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Proverbs 21:17 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 The one who loves[a] pleasure[b] will be[c] a poor person;[d]
whoever loves wine and anointing oil[e] will not be rich.


  1. Proverbs 21:17 sn The participle “loves” (אֹהֵב, ʾohev) indicates in this context that more is involved than the enjoyment of pleasure, for which there is no problem. The proverb is looking at “love” in the sense of needing and choosing, an excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in pleasure.
  2. Proverbs 21:17 sn “Pleasure” is actually the Hebrew word “joy” (שִׂמְחָה, simkhah). It is a metonymy of effect, the cause being the good life that brings the joy. In the second colon, “wine” and “oil” would be metonymies of cause, the particular things in life that bring joy. Therefore the figures in the lines work together to give the complete picture.
  3. Proverbs 21:17 tn The phrase “will be” is supplied in the translation.
  4. Proverbs 21:17 tn Heb “a man of poverty”; NRSV “will suffer want.”
  5. Proverbs 21:17 sn In elaborate feasts and celebrations the wine was for drinking but the oil was for anointing (cf. NAB, NCV “perfume”). Both of these characterize the luxurious life (e.g., Pss 23:5; 104:15; Amos 6:6).
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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