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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 1

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 1

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 1

1. The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, [are];   א. מִשְׁלֵי שְׁלֹמֹה בֶן דָּוִד מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל:
The proverbs of: All his words are illustrations and allegories. He compared the Torah to a good woman, and he compared idolatry to a harlot.  
2. To know wisdom and discipline, to comprehend words of understanding;   ב. לָדַעַת חָכְמָה וּמוּסָר לְהָבִין אִמְרֵי בִינָה:
To know wisdom and discipline: He stated these proverbs to make known to the people [wisdom and discipline], that they toil in the Torah, which is wisdom, discipline and understanding.  
3. To receive the discipline of wisdom, righteousness, justice, and equity;   ג. לָקַחַת מוּסַר הַשְׂכֵּל צֶדֶק וּמִשְׁפָּט וּמֵישָׁרִים:
righteousness, justice, and equity: “Righteousness” denotes charity from his money; “justice” means to judge honestly, and “equity” denotes compromise-the smooth and straight road, equal to this one and to that one.  
4. To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth.   ד. לָתֵת לִפְתָאיִם עָרְמָה לְנַעַר דַּעַת וּמְזִמָּה:
To give prudence to the simple: Koheleth stated these proverbs so that the simple should gain prudence.  
knowledge… to the youth: And also to the youth, who is devoid of all [knowledge], who has not yet learned anything.  
and discretion: Thoughts of counsel.  
5. Let the wise man hear and increase learning. The understanding man shall acquire wise counsels   ה. יִשְׁמַע חָכָם וְיוֹסֶף לֶקַח וְנָבוֹן תַּחְבֻּלוֹת יִקְנֶה:
Let the wise man hear: these proverbs.  
and increase: to his wisdom.  
learning: Heb. לקח, learning.  
the wise man: This is the one who has heard wisdom.  
The understanding man: who has knowledge superior to the knowledge of the wise man, for he knows how to derive one idea from another, and he adds to what he [has] heard.  
6. to understand an allegory and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.   ו. לְהָבִין מָשָׁל וּמְלִיצָה דִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִים וְחִידֹתָם:
to understand an allegory and a figure: That they should direct their attention to understand the verses through two methods: the allegory and the figure. They should understand what he compares to the figure, but they should not neglect the figure itself, for that, too, requires understanding. When he states, “To save you from a strange woman and a foreign one” (2: 16), idolatry is meant; this is the allegory, and also the figure-for he expressed his allegory in terms of a woman-should be understood by it, [meaning that] you shall beware of a strange woman (other editions: a harlot).  
the words of the wise and their riddles: Those who interpret the Torah metaphorically, full verses and elliptical ones, allusions, comparisons and riddles.  
7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.   ז. יִרְאַת יְהוָה רֵאשִׁית דָּעַת חָכְמָה וּמוּסָר אֱוִילִים בָּזוּ:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: Until here, he explained for what purpose Solomon composed this book, and now the book commences.  
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: This is the separation of the fundamentals of knowledge, and what shall be for you first, preceding knowledge: Before your wisdom, first fear your Creator, and that will give your heart the desire to engage in wisdom and in knowledge, for the fools, who do not fear the Lord, despise wisdom and discipline.  
8. Hearken, my son, to the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the instruction of your mother;   ח. שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ וְאַל תִּטּשׁ תּוֹרַת אִמֶּךָ:
Hearken, my son, to the discipline of your father: What the Holy One, blessed be He, gave Moses in writing and orally.  
your mother: Heb. אמך [like אמתך], your nation, the nation of Israel, as in (Ezek. 19:2): “What a lioness was your mother [meaning your nation]!” These are the words of the Scribes, which they innovated and added and made safeguards for the Torah.  
9. for they are a wreath of grace for your head and a necklace for your neck.   ט. כִּי לִוְיַת חֵן הֵם לְרֹאשֶׁךָ וַעֲנָקִים לְגַרְגְּרֹתֶיךָ:
a wreath of grace: They are a wreath of grace for your head; i.e., the instruction and the discipline will be a wreath of grace for your head, and they shall be like the rings of a golden ornament.  
for your neck: Heb. לגרגרתיך. Since the trachea is composed of many rings, he refers to the neck in the plural form.  
10. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent;   י. בְּנִי אִם יְפַתּוּךָ חַטָּאִים אַל תֹּבֵא:
sinners: Heb. חטאים, sinners.  
do not consent: Heb. אל תבא, do not consent to them.  
