English Standard Version
Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
King James Bible
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
American Standard Version
Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbor's house, Lest he be weary of thee, and hate thee.
Withdraw thy foot from the house of thy neighbour, lest having his fill he hate thee.
English Revised Version
Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and hate thee.
Webster's Bible Translation
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
Proverbs 25:17 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The first emblematical distich of this collection now follows:
11 Golden apples in silver salvers.
A word spoken according to its circumstances.
The Syr. and Jerome vocalize דּבר דּבר, and the Targ. דּבר דּבר; both are admissible, but the figure and that which is represented are not placed in so appropriate a relation as by דּבר דּבר; the wonderfully penetrating expression of the text, which is rendered by the traditional nikkud, agrees here with the often occurring דּבר ( equals מדבּר), also its passive דּבוּר. The defective writing is like, e.g., בּטח, Psalm 112:7, and gives no authority to prefer דּבּר equals מדבּר (Bttcher). That דּברי, corresponding to the plur. תּפּוּחי, is not used, arises from this, that דבר is here manifestly not a word without connection, but a sentence of motive, contents, and aim united. For על־אפניו, the meaning of בּעתּו presents itself from Proverbs 15:23, according to which, among the old interpreters, Symmachus, Jerome, and Luther render "at its time." Abulwald compared the Arab. âiffan (âibban, also 'iffan, whence 'aly 'iffanihi, justo tempore), which, as Orelli has shown in his Synon. der Zeitbegriffe, p. 21f., comes from the roots af ab, to drive (from within) going out, time as consisting of individual moments, the one of which drives on the other, and thus denotes time as a course of succession. One may not hesitate as to the prep. על, for אפנים would, like עתּות, denote the circumstances, the relations of the time, and על would, as e.g., in על־פּי and על־דּברתי, have the meaning of κατά. But the form אפניו, which like חפניו, Leviticus 16:12, sounds dualistic, appears to oppose this. Hitzig supposes that אפנים may designate the time as a circle, with reference to the two arches projecting in opposite directions, but uniting themselves together; but the circle which time describes runs out from one point, and, moreover, the Arab. names for time âfaf, âifaf, and the like, which interchange with âiffan, show that this does not proceed from the idea of circular motion. Ewald and others take for אפניו the meaning of wheels (the Venet., after Kimchi, ἐπὶ τῶν τροχῶν αὐτῆς), whereby the form is to be interpreted as dual of אפן equals אופן, "a word driven on its wheels," - so Ewald explains: as the potter quickly and neatly forms a vessel on his wheels, thus a fit and quickly framed word. But דבר signifies to drive cattle and to speak equals to cause words to follow one another (cf. Arab. syâḳ, pressing on equals flow of words), but not to drive equals to fashion in that artisan sense. Otherwise Bttcher, "a word fitly spoken, a pair of wheels perfect in their motion," to which he compares the common people "in their jesting," and adduces all kinds of heterogeneous things partly already rejected by Orelli (e.g., the Homeric ἐπιτροχάδην, which is certainly no commendation). But "jesting" is not appropriate here; for what man conceives of human speech as a carriage, one only sometimes compares that of a babbler to a sledge, or says of him that he shoves the cart into the mud.
(Note: It is something different when the weaver's beam, minwâl in Arab., is metaph. for kind and manner: they are 'aly minwâl wâḥad, is equivalent to they are of a like calibre, Arab. kalib, which is derived from καλόπους (καλοπόδιον), a shoemaker's last.)
