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Amsal 14:17


14:17 A person who has a quick temper 1  does foolish things,

and a person with crafty schemes 2  is hated. 3 

Amsal 15:18


15:18 A quick-tempered person 4  stirs up dissension,

but one who is slow to anger 5  calms 6  a quarrel. 7 

Amsal 16:32


16:32 Better to be slow to anger 8  than to be a mighty warrior,

and one who controls his temper 9  is better than 10  one who captures a city. 11 

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[14:17]  1 sn The proverb discusses two character traits that are distasteful to others – the quick tempered person (“short of anger” or impatient) and the crafty person (“man of devices”). C. H. Toy thinks that the proverb is antithetical and renders it “but a wise man endures” (Proverbs [ICC], 292). In other words, the quick-tempered person acts foolishly and loses people’s respect, but the wise man does not.

[14:17]  2 tn Heb “a man of devices.”

[14:17]  3 tc The LXX reads “endures” (from נָשָׂא, nasa’) rather than “is hated” (from שָׂנֵא, sane’). This change seems to have arisen on the assumption that a contrast was needed. It has: “a man of thought endures.” Other versions take מְזִמּוֹת (mÿzimmot) in a good sense; but antithetical parallelism is unwarranted here.

[15:18]  4 tn Heb “a man of wrath”; KJV, ASV “a wrathful man.” The term “wrath” functions as an attributive genitive: “an angry person.” He is contrasted with the “slow of anger,” so he is a “quick-tempered person” (cf. NLT “a hothead”).

[15:18]  5 tn Heb “slow of anger.” The noun “anger” functions as a genitive of specification: slow in reference to anger, that is, slow to get angry, patient.

[15:18]  6 tn The Hiphil verb יַשְׁקִיט (yashqit) means “to cause quietness; to pacify; to allay” the strife or quarrel (cf. NAB “allays discord”). This type of person goes out of his way to keep things calm and minimize contention; his opposite thrives on disagreement and dispute.

[15:18]  7 sn The fact that רִיב (riv) is used for “quarrel; strife” strongly implies that the setting is the courtroom or other legal setting (the gates of the city). The hot-headed person is eager to turn every disagreement into a legal case.

[16:32]  8 tn One who is “slow to anger” is a patient person (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT). This is explained further in the parallel line by the description of “one who rules his spirit” (וּמֹשֵׁל בְּרוּחוֹ, umoshel bÿrukho), meaning “controls his temper.” This means the person has the emotions under control and will not “fly off the handle” quickly.

[16:32]  9 tn Heb “who rules his spirit” (so NASB).

[16:32]  10 tn The phrase “is better than” does not appear in this line in the Hebrew text, but is implied by the parallelism.

[16:32]  11 sn The saying would have had greater impact when military prowess was held in high regard. It is harder, and therefore better, to control one’s passions than to do some great exploit on the battlefield.

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