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28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.[a]
29 Do not plot[b] evil against your neighbor
when[c] he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
30 Do not accuse[d] anyone[e] without legitimate cause,[f]
if he has not treated you wrongly.

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  1. Proverbs 3:28 tn Heb “But there it is with you.” The circumstantial clause introduces a condition which true at the same time as as an earlier clause. The words “at the time” were for clarity.
  2. Proverbs 3:29 sn The verb חָרַשׁ (kharash) means “to cut in; to engrave; to plough; to devise.” The idea of plotting is metaphorical for working, practicing or fabricating (BDB 360 s.v.).
  3. Proverbs 3:29 tn Heb “And he dwells trustingly (or securely) with you.” The vav (ו) prefixed to the pronoun introduces a circumstantial clause which further defines the neighbor.
  4. Proverbs 3:30 sn The term רִיב (riv) can mean “quarrel” or “legal accusation” (BDB 936 s.v.). Both ideas would work but the more technical legal accusation fits the context better. This is a warning to not bring legal accusations against anyone without a legitimate reason.
  5. Proverbs 3:30 tn Heb “a man.”
  6. Proverbs 3:30 tn Heb “gratuitously”; NIV, TEV “for no (+ good NCV) reason.” The adverb חִנָּם (khinam) means “without cause, undeservedly,” especially of groundless hostility (HALOT 334 s.v. 3; BDB 336 s.v. c).