11. if they say, "Come with us; let us lie in wait for blood; let us hide for the innocent, without cause;   יא. אִם יֹאמְרוּ לְכָה אִתָּנוּ נֶאֶרְבָה לְדָם נִצְפְּנָה לְנָקִי חִנָּם:
let us lie in wait for blood: to shed blood.  
let us hide: Heb. נצפנה, an expression of ambush.  
let us hide for the innocent, without cause: Scripture states that their hiding for the innocent is without cause.  
12. let us swallow them up alive like the grave, and the whole ones like those who descend into the pit.   יב. נִבְלָעֵם כִּשְׁאוֹל חַיִּים וּתְמִימִים כְּיוֹרְדֵי בוֹר:
let us swallow them up: The innocent when they are alive.  
like the grave: which swallows up the entire body.  
and the whole ones: Heb. ותמימים. This is not an expression of righteous men, but an expression of whole ones. Let us swallow them up when they are whole, like a man who descends into a pit when he is whole; i.e., when they are still wealthy, let us slay them and inherit their property.  
13. We will find all precious possessions; we will fill our houses with plunder.   יג. כָּל הוֹן יָקָר נִמְצָא נְמַלֵּא בָתֵּינוּ שָׁלָל:
14. Cast your lot among us; we will all have one purse"   יד. גּוֹרָלְךָ תַּפִּיל בְּתוֹכֵנוּ כִּיס אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּנוּ:
Cast your lot among us: If you wish, you may share; if you wish, it will be common property.  
we will all have one purse: together.  
15. my son, do not go on the way with them; restrain your foot from their path,   טו. בְּנִי אַל תֵּלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ אִתָּם מְנַע רַגְלְךָ מִנְּתִיבָתָם:
16. for their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed blood.   טז. כִּי רַגְלֵיהֶם לָרַע יָרוּצוּ וִימַהֲרוּ לִשְׁפָּךְ דָּם:
run to evil: They run to their own harm, and they do not know to pay heed to the matter.  
17. For the net is scattered without cause in the eyes of all winged fowl,   יז. כִּי חִנָּם מְזֹרָה הָרָשֶׁת בְּעֵינֵי כָּל בַּעַל כָּנָף:
For the net is scattered without cause: For the fowl that see wheat and legumes spread out upon the net-it appears to them that it is without cause; they do not realize for what reason they are spread, and they go down into it and eat.  
18. but they lie in wait for their blood; they hide for their lives.   יח. וְהֵם לְדָמָם יֶאֱרֹבוּ יִצְפְּנוּ לְנַפְשֹׁתָם:
but they lie in wait for their blood: But the hunters lie in wait for the blood of the birds.  
19. So are the ways of everyone who commits robbery; it will take away the life of its owner.   יט. כֵּן אָרְחוֹת כָּל בֹּצֵעַ בָּצַע אֶת נֶפֶשׁ בְּעָלָיו יִקָּח:
So are the ways of everyone who commits robbery: Heb. בצע בצע, who commits robbery. It is beautiful and precious to him, and it is free to him. But his end will be that…  
it will take away the life of its owner: His own life, for he has now become the owner of the money that he stole from his neighbor.  
20. Wisdoms shout in the street; in the squares she gives forth her voice.   כ. חָכְמוֹת בַּחוּץ תָּרֹנָּה בָּרְחֹבוֹת תִּתֵּן קוֹלָהּ:
Wisdoms shout in the street: Behold, the wisdoms of the Torah cry out in her streets to admonish [the people] to turn to them [the streets]. Now what are her streets? The study halls.  
in the squares: Heb. ברחבות, in the place where it is broadened [in the place where Torah is studied intensively and elaborated upon]. In this manner, Rabbi Tanhuma expounded [upon this verse].  
21. She calls at the head of the noisy streets; she utters her words at the entrances of the gates in the city;   כא. בְּרֹאשׁ הֹמִיּוֹת תִּקְרָא בְּפִתְחֵי שְׁעָרִים בָּעִיר אֲמָרֶיהָ תֹאמֵר:
She calls at the head of the noisy streets: In the place where she is heard and called [and proclaimed Vilna, Warsaw ed.] there she calls out and makes the following statement.“How long will you naive ones, etc?”  
at the entrances of the gates: They are the place where the elders sit.  
