English Standard Version
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
King James Bible
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
American Standard Version
Prepare thy work without, And make it ready for thee in the field; And afterwards build thy house.
Prepare thy work without, and diligently till thy ground: that afterward thou mayst build thy house.
English Revised Version
Prepare thy work without, and make it ready for thee in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Webster's Bible Translation
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thy house.
Proverbs 24:27 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
A warning against rebellious thoughts against God and the king:
21 My son, honour Jahve and the king,
And involve not thyself with those who are otherwise disposed;
22 For suddenly their calamity ariseth,
And the end of their years, who knoweth it?
The verb שׁנה, proceeding from the primary idea of folding (complicare, duplicare), signifies transitively to do twice, to repeat, Proverbs 17:9; Proverbs 26:11, according to which Kimchi here inappropriately thinks on relapsing; and intransitively, to change, to be different, Esther 1:7; Esther 3:8. The Syr. and Targ. translate the word שׁטיי, fools; but the Kal (טעמו) שׁנה occurs, indeed, in the Syr., but not in the Heb., in the meaning alienata est (mens ejus); and besides, this meaning, alieni, is not appropriate here. A few, however, with Saadia (cf. Deutsch-Morgenlndische Zeitschr. xxi. 616), the dualists (Manichees), understand it in a dogmatic sense; but then שׁונים must be denom. of שׁנים, while much more it is its root-word. Either שׁונים means those who change, novantes equals novarum rerum studiosi, which is, however, exposed to this objection, that the Heb. שׁנה, in the transitive sense to change, does not elsewhere occur; or it means, according to the usus loq., diversos equals diversum sentientes (C. B. Michaelis and others), and that with reference to 21a: הממרים דבריהם ומצותם (Meri, Immanuel), or משׁנים מנהג החכמה (Ahron b. Joseph). Thus they are called (for it is a common name of a particular class of men) dissidents, oppositionists, or revolutionaries, who recognise neither the monarchy of Jahve, the King of kings, nor that of the earthly king, which perhaps Jerome here means by the word detractoribus ( equals detractatoribus). The Venet. incorrectly, σὺν τοῖς μισοῦσι, i.e., שׂונאים. with ב at Proverbs 14:10, התערב meant to mix oneself up with something, here with עם, to mix oneself with some one, i.e., to make common cause with him.
The reason assigned in Proverbs 24:22 is, that although such persons as reject by thought and action human and divine law may for a long time escape punishment, yet suddenly merited ruin falls on them. איד is, according to its primary signification, weighty, oppressive misfortune, vid., i. 27. In יקוּם it is thought of as hostile power (Hosea 10:14); or the rising up of God as Judge (e.g., Isaiah 33:10) is transferred to the means of executing judgment. פּיד ( equals פּוד of פוד or פיד ro פו, Arab. fâd, fut. jafûdu or jafı̂du, a stronger power of bâd, cogn. אבד) is destruction (Arab. fied, fı̂d, death); this word occurs, besides here, only thrice in the Book of Job. But to what does שׁניהם refer? Certainly not to Jahve and the king (lxx, Schultens, Umbreit, and Bertheau), for in itself it is doubtful to interpret the genit. after פיד as designating the subject, but improper to comprehend God and man under one cipher. Rather it may refer to two, of whom one class refuse to God, the other to the king, the honour that is due (Jerome, Luther, and at last Zckler); but in the foregoing, two are not distinguished, and the want of reverence for God, and for the magistrates appointed by Him, is usually met with, because standing in interchangeable relationship, in one and the same persons. Is there some misprint then in this word? Ewald suggests שׁניהם, i.e., of those who show themselves as שׁונים (altercatores) towards God and the king. In view of קמיהם, Exodus 32:25, this brevity of expression must be regarded as possible. But if this were the meaning of the word, then it ought to have stood in the first member (איד שׁניהם), and not in the second. No other conjecture presents itself. Thus שׁניהם is perhaps to be referred to the שׁונים, and those who engage with them: join thyself not with the opposers; for suddenly misfortune will come upon them, and the destruction of both (of themselves and their partisans), who knows it? But that also is not satisfactory, for after the address שׁניכם was to have been expected, 22b. Nothing remains, therefore, but to understand שׁניהם, with the Syr. and Targ., as at Job 36:11; the proverb falls into rhythms פּתאם and פּיד, שׁונים and שׁניהם. But "the end of their year" is not equivalent to the hour of their death (Hitzig), because for this פּידם (cf. Arab. feid and fı̂d, death) was necessary; but to the expiring, the vanishing, the passing by of the year during which they have succeeded in maintaining their ground and playing a part. There will commence a time which no one knows beforehand when all is over with them. In this sense, "who knoweth," with its object, is equivalent to "suddenly ariseth," with its subject. In the lxx, after Proverbs 24:22, there follow one distich of the relations of man to the word of God as deciding their fate, one distich of fidelity as a duty towards the king, and the duty of the king, and one pentastich or hexastich of the power of the tongue and of the anger of the king. The Heb. text knows nothing of these three proverbs. Ewald has, Jahrb. xi. 18f., attempted to translate them into Heb., and is of opinion that they are worthy of being regarded as original component parts of chap. 1-29, and that they ought certainly to have come in after Proverbs 24:22. We doubt this originality, but recognise their translation from the Heb. Then follows in the lxx the series of Prov; Proverbs 30:1-14, which in the Heb. text bear the superscription of "the Words of Agur;" the second half of the "Words of Agur," together with the "Words of Lemuel," stand after Proverbs 24:34 of the Heb. text. The state of the matter is this, that in the copy from which the Alexandrines translated the Appendix 30:1-31:9, stood half of it, after the "Words of the Wise" [which extend from Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:22], and half after the supplement headed "these also are from wise men" [Proverbs 24:23-34], so that only the proverbial ode in praise of the excellent matron [Proverbs 31:10] remains as an appendix to the Book of Hezekiah's collection, chap. 25-29.
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Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
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