Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Proverbs 11.1-9

3. Deeds and Destinies of the Righteous and the Wicked Contrasted (10.17-11.31)
(a) Introduction: Social Effects of Obedience(10.17)
(b) Speech and Expectations of the righteous and the Wicked Contrasted (10.18-32)
(c) Security through Honesty and Righteousness (11.1-8)
     (1) through honesty

1.1a  Dishonest...  "(mirmâ) denotes an evil design to deceive a victim in order to harm."   
Heb “scales of deception.” The genitive is attributive: “deceptive scales.” This refers to dishonesty in the market where silver was weighed in the scales. God condemns dishonest business practices (Deut 25:13-16; Lev 10:35-36), as did the ancient Near East (ANET 388, 423).  ---NET Bible translation notes
"A deceitful trader carried in his pouch differing weights (Deut. 25:13; Prov. 16.11), a too heavy one for purchase and a too light one for selling.  Dishonest merchants outwardly defrauded their neighbors and inwardly deny God."  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
1.1a  an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”) is a subjective genitive."  ---NET Bible translation notes    "...they excite His rage..."--Bruce Waltke in NICOT
1.1b   A just weight...  "Heb “a perfect stone.” Stones were used for measuring amounts of silver on the scales; here the stone that pleases the Lord is whole, complete, perfect (from שָׁלֵם, shalem). It was one that would give an honest, accurate measurement."  ---NET Bible translation notes

1.2a   pride comes...  "Heb “presumptuousness.” This term is from the root זִיד, zid (or זוּד, zud) which means “to boil; to seethe; to act proudly; to act presumptuously.” The idea is that of boiling over the edge of the pot, signifying overstepping the boundaries (e.g., Gen 25:29)."  ---NET Bible translation notes
comes shame...   " an inseparable twin, disgrace comes along with her as an univited guest."  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
1.2b   the humble... "Heb “modesty”; KJV, ASV “the lowly.” The adjective צְנוּעִים (tsÿnu’im, “modest”) is used as a noun; this is an example of antimeria in which one part of speech is used in the place of another (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 491-506), e.g., “Let the dry [adjective] appear!” = dry land (Gen 1:9). The root צָנַע (tsana’, “to be modest; to be humble”) describes those who are reserved, retiring, modest. The plural form is used for the abstract idea of humility.

     (2) through righteousness
1.3  "This contrasts two lifestyles, affirming the value of integrity. The upright live with integrity – blamelessness – and that integrity leads them in success and happiness. Those who use treachery will be destroyed by it."---NET Bible translation notes
(Proverbs 13.3)
1.3b  the perversity of the unfaithful...   The word "duplicity" (selep) is rare, occurring only here and in Prov. 15.4.  The verbal form ("to distort, mislead") occurs more often both in Proverbs (13.6; 19.3; 22.12) as well as outside it (Exod. 23.8; Deut. 16.19).   ---Tremper Longman III in BCOTWP

1.4a  the day of wrath...    "The meaning of the "day of fury" is a bit difficult to define.  Christian readers of the proverb may be tempted to move too quickly toward an eschatological understanding,  withthe proverb saying that it is only righteousness, not wealth, that protects a person from death because righteousness rather than wealth assures one of eternal life.  ...  Righteousness may be thought to induce God's protection from the ravages of life, or perhaps righteousness, associated with widsdom, leads to a lifestyle that promotes rather than endangers life."   ---Tremper Longman III in BCOTWP 
1.5b   fall by his wickedness...   A common theme in verses 4-6 seems to be the part that the good and bad behavior plays in bringing about the results.  It is not just God intervening and changing what would normally happen, but the behavior itself having an affect (as part of God's sovereignty) on the outcome as a normal course of things.
1.6  deliver...caught... "The contrast is between being rescued or delivered (נָצַל, natsal) and being captured (לָכַד, lakhad). Righteousness is freeing; [evil] desires are enslaving." "Heb “taken captive” (so NRSV); NIV, TEV “are trapped.”  "Heb “but by the desire of the faithless are they taken captive.”  ---NET Bible translation notes
1.7  "In the midst of  antithetical proverbs, this synonymous proverb, using a - :: - pattern, asserts the futility of trusting in mortals."  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
When a human being (ādām; see p. 89) dies (bemôt) refers here to the expectation of something good that the wicked place on the continued existence of the mortal.  As "hope" parallels "human being" in the two halves of the A verset, so perishes (tō'bad; see 10.28 ) parallels  "dies."    --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
1.7a  the wicked man...  "As often in Proverbs and Psalms, the wicked man is one who holds a position of authority and influence which he abuses by acting lawlessly.  Fearing his power of doing them harm with impunity, people are disposed to curry favour with him and buy his protection and help.  The verse utters a warning against this tendency. "  ---Abraham Cohen in Socino Books of the Bible
1.8b  comes to the wicked...  " The verb is masculine singular, so the subject cannot be “trouble.” The trouble from which the righteous escape will come on the wicked – but the Hebrew text literally says that the wicked “comes [= arrives; turns up; shows up] in the place of the righteous.” Cf. NASB “the wicked takes his place”; NRSV “the wicked get into it instead”... ”  ---NET Bible translation notes
"For example, the perjurer who intended death for the innocent is himself sentenced to death (Deut. 19:16-18; cf. Esth. 5:14; 7.10: 9.1-10; Dan. 6.34-24[25-25]; Luke 16:25)."  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT

(d) Janus: Security from Destructive Speech through Knowledge (11.9)
1.9a   The Hypocrite...   "...'apostate' should replace the AV hypocrite."  ---Kidner in TOTC   "The Hebrew word originally meant “impious, godless, polluted, profane.” It later developed the idea of a “hypocrite” (Dan 11:32), one who conceals his evil under the appearance of godliness or kindness. This one is a false flatterer."  ---NET Bible translation notes 
1.9b   "The second colon is grammatically ambiguous, and some (NRSV, NIV) understand it to read, "But by knowledge, the righteous are delivered."  This does not provide a clear a contrast with the first colon, and so I have not followed this understanding of the verse.  Rather, I understand the neighbors as those who benefit."  ---Tremper Longman III in BCOTWP 
 "The imprecise antithetical parallels imply that the neighbor is not righteous.  Unfortified gy righteousness, the unwary neighbor is led astray by the manifestations of friendship and is destroyed, bu tthe righteous, who have stored up knowledge (10.14), see through his mask (28.11).  By know ting what to say, how to express it, and when to speak (12.6; 13; 14.3), they save themselves fro the trap [Greenstone in Proverbs]"    ----Bruce Waltke in NICOT


Picking up on Longman 's comments on verse four, I think one of the key concepts for this passage is that righteous living has a way of keeping you out of trouble and putting you in a better position to handle "catastrophies."   This thought is reinforced in verse five where right living keeps you from drifting off the right path and wickedness will come back to bite you sooner or later.  It is a house of cards waiting to fall.

Even though we live in an imperfect world and some things will not be rectified until the judgement, righteousness has a strong tendency towards a positive end during the course of this life.  So, kids, save yourselves a lot of trouble by doing the right thing.

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