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Proverbs 1:23-25 New English Translation (NET Bible)

23 You should respond to[a] my rebuke.[b]
Then[c] I would pour out[d] my thoughts[e] to you;
I would make[f] my words known to you.
24 However,[g] because[h] I called but you refused to listen,[i]
because[j] I stretched out my hand[k] but no one was paying attention,[l]
25 and you neglected[m] all my advice,
and did not comply[n] with my rebuke,


  1. Proverbs 1:23 tn The form of the verb יָשׁוּבוּ (yashuvu) is an imperfect from שׁוּב (shuv, “to return”). The translation depends on how it works with the preposition ל (lamed). Most frequently lamed means “to, toward.” But it can also mean “from” (HALOT 508 s.v. 5). If it means “to,” it says “you return to my rebuke” which is contrary to the context. Some translations (ESV, NIV) add “if” to make sense of the context. Others (NASB, NRSV, KJV) translate as an imperative, e.g. “turn to,” though they probably understood it as a jussive in meaning. If the preposition means “from” here, then it probably continues the series of questions in v. 22, “How long will you turn away from my rebuke?” Compare also Roland Murphy, Proverbs (WBC), 8, 10. While the precise formulation is in question, the rhetorical force is not. The translation is faithful to the rhetorical force of the clause.
  2. Proverbs 1:23 sn The noun תּוֹכַחַת (tokhakhat, “rebuke”) is used in all kinds of disputes including rebuking, arguing, reasoning, admonishing, and chiding. The term is broad enough to include here warning and rebuke. Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “reproof”; TEV “when I reprimand you”; CEV “correct you.”
  3. Proverbs 1:23 tn Heb “Behold!”
  4. Proverbs 1:23 tn The Hiphil cohortative of נָבַע (navaʿ, “to pour out”) describes the speaker’s resolution to pour out wisdom on those who respond.
  5. Proverbs 1:23 tn Heb “my spirit.” The term “spirit” (רוּחַ, ruakh) functions as a metonymy (= spirit) of association (= thoughts), as indicated by the parallelism with “my words” (דְּבָרַי, devaray). The noun רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) can have a cognitive nuance, e.g., “spirit of wisdom” (Exod 28:3; Deut 34:9). It is used metonymically for “words” (Job 20:3) and “mind” (Isa 40:13; Ezek 11:5; 20:32; 1 Chr 28:12; see BDB 925 s.v. רוּחַ 6). The “spirit of wisdom” produces skill and capacity necessary for success (Isa 11:2; John 7:37-39).
  6. Proverbs 1:23 tn Here too the form is the cohortative, stressing the resolution of wisdom to reveal herself to the one who responds.
  7. Proverbs 1:24 tn The term “however” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the contrast between the offer in 1:23 and the accusation in 1:24-25. It is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
  8. Proverbs 1:24 tn The particle יַעַן (yaʿan, “because”) introduces a causal clause which forms part of an extended protasis; the apodosis is 1:26.
  9. Proverbs 1:24 tn The phrase “to listen” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
  10. Proverbs 1:24 tn The term “because” does not appear in this line but is implied by the parallelism; it is supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness.
  11. Proverbs 1:24 sn This expression is a metonymy of adjunct; it is a gesture that goes with the appeal for some to approach.
  12. Proverbs 1:24 tn The participle expresses the circumstances while she stretched out her hand.
  13. Proverbs 1:25 tn The verb III פָּרַע (paraʿ) means “to let go; to let alone” (BDB 828 s.v.). It can refer to unkempt hair of the head (Lev 10:6) or lack of moral restraint: “to let things run free” (Exod 32:25; Prov 28:19). Here it means “to avoid, neglect” the offer of wisdom (BDB 829 s.v. 2). As a preterite, or vayyiqtol, this verb continues the response of the naive and the fools from the previous verse. The structure of 1:24-25 is: “Because I did X, but you did Y, and [because] I did A, but you did B and C, and D.” Verse 25 has the “and C and D” portions.
  14. Proverbs 1:25 tn The verbs in this series are a participle, a preterite/vayyiqtol, and finally a perfect. “Neglected” is a preterite (matching the preterite “refused” in 1:24) giving the contrasting response to what Lady Wisdom did. “Did not comply” is a Hebrew perfect in order to expand on what “neglected” means, rather than give an additional response as another preterite would imply. For the word “comply, consent,” see 1:20.
New English Translation (NET)

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