42 I will exhaust my rage on you, and then my fury will turn from you. I will calm down and no longer be angry.
43 “‘Because you did not remember the days of your youth and have enraged me with all these deeds, I hereby repay you for what you have done,[a] declares the Sovereign Lord. Have you not engaged in prostitution on top of all your other abominable practices?
44 “‘Observe—everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who detested her husband and her sons, and you are the sister of your sisters, who detested their husbands and their sons. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived north[b] of you with her daughters, and your younger sister, who lived south[c] of you, was Sodom[d] with her daughters. 47 Have you not copied their behavior[e] and practiced their abominable deeds? In a short time[f] you became even more depraved in all your conduct than they were! 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never behaved as wickedly as you and your daughters have behaved.
49 “‘See here—this was the iniquity[g] of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had majesty, abundance of food, and enjoyed carefree ease, but they did not help[h] the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and practiced abominable deeds before me. Therefore, when I saw it I removed them. 51 Samaria has not committed half the sins you have; you have done more abominable deeds than they did.[i] You have made your sisters appear righteous with all the abominable things you have done. 52 So now, bear your disgrace, because you have given your sisters reason to justify their behavior.[j] Because the sins you have committed were more abominable than those of your sisters; they have become more righteous than you. So now, be ashamed and bear the disgrace of making your sisters appear righteous.
53 “‘I will restore their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters (along with your fortunes among them), 54 so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in consoling them. 55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters will be restored to their former status, Samaria and her daughters will be restored to their former status, and you and your daughters will be restored to your former status. 56 In your days of majesty,[k] was not Sodom your sister a byword in your mouth, 57 before your evil was exposed? Now you have become an object of scorn to the daughters of Aram[l] and all those around her and to the daughters of the Philistines—those all around you who despise you. 58 You must bear your punishment for your obscene conduct and your abominable practices, declares the Lord.
59 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you according to what you have done when you despised your oath by breaking your covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish a lasting[m] covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your conduct, and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on account of my covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and then you will know that I am the Lord. 63 Then you will remember, be ashamed, and remain silent[n] because of your disgrace when I make atonement for all you have done,[o] declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
A Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
“‘A great eagle[r] with broad wings, long feathers,[s]
with full plumage that was multi-hued,[t]
came to Lebanon[u] and took the top of the cedar.
4 He plucked off its topmost shoot;
he brought it to a land of merchants
and planted it in a city of traders.
5 He took one of the seedlings[v] of the land,
placed it in a cultivated plot;[w]
a shoot by abundant water,
like a willow he planted it.
6 It sprouted and became a vine,
spreading low to the ground;[x]
its branches turning toward him,[y] its roots were under itself.[z]
So it became a vine; it produced shoots and sent out branches.
7 “‘There was another great eagle[aa]
with broad wings and thick plumage.
Now this vine twisted its roots toward him
and sent its branches toward him
to be watered from the soil where it was planted.
8 In a good field, by abundant waters, it was planted
to grow branches, bear fruit, and become a beautiful vine.’
9 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Will it prosper?
Will he not rip out its roots
and cause its fruit to rot[ab] and wither?
All its foliage[ac] will wither.
No strong arm or large army
will be needed to pull it out by its roots.[ad]
10 Consider! It is planted, but will it prosper?
Will it not wither completely when the east wind blows on it?
Will it not wither in the soil where it sprouted?’”
11 Then the Lord’s message came to me: 12 “Say to the rebellious house of Israel:[ae] ‘Don’t you know what these things mean?’[af] Say: ‘See here, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took her king and her officials prisoner and brought them to himself in Babylon. 13 He took one from the royal family,[ag] made a treaty with him, and put him under oath.[ah] He then took the leaders of the land 14 so it would be a lowly kingdom that could not rise on its own but had to keep its treaty with him in order to stand. 15 But this one from Israel’s royal family[ai] rebelled against the king of Babylon[aj] by sending his emissaries to Egypt to obtain horses and a large army. Will he prosper? Will the one doing these things escape? Can he break the covenant and escape?
16 “‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, surely in the city[ak] of the king who crowned him, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke—in the middle of Babylon he will die! 17 Pharaoh with his great army and mighty horde will not help[al] him in battle, when siege ramps are erected and siege walls are built to kill many people. 18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Take note[am]—he gave his promise[an] and did all these things. He will not escape!
19 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will certainly repay him[ao] for despising my oath and breaking my covenant! 20 I will throw my net over him and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylon and judge him there because of the unfaithfulness he committed against me. 21 All the choice men[ap] among his troops will die[aq] by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken!
