New American Bible (Revised Edition)
27 Complete your outdoor tasks,
and arrange your work in the field;
afterward you can build your house.[a]
28 Do not testify falsely against your neighbor(A)
and so deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “As they did to me, so will I do to them;(B)
I will repay them according to their deeds.”[b]
- 24:27 House: can refer to both the building and the family (cf. 2 Sm 7). In the context established by the placement noted above under 24:23, the saying means that neglect of one’s field is a sign that one is not building the house properly. In an agricultural society especially, the concept of household includes fields for animals and crops. On the metaphorical level, one must lay a careful preparation before embarking on a great project. This verse is sometimes interpreted as advocating careful and practical preparation for marriage.
- 24:29 Retribution is a long and complex process that belongs to the Lord, not to individuals. Cf. vv. 12d, 17–18.