English Standard Version
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
King James Bible
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
American Standard Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, Seeing he hath no understanding?
What doth it avail a fool to have riches, seeing he cannot buy wisdom? He that maketh his house high, seeketh a downfall: and he that refuseth to learn, shall fall into evils.
English Revised Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, seeing he hath no understanding?
Webster's Bible Translation
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
Proverbs 17:16 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
10 One reproof maketh more impression on a wise man
Than if one reckoned a hundred to the fool
One of the few proverbs which begin with a future, vid., Proverbs 12:26. It expresses what influence there is in one reproof with a wise man (מבין, Proverbs 8:9); גּערה is the reproof expressed by the post-bibl. נזיפה .lbib, as the lowest grade of disciplinary punishment, admonitio, connected with warning. The verbal form תהת is the reading of the lxx and Syr. (συντρίβει ἀπειλὴ καρδίαν φρονίμου) for they read תחת גערה לב מבין, derived from חתת, and thus תּחת (from Hiph. החת); thus Luther: reproof alarms more the intelligent, but חחת with ב of the obj. is not Hebr.; on the contrary, the reading of the lxx is in accordance with the usage of the language, and, besides, is suitable. It is, however, first to be seen whether the traditional text stands in need of this correction. As fut. Niph. תּחת, apart from the ult. accent. to be expected, gives no meaning. Also if one derives it from חתה, to snatch away, to take away, it gives no appropriate thought; besides, חתה is construed with the object. accus., and the fut. Apoc., in itself strange here, must be pointed either תּהת or תּחתּ (after יחדּ) (Bttcher, Lehrb. ii. p. 413). Thus יחת, as at Job 21:13; Jeremiah 21:13, will be fut. Kal of נחת equals ינחת, Psalm 38:3 (Theodotion, Targ., Kimchi). With this derivation, also, תּחת is to be expected; the reference in the Handwrterbuch to Gesen. Lehrgebude, 51, 1, Anm. 1, where, in an extremely inadequate way, the retrogression of the tone (נסוג אחור) is spoken of, is altogether inappropriate to this place; and Bttcher's explanation of the ult. tone from an intended expressiveness is ungrammatical; but why should not תּחת, from נחת, with its first syllable originating from contraction, and thus having the tone be Milel as well as Milra, especially here, where it stands at the head of the sentence? With ב connected with it, נחת means: to descend into anything, to penetrate; Hitzig appropriately compares altius in pectus descendit of Sallust, Jug. 11. Jerome rightly, according to the sense: plus proficit, and the Venet. ἀνεῖ (read ὀνεῖ) ἀπειλὴ τῷ συνίοντι. In 10b מכּה (cf. Deuteronomy 25:3; 2 Corinthians 11:24) is to be supplied to מאה, not פאמים (an hundred times, which may be denoted correctly by מאה as well as מאת, Ecclesiastes 8:12). With the wise (says a Talmudic proverb) a sign does as much as with the fool a stick does. Zehner, in his Adagia sacra (1601), cites Curtius (vii. 4): Nobilis equus umbra quoque virgae regitur, ignavus ne calcari quidem concitari potest.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.