Is it then thus decided that אפניו is a dual? It may be also like אשׂריו, the plur. especially in the adverbial expression before us, which readily carried the abbreviation with it (vid., Gesen. Lehrgebr. 134, Anm. 17). On this supposition, Orelli interprets אפן from אפן, to turn, in the sense of turning about, circumstances, and reminds of this, that in the post-bibl. Heb. this word is used as indefinitely as τρόπος, e.g., באופן מה, quodammodo (vid., Reland's Analecta Rabbinica, 1723, p. 126). This late Talm. usage of the word can, indeed, signify nothing as to the bibl. word; but that אפנים, abbreviated אפנים, can mean circumstances, is warranted by the synon. אודות. Aquila and Theodotion appear to have thus understood it, for their ἐπὶ ἁρμόζουσιν αὐτῷ, which they substitute for the colourless οὕτως of the lxx, signifies: under the circumstances, in accordance therewith. So Orelli thus rightly defines: "אפנים denote the âḥwâl, circumstances and conditions, as they form themselves in each turning of time, and those which are ascribed to דבר by the suffix are those to which it is proper, and to which it fits in. Consequently a word is commended which is spoken whenever the precise time arrives to which it is adapted, a word which is thus spoken at its time as well as at its place (van Dyk, fay mahllah), and the grace of which is thereby heightened." Aben Ezra's explanation, על פנים הראויים, in the approved way, follows the opinion of Abulwald and Parchon, that אפניו is equivalent to פניו (cf. aly wajhihi, sua ratione), which is only so far true, that both words are derived from R. פן, to turn. In the figure, it is questionable whether by תּפּוּחי זהב, apples of gold, or gold-coloured apples, are meant (Luther: as pomegranates and citrons); thus oranges are meant, as at Zechariah 4:12. הזּהב denotes golden oil. Since כסף, besides, signifies a metallic substance, one appears to be under the necessity of thinking of apples of gold; cf. the brazen pomegranates. But (1) apples of gold of natural size and massiveness are obviously too great to make it probable that such artistic productions are meant; (2) the material of the emblem is usually not of less value than that of which it is the emblem (Fleischer); (3) the Scriptures are fond of comparing words with flowers and fruits, Proverbs 10:31; Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 18:20, and to the essence of the word which is rooted in the spirit, and buds and grows up to maturity through the mouth and the lips, the comparison with natural fruits corresponds better in any case than with artificial. Thus, then, we interpret "golden apples" as the poetic name for oranges, aurea mala, the Indian name of which with reference to or (gold) was changed into the French name orange, as our pomeranze is equivalent to pomum aurantium. משׂכּיּות is the plur. of משׂכּית, already explained, Proverbs 18:11; the word is connected neither with שׂכך, to twist, wreathe (Ewald, with most Jewish interpreters)
(Note: On this proceeds also the beautiful interpretation by Maimuni in the preface to More Nebuchim: Maskiyyth sont des ciselures rticulaires, etc., according to Munk's translation from the Arab. text, vid., Kohut's Pers. Pentateuch-Uebers. (1871), p. 356. Accordingly Jewish interpreters (e.g., Elia Wilna) understand under אפניו the four kinds of writing: פשׁט, רמז, דרושׁ, and סוד, which are comprehended under the memorial word פרדס.)
nor with שׂכה, to pierce, infigere (Redslob, vid., under Psalm 73:7); it signifies medal or ornament, from שׂכה, to behold (cf. שׂכיּה, θέα equals θέαμα, Isaiah 2:6), here a vessel which is a delight to the eyes. In general the Venet. rightly, ἐν μορφώμασιν ἀργύρου; Symmachus and Theodotion, more in accordance with the fundamental idea, ἐν περιβλέπτοις ἀργύρου; the Syr. and Targ. specially: in vessels of embossed work (נגוּדי, from נגד, to draw, to extend); yet more specially the lxx, ἐν ὁρμίσκῳ σαρδίου, on a chain of cornelian stone, for which, perhaps, ἐν φορμίσκῳ (Jger) ἀργυρίου, in a little silver basket, is the original phrase. Aquila, after Bereschith rabba c. 93, translates by μῆλα χρύσου ἐν δίσκοις ἀργυφίου. Jerome: in lectis argenteis, appears to have fallen into the error of taking משב for משכב, lectus. Hitzig here emends a self-made ἅπαξ λεγ. Luther's "golden apples in silver baskets" is to be preferred.
(Note: A favourite expression of Goethe's, vid., Bchmann's Geflgelte Worte, 1688.)
A piece of sculpture which represents fruit by golden little disks or points within groups of leaves is not meant - for the proverb does not speak of such pretty little apples - but golden oranges are meant. A word in accordance with the circumstances which occasion it, is like golden oranges which are handed round in silver salvers or on silver waiters. Such a word is, as adopting another figure we might say, like a well-executed picture, and the situation into which it appropriately fits is like its elegant frame. The comparison with fruit is, however, more significant; it designates the right word as a delightful gift, in a way which heightens its impression and its influences.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's or let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour's
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
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