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Hey...what Does Proverbs 18:24 Mean?


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#1 Coolhand

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 11:29 AM

Hey...what does proverbs 18:24 mean?

NIV = A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

NKJV = A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

NASB = Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than oneís nearest kin.

YLT = A man with friends is to show himself friendly, And there is a lover adhering more than a brother!

Yeah, it looks to me like the "A man with friends is to show himself friendly" is an example of how the Latin translation influenced some of the older English translations "vir amicalis ad societatem magis amicus erit quam frater" -- Latin Vulgate.

By looking at a Hebrew English interlinear a person would almost immediately dismiss the YLT, KJV, NKJV, and NASB. The NIV is the closest to the Hebrew text. But, this is a tricky one.

The first part of the verse is 3 words in the Hebrew, roughly translated: "man friends ruin", There is no "of" in the Hebrew language, so the first two word are a "noun construct" which means the first word is the construct, the second word... is the noun, the noun is plural and the construct is singular. The noun would actually be the word the sentance would start with in an English translation, so its "The friends of a man" to start with.

The "come to ruin" part is interesting because it is a hithpael middle verb. Hithpael expresses and action that is intensive but with a reflexive voice. The intensive would contrast to just simply coming to ruin, it expresses and complete... and total destruction: smashed into pieces, ripped into shreds, etc. The reflexive would express that the ruin of the friends of a man are a boomerang effect of the friends of the man, that the friends are somehow the cause of their destruction.

The middle voice can be tricky on a hithpael but generally described it would be that the object of the action is also remotely the subject of the action. In other words "they do it to themselves.

Which would agree with the hithpael stem. So, a good translation of the first part of 18:24 would be "The friends of a man will cause themselves to be completely ruined;"......now for the second part, which is 4 words in the Hebrew text....lol.

Side note, these two occurances of "friends" are two different words in the Hebrew text. There are 3 main different words for "love" in the Old testament: "Ryah" which is brotherly love, friendship love; "Ahavah" which is deep committed love... as in that of marriage love, and "Dohd" which can be sexual in nature, similar to "eros" in the Greek. So keep this in mind also. The friends of a man are "Ryah" are not real close or deeply loved. in the second part the friend that sticks closer th an a brother is "Ahav" indicating that this friendship is really deep, caring, loving, and committed.

BUT......this "freind" in the second part is actually a verb.....lol. A plain old simple completed action in the active voice verb; nothing spectacular in grammar, but in statement this is friend is right there for his friend, no drama no questions asked, he is the real deal.

So, I would humbly offer this as a translation suggestion: "The not-so-close-friends of a man cause thier own destruction, but the close-brother-friends are as one."

Now...what does that mean? In the chapter context (and I havenít looked at the whole chapter closely to see if there is a chiastic structure) there is parallelism; two lines some synthetic (comparing), and antithetic (contrasting) of various loosely related topics. This verse here is antithetic parallelism; it is contrasting the first line with the second line for the reason of illustrating something.

lol....I guess you can see my frustration from listening to a old preacher using this text from the KJV and using this verse to preach on how friends are supposed to be friendly to one another....lol.

By the way, the winners in this round were the NIV and the NASB.

#2 Hyper Real

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 01:06 PM

Proverbs 18 has, in my opinion, a lot of similarities with Daoist and Buddhist principles.

#3 Brother Michael Sky

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:09 PM

Hebrew is killing me, Cool...... :lol:

For a person who is normally quick on the uptake - I seem to have a mental block....

but I have considered what you are asking.... I cannot give you the thoroughness I am usually going for - but I do have thoughts....

I believe it is a question of motivation.... How and Why we treat our friends as we do...

The religious understanding of the friend, and their dedication to adhering to either religious motivations or a social motivation....

I believe it is spelling out the difference between our perceived and actual obligations, in a religious sense - for sometimes they can get confused.....

This would be an idea I feel would need to be clear, especially if some of your friends might be adherents to a different religion - which would have HAD to be the case back then....

I also believe there are connections to a deeper meaning behind Love in the Hebrew - some of the times I have come against that word, in it's different variations, I have had the idea that there is a concept attached that I am just not getting... there seems to be an additional meaning which I feel relates to a divine love ( as in G_D's Love for man... ) and that is a trail I have not followed completely....

these are ideas which come from an admittedly incomplete understanding... and I am not always convinced that the instruction I have been getting in Hebrew is complete... but that could be my own ignorance laughing at me.....

Edited by Brother Michael Sky, 25 June 2011 - 02:10 PM.


#4 mark 45

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:29 PM

i think one of our jewish members could better advise you on the hebrew part.if i'm not mistaken,supposedly proverbs was solomons advice to his son(david?).

hyperreal beat me to the daoist/buddhist connection,but if your interested,i would be glad to share what each has to say(briefly,believe me you don't want a whole essay on it).

