7 The lips of the wise spread[a] knowledge, but not so the heart of fools.[b]
Proverbs 15:7tc The verb of the first colon, יְזָרוּ (yezaru, “they scatter”) is difficult because it does not fit the second very well—a heart does not “scatter” or “spread” knowledge. Symmachus’ Greek translation uses φυλάσσω (phulassō, “to guard, keep”) suggesting his text read יִצְּרוּ (yitseru) from נָצַר (natsar, “to guard, keep watch, comply with”). The LXX uses a form of δέω (deō, “to bind”). Although binding (often being bound as a prisoner) might be related to guarding, δέω does not otherwise represent נָצַר in the LXX. Still the editors of BHS and C. H. Toy (Proverbs [ICC], 305) suggest reading יִצְּרוּ (yitseru, “they guard”).
Proverbs 15:7tn The Hebrew לֹא־כֵן (loʾ khen) could be “not so” (HALOT 482 s.v. II כֵּן) or “not right, incorrect, wrong” (HALOT 482 s.v. I כֵּן), which is supported by the LXX: “hearts of fools are unstable.” If לֵב (lev, “heart, mind”) is understood to represent thinking, then, accepting the emendation in the first line, the proverb may say, “The lips of the wise preserve knowledge, but the thoughts of fools are incorrect.”sn The phrase “the heart of fools” emphasizes that fools do not comprehend knowledge. Cf. NCV “there is no knowledge in the thoughts of fools.”
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