Monday, November 17, 2014

Proverbs 22.1-16 Teaching Notes

11. Wealth and Moral Instruction (22.1-16)
The final unit can be analyzed as having two halves: 

the Lord's sovereignty over wealth (vv.1-9) ... 
and the need for moral instruction in connection with wealth (vv.10-16).
The refrain "gives" and "poor" (dal) occurs in the concluding verse of each half (vv. 9, 16). --Bruce Waltke in NICOT 
(a) The Lord's Sovereignty and Wealth (22.2-9)
The subunit consists of
an introduction asserting the priority of a good name to wealth (v. 1),
first (vv. 2-4), combining the Lord's sovereignty with human accountability (vv.3-4)
second (vv. 5-6), education, and
third (vv. 7-9) the Lords retribution.
  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT  

A good name                          Loving favor
is to be chosen                       [is to be chosen]
rather than great riches,      rather than silver and gold. 
name...  Heb “a name.” The idea of the name being “good” is implied; it has the connotation here of a reputation (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).  --NET Bible translation notes
A good name represents a person's good character and his memory (10:7; 18:10; 21:24).  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
great riches... If one chooses riches avobe all else, the actions that follow will break relationships of trust and tarnish one's name.  --Paul Koptak in NIVAC
loving favor... tn Heb “favor of goodness.” This is a somewhat difficult expression. Some English versions render the phrase “favor is better than silver or gold” (so NASB, NRSV) making it parallel to the first colon. But if “good” is retained as an attributive modifier, then it would mean one was well thought of, or one had engaging qualities (cf. ASV “loving favor; NLT “high esteem”). This fits with the idea of the reputation in the first colon, for a good name would bring with it the favor of others.  --NET Bible translation notes
gold... Wealth can be obtained apart from virtue, (see 11:16, 28), but not a good name.
--Bruce Waltke in NICOT
Our Lord carries this teaching a step further in Luke 10:20, to show that a still higher  level , not the power we wield, but the love in which we are held, is our proper joy. --Derek Kidner TOTC

The rich and the poor have this in common, 
The Lord is the maker of them all.  

poor...  Strong's H7326 - ruwsh:  “the poor” — Any person lacking sufficient income to attain necessities.  "This root implies destitution."  --TWOT
have this in common... 
The form of the verb is the Niphal perfect of פָּגַשׁ (pagash); it means “to meet together [or, each other]” (cf. KJV, ASV). The point is that rich and poor live side by side in this life, but they are both part of God’s creation (cf. NAB, NASB “have a common bond”). Some commentators have taken this to mean that they should live together because they are part of God’s creation; but the verb form will not sustain that meaning.   --NET Bible translation notes
maker...  of the people and not of their poverty or wealth.
> The rich should remember that his treatment of the poor is equated with his treatment of their Maker (17:5), and the poor should learn not to despise, envy, or revolt against the rich (3:13), or sycophantically to ingratiate himself with him or compromise his conscience to get his smile.  Rather, he should both respect him and yet evaluate him as merely God's creature.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
1. What impact will our relative wealth or poverty here on earth have on us in eternity?

The consonant initial 'ayin of arum ("shrewd," v.3) and 'eqeb ("wage," v.4), and the theme of human accountability bind vv. 3-4 together as a proverb pair. --Bruce Waltke in NICOT

3                                   But
A prudent man             the simple  
foresees evil                pass on
and hides himself,       and are punished.

prudent...  (singular) a root with positive (prudence) and negative (shrewdness) connotations.  --TWOT
evil... Heb “evil,” a term that is broad enough to include (1) “sin” as well as (2) any form of “danger” (NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT) or “trouble” (TEV, CEV). The second option is more likely what is meant here: The naive simpleton does not see the danger to be avoided and so suffers for it.  --NET Bible translation notes    
simple...  (plural - hinting that the majority is not always right.--Paul Koptak in NIVAC) The naive person, oblivious to impending danger.
> "Scripture gives blind optimism its right name: not faith, but folly.  Cf. 14:15, 16.  The saying is repeated in even terser Hebrew at 27:12."  --Derek Kidner TOTC
punished...  The verb עָנַשׁ (’anash) means “to fine” specifically. In the Niphal stem it means “to be fined,” or more generally, “to be punished.” In this line the punishment is the consequence of blundering into trouble – they will pay for it. 
> Punished (AV): Moffatt, better, 'and pays for it'. --Derek Kidner TOTC 

By humility and the fear of the Lord 
Are riches and honor and life.  