22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will take a sprig[ar] from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.[as]
I will pluck from the top one of its tender twigs;
I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
23 I will plant it on a high mountain of Israel,
and it will raise branches and produce fruit and become a beautiful cedar.
Every bird will live under it;
Every winged creature will live in the shade of its branches.
24 All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord.
I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree.
I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout.
I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”
- Ezekiel 16:43 tn Heb “your way on (your) head I have placed.”
- Ezekiel 16:46 tn Heb “left.”
- Ezekiel 16:46 tn Heb “right.”
- Ezekiel 16:46 sn Sodom was the epitome of evil (Deut 29:23; 32:32; Isa 1:9-10; 3:9; Jer 23:14; Lam 4:6; Matt 10:15; 11:23-24; Jude 7).
- Ezekiel 16:47 tn Heb “walked in their ways.”
- Ezekiel 16:47 tn The Hebrew expression has a temporal meaning as illustrated by the use of the phrase in 2 Chr 12:7.
- Ezekiel 16:49 tn Or “guilt.”
- Ezekiel 16:49 tn Heb “strengthen the hand of.”
- Ezekiel 16:51 tn Or “you have multiplied your abominable deeds beyond them.”
- Ezekiel 16:52 tn Heb “because you have interceded for your sisters with your sins.”
- Ezekiel 16:56 tn Or “pride.”
- Ezekiel 16:57 tc So MT, LXX, and Vulgate; many Hebrew mss and the Syriac read “Edom.”
- Ezekiel 16:60 tn Or “eternal.”
- Ezekiel 16:63 tn Heb “and your mouth will not be open any longer.”
- Ezekiel 16:63 tn Heb “when I make atonement for you for all that you have done.”
- Ezekiel 17:2 sn The verb occurs elsewhere in the OT only in Judg 14:12-19, where Samson supplies a riddle.
- Ezekiel 17:3 tn The parable assumes the defection of Zedekiah to Egypt and his rejection of Babylonian lordship.
- Ezekiel 17:3 sn The great eagle symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar (17:12).
- Ezekiel 17:3 tn Hebrew has two words for wings; it is unknown whether they are fully synonymous or whether one term distinguishes a particular part of the wing such as the wing coverts (nearest the shoulder), secondaries (mid-feathers of the wing), or primaries (last and longest section of the wing).
- Ezekiel 17:3 tn This term was used in 16:10, 13, and 18 of embroidered cloth.
- Ezekiel 17:3 sn In the parable Lebanon apparently refers to Jerusalem (17:12).
- Ezekiel 17:5 tn Heb “took of the seed of the land.” For the vine imagery, “seedling” is a better translation, though in its subsequent interpretation the “seed” refers to Zedekiah through its common application to offspring.
- Ezekiel 17:5 tn Heb “a field for seed.”
- Ezekiel 17:6 tn Heb “short of stature.”
- Ezekiel 17:6 tn That is, the eagle.
- Ezekiel 17:6 tn Or “him,” i.e., the eagle.
- Ezekiel 17:7 sn The phrase another great eagle refers to Pharaoh Hophra.
- Ezekiel 17:9 tn The Hebrew root occurs only here in the OT and appears to have the meaning of “strip off.” In application to fruit the meaning may be “cause to rot.”
- Ezekiel 17:9 tn Heb “all the טַרְפֵּי (tarpe) of branches.” The word טַרְפֵּי occurs only here in the Bible; its precise meaning is uncertain.
- Ezekiel 17:9 tn Or “there will be no strong arm or large army when it is pulled up by the roots.”
- Ezekiel 17:12 tn The words “of Israel” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied in the translation as a clarification of the referent.sn The book of Ezekiel frequently refers to the Israelites as a rebellious house (Ezek 2:5, 6, 8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3).
- Ezekiel 17:12 sn The narrative description of this interpretation of the riddle is given in 2 Kgs 24:11-15.
- Ezekiel 17:13 tn Or “descendants”; Heb “seed” (cf. v. 5).
- Ezekiel 17:13 tn Heb “caused him to enter into an oath.”
- Ezekiel 17:15 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the member of the royal family, v. 13) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 17:15 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the king of Babylon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 17:16 tn Heb “place.”
- Ezekiel 17:17 tn Heb “deal with” or “work with.”
- Ezekiel 17:18 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) indicates being aware of or taking notice of something.
- Ezekiel 17:18 sn Heb “hand.” “Giving one’s hand” is a gesture of promise (2 Kgs 10:15).
- Ezekiel 17:19 tn Heb “place it on his head.”
