[b-hebrew] Proverbs 5:16 - a declaration or a question ?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Dec 29 10:34:58 EST 2004

Dear Christopher,

>On 12/26/04 3:41 PM, "Maurice A. O'Sullivan" <mauros at iol.ie> wrote:
>>    " The Hebrew text can be read as a question or as a statement of
>>  consequence, and HOTTP accepts both as ways to understand the first line.
>>  "  Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (2000). A handbook on Proverbs. UBS
>>  handbook series;
>>  As HOTTP = Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, an international team of
>>  scholars preparing BH Quinta, this view deserves consideration at the very
>>  least, don't you think?
>Well ... maybe, if we knew what the reasons were, but not simply by
>invocation of authority. Do you happen to know the rationale for treating
>the line as a question? With those arguments in hand we could bounce them
>off Bryan's grammatico-syntactical observations.

HH: The NIV takes it as a question, as does the HCSB. This goes back 
at least as far as the ASV. The problem is that taken as a 
declaration, Prov 5:16 would seem to contradict both 5:15 and 5:17, 
the verses before and after it. They suggest the value of privacy and 
guarding what is one's own, not letting it pour out in the public 

Prov. 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
Prov. 5:16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams 
of water in the public squares?
Prov. 5:17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.

				Harold Holmyard

>R. Christopher Heard
>Assistant Professor of Religion
>Armstrong Fellow in Religion
>Pepperdine University
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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