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There is one who pretends to be rich[a] and yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor[b] and yet possesses great wealth.[c]

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  1. Proverbs 13:7 tn The Hitpael of עָשַׁר (ʿashar, “to be rich”) means “to pretend to be rich” (BDB 799 s.v. עָשַׁר Hithp). Here the Hitpael means to show or present oneself in a state (cf. GKC 1256 §54e, Joüon 147 §53i, IBHS 431 §26.2f).
  2. Proverbs 13:7 tn The Hitpolel of רוּשׁ (rush, “to be poor”) means “to pretend to be poor” (BDB 930 s.v. Hithpolel). The Hitpolel forms of hollow root verbs are the equivalent of Hitpael forms; this Hitpolel functions like the Hitpael in the first part of the verse.
  3. Proverbs 13:7 sn The proverb seems to be a general observation on certain people in life, but it is saying more. Although there are times when such pretending may not be wrong, the proverb is instructing people to be honest. An empty pretentious display or a concealing of wealth can come to no good.