My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 20. - The teacher here resumes his admonitions after thus citing the example of his father's teaching, and showing how it resembled the tenor of his own precepts, which, upon such a consideration, were most worthy of attention.
13 Hold fast to instruction, let her not go;
Keep her, for she is thy life.
14 Into the path of the wicked enter not,
And walk not in the way of the evil
15 Avoid it, enter not into it;
Turn from it and pass away.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil,
And they are deprived of sleep unless they bring others to ruin.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And they drink the wine of violence.
Elsewhere מוּסר means also self-discipline, or moral religious education, Proverbs 1:3; here discipline, i.e., parental educative counsel. תּרף is the segolated fut. apoc. Hiph. (indic. תּרפּה) from tarp, cf. the imper. Hiph. הרף from harp. נצּרה is the imper. Kal (not Piel, as Aben Ezra thinks) with Dagesh dirimens; cf. the verbal substantive נצּרה Psalm 141:3, with similar Dagesh, after the form יקּהה, Genesis 49:10. מוּסר (elsewhere always masc.) is here used in the fem. as the synonym of the name of wisdom: keep her (instruction), for she is thy life,
(Note: Punctuate כּי היא; the Zinnorith represents the place of the Makkeph, vid., Torath Emeth, p. 9.)
i.e., the life of thy life. In Proverbs 4:14 the godless (vid., on the root-idea of רשׁע under Psalm 1:1) and the habitually wicked, i.e., the vicious, stand in parallelism; בּוא and אשּׁר are related as entering and going on, ingressus and progressus. The verb אשׁר signifies, like ישׁר, to be straight, even, fortunate, whence אשׁר equals Arab. yusâr, happiness, and to step straight out, Proverbs 9:6, of which meanings אשּׁר is partly the intensive, as here, partly the causative, Proverbs 23:19 (elsewhere causative of the meaning, to be happy, Genesis 30:13). The meaning progredi is not mediated by a supplementary צעדיו; the derivative אשׁוּר (אשּׁוּר), a step, shows that it is derived immediately from the root-idea of a movement in a straight line. Still less justifiable is the rendering by Schultens, ne vestigia imprimas in via malorum; for the Arab. âththr is denom. of ithr, אתר, the primitive verb roots of which, athr, אתר equals אשׁר, are lost.
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