By...  The first Heb. word (AV: RV: the reward of) means 'the consequence of'.  Because God is God, it just follows--but in His time.  Cf. Luke 14:11. --Derek Kidner TOTC
humility...  “Humility” is used here in the religious sense of “piety”; it is appropriately joined with “the fear of the Lord.” Some commentators, however, make “the fear of the Lord” the first in the series of rewards for humility, but that arrangement is less likely here.  --NET Bible translation notes 
and...  There is no and after humility; but it is probably right to supply it rather than take the next phrase as defining 'humility,', which is a harsher construction.) --Derek Kidner TOTC
fear of the LORD...  Heb “the fear of the Lord.” This is an objective genitive; the Lord is the object of the fear.  --NET Bible translation notes
riches...  Strong's H6239 - `osher : wealth
honor...  Strong's H3519 - kabowd :The basic meaning is “to be heavy, weighty,” a meaning which is only rarely used literally, the figurative (e.g. “heavy with sin”) being more common. From this figurative usage it is an easy step to the concept of a “weighty” person in society, someone who is honorable, impressive, worthy of respect. --John N. Oswalt in TWOT
life...  H2416 - chay : life

1. How can humility and the fear of the Lord make someone more prudent?
2. After our children have experienced the "calamity" of not being prudent, how do we balance appropriate compassion with instruction about how a prudent person would recognize important clues in that situation?   

The center of the subunit on the Lord's sovereignty over wealth and poverty (22:1-9) does not mention the topic as such but focuses on the need for educating youth in the way that leads to true riches.  The concept of paying attention to one's way (vv.3-4) and the need to orient youth to the right way (vv.5-6) link the partial subunits.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; 
He who guards his soul will be far from them. 

Thorns and snares...  Because MT reading צִנִּים (tsinnim, “thorns”) does not make a very good match with “traps,” it has created some difficulty for interpreters. The word “thorns” may be obscure, but it is supported by the LXX (“prickly plants”) and an apparent cognate “thorns” in Num 33:55 and Josh 23:13. ...  The present translation (like many other English versions) has retained “thorns,” even though the parallelism with “traps” is not very good; as the harder reading it is preferred. The variant readings have little textual or philological support, and simplify the line.  --NET Bible textual criticism notes
snares...   The metaphor refers to temptations such as easy sex and easy money that tempt youth.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
perverse...  Strong 6141 'qqesh : lit. "a crooked person" a play on the path image --Paul Koptak in NIVAC)
guards...  The basic idea of the root is “to exercise great care over.” --TWOT

Train up a child in the way he should go, 
And when he is old he will not depart from it. 
"The second part of this verse has challenged the faith of many a godly parent. Obviously many children who have received good training have repudiated the way of wisdom later in life. The explanation for this seemingly broken promise lies in a correct understanding of what a proverb is."  --Thomas Constable's Expository Notes on Proverbs

