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Proverbs 15:7-9 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The lips of the wise spread[a] knowledge,
but not so the heart of fools.[b]
The Lord abhors[c] the sacrifice of the wicked,[d]
but the prayer[e] of the upright pleases him.[f]
The Lord abhors[g] the way of the wicked,
but he will love[h] those[i] who pursue[j] righteousness.


  1. Proverbs 15:7 tc The verb of the first colon, יְזָרוּ (yezaru, “they scatter”) is difficult because it does not fit the second very well—a heart does not “scatter” or “spread” knowledge. Symmachus’ Greek translation uses φυλάσσω (phulassō, “to guard, keep”) suggesting his text read יִצְּרוּ (yitseru) from נָצַר (natsar, “to guard, keep watch, comply with”). The LXX uses a form of δέω (deō, “to bind”). Although binding (often being bound as a prisoner) might be related to guarding, δέω does not otherwise represent נָצַר in the LXX. Still the editors of BHS and C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 305) suggest reading יִצְּרוּ (yitseru, “they guard”).
  2. Proverbs 15:7 tn The Hebrew לֹא־כֵן (loʾ khen) could be “not so” (HALOT 482 s.v. II כֵּן) or “not right, incorrect, wrong” (HALOT 482 s.v. I כֵּן), which is supported by the LXX: “hearts of fools are unstable.” If לֵב (lev, “heart, mind”) is understood to represent thinking, then, accepting the emendation in the first line, the proverb may say, “The lips of the wise preserve knowledge, but the thoughts of fools are incorrect.”sn The phrase “the heart of fools” emphasizes that fools do not comprehend knowledge. Cf. NCV “there is no knowledge in the thoughts of fools.”
  3. Proverbs 15:8 tn Heb “an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) functions as a subjective genitive: “the Lord abhors.” Cf. NIV “the Lord detests”; NCV, NLT “the Lord hates”; CEV “the Lord is disgusted.”
  4. Proverbs 15:8 sn The sacrifices of the wicked are hated by the Lord because the worshipers are insincere and blasphemous (e.g., Prov 15:29; 21:3; 28:9; Ps 40:6-8; Isa 1:10-17). In other words, the spiritual condition of the worshiper determines whether or not the worship is acceptable to God.
  5. Proverbs 15:8 sn J. H. Greenstone notes that if God will accept the prayers of the upright, he will accept their sacrifices; for sacrifice is an outer ritual and easily performed even by the wicked, but prayer is a private and inward act and not usually fabricated by unbelievers (Proverbs, 162).
  6. Proverbs 15:8 tn Heb “[is] his pleasure.” The third person masculine singular suffix functions as a subjective genitive: “he is pleased.” God is pleased with the prayers of the upright.
  7. Proverbs 15:9 tn Heb “an abomination of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) functions as a subjective genitive: “the Lord abhors.”
  8. Proverbs 15:9 tn The verb אָהֵב (ʾahev, “to love”) is stative, so its imperfect form should be future; it still speaks of a general truth.
  9. Proverbs 15:9 tn Heb “the one who” (so NRSV).
  10. Proverbs 15:9 sn God hates the way of the wicked, that is, their lifestyle and things they do. God loves those who pursue righteousness, the Piel verb signifying a persistent pursuit. W. G. Plaut says, “He who loves God will be moved to an active, persistent, and even dangerous search for justice” (Proverbs, 170).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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