9 Fools mock[a] at reparation,[b] but among the upright there is favor.[c]
Proverbs 14:9tn The noun “fools” is plural but the verb “mock” is singular. This has led some to reverse the line to say “guilty/guilt offering mocks fools” (C. H. Toy, Proverbs [ICC], 287); see, e.g., Isa 1:14; Amos 5:22. But lack of agreement between subject and verb is not an insurmountable difficulty.
Proverbs 14:9tc The LXX reads “houses of transgressors will owe purification.” Tg. Prov 14:9 has “guilt has its home among fools,” apparently reading יָלִין (yalin, “to spend the night, dwell”) instead of יָלִיץ (yalits, “to scoff at”).tnHeb “guilt.” The word אָשָׁם (ʾasham) has a broad range of meanings: “guilt, restitution, guilt-offering.” According to Leviticus, when someone realized he was guilty he would bring a “reparation offering,” a sin offering with an additional tribute for restitution (Lev 5:1-6). It would be left up to the guilty to come forward; it was for the kind of thing that only he would know, for which his conscience would bother him. Fools mock any need or attempt to make things right, to make restitution (cf. NIV, NRSV, NCV, TEV).
Proverbs 14:9tn The word רָצוֹן (ratson) means “favor; acceptance; pleasing.” It usually means what is pleasing or acceptable to God. In this passage it either means that the upright try to make amends, or that the upright find favor for doing so.
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