[b-hebrew] proverbs 11:30

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Mon Apr 28 19:20:19 EDT 2003

Dear Jim, you wrote:

> Listers,
> Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that
> wise winneth souls. (so says the ASV).
> How can a fruit become a tree?  Even more interesting is the second part
> which literally says "the wise person takes souls"!    Cf. Ps 31:14.  How
> it wise to "take" souls?  The similar line in the aforementioned psalm is
> used in the sense of "destroy"- so does this mean the wise destroy souls?
> But surely not!

Fruit, in that it contains seed, is indeed a tree if we think of its
potential.    So goes the cycle of life.

I think the second verset, "a wise one gets souls," refers by analogy to the
same kind of reproduction as the first verset.  Let me explain with a
passage from Gen.

Hebrew LQX is used with nephesh as object when Abram acquires people in
Haran for his household (Gen 12:5).  These people voluntarily become part of
Abram's household due to his good nature.  His good nature "wins" them, and
it becomes a win-win.  Abram benefits by a considerable increase in his own
power. The people benefit by becoming attached to a good man who is
well-able to defend them.   In addition, the people who join Abram would
themselves mulitply in time through both child-rearing and recruiting.

To express the concept in terms of the proverb, Abram is the righteous one.
The people who attach themsleves to him are Abram's good fruit, the result
of his wisdom.  At the same time, his entourage is a tree of life because
they will multiply while they make Abram greater.


B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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