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28 A perverse person[a] spreads dissension,
and a gossip separates the closest friends.[b]

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  1. Proverbs 16:28 tn Heb “a man of perverse things”; NAB “an intriguer.” This refers to someone who destroys lives. The parallelism suggests that he is a “slanderer” or “gossip”—one who whispers and murmurs (18:8; 26:20, 22).
  2. Proverbs 16:28 tn The term אַלּוּף (ʾalluf) refers to a “friend” or “an intimate associate.” The word has other possible translations, including “tame” or “docile” when used of animals. Rashi, a Jewish scholar who lived a.d. 1040-1105, took it in the later sense of “prince,” saying that such speech alienates the Prince, namely God. But that is a forced interpretation of the line.