Train...  The verb חָנַךְ (khanakh) means “to train up; to dedicate” (BDB 335 s.v.; HALOT 334 s.v. חנך). The verb is used elsewhere to refer to dedicating a house (Deut 20:5; 1 Kgs 8:63; 2 Chr 7:5). The related noun חֲנֻכָה (khanukhah) means “dedication; consecration” (BDB 335 s.v.; HALOT 334 s.v.), and is used in reference to the dedication or consecration of altars (Num 7:10; 2 Chr 7:9), the temple (Ps 30:1), and town walls (Neh 12:27). The related adjective חָנִיךְ (khanikh) describes “trained, tried, experienced” men (BDB 335 s.v.; Gen 14:14). In the related cognate languages the verb has similar meanings: Aramaic “to train,” Ethiopic “to initiate,” and Arabic IV “to learn; to make experienced” (HALOT 334 s.v.). This proverb pictures a child who is dedicated by parents to the Lord and morally trained to follow him.    --NET Bible translation notes
child...  The noun can refer to a broad range of ages (see BDB 654-55 s.v.; HALOT 707 s.v.): infant (Exod 2:6), weaned child (1 Sam 1:24), young child (Jer 1:6), lad (Gen 22:12), adolescent (Gen 37:2), or young man of marriageable age (Gen 34:19). The context focuses on the child’s young, formative years. The Talmud says this would be up to the age of twenty-four.  --NET Bible translation notes
way...  “In the way he should go” is literally “according to his way.” It may mean according to his personality, temperament, responses, or stage in life. On the other hand it could mean the way in which he ought to go. The Hebrew grammar permits either interpretation. However the context favors the latter view. “Way” in Proverbs usually means the path a person takes through life, not one’s personality, disposition, or stage in life. Consequently the verse is saying the parent should train up a child in the way of wisdom to live in the fear of God.  --Thomas Constable's Expository Notes on Proverbs
Linked with 'path' in verse 5 by the catchword "way"  --Derek Kidner TOTC

1. We usually focus on these two proverbs from the parents perspective.  Are there any implied lessons for our children?
2. What does it mean to "guard our soul?"  What concrete steps or tactics do you use to guard your soul and avoid the thorns and thistles?
3.  What do young children need to guard their souls from?  How can we teach them to do that? 

We often look at verse seven as a warning to those who would borrow money.  While the proverb does give a helpful warning about that, the context of verses 8 and 9 put the focus on the rich lender.
The rich rules over the poor
And the borrower is servant to the lender.  
“While a certain amount of honest debt is expected in today’s world, and everybody wants to achieve a good credit rating, we must be careful not to mistake presumption for faith. As the familiar adage puts it, ‘When your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep is your downfall.’"  --Warren Wiersbe, Be Skillful, p. 93.
This verse warns the borrower that he puts himself in a vulnerable position by borrowing. He becomes dependent on another or others by borrowing. An unscrupulous lender might take advantage of him. ...
“The verse may be referring to the apparently common practice of Israelites selling themselves into slavery to pay off debts (see Exod 21:2-7). It is not appreciably different from the modern debtor who is working to pay off bills.”  --Allen Ross, Expositor's Bible Commentary, p. 1062 (Thomas Constable's Expository Notes on Proverbs)
rules...   The proverb is making an observation on life. The synonymous parallelism matches “rule over” with “servant” to show how poverty makes people dependent on, or obligated to, others.  --NET Bible study notes
servant...  Or “slave” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV, TEV, CEV). This may refer to the practice in Israel of people selling themselves into slavery to pay off debts (Exod 21:2-7).  --NET Bible translation notes

He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, 
And the rod of his anger will fail.  

sows...  The verse is making an implied comparison (a figure of speech known as hypocatastasis) between sowing and sinning. One who sins is like one who sows, for there will be a “harvest” or a return on the sin – trouble.  --NET Bible translation notes
sorrow...  Strong's H205 - 'aven : trouble, wickedness, sorrow
rod of anger... The synonymous parallels of vv. 8a(a) and 8b(a) match two metaphors, "sowing injustice" and "rod of fury," to depict the rich person as an unsympathetic tyrant exercising cruel misconduct toward a neighbor, and Ab and Bb assert that the tyrant's iron rod will come to an end.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, 
For he gives of his bread to the poor.  

generous eye...  Heb “good of eye.” This expression is an attributed genitive meaning “bountiful of eye” (cf. KJV, ASV “He that hath a bountiful eye”). This is the opposite of the “evil eye” which is covetous and wicked. The “eye” is a metonymy representing looking well to people’s needs. So this refers to the generous person (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).  --NET Bible translation notes

1. How do verses 8 and 9 inform our attitude toward those we have helped or lent money to?  (cf. Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Job 31:16-20; 1 timothy 6:18-19)
2.  What applications are there for our children about their attitudes toward their younger siblings? 

