Wisdom Seeker: Day 19

Proverbs 19

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Proverbs 19:2, ESV

Also, without knowledge the soul is not good, and he who hurries with his feet sins.

Proverbs 19:2, LITV

I’m low on time today, but thought I’d nerd out for a quick sec.

Perhaps because I’m in a hurry, the second verse stood out to me as I re-read the Proverbs chapter today. Let me confess that I was re-reading due to the fact that I breezed through it the first time since I’m low on time.

And whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way… Yeah, that.

My hurry is actually costing me time because I’m having to go back and do things twice or dropping them and adding a mess to my already-stacked agenda. Funny how God directed my attention to this verse, huh?

Anyway, nerding out now…

I’ve seen this verse in various translations and they are all a little bit different. As part of forcibly slowing myself down, I went and read it in Hebrew.

And it isn’t super-clear.

The truth is, the first word of the verse could be yet, even, although, also, or even. It can be used to emphasize or associate items, or when combined with a negative particle like it is here (kinda), it can negate.

The second word consists of a negative particle prefixed with a preposition, usually translated in, at, with, by, against, into, or within.

Next there is the word for knowledge and a word variously translated as soul, life, living thing, neck, or throat.

The second translation I put above is the more literal one, but without trying to make it sound smoother in English, you could also read it as: Yet (or even) with no knowledge, a soul (or living thing) is no good.

There really is no Hebrew word that corresponds to our English is or was, so you have to dive into context a little when you have a verbless clause like the one that occurs at the beginning of verse 2.

Either way you slice it, the import of the phrase is that a lack of knowledge is kind of a soul poisoner. It’s interesting that it is paired with the bit about hurrying with your feet (which, by the way, is far simpler to translate).

I don’t know about you, but when I hurry off on my way, I tend to do it without the knowledge I need. I tend to jump in without first looking where I’m jumping when I’m in a rush. Not good. Well, there’s an understatement.

So this girl is slowing down today. I guess I’ll get done what I can and not worry about what I can’t (like reading other lovely blogs – sorry!!).

And I’ll try to remember that knowledge of where I’m heading is pretty critical to actually arriving there, whether figuratively or literally speaking.

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