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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Dec 30 21:47:20 EST 2004

Dear Peter,

>>HH: PUC means be dispersed, be scattered.
>If it can only mean precisely that, then the traditional 
>interpretation is just as impossible as you consider Karl's to be. 
>Just as "Nobody disperses channels of water away from someone's 
>eyes", nobody disperses or scatters springs outwards. I suppose 
>springs may be dispersed in geographical location, but that cannot 
>work as any kind of modal as their geographical locations are fixed. 
>So we have to work with some kind of extension of the meaning. In 
>the context of water from springs, the metaphorical extenstion from 
>the spring water being dispersed i.e. not welling up in distinct 
>springs to the springs drying up seems to me a rather probable one.

HH: There is no problem with the verb meaning "be dispersed." It is a 
metonymy. The springs signify the water that comes from the springs. 
The NIV has it correctly:

Should your springs overflow in the streets,

The HCSB has:

Should your springs flow in the streets.

The more free NLT has:

Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone?

HH: The Amplified is interpretive and says:

16 Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets?

HH: The ESV has:

Should your springs be scattered abroad,
    streams of water in the streets?

HH: The NKJV has:

16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
        Streams of water in the streets?

HH: This is a significant change, since the KJV had this verse as a 
declarative, not an interrogative sentence. The NKJV made 
interpretive changes only where they felt it was absolutely necessary 
to do so.

HH: The NAB has:

How may your water sources be dispersed abroad, streams of water in 
the streets?

HH: The RSV and NRSV have:

16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?

HH: The New Century Version turned the rhetorical question into a 
simple negative, showing that they interpreted the original as a 

16 Don't pour your water in the streets; don't give your love to just 
any woman.

HH: The Contemporary English Version did the same thing:

And don't be like a stream from which just any woman may take a drink.

HH: And the Message implies the same rhetorical question turned into 
a positive statement:

16 It's true. Otherwise, you may one day come home and find your 
barrel empty and your well polluted.

HH: I am quite confident of the meaning.

					Harold Holmyard  

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