Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21 & 9:4b-6

Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21 & 9:4b-6
Easter Vigil A


8:1 Does not wisdomA callB
    and understandingC raiseD her voice?E

Notes on verse 8:1

A “wisdom” = chokmah. From chakam (to be wise or teach wisdom; this is wisdom in thought, word, or action). This is wisdom, wit, or skillfulness.
B “call” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
C “understanding” = tebunah. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is understanding, discernment, discretion, intelligence, skill, fruit, an argument.
D “raise” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
E “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.

OnF the heights,G beside the way,H
    at the crossroadsI she takes her stand;J

Notes on verse 8:2

F “on” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
G “heights” = marom. From rum (to be high, rise, exalted, become proud, display, offer, present, set apart, extol; to rise in a literal or figurative sense). This can be height, high place, or lofty. It can be either exalted or haughty/proud. It can refer to dignity or to heaven.
H “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
I “crossroads” = bayit + nathiyb. Literally, “house paths.” Bayit is probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple. Nathiyb has a root that may mean to tramp. This is a path beaten from regular use. So, it is pathway or traveler.
J “takes…stand” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.

besideK the gatesL in frontM of the town,N

Notes on verse 8:3a

K “beside” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
L “gates” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.
M “front” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
N “town” = qereth. 5x in OT– 1x in Job and 4x in Proverbs. From qarah (to happen, meet, bring about). This is a towny or city.

    at the entranceO of the portalsP she cries out:Q

Notes on verse 8:3b

O “entrance” = mabo. From bo (to come in, go in, enter). This is entrance, coming in – the process of entering or the place of entrance. It can also mean the setting of the sun i.e. the west.
P “portals” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.
Q “cries out” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.

“To you, O people,R I call,
    and my cryS is to all who live.T

Notes on verse 8:4

R “people” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
S “cry” = qol. Same as “voice” in v8:1. See note E above.
T “all who live” = ben + adam. Literally, “children of humankind.” Ben is related to “crossroads” in v8:2. From banah (see note I above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.

O simple ones,U learnV prudence;W

Notes on verse 8:5a

U “simple ones” = pthiy. 19x in OT. From pathah (to be simple, entice, deceive, persuade, allure, be silly); from pethi (simple, silly, foolish, easily deceived); from pathah (to be wide open, deceive, entice, persuade, to be simple, delude). This is open-minded, simple, silly, foolish, or seducible.
V “learn” = bin. Related to “understanding” in v8:1. See note C above.
W “prudence” = ormah. 5x in OT. From orem (craftiness, shrewdness); from arom (being shrewd or crafty, cunning; properly, being or making bare). This is prudence or wisdom. Alternately, it’s craftiness, guile, or trickery.

    acquireX intelligence,Y you who lackZ it.

Notes on verse 8:5b

X “acquire” = bin. Same as “learn” in v8:5. See note V above.
Y “intelligence” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
Z “who lack” = kesil. From kasal (being or becoming stupid or foolish; properly, being fat and so figuratively silly or foolish). This is someone who is stupid, silly, or foolish.

Hear,AA for I will speakBB noble things,CC
    and fromDD my lipsEE will come what is right,FF

Notes on verse 8:6

AA “hear” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
BB “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
CC “noble things” = nagid. From nagad (this is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain). This is a commander or leader as the one who stands at the front, whether in a military, religious, or civic setting. It can also mean honorable or noble in an abstract sense.
DD {untranslated} = miphtach. Related to “portals” in v8:3. 2x in OT. From pathach (see note P above). This is opening or utterance.
EE “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge, border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
FF “what is right” = meshar. 19x in OT. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, agreeable). This is evenness, straightness, prosperity, or uprightness.

for my mouthGG will utterHH truth;II
    wickednessJJ is an abominationKK to my lips.

Notes on verse 8:7

GG “mouth” = chek. 18x in OT. Perhaps from chanak (to narrow; to dedicate, initiate, train, or discipline). This is gums, mouth, roof of the mouth, palate, speech, gums, taste.
HH “utter” = hagah. This is to speak, declare, make a sound, imagine, or mutter. It could be a murmur, moan, or growl, whether from delight or anger. It can also mean to study, ponder, or meditate.
II “truth” = emet. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This is firmness or stability. Figuratively, it is faithfulness, truth, or trustworthiness. This is the same root that “amen” comes from.
JJ “wickedness” = resha. From the same as rasha (to be wicked, guilty, make trouble, do wrong; can also be condemn, guilty, inflict punishment; this verb implies disturbing or violating). This is wrong, particularly moral wrong. It can be wickedness, evil, wicked deeds, or something that is ill-gotten.
KK “abomination” = toebah. Perhaps from ta’ab (to abhor or morally detest). This is something that instills one with moral contempt or disgust. It can mean abhorrence and is often in reference to idolatry or idols.

