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Proverbs 24:27-29 New English Translation (NET Bible)

27 Establish your work outside and get your fields ready;
afterward build[a] your house.[b]
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,[c]
and do not deceive with your words.[d]
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will pay him back[e] according to what he has done.”[f]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 24:27 tn The perfect tense with vav following the imperatives takes on the force of an imperative here.
  2. Proverbs 24:27 sn If the term “house” is understood literally, the proverb would mean that one should be financially secure before building a house (cf. NLT). If “house” is figurative for household (metonymy of subject: children or family), the proverb would mean that one should have financial security and provision before starting a family. Some English versions suggest the latter meaning by using the word “home” for “house” (e.g., TEV, CEV).
  3. Proverbs 24:28 sn The legal setting of these sayings continues with this warning against being a false accuser. The “witness” in this line is one who has no basis for his testimony. “Without cause” is the adverb from חָנָן (khanan), which means “to be gracious.” The adverb means “without a cause; gratis; free.” It is also cognate to the word חֵן (khen), “grace” or “unmerited [or, undeserved] favor.” The connotation is that the opposite is due. So the adverb would mean that there was no cause, no justification for the witness, but that the evidence seemed to lie on the other side.
  4. Proverbs 24:28 tn Heb “lips.” The term “lips” is a metonymy of cause; it means “what is said.” Here it refers to what is said in court as a false witness.
  5. Proverbs 24:29 tn Heb “repay to the man.” The verb is שׁוּב (shuv), which in the Hiphil stem means “to restore; to repay; to return” (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT “I’ll get even”). The idea is that of repaying someone for what he did.
  6. Proverbs 24:29 sn Rather than give in to the spirit of vengeance, one should avoid retaliation (e.g., Prov 20:22; Matt 5:43-45; Rom 12:9). According to the Talmud, Hillel said, “Do not do to others what you would not have them do unto you” (b. Sanhedrin 31a).
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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