[b-hebrew] Proverbs 6:26

Polycarp66 at aol.com Polycarp66 at aol.com
Tue Jan 20 16:42:49 EST 2004

In a message dated 1/20/2004 3:22:11 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
bsr15 at cantsl.canterbury.ac.nz writes:

> For by means of a harlot *a man is reduced* to a crust of bread.
> Where the words between the "*" is the italics portion (NASB). The
> NIV doesn't put in any italics. I looked at the Hebrew and it is
> sufficiently cryptic and ambiguous that I couldn't discount this
> rendering. However, it appears to me the context doesn't support this
> meaning. The passage is about how bad loose women are for you,
> primarily about wives of other men. This one mentions the prostitute
> and seems to me to be a comparision between the prostitute
> and the adulterous wife. Prostitutes are cheap, adulterous wives
> endanger your very life should you accept their invitations.
> It is not very clear to me why hiring a prostitute should
> reduce the customer to a crust (or loaf) of bread.
> Any comments?


CiY B:(aD_)i$.fH ZoWNfH (aD_K.iK.aR LeXeM W:)"$eT )i$ NePe$ Y:QfRfH TfCW.D

Since I asked for it, I suppose I MUST make a comment.  

Yes, the passage is cryptic to some degree.  The words themselves are clear 
enough, but what is to be understood is somewhat puzzling.   The note in the 
NRSV indicates what the RSV and NSRV have done here.  It notes that this is the 
reading of the Greek (LXX), Syriac, Vulgate, and Targum.  Apparently they 
think the text is cryptic enough to warrant thinking that it is somehow corrupt.  

The Hebrew reads (very literally)

"For on account of a prostitute to a loaf of bread
But a married woman hunts a man's precious life."

The Greek reads


"The value of a prostitute is as much even as a loaf of bread,
A married woman catches men's precious lives."

The nominal sentence in the first line is apparently what leads the NASB to 
supply "is reduced to" since it would seem to set up the equation

man's life = loaf of bread

with "man's life being supplied from the second line (a not uncommon 


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