AllLL the wordsMM of my mouthNN are righteous;OO
    there is nothing twistedPP or crookedQQ in them.

Notes on verse 8:8

LL “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
MM “words” = emer. From amar (to say, answer, challenge). This is something that is said – a word, saying, speech.
NN “mouth” = peh. Same as “front” in v8:3. See note M above.
OO “righteous” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.
PP “is…twisted” = pathal. 5x in OT. This is to twist or twine. It can mean to struggle, be cunning, wily, or astute, or to wrestle.
QQ “crooked” = iqqesh. 11x in OT. From aqash (to twist, knot, distort; to act in a perverse manner). This is twisted, distorted, crooked, or perverted.

19 My fruitRR is betterSS than gold,TT even fine gold,UU
    and my yieldVV than choiceWW silver.XX

Notes on verse 8:19

RR “fruit” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
SS “better” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
TT “gold” = charuts. 18x in OT. From charats (to cut, sharpen, decree, wound, be alert, move). This is incisive, diligent, a trench, gold, threshing sledge, pointed thing.
UU “fine gold” = paz. 9x in OT. From pazaz (being refined; gold as refined). This is refined or pure gold.
VV “yield” = tebuah. Related to “entrance” in v8:3. From bo (see note O above). This is produce, increase or gain – can be literal or figurative.
WW “choice” = bachar. This is to choose, appoint, try, excellent.
XX “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.

20 I walkYY in the wayZZ of righteousness,AAA

Notes on verse 8:20a

YY “walk” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
ZZ “way” = orach. From arach (to go, travel, wander). This is a road that is widely used, highway, caravan, traveler, troop.
AAA “righteousness” = tsedaqah. Related to “righteous” in v8:8. From the same as tsedeq (see note OO above). This is righteousness, justice, righteous acts, and moral virtue.

    alongBBB the pathsCCC of justice,DDD

Notes on verse 8:20b

BBB “along” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
CCC “paths” = nathiyb. Same as “crossroads” in v8:2. See note I above.
DDD “justice” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.

21 endowingEEE with wealthFFF those who loveGGG me
    and fillingHHH their treasuries.III

Notes on verse 8:21

EEE “endowing” = nachal. From nachalah (properly something that was inherited; can mean occupancy generally or, more particularly, an heirloom or an estate; can be an inheritance, gift, possession, or portion). This is to gain as a possession, divide for inheritance. Also, to occupy for any reason.
FFF “wealth” = yesh. This is being, existence, or substance.
GGG “love” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
HHH “filling” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
III “treasuries” = otsar. From atsar (to store up, hoard). This is treasure or the place where one keeps treasure – a depository, storehouse, armory, cellar.

9:4 “You who are simple, turnJJJ in here!”KKK
    To those withoutLLL senseMMM she says,NNN

Notes on verse 9:4

JJJ “turn” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
KKK “here” = hennah. Perhaps from hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is here in a location or here in a time, i.e. now.
LLL “those without” = chaser. 19x in OT. From chaser (to lack, need, become empty, to fail). This is needy, lacking, without, void, or destitute. This is “I shall not want” from Psalm 23:1.
MMM “sense” = leb. Same as “intelligence” in v8:5. See note Y above.
NNN “says” = amar. Related to “words” in v8:8. See note MM above.

“Come,OOO eatPPP of my breadQQQ
    and drinkRRR of the wineSSS I have mixed.TTT

Notes on verse 9:5

OOO “come” = halak. Same as “walk” in v8:20. See note YY above.
PPP “eat” = lacham. This is to eat or feed on. Figuratively, it is to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction.
QQQ “bread” = lechem. Related to “eat” in v9:5. From lacham (see note PPP above). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
RRR “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
SSS “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.
TTT “mixed” = masak. 5x in OT. This is to mix or mingle. It is often used in reference to wine.

Lay asideUUU immaturityVVV and live,WWW
    and walkXXX in the wayYYY of insight.”ZZZ

Notes on verse 9:6

UUU “lay aside” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
VVV “immaturity” = pthiy. Same as “simple ones” in v8:5. See note U above.
WWW “live” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it can be revive, nourish, or save.
XXX “walk” = ashar. 16x in OT. To go straight, advance, proceed, direct, guide, be level, be honest, be blessed or happy.
YYY “way” = derek. Same as “way” in v8:2. See note H above.
ZZZ “insight” = binah. Related to “understanding” in v8:1 & “learn” in v8:5. From bin (see note C above). This is understanding, wisdom, or discernment.

Image credit: “Landscape of Man in the Nuclear Age 2” by Berta Rosenbaum Golahny.

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