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17 The one who is gracious to[a] the poor lends to[b] the Lord,
and the Lord[c] will repay him[d] for his good deed.[e]

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  1. Proverbs 19:17 sn The participle חוֹנֵן (khonen, “shows favor to”) is related to the word for “grace.” The activity here is the kind favor shown poor people for no particular reason and with no hope of repayment. It is literally an act of grace.
  2. Proverbs 19:17 tn The form מַלְוֵה (malveh) is the Hiphil participle from לָוָה (lavah) in construct; it means “to cause to borrow; to lend.” The expression here is “lender of the Lord.” The person who helps the poor becomes the creditor of God.
  3. Proverbs 19:17 tn Heb “he.” The referent of the third person masculine singular pronoun is “the Lord” in the preceding line, which has been supplied here in the translation for clarity.
  4. Proverbs 19:17 sn The promise of reward does not necessarily mean that the person who gives to the poor will get money back; the rewards in the book of Proverbs involve life and prosperity in general.
  5. Proverbs 19:17 tn Heb “and his good deed will repay him.” The word גְּמֻלוֹ (gemulo) could be (1) the subject or (2) part of a double accusative of the verb. Understanding it as part of the double accusative makes better sense, for then the subject of the verb is God. How “his deed” could repay him is not immediately obvious.