Proverbs 1:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,

King James Bible
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

American Standard Version
For in vain is the net spread In the sight of any bird:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But a net is spread in vain before the eyes of them that have wings.

English Revised Version
For in vain is the net spread, in the eyes of any bird:

Webster's Bible Translation
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

Proverbs 1:17 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Of the number of wicked men who gain associates to their palliation and strengthening, they are adduced as an example whom covetousness leads to murder.

11 If they say, "Go with us, we will lurk for blood,

     Lie in wait for the innocent without cause;

12 Like the pit we will swallow them alive

     And in perfect soundness like them that go down to the grave.

13 We find all manner of precious treasure,

     Fill our houses with spoil.

14 Thou shalt cast thy lot amongst us,

     We all have only one purse."

Proverbs 1:11

The verb ארב signifies nectere, to bind fast (from רב, close, compact), (see under Isaiah 25:11), and particularly (but so that it bears in itself its object without ellipse) insidias nectere equals insidiari. Regarding לדם Fleischer remarks: "Either elliptically for לשׁפּך־דּם (Jewish interp.), or, as the parallelism and the usage of the language of this book rather recommend, per synecd. for: for a man, with particular reference to his blood to be poured out (cf. our saying 'ein junges Blut,' a young blood equals a youth, with the underlying conception of the blood giving colour to the body as shining through it, or giving to it life and strength), as Psalm 94:21." As in post-biblical Heb. בּשׂר ודם (or inverted, αἱμα καὶ σάρξ, Hebrews 2:14), used of men as such, is not so used in the O.T., yet דּם, like נפשׁ, is sometimes used synecdochically for the person, but never with reference to the blood as an essentially constituent part of corporealness, but always with reference to violent putting to death, which separates the blood from the body (cf. my System der bibl. Psychologie, p. 242). Here לדם is explained by לדמים, with which it is interchanged, Micah 7:2 : let us lurk for blood (to be poured out). The verb צפן is never, like טמן (to conceal), connected with חבלים, מוקשׁים ,ח, פּח, רשׁת - thus none of these words is here to be supplied; the idea of gaining over one expressed in the organic root צף (whence צפּה, diducendo obducere) has passed over into that of restraining oneself, watching, lurking, hence צפן (cog. Aram. כּמן) in the sense of speculari, insidiari, interchanges with צפה (to spy), (cf. Psalm 10:8; Psalm 56:7 with Psalm 37:32). The adv. חנּם (an old accus. from חן) properly means in a gracious manner, as a free gift (δωρεάν, gratis equals gratiis), and accordingly, without reward, also without cause, which frequently equals without guilt; but it never signifies sine effectu qui noceat, i.e., with impunity (Lwenst.). We have thus either to connect together נקי חנּם "innocent in vain" (as איבי חנּם, my enemies without a cause, Lamentations 3:52): his innocence helps him nothing whom God protects not against us notwithstanding his innocence (Schultens, Bertheau, Elster, and others); or connect חנם with the verb (lie in wait for), for which Hitzig, after the lxx, Syr., Rashi,

(Note: Rashi, i.e., Rabbi Salomo Isaaki, of Troyes, died a.d. 1105. Ralbag, i.e., Rabbi Levi ben Gershon, usually referred to by Christian writers as Master Leo de Bannolis, or Gersonides, a native of Banolas near Gerona, died about 1342.)

Ralbag, Immanuel, rightly decides in view of 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 25:31; cf. also Job 9:17, where the succession of the accents is the same (Tarcha transmuted from Mugrash). Frequently there are combined together in his חנם (cf. Isaiah 28:14.), that which the author thinks, and that which those whom he introduces as speaking think.

Proverbs 1:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

in vain

Proverbs 7:23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, and knows not that it is for his life.

Job 35:11 Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven?

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib: but Israel does not know, my people does not consider.

Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming...

sight of any bird means eyes of anything that hath a wing

Cross References
Proverbs 1:16
for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.

Proverbs 1:18
but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.

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