Proverbs 26:11-17

PROVERBS 26:11-17

A (11) As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

B (12) Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

C (13) The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

D (1) As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

C1 (15) The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

B1 (16) The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

A1 (17) He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

4 thoughts on “Proverbs 26:11-17”

    1. In Proverbs 26:10 there is no mention of arrows or archers, nor does there seem to be in the surrounding verses. I may be missing something here – can you clarify please?

      1. Thanks Nigel – Proverbs 26:10 is infamously difficult to translate, which is why the KJV and other older translations all have unique and widely varying translations of it. Most modern translations (HCSB, ESV, NASB, NET, NLT, NIV) render it as likening a poorly hiring employer to an archer ‘wounding at random’, which appears to match this chiasm rather well.

        1. Thanks Steve. Following up your point, which I was unaware of, according to the concordance, the word “great” in verse 10, rab in Hebrew, is the word that can be rendered “archer”. In Psalm 18:14 the word from where this is derived, “rabab”, is translated “he shot out” and the first half of the verse contains the word for “arrows” as found in Proverbs 26:18. So this verse potentially provides a basis for comparing “great” (rab) in Proverbs 26:10 with “arrows” in verse 18. It’s tempting to say that this is part of the chiasm and that it confirms the archer translation in verse 10. However, even if “rab” in verse 10 has the meaning of “archer” it is still not the same meaning as “arrow” nor is their any similarity between the form of the two words, the word for arrows being chets.

          Also, looking at the proposed chiasm again, the word for “sluggard” in verse 16 is the same as “slothful” in the other verses, so as it stands, this word needs to be included in C’. But also, I’ve checked the word order and the word for “wiser” comes first in the Hebrew in this verse, which further complicates the proposed chiasm (a solution is not to include this word and just use “conceit”). There is definitely a chiasm with the central part containing all the occurrences of the word for “sluggard”/”slothful”. Whether it can be further divided up with verse 14 as a central statement, I’m now not so sure.

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