#5 Coolhand

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 04:09 PM

i think one of our jewish members could better advise you on the hebrew part.



If you could arrange that, that would be awesome.

#6 Coolhand

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:02 AM

Here is a application suggestion:

A man (person) may have many acquaintances, and may see them doing things (or see things coming) that are going to cause them total destruction, but he does nothing about it because he is not really that close and may not really care a whole lot about these "friends." BUT, there are friends out there that are really close, that really love and care that will not stand by and just was their friends be destroyed, but will fight and preserve with thier friends (brothers) as one unit, to the death if necessary. Your thoughts?

#7 Brother Michael Sky

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:20 AM

Here is a application suggestion:

A man (person) may have many acquaintances, and may see them doing things (or see things coming) that are going to cause them total destruction, but he does nothing about it because he is not really that close and may not really care a whole lot about these "friends." BUT, there are friends out there that are really close, that really love and care that will not stand by and just was their friends be destroyed, but will fight and preserve with thier friends (brothers) as one unit, to the death if necessary. Your thoughts?

That is where we begin to move apart in our understanding.... That would definitely be a Christian type perspective, IMO...
and begins to imply that we have a responsibility for another's development - I cannot agree with taking it in this direction... I don't feel it is supported.

#8 Coolhand

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:28 AM

That is where we begin to move apart in our understanding.... That would definitely be a Christian type perspective, IMO...
and begins to imply that we have a responsibility for another's development - I cannot agree with taking it in this direction... I don't feel it is supported.


How is that a Christian perspective?

#9 Brother Michael Sky

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:41 AM

the idea of saving others....

#10 Coolhand

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:52 AM

the idea of saving others....


But that is not the point, nor am I saying that it is the point. I tried to explain the grammar above with adding any theology at all, and do not feeling just describing the literary features I am bringing theology into it.

As I stated above, this is antithetical parallelism, the two lines are used contrast a point. It appears like the contrast is the level of commitment between two types of friends.

#11 Fawzo

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:59 AM

I think what it is saying is simple.

"Trusting everyone who claims to be your firend is foolish and can lead to despair. Trust only those rare few whom you know are your true friend."

#12 Brother Michael Sky

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:08 AM

But that is not the point, nor am I saying that it is the point. I tried to explain the grammar above with adding any theology at all, and do not feeling just describing the literary features I am bringing theology into it.

As I stated above, this is antithetical parallelism, the two lines are used contrast a point. It appears like the contrast is the level of commitment between two types of friends.

I understand, but I feel that there is a critical, underlying point which must be understood as regards the Judaic belief system. It is not an evangelical system.

So references to friends would be to clear up one's own responsibilities... I don't even see it as instruction on friendship - there is another concept which is being delivered.

I believe it speaks to the basic understanding of the words... and is part of the danger of using Texts from another understanding in one's own religion - it is bound to impart a different meaning than was intended - if one does not have a really firm grasp of how the original belief system which held those concepts, misunderstanding is inevitable...

which is why I must question my own understanding, and why I am considerably less than secure in my understanding of the question you raise... There is a very difficult perspective to acquire when dealing with concepts which are so old.... The correct one.

I have noticed that fervent Christians have a very definite perspective - which overwhelms the understanding which ancient writers were trying to deliver. There can be NO modern Christian flavor to ancient Judaic texts.... where it is found - there has been a misunderstanding... and I have discovered this within myself first - it is not something I am solely accusing others of.....

#13 Dr. Jim

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:29 PM

You might want to research the Pe**ta - The Aramaic Bible by Dr. George Lamsa He spent 33 years translating a 464 AD copy of the Aramaic Peshiita directly into English after finding 12,000 mistranslations in the KJV.

#14 Hyper Real

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:44 PM

There can be NO modern Christian flavor to ancient Judaic texts.... where it is found - there has been a misunderstanding... and I have discovered this within myself first - it is not something I am solely accusing others of.....

I would agree (assuming you do) that it objectively does not make much sense to find Christian interpretations in Judaic texts, however from a Christian perspective it makes total sense. To many Christians the Jewish writings were predestined to be read and interpreted much later by Christians as part of God's plan.

Some time ago I gave my opinion on OT references in the NT. I believe those OT insertions were intended to to make Jesus into a Messiah and give a Christian flavor to the OT. I believe Jesus was not a Jew but neither a Christian. I believe Paul made him into a Christian.

Edited by hyperreal, 26 June 2011 - 07:47 PM.


#15 Brother Michael Sky

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:47 AM

I would agree (assuming you do) that it objectively does not make much sense to find Christian interpretations in Judaic texts, however from a Christian perspective it makes total sense. To many Christians the Jewish writings were predestined to be read and interpreted much later by Christians as part of God's plan.