- Ezekiel 17:21 tc Some manuscripts and versions read “choice men,” while most manuscripts read “fugitives”; the difference arises from the reversal, or metathesis, of two letters, מִבְרָחָיו (mivrakhayv) for מִבְחָריו (mivkharayv).
- Ezekiel 17:21 tn Heb “fall.”
- Ezekiel 17:22 sn The language is analogous to messianic imagery in Isa 11:1; Zech 3:8; 6:4, although the technical terminology is not the same.
- Ezekiel 17:22 tc The LXX lacks “and plant it.”
The High Priest of a Better Covenant
8 Now the main point of what we are saying is this:[a] We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,[b] 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer[c] the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 The place where they serve is[d] a sketch[e] and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the design[f] shown to you on the mountain.”[g] 6 But[h] now Jesus[i] has obtained a superior ministry, since[j] the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted[k] on better promises.[l]
“Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
9 “It will not be like the covenant[r] that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put[s] my laws in their minds[t] and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people.[u]
11 “And there will be no need at all[v] for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.[w]
12 “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.”[x]
- Hebrews 8:1 tn Grk “the main point of the things being said.”
- Hebrews 8:1 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1; see Heb 1:3, 13.
- Hebrews 8:4 tn Grk “there are those who offer.”
- Hebrews 8:5 tn Grk “who serve in,” referring to the Levitical priests, but focusing on the provisional and typological nature of the tabernacle in which they served.
- Hebrews 8:5 tn Or “prototype,” “outline.” The Greek word ὑπόδειγμα (hupodeigma) does not mean “copy,” as it is often translated; it means “something to be copied,” a basis for imitation. BDAG 1037 s.v. 2 lists both Heb 8:5 and 9:23 under the second category of usage, “an indication of someth. that appears at a subsequent time,” emphasizing the temporal progression between the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries.sn There are two main options for understanding the conceptual background of the heavenly sanctuary imagery. The first is to understand the imagery to be functioning on a vertical plane. This background is Hellenistic, philosophical, and spatial in orientation and sees the earthly sanctuary as a copy of the heavenly reality. The other option is to see the imagery functioning on a horizontal plane. This background is Jewish, eschatological, and temporal and sees the heavenly sanctuary as the fulfillment and true form of the earthly sanctuary which preceded it. The second option is preferred, both for lexical reasons (see tn above) and because it fits the Jewish context of the book (although many scholars prefer to emphasize the relationship the book has to Hellenistic thought).
- Hebrews 8:5 tn The word τύπος (tupos) here has the meaning “an archetype serving as a model, type, pattern, model” (BDAG 1020 s.v. 6.a). This is in keeping with the horizontal imagery accepted for this verse (see sn on “sketch” earlier in the verse). Here Moses was shown the future heavenly sanctuary which, though it did not yet exist, became the outline for the earthly sanctuary.
- Hebrews 8:5 sn A quotation from Exod 25:40.
- Hebrews 8:6 sn The Greek text indicates a contrast between vv. 4-5 and v. 6 that is difficult to render in English: Jesus’ status in the old order of priests (vv. 4-5) versus his superior ministry (v. 6).
- Hebrews 8:6 tn Grk “he”; in the translation the referent (Jesus) has been specified for clarity.
- Hebrews 8:6 tn Grk “to the degree that.”
- Hebrews 8:6 tn Grk “which is enacted.”
- Hebrews 8:6 sn This linkage of the change in priesthood with a change in the law or the covenant goes back to Heb 7:12, 22 and is picked up again in Heb 9:6-15 and 10:1-18.
- Hebrews 8:7 tn Grk “no occasion for a second one would have been sought.”
- Hebrews 8:8 tn Grk “for,” but providing an explanation of the God-intended limitation of the first covenant from v. 7.
- Hebrews 8:8 sn The “fault” or limitation in the first covenant was not in its inherent righteousness, but in its design from God himself. It was never intended to be his final revelation or provision for mankind; it was provisional, always pointing toward the fulfillment to come in Christ.
- Hebrews 8:8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Hebrews 8:8 tc ‡ Several witnesses (א* A D* I K P Ψ 33 81 326 365 1505 2464 al latt co Cyr) have αὐτούς (autous) here, “[in finding fault with] them, [he says],” alluding to Israel’s failings mentioned in v. 9b. (The verb μέμφομαι [memphomai, “to find fault with”] can take an accusative or dative direct object.) The reading behind the text above (αὐτοίς, autois), supported by P46 א2 B D2 0278 1739 1881 M, is perhaps a harder reading theologically, and is more ambiguous in meaning. If αὐτοίς goes with μεμφόμενος (memphomenos, here translated “showing its fault”), the clause could be translated “in finding fault with them” or “in showing [its] faults to them.” If αὐτοίς goes with the following λέγει (legei, “he says”), the clause is best translated, “in finding/showing [its] faults, he says to them.” The accusative pronoun suffers no such ambiguity, for it must be the object of μεμφόμενος rather than λέγει. Although a decision is difficult, the dative form of the pronoun best explains the rise of the other reading and is thus more likely to be original.