22. "How long will you naive ones love naivete, and the scoffers covet scoffing, and the fools hate knowledge?   כב. עַד מָתַי פְּתָיִם תְּאֵהֲבוּ פֶתִי וְלֵצִים לָצוֹן חָמְדוּ לָהֶם וּכְסִילִים יִשְׂנְאוּ דָעַת:
you naive ones: Heb. פתים. Those who are enticed by enticers and sectarians.  
naivete: Heb. פתי, enticement, the noun for simplicity; like כלי, a vessel, קרי, a happening, שפי, silence.  
23. You shall repent because of my reproof; behold! I will pour out my spirit to you; I will let you know my words.   כג. תָּשׁוּבוּ לְתוֹכַחְתִּי הִנֵּה אַבִּיעָה לָכֶם רוּחִי אוֹדִיעָה דְבָרַי אֶתְכֶם:
24. Since I called you and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one listened,   כד. יַעַן קָרָאתִי וַתְּמָאֵנוּ נָטִיתִי יָדִי וְאֵין מַקְשִׁיב:
I stretched out my hand: to beckon to you to turn to me, like a man who beckons to his friend with his hand, stretching out his hand to him to turn to him.  
25. and you have made nothing of all my advice, and you did not desire my reproof   כה. וַתִּפְרְעוּ כָל עֲצָתִי וְתוֹכַחְתִּי לֹא אֲבִיתֶם:
and you have made nothing: Heb. ותפרעו, and you nullified.  
all my advice: that I advised, in order to aggrandize you in the world.  
26. I, too, will laugh at your calamity, I will scoff when what you fear comes;   כו. גַּם אֲנִי בְּאֵידְכֶם אֶשְׂחָק אֶלְעַג בְּבֹא פַחְדְּכֶם:
27. when your fear comes like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind; when trouble and straits come upon you.   כז. בְּבֹא כְשֹׁאָוה כְשׁוֹאָה פַּחְדְּכֶם וְאֵידְכֶם כְּסוּפָה יֶאֱתֶה בְּבֹא עֲלֵיכֶם צָרָה וְצוּקָה:
when your fear comes like a storm: Like a cloud that comes up suddenly.  
like a whirlwind: Tourbillon in Old French, in German wirbelwind (Cf. Rashi, Jer. 4:13, Ps. 83:16).  
comes: Heb. יאתה, it comes.  
28. Then they will call me, and I will not answer; they shall seek me, and they shall not find me.   כח. אָז יִקְרָאֻנְנִי וְלֹא אֶעֱנֶה יְשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי וְלֹא יִמְצָאֻנְנִי:
they shall seek me: Heb. ישחרנני, they shall look for me.  
29. Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord;   כט. תַּחַת כִּי שָֹנְאוּ דָעַת וְיִרְאַת יְהוָֹה לֹא בָחָרוּ:
30. they did not desire my advice, they despised all my reproof-   ל. לֹא אָבוּ לַעֲצָתִי נָאֲצוּ כָּל תּוֹכַחְתִּי:
31. they will eat of the fruit of their way, and from their counsels they will be sated,   לא. וְיֹאכְלוּ מִפְּרִי דַרְכָּם וּמִמֹּעֲצֹתֵיהֶם יִשְׂבָּעוּ:
of the fruit of their way: The fruit of the troubles that befall them they eat in their lifetime, and the principal is preserved for them in Gehinnom.  
32. for the backsliding of the naive shall slay them, and the tranquility of the fools shall cause them to perish.   לב. כִּי מְשׁוּבַת פְּתָיִם תַּהַרְגֵם וְשַׁלְוַת כְּסִילִים תְּאַבְּדֵם:
for the backsliding of the naive: Heb. משובת פתים. Insofar as their heart backslides.  
and the tranquility of the fools shall cause them to perish: Since they see the wicked who prosper, they adhere to their evil and do not repent.  
33. But he who hearkens to me shall dwell confidently and shall be tranquil from the fear of harm."   לג. וְשֹׁמֵעַ לִי יִשְׁכָּן בֶּטַח וְשַׁאֲנַן מִפַּחַד רָעָה:
shall dwell confidently: in this world.  
and shall be tranquil: in the world to come.  
from the fear of harm: From the punishment of Gehinnom.  
and shall be tranquil: Heb. ושאנן and shall be tranquil and at rest. The word ושאנן is in the future tense; therefore, [the “nun”] is vowelized with a “pattah.”  
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