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Proverbs 10:16-18 New English Translation (NET Bible)

16 The reward[a] that the righteous receive[b] is life;
the recompense[c] that the wicked receive[d] is judgment.[e]
17 The one who heeds instruction[f] is on the way to[g] life,
but the one who rejects[h] rebuke goes astray.
18 The one who conceals hatred utters lies,[i]
and the one who spreads[j] slander[k] is certainly[l] a fool.


  1. Proverbs 10:16 tn Heb “recompense” (so NAB); NASB, NIV “wages.” The noun פְּעֻלַּה (peʿullah) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “work; deed” and (2) “reward; recompense” (BDB 821 s.v.). There is a clear correlation between a person’s conduct and its consequences. Rewards are determined by moral choices. What one receives in life depends on the use of gifts and a righteous character.
  2. Proverbs 10:16 tn Heb “the recompense of the righteous.”
  3. Proverbs 10:16 tn Heb “harvest.” The term תְּבוּאַת (tevuʾat, “harvest; yield”) is used figuratively here (hypocatastasis), drawing an implied comparison between the agricultural yield of a farmer’s labors with the consequences of the actions of the wicked. They will “reap” (= judgment) what they “sow” (= sin).
  4. Proverbs 10:16 tn Heb “the harvest of the wicked.”
  5. Proverbs 10:16 tn Heb “sin.” The term חַטָּאת (khattaʾt, “sin”) functions as a metonymy of cause (= sin) for effect (= punishment). In contrast to the righteous who receive a reward, the wicked receive punishment for their sin (cf. NASB, NIV, NCV). See D. W. Thomas, “The Meaning of חַטָּאת in Proverbs X.16, ” JTS 15 (1964): 295-96.
  6. Proverbs 10:17 tn Heb “discipline.” The noun מוּסָר (musar) has a basic two-fold range of meanings: (1) “discipline” (so NIV; NAB “admonition”; NCV, NLT “correction”) and (2) “instruction” (BDB 416 s.v.; so KJV, NASB, NRSV). The wise person listens to instruction (first colon); however, the fool will not even take discipline to heart (second colon).
  7. Proverbs 10:17 tn The term is a genitive of location indicating the goal (IBHS 147-48 §9.5.2f).
  8. Proverbs 10:17 sn The contrast with the one who holds fast to discipline is the one who forsakes or abandons reproof or correction. Whereas the first is an example, this latter individual causes people to wander from the true course of life, that is, causes them to err.
  9. Proverbs 10:18 tn Heb “lips of falsehood.” The genitive noun שָׁקֶר (shaqer, “falsehood”) functions as an attributive genitive. The noun “lips” is a metonymy of cause for speech produced by lips. The one who shows friendliness while concealing hatred is a liar (e.g., Ps 28:3).
  10. Proverbs 10:18 tn Heb “causes to go out.” The Hiphil of יָצָא (yatsaʾ) literally means “to cause to go out” (BDB 424 s.v. Hiph.1). This may refer to speech (“to utter”) in the sense of causing words to go out of one’s mouth, or it may refer to slander (“to spread”) in the sense of causing slander to go out to others.
  11. Proverbs 10:18 tn The word דִבָּה (dibbah) means “whispering; defamation; evil report” (BDB 179 s.v.). Cf. NAB “accusations”; TEV “gossip.”sn The one who spreads slander is a fool because it not only destroys others but comes back on the guilty. See also the sayings of Amenemope and Ahiqar on these subjects (ANET 423, 429).
  12. Proverbs 10:18 tn Heb “he is a fool.” The independent personal pronoun הוּא (huʾ, “he”) is used for emphasis. This is reflected in the translation as “certainly.”
New English Translation (NET)

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