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31 Gray hair is like[a] a crown of glory;[b]
it is attained[c] in the path of righteousness.[d]

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  1. Proverbs 16:31 tn The comparative “like” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the metaphor; it is supplied for the sake of clarity.
  2. Proverbs 16:31 sn The proverb presents the ideal, for it is not concerned with old people who may be evil. The KJV tried to qualify the interpretation by making the second half of the verse a conditional clause (“if it be found in the way of righteousness”). This is acceptable but unnecessary. The book of Proverbs is simply laying out the equity of longevity for righteousness and premature death for wicked people. In this line “gray hair” is a metonymy of adjunct/effect, representing old age; and the “glorious crown” (taking the genitive as attributive) provides a fitting metaphor to compare the hair on the head with a crown.
  3. Proverbs 16:31 tn Heb “it is found” (so NASB) or “it will be found.”
  4. Proverbs 16:31 sn While the proverb presents a general observation, there is a commendable lesson about old people who can look back on a long walk with God through life and can anticipate unbroken fellowship with him in glory.