Proverbs 17:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?

King James Bible
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

American Standard Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, Seeing he hath no understanding?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What doth it avail a fool to have riches, seeing he cannot buy wisdom? He that maketh his house high, seeketh a downfall: and he that refuseth to learn, shall fall into evils.

English Revised Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, seeing he hath no understanding?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

Proverbs 17:16 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

10 One reproof maketh more impression on a wise man

     Than if one reckoned a hundred to the fool

One of the few proverbs which begin with a future, vid., Proverbs 12:26. It expresses what influence there is in one reproof with a wise man (מבין, Proverbs 8:9); גּערה is the reproof expressed by the post-bibl. נזיפה .lbib, as the lowest grade of disciplinary punishment, admonitio, connected with warning. The verbal form תהת is the reading of the lxx and Syr. (συντρίβει ἀπειλὴ καρδίαν φρονίμου) for they read תחת גערה לב מבין, derived from חתת, and thus תּחת (from Hiph. החת); thus Luther: reproof alarms more the intelligent, but חחת with ב of the obj. is not Hebr.; on the contrary, the reading of the lxx is in accordance with the usage of the language, and, besides, is suitable. It is, however, first to be seen whether the traditional text stands in need of this correction. As fut. Niph. תּחת, apart from the ult. accent. to be expected, gives no meaning. Also if one derives it from חתה, to snatch away, to take away, it gives no appropriate thought; besides, חתה is construed with the object. accus., and the fut. Apoc., in itself strange here, must be pointed either תּהת or תּחתּ (after יחדּ) (Bttcher, Lehrb. ii. p. 413). Thus יחת, as at Job 21:13; Jeremiah 21:13, will be fut. Kal of נחת equals ינחת, Psalm 38:3 (Theodotion, Targ., Kimchi). With this derivation, also, תּחת is to be expected; the reference in the Handwrterbuch to Gesen. Lehrgebude, 51, 1, Anm. 1, where, in an extremely inadequate way, the retrogression of the tone (נסוג אחור) is spoken of, is altogether inappropriate to this place; and Bttcher's explanation of the ult. tone from an intended expressiveness is ungrammatical; but why should not תּחת, from נחת, with its first syllable originating from contraction, and thus having the tone be Milel as well as Milra, especially here, where it stands at the head of the sentence? With ב connected with it, נחת means: to descend into anything, to penetrate; Hitzig appropriately compares altius in pectus descendit of Sallust, Jug. 11. Jerome rightly, according to the sense: plus proficit, and the Venet. ἀνεῖ (read ὀνεῖ) ἀπειλὴ τῷ συνίοντι. In 10b מכּה (cf. Deuteronomy 25:3; 2 Corinthians 11:24) is to be supplied to מאה, not פאמים (an hundred times, which may be denoted correctly by מאה as well as מאת, Ecclesiastes 8:12). With the wise (says a Talmudic proverb) a sign does as much as with the fool a stick does. Zehner, in his Adagia sacra (1601), cites Curtius (vii. 4): Nobilis equus umbra quoque virgae regitur, ignavus ne calcari quidem concitari potest.

Proverbs 17:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 1:22,23 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge...

Proverbs 8:4,5 To you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man...

Proverbs 9:4-6 Whoever is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, she said to him...

Isaiah 55:1-3 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat...

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you...

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.


Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy to him that understands.

Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 21:25,26 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor...

Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them...

Psalm 81:11-13 But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me...

Hosea 4:11 Prostitution and wine and new wine take away the heart.

John 3:20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Acts 28:26,27 Saying, Go to this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive...

Cross References
Proverbs 23:23
Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

Proverbs 24:7
Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.

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