Some time ago I gave my opinion on OT references in the NT. I believe those OT insertions were intended to to make Jesus into a Messiah and give a Christian flavor to the OT. I believe Jesus was not a Jew but neither a Christian. I believe Paul made him into a Christian.

OT references actually were considered to be what proved him NOT to be the Messiah - to the Jews....

This is the reason I say one must understand the Judaic Texts to have a correct understanding of the Message... Because that was the understanding Christianity was designed around... one can spot Paul's work much quicker.... ( and not just Paul, all those grumpy monks too... )

#16 Hyper Real

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 06:48 AM

OT references actually were considered to be what proved him NOT to be the Messiah - to the Jews....

Right!

#17 Coolhand

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:22 PM

i think one of our jewish members could better advise you on the hebrew part.if i'm not mistaken,supposedly proverbs was solomons advice to his son(david?).


Any luck with that?

Edited by Coolhand, 12 July 2011 - 10:23 PM.


#18 RabbiO

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

mark 45, on 25 June 2011 - 06:29 PM, said:
i think one of our jewish members could better advise you on the hebrew part.if i'm not mistaken,supposedly proverbs was solomons advice to his son(david?).


Any luck with that?


I was wondering the same thing.

Edited by RabbiO, 13 July 2011 - 11:09 AM.


#19 Pete

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:20 AM

I think what it is saying is simple.

"Trusting everyone who claims to be your firend is foolish and can lead to despair. Trust only those rare few whom you know are your true friend."


That is how I would see it too Fawzo. Just one point I would add is according to my NIV it does not state it as it appears in Cools copy.

The NIV I have says " 24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother".

#20 RabbiO

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:14 PM

Regarding a response from "one of our Jewish members" - why do I get the feeling that it's going to be me?

Well, I guess we'll all have to wait until after Shabbat.

Edited by RabbiO, 15 July 2011 - 03:15 PM.


#21 RevRainbow

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 05:33 PM

I can wait... :beach:

#22 Pete

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:34 AM

I can wait... :beach:


Another meaning I expect that could be interpreted is that one could have many fickle friends who may leave one but God stays close.

#23 Bro. Hex

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:46 PM

I would agree (assuming you do) that it objectively does not make much sense to find Christian interpretations in Judaic texts, however from a Christian perspective it makes total sense. To many Christians the Jewish writings were predestined to be read and interpreted much later by Christians as part of God's plan.

Some time ago I gave my opinion on OT references in the NT. I believe those OT insertions were intended to to make Jesus into a Messiah and give a Christian flavor to the OT. I believe Jesus was not a Jew but neither a Christian. I believe Paul made him into a Christian.

:thumbu:

#24 Pete

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:20 AM

I would agree (assuming you do) that it objectively does not make much sense to find Christian interpretations in Judaic texts, however from a Christian perspective it makes total sense. To many Christians the Jewish writings were predestined to be read and interpreted much later by Christians as part of God's plan.

Some time ago I gave my opinion on OT references in the NT. I believe those OT insertions were intended to to make Jesus into a Messiah and give a Christian flavor to the OT. I believe Jesus was not a Jew but neither a Christian. I believe Paul made him into a Christian.

I would argue that just as the Christian texts developed over time to portray the Paulian and that of Philo viewpoint so did the OT develop from original spiritual text to the assertion of all things being as is. Just as (IMO) we would have had another form of Christianity had Paul not waded in I am sure we would have had another form of Judaism had the Babaylonains not invaded Israel and then later the greeks and the romans. It is of interest to me that the form of Judaism expressed in the North was different from that in Judea in Israel's history.
For me Jesus was most definitely a Jew but I also go with God can be found in many faiths and that religion is just the path one takes until spirituality awakes and one experiences God for themselves.

#25 Atwater Vitki

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:58 AM

I would argue that just as the Christian texts developed over time to portray the Paulian and that of Philo viewpoint so did the OT develop from original spiritual text to the assertion of all things being as is. Just as (IMO) we would have had another form of Christianity had Paul not waded in I am sure we would have had another form of Judaism had the Babaylonains not invaded Israel and then later the greeks and the romans. It is of interest to me that the form of Judaism expressed in the North was different from that in Judea in Israel's history.
For me Jesus was most definitely a Jew but I also go with God can be found in many faiths and that religion is just the path one takes until spirituality awakes and one experiences God for themselves.


Thou shouldst surely be appointed to Sage and Wise One, oh man of few words, for thine written orations are surely that of both Sage and learn-ed Elder of the Wise! Posted Image

By the staff of Heimdalher and the Horn of Braggi, the wise council of Bladr and strength of Thor are you hence awarded (whatever title thou shalt choose) and given the Medallion of Snorri and the Cup of Mimir! So may you be known from this day forward!

Of course, you can always just keep "Pete" but I found your statement worthy of at least a little praise... :smart:

Blessings of Peace,

Edited by Reverend Al, 19 July 2011 - 10:59 AM.





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