- Hebrews 8:9 tn Grk “not like the covenant,” continuing the description of v. 8b.
- Hebrews 8:10 tn Grk “putting…I will inscribe.”
- Hebrews 8:10 tn Grk “mind.”
- Hebrews 8:10 tn Grk “I will be to them for a God and they will be to me for a people,” following the Hebrew constructions of Jer 31.
- Hebrews 8:11 tn Grk “they will not teach, each one his fellow citizen…” The Greek makes this negation emphatic: “they will certainly not teach.”
- Hebrews 8:11 tn Grk “from the small to the great.”
- Hebrews 8:12 sn A quotation from Jer 31:31-34.
- Hebrews 8:13 tn Grk “when he says, ‘new,’” (referring to the covenant).
- Hebrews 8:13 tn Grk “near to disappearing.”
13 They quickly forgot what he had done;[a]
they did not wait for his instructions.[b]
14 In the wilderness they had an insatiable craving[c] for meat;[d]
they challenged God[e] in the wastelands.
15 He granted their request,
then struck them with a disease.[f]
16 In the camp they resented[g] Moses,
and Aaron, the Lord’s holy priest.[h]
17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
it engulfed[i] the group led by Abiram.[j]
18 Fire burned their group;
the flames scorched the wicked.[k]
19 They made an image of a calf at Horeb,
and worshiped a metal idol.
20 They traded their majestic God[l]
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They rejected[m] the God who delivered them,
the one who performed great deeds in Egypt,
22 amazing feats in the land of Ham,
mighty acts[n] by the Red Sea.
23 He threatened[o] to destroy them,
but[p] Moses, his chosen one, interceded with him[q]
and turned back his destructive anger.[r]
24 They rejected the fruitful land;[s]
they did not believe his promise.[t]
25 They grumbled in their tents;[u]
they did not obey[v] the Lord.
26 So he made a solemn vow[w]
that he would make them die[x] in the wilderness,
27 make their descendants[y] die[z] among the nations,
and scatter them among foreign lands.[aa]
28 They worshiped[ab] Baal of Peor,
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.[ac]
29 They made the Lord angry[ad] by their actions,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Phinehas took a stand and intervened,[ae]
and the plague subsided.
31 This was credited to Phinehas as a righteous act
for all generations to come.[af]
- Psalm 106:13 tn Heb “his works.”
- Psalm 106:13 tn Heb “his counsel.”
- Psalm 106:14 sn They had an insatiable craving. This is described in Num 11:4-35.
- Psalm 106:14 tn Heb “they craved [with] a craving.”
- Psalm 106:14 tn Heb “they tested God.”
- Psalm 106:15 tn Heb “and he sent leanness into their being.”sn Disease. See Num 11:33-34, where this plague is described.
- Psalm 106:16 tn Or “envied.”
- Psalm 106:16 tn Heb “the holy one of the Lord.”
- Psalm 106:17 tn Or “covered.”
- Psalm 106:17 tn Or “the assembly of Abiram.”
- Psalm 106:18 sn Verses 16-18 describe the events of Num 16:1-40.
- Psalm 106:20 tn Heb “their glory.” According to an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition, the text originally read “his glory” or “my glory.” In Jer 2:11 the Lord states that his people (Israel) exchanged “their glory” (a reference to the Lord) for worthless idols.
- Psalm 106:21 tn Heb “forgot.”
- Psalm 106:22 tn Or “awe-inspiring acts.”
- Psalm 106:23 tn Heb “and he said.”
- Psalm 106:23 tn Heb “if not,” that is, “[and would have] if [Moses] had not.”
- Psalm 106:23 tn Heb “stood in the gap before him.”
- Psalm 106:23 tn Heb “to turn back his anger from destroying.”sn Verses 19-23 describe the events of Exod 32:1-35.
- Psalm 106:24 tn Heb “a land of delight” (see also Jer 3:19; Zech 7:14).
- Psalm 106:24 tn Heb “his word.”
- Psalm 106:25 sn They grumbled in their tents. See Deut 1:27.
- Psalm 106:25 tn Heb “did not listen to the voice of.”
