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Proverbs 13:3-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The one who guards his words[a] guards his life;
whoever is talkative[b] will come to ruin.[c]
The appetite[d] of the sluggard[e] craves[f] but gets nothing,
but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied.[g]
The righteous person will reject[h] anything false,[i]
but the wicked person will act in shameful disgrace.[j]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “mouth” (so KJV, NAB). The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.
  2. Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “opens wide his lips.” This is an idiom meaning “to be talkative” (BDB 832 s.v. פָּשַׂק Qal). Cf. NIV “speaks rashly”; TEV “a careless talker”; CEV “talk too much.”
  3. Proverbs 13:3 tn Heb “ruin belongs to him.”sn Tight control over what one says prevents trouble (e.g., Prov 10:10; 17:28; Jas 3:1-12; Sir 28:25). Amenemope advises to “sleep a night before speaking” (5:15; ANET 422, n. 10). The old Arab proverb is appropriate: “Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat” (O. Zockler, Proverbs, 134).
  4. Proverbs 13:4 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally “soul”) has a broad range of meanings, and here denotes “appetite” (e.g., Ps 17:9; Prov 23:3; Eccl 2:24; Isa 5:14; Hab 2:5; BDB 660 s.v. 5.c) or “desire” (e.g., Deut 12:20; Prov 19:8; 21:10; BDB 660 s.v. 6.a).
  5. Proverbs 13:4 sn The contrast is between the “soul (= appetite) of the sluggard” (נַפְשׁוֹ עָצֵל, nafsho ʿatsel) and the “soul (= desire) of the diligent” (נֶפֶשׁ חָרֻצִים, nefesh kharutsim)—what they each long for.
  6. Proverbs 13:4 tn The Hitpael verb means “to lust after; to crave.” A related verb is used in the Decalogue’s prohibition against coveting (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21).
  7. Proverbs 13:4 tn Heb “will be made fat” (cf. KJV, NASB); NRSV “is richly supplied.”
  8. Proverbs 13:5 tn Heb “will hate.” The verb שָׂנֵא (saneʾ, “to hate”) can express a range of feelings of dislike or the implications of such. It can, then, have the connotation “to reject, spurn” (see NIDOTTE 1254 s.v.).
  9. Proverbs 13:5 tn Heb “a word of falsehood.” The genitive “falsehood” functions as an attributive genitive. The construct noun דְּבַר (devar) means either “word” or “thing.” Hence, the phrase means “a false word” or “a false thing.”
  10. Proverbs 13:5 tc The versions render this phrase variously: “is ashamed and without confidence” (LXX); “is ashamed and put to the blush” (Tg. Prov 13:5); “confounds and will be confounded” (Vulgate). The variety is due in part to confusion of בָּאַשׁ (baʾash, “to stink”) and בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “to be ashamed”). Cf. NASB “acts disgustingly and shamefully.”tn Heb “acts shamefully and disgracefully.” The verb בָּאַשׁ (baʾash) literally means “to cause a stink; to emit a stinking odor” (e.g., Exod 5:21; Eccl 10:1) and figuratively means “to act shamefully” (BDB 92 s.v.). The verb וְיַחְפִּיר (veyakhpir) means “to display shame.” Together, they can be treated as a verbal hendiadys: “to act in disgraceful shame,” or more colorfully “to make a shameful smell,” or as W. McKane has it, “spread the smell of scandal” (Proverbs [OTL], 460). W. G. Plaut says, “Unhappily, the bad odor adheres not only to the liar but also to the one about whom he lies—especially when the lie is a big one” (Proverbs, 152).
New English Translation (NET)

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