(b) Wealth and Moral Instruction (22.10-16)
  1. Introduction: The Kings Friends
10                                 Yes,
Cast out the scoffer,    
and contention             strife and reproach
will leave;                    will cease.  

scoffer... The “scorner” is לֵץ (lets), the one the book of Proverbs says cannot be changed with discipline or correction, but despises and disrupts anything that is morally or socially constructive.  --NET Bible study notes
nasb, rsv, nkjv--scoffer; kjv--scorner; niv84, hcab, nlt--mocker

> "If the mocker were teachable, one could endure him in hope of improovement, but since he is nt (see 9:7-8), he must be banished to protect the community from his baneful effects."  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
contention...  H4066 - madown : strife, contention
nasb, kjv, nkjv--contention; rsv, esv, niv84--strife; hcsb--conflict; nlt--fighting
strife...  H1779 - diyn : judgment; dispute, legal suit, strife (i.e. a strong disagreement)
nasb, kjv, nkjvstrife; rsv, esv, hcsb--quarreling; niv84, nlt--quarrels
reproach...  H7036 - qalown : shame, disgrace, dishonour, ignominy; "This root signifies the lowering of another's social position..." --TWOT
nasb--dishonor, hcsb; kjv, nkjv--reproach; rsv, esv--abuse; niv84, nlt--insults

11                        And
He who 
loves                    has
purity of heart    grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.  

purity...  It is used almost exclusively of ritual or moral purity. ...The LXX generally translates ṭāhēr and its derivatives by katharizō, katharos, katharismos, etc. “to purify,” “pure,” “purity.”  --Edwin Yamauchi in TWOT
heart... a synecdoche for the person.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
grace on his lips...  Heb “grace of his lips” (so KJV, ASV). The “lips” are a metonymy of cause representing what is said; it also functions as a genitive of specification.  --NET Bible Translation notes 
> This individual is gracious or kind in what he says; thus the verse is commending honest intentions and gracious words.  --NET Bible study notes  
Proverbs 16.13  Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.
"It is the equal partnership of integrity and charm, the one not diminishing the other, that is the rarity." --Derek Kidner in TOTC

2. Body: The LORD Upholds Truth and Subverts Treacherous Words
Verse 12 is the general statement.  The words of the faithless are illustrated by the lazy and immoral in verse 13-14. 
12                                     But
The eyes of the LORD        He
preserve                          overthrows
knowledge,                      the words of the faithless.  

The eyes of the LORD... The “eyes of the Lord” is an anthropomorphic expression; the omniscience of God is the intended meaning. When scripture uses the “eyes” of the Lord, it usually means evaluation, superintending, or safeguarding.  --NET Bible study notes
knowledge...  "..."knowledge" and "words of the treacherous" are not [precise antonyms], suggesting that "knowledge" refers to the words of His faithful teachers and "words of the treacherous" deny them.  --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
faithless...  The object of the verb is the “words of the traitor” (בֹגֵד דִּבְרֵי, divre voged); cf. NASB “the words of the treacherous man.” What treacherous people say is treachery. In this context “traitor, treacherous” refers to one who is “unfaithful” (cf. NIV).  --NET Bible translation notes 
Since the LORD is the focus of this verse, it would seem reasonable to think of unfaithful (or treacherous) being in respect to His word.

The lazy man says, "There is a lion outside! 
I shall be slain in the streets!"  
lion...  The proverb humorously describes the sluggard as making ridiculous excuses for not working – he might be eaten by a lion (e.g., 26:13). It is possible that “lion” is figurative, intended to represent someone who is like a lion, but this detracts from the humor of the exaggeration.   --NET Bible study notes