- Psalm 106:26 tn Heb “and he lifted his hand to [or “concerning”] them.” The idiom “to lift a hand” here refers to swearing an oath. One would sometimes solemnly lift one’s hand when making such a vow (see Ezek 20:5-6, 15).
- Psalm 106:26 tn Heb “to cause them to fall.”
- Psalm 106:27 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”
- Psalm 106:27 tn Heb “and to cause their offspring to fall.” Some emend the verb to “scatter” to form tighter parallelism with the following line (cf. NRSV “disperse”).
- Psalm 106:27 tn Heb “among the lands.” The word “foreign” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
- Psalm 106:28 tn Heb “joined themselves to.”sn They worshiped Baal of Peor. See Num 25:3, 5. Baal of Peor was a local manifestation of the Canaanite deity Baal located at Peor.
- Psalm 106:28 tn Here “the dead” may refer to deceased ancestors (see Deut 26:14). Another option is to understand the term as a derogatory reference to the various deities which the Israelites worshiped at Peor along with Baal (see Num 25:2 and L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 49).
- Psalm 106:29 tn Heb “They made angry [him].” The pronominal suffix is omitted here, but does appear in a few medieval Hebrew mss. Perhaps it was accidentally left off, an original וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ (vayyakhʿisuhu) being misread as וַיַּכְעִיסוּ (vayyakhʿisu). In the translation the referent of the pronominal suffix (the Lord) has been specified for clarity to avoid confusion with Baal of Peor (mentioned in the previous verse).
- Psalm 106:30 sn The intervention of Phinehas is recounted in Num 25:7-8.
- Psalm 106:31 tn Heb “and it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to a generation and a generation forever.” The verb חָשַׁב (khashav, “to reckon”) is collocated with צְדָקָה (tsedaqah, “righteousness”) only in Ps 106:31 and Gen 15:6, where God credits Abram’s faith as righteousness.
7 The one whose appetite[a] is satisfied loathes honey,
but to the hungry mouth[b] every bitter thing is sweet.
8 Like a bird that wanders[c] from its nest,
so is a person who wanders from his home.[d]
9 Ointment and incense make the heart rejoice,[e]
likewise the sweetness of one’s friend from sincere counsel.[f]
- Proverbs 27:7 tn Traditionally, “soul” (so KJV, ASV). The Hebrew text uses נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here for the subject—the full appetite [“soul”]. The word refers to the whole person with all his appetites. Here its primary reference is to eating, but it has a wider application than that—possession, experience, education, and the like.
- Proverbs 27:7 tn Here the term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, traditionally, “soul”) is used again, now in contrast to describe the “hungry appetite” (cf. NRSV “ravenous appetite”), although “hungry mouth” might be more idiomatic for the idea. Those whose needs are great are more appreciative of things than those who are satisfied. The needy will be delighted even with bitter things.
- Proverbs 27:8 tn The form נוֹדֶדֶת (nodedet) is the Qal participle from נָדַד (nadad), “to wander; to stray; to flutter; to retreat; to depart”; cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT “strays.” It will be directly paralleled with the masculine participle in the second colon.
- Proverbs 27:8 tn Heb “place” (so KJV, ASV); most other English versions translate as “home.”sn The reason for the wandering from the nest/place is not given, but it could be because of exile, eviction, business, or irresponsible actions. The saying may be generally observing that those who wander lack the security of their home and cannot contribute to their community (e.g., the massive movement of refugees). It could be portraying the unhappy plight of the wanderer without condemning him over the reason for the flight.
- Proverbs 27:9 sn The first line of the proverb provides the emblem to the parallel point. The emblem is the joy that anointing oil (ointment) and incense bring, and the point is the value of the advice of a friend.
- Proverbs 27:9 tn Some think the MT is unintelligible as it stands: “The sweetness of his friend from the counsel of the soul.” The Latin version has “the soul is sweetened by the good counsels of a friend.” D. W. Thomas suggests, “counsels of a friend make sweet the soul” (“Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VT 15 : 275). G. R. Driver suggests, “the counsel of a friend is sweeter than one’s own advice” (literally, “more than the counsel of the soul”). He also suggests “more than of fragrant wood.” See G. R. Driver, “Hebrew Notes,” ZAW 52 (1934): 54; idem, “Suggestions and Objections,” ZAW 55 (1937): 69-70. The LXX reads “and the soul is rent by misfortunes.” The MT, for want of better or more convincing readings, may be interpreted to mean something like “[Just as] ointment and incense brings joy to the heart, [so] the sweetness of one’s friend [comes] from his sincere counsel.”