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22 The wicked[a] will be captured by his[b] own iniquities,[c]
and he will be held[d] by the cords of his own sin.[e]
23 He will die because[f] there was no discipline;
because of the greatness of his folly[g] he will reel.[h]

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  1. Proverbs 5:22 tn The suffix on the verb is the direct object suffix; “the wicked” is a second object by apposition: They capture him, the wicked. Since “the wicked” is not found in the LXX, it could be an old scribal error; or the Greek translator may have simply smoothed out the sentence. C. H. Toy suggests turning the sentence into a passive idea: “The wicked will be caught in his iniquities” (Proverbs [ICC], 117).
  2. Proverbs 5:22 tn The word is the subject of the clause, but the pronominal suffix has no clear referent. The suffix is proleptic, referring to the wicked.
  3. Proverbs 5:22 tn Heb “his own iniquities will capture the wicked.” The translation shifts the syntax for the sake of smoothness and readability.
  4. Proverbs 5:22 sn The lack of discipline and control in the area of sexual gratification is destructive. The one who plays with this kind of sin will become ensnared by it and led to ruin.
  5. Proverbs 5:22 tn The Hebrew is structured chiastically: “his own iniquities will capture the wicked, by the cords of his own sin will he be held.”
  6. Proverbs 5:23 tn The preposition ב (bet) is used in a causal sense: “because” (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV).
  7. Proverbs 5:23 sn The word אִוַּלְתּוֹ (ʾivvalto, “his folly”) is from the root אול and is related to the noun אֶוִיל (ʾevil, “foolish; fool”). The noun אִוֶּלֶת (ʾivvelet, “folly”) describes foolish and destructive activity. It lacks understanding, destroys what wisdom builds, and leads to destruction if it is not corrected.
  8. Proverbs 5:23 sn The verb שָׁגָה (shagah, “to swerve; to reel”) is repeated in a negative sense. If the young man is not captivated by his wife but is captivated with a stranger in sinful acts, then his own iniquities will captivate him and he will be led to ruin.