms [duplicate]

In the first couple of chapters of Amos, we see a number of proclamations from God that all begin with (all ESV) "For three transgressions of [region/group], and for four, I will not revoke the ...
cdjc's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is John 1:1-3 an allusion to Proverbs 8:22-31 LXX?

The idea of the LOGOS being with God and active in creation always seemed to me to be alluding to Genesis 1 where God creates the world by speaking, "Let there be..." and I think that's ...
Ruminator's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
323 views

Does Proverbs 14:9 mention God?

I found it interesting that all three popular Vietnamese Bible translations say something like this (translated back to English): The fool mocks at sin but the righteous has God's favor. Kẻ ngu dại ...
Luke Vo's user avatar
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