The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; 
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.  
mouth... "her mouth" is the pit, probably to link the proverb with "words" in 22:12. --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
immoral woman...  H2114 - zuwr : to be strange, be a stranger (The immoral woman is called a stranger because her actions are not consistent with the law and the expected behavior of a pure Israelite woman.)
deep pit... The point of the metaphor is that what the adulteress says is like a deep pit. The pit is like the hunter’s snare; it is a trap that is difficult to escape. So to succumb to the adulteress – or to any other folly this represents – is to get oneself into a difficulty that has no easy escape.  --NET Bible translation notes
abhorred...  H2194 - za`am : to denounce, express indignation, be indignant
NASB, HCSB--cursed by the LORDKJV, NKJV--who is abhorred; RSV, ESV--with whom the LORD is angry; NIV84--who is under the LORD's wrath; NLT--those who make the LORD angry
> Heb “the one who is cursed by the Lord” (cf. NASB). The construction uses the passive participle in construct with Yahweh. The “Lord” is genitive of agency after the passive form. The verb means “be indignant, express indignation.” So it is talking about one against whom the Lord is angry.  --NET Bible translation notes
> Usually the verbs associated with the noun za'am have a clear judgment aspect (cf. Ps. 69:24[25]; Ezek 21:31[36]; 22:31; Zeph. 3:8)... --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
> Who is abhorred by the Lord?

3. Conclusion: Moral Instruction and Wealth 

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; 
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.  

foolishness...  H200 - 'ivveleth : Some derive ʾĕwîl from yāʾal “be foolish,” while another possibility is from an Arabic word meaning “be thick,” and therefore “thick-brained” or “stupid.”  
The NIV renders “fool” in Prov 1:7 with a footnote: “The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the OT denote one who is morally deficient.” Such a person is lacking in sense and is generally corrupt. If one can posit a gradation in the words for fool, ʾĕwîl would be one step below kĕsîl*  and only one step above nābāl** (q.v.). An even stronger word in Proverbs is lēṣ,*** often translated “scoffer.” The ʾĕwîl is not only a kĕsîl because of his choices, but he is also insolent."
As indicated, ʾĕwîl primarily refers to moral perversion or insolence, to what is sinful rather than to mental stupidity. This kind of a fool despises wisdom and is impatient with discipline. He who does not fear God is a fool and will be unable to grasp wisdom or benefit from godly discipline (Prov 1:7). --Louis Goldberg in TWOT
* Strong's # 3684 kes-eel' :   properly, fat, i.e., (figuratively) stupid or silly
** Strong's # 5036 nābāl :stupid; wicked (especially impious)
*** Strong's 3887 lēṣ : properly, to make mouths at, i.e., to scoff
heart of a child...  The “heart of a child” (לֶב־נָעַר, lev-na’ar) refers here to the natural inclination of a child to foolishness. The younger child is meant in this context, but the word can include youth. R. N. Whybray suggests that this idea might be described as a doctrine of “original folly” (Proverbs [CBC], 125). Cf. TEV “Children just naturally do silly, careless things.”  --NET Bible translation notes
rod...  The word “rod” is a metonymy of adjunct; it represents physical chastening for direction or punishment, to suppress folly and develop potential. The genitive (“discipline”) may be taken as an attributive genitive (“a chastening rod”) or an objective genitive, (“a rod [= punishment] that brings about correction/discipline”).  --NET Bible translation notes
> "Since the folly incurs the LORD's curse (v. 14b; cf. Eph. 2:3), this proverbs seeks to protect the youth from the eternal death through the father's relatively light sting." --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
of correction...  “Discipline” (mûsār) is moral correction, which includes spankings (the rod; cf. 13:24; 23:13–14; 29:15), verbal correction, and other forms of discipline."  --Sid S. Buzzell  in The Bible Knowledge Commentary
16                                      And
He who                              he who
oppresses the poor           gives to the rich,
to increase his riches,       ---
will surely come to poverty. 

"The section begins with a proverb about honor and ends with one of shame, both calling for a proper attitude toward wealth and riches (22:1, 16)."  --Paul Koptak in NIVAC oppresses...   H6231 - `ashaq : to press upon, i.e., oppress, defraud, violate, overflow
> The juxtaposition of one who takes money from the poor, who needs it, with the one who gives to the rich, who does not need it, points up the folly.  for example, "it happens when executives are paid exorbitant sums ... and overwork their remaining employees. (Van Leeuwen)"   --Bruce Waltke in NICOT
poor...   H1800 - dal : properly, dangling, i.e., (by implication) weak or thin

poverty...  H4270 - machcowr : deficiency; hence, impoverishment
gives...  The gifts given to the rich are to secure their favor, not out of love for them (cf. 14:31; 19:17; 28:3).  --Thomas Constable's Expository Notes on Proverbs

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