Proverbs 23:34
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.

King James Bible
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

American Standard Version
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, Or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt be as one sleeping in the midst of the sea, and as a pilot fast asleep, when the stern is lost.

English Revised Version
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

Proverbs 23:34 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

This hexastich warns against unchastity. What, in chap. 1-9, extended discourses and representations exhibited to the youth is here repeated in miniature pictures. It is the teacher of wisdom, but by him Wisdom herself, who speaks:

26 Give me, my son, thine heart;

     And let thine eyes delight in my ways.

27 For the harlot is a deep ditch,

     And the strange woman a narrow pit.

28 Yea, she lieth in wait like a robber,

     And multiplieth the faithless among men

We have retained Luther's beautiful rendering of Proverbs 23:26,

(Note: The right punctuation of 26a is תּנה־בני לבּך, as it is found in the editions: Ven. 1615; Basel 1619; and in those of Norzi and Michaelis.)

in which this proverb, as a warning word of heavenly wisdom and of divine love, has become dear to us. It follows, as Symmachus and the Venet., the Chethı̂b תּרצנה (for תרצינה, like Exodus 2:16; Job 5:12), the stylistic appropriateness of which proceeds from Proverbs 16:7, as on the other hand the Kerı̂ תּצּרנה (cf. 1 Samuel 14:27) is supported by Proverbs 22:12, cf. Proverbs 5:2. But the correction is unnecessary, and the Chethı̂b sounds more affectionate, hence it is with right defended by Hitzig. The ways of wisdom are ways of correction, and particularly of chastity, thus placed over against "the ways of the harlot," Proverbs 7:24. Accordingly the exhortation, Proverbs 23:26, verifies itself; warning, by Proverbs 23:27, cf. Proverbs 22:14, where עמקּה was written, here as at Job 12:22, with the long vowel עמוּקה (עמקה). בּאר צרה interchanges with שׁוּחה עמוקה, and means, not the fountain of sorrow (Lwenstein), but the narrow pit. בּאר is fem. gen., Proverbs 26:21., and צר means narrow, like troit (old French, estreit), from strictus. The figure has, after Proverbs 22:14, the mouth of the harlot in view. Whoever is enticed by her syren voice falls into a deep ditch, into a pit with a narrow mouth, into which one can more easily enter than escape from. Proverbs 23:28 says that it is the artifice of the harlot which draws a man into such depth of wickedness and guilt. With אף, which, as at Judges 5:29, belongs not to היא but to the whole sentence, the picture of terror is completed. The verb חתף (whence Arab. ḥataf, death, natural death) means to snatch away. If we take חתף as abstr.: a snatching away, then it would here stand elliptically for חתף (בּעל) אישׁ, which in itself is improbable (vid., Proverbs 7:22, עכס) and also unnecessary, since, as מלך, עבד, הלך, etc. show, such abstracta can pass immediately into concreta, so that חתף thus means the person who snatches away, i.e., the street robber, latro (cf. חטף .fc(, Arab. khaṭaf, Psalm 10:9, rightly explained by Kimchi as cogn.). In 28b, תוסיף cannot mean abripit (as lxx, Theodotion, and Jerome suppose), for which the word תּספּה (תּאסף) would have been used.

(Note: The Targ. translates 28b (here free from the influence of the Peshito) in the Syro-Palestinian idiom by וצאד אבניּא שׁברי, i.e., she seizes thoughtless sons.)

But this verbal idea does not harmonize with the connection; תוסיף means, as always, addit (auget), and that here in the sense of multiplicat. The same thing may be said of בּוגדים as is said (Proverbs 11:15) of תּוקעים. Hitzig's objection, "הוסיף, to multiply, with the accusative of the person, is not at all used," is set aside by Proverbs 19:4. But we may translate: the faithless, or: the breach of faith she increases. Yet it always remains a question whether בּאדם is dependent on בוגדים, as Ecclesiastes 8:9, cf. 2 Samuel 23:3, on the verb of ruling (Hitzig), or whether, as frequently בּאדם, e.g., Psalm 78:60, it means inter homines (thus most interpreters). Uncleanness leads to faithlessness of manifold kinds: it makes not only the husband unfaithful to his wife, but also the son to his parents, the scholar to his teacher and pastor, the servant (cf. the case of Potiphar's wife) to his master. The adulteress, inasmuch as she entices now one and now another into her net, increases the number of those who are faithless towards men. But are they not, above all, faithless towards God? We are of opinion that not בוגדים, but תוסיף, has its complement in באדם, and needs it: the adulteress increases the faithless among men, she makes faithlessness of manifold kinds common in human society. According to this, also, it is accentuated; ובוגדים is placed as object by Mugrasch, and באדם is connected by Mercha with תוסיף.

Proverbs 23:34 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thou

1 Samuel 25:33-38 And blessed be your advice, and blessed be you, which have kept me this day from coming to shed blood...

1 Samuel 30:16,17 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad on all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing...

2 Samuel 13:28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark you now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, Smite Amnon...

1 Kings 16:9 And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah...

1 Kings 20:16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings...

Joel 1:5 Awake, you drunkards, and weep; and howl, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage...

Luke 17:27-29 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark...

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life...

1 Thessalonians 5:2-7 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night...

midst

Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of your nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap...

Cross References
Proverbs 23:33
Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things.

Proverbs 23:35
"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink."

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