Beginning of Wisdom

Proverbs from the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East

Transience and permanence (Proverbs 10:24–25)

Posted by jac/cdc on April 9, 2007


מְגֹורַת רָשָׁע הִיא תְבֹואֶנּוּ וְתַאֲוַת צַדִּיקִים יִתֵּן׃
כַּעֲבֹור סוּפָה וְאֵין רָשָׁע וְצַדִּיק יְסֹוד עֹולָם׃


m’-go-RAT ra-SHA HEE t’-vo-e-NU v’-ta-a-VAT tsa-dee-KEEM yi-TAYN
ka-a-VOR su-FA v’-AYN ra-SHA v’-tsa-DEEK y’-SOD o-LAM


The wicked’s dread—it will come on them, and the desire of the righteous ones is granted.
When the stormwind passes by, the wicked is no more; but the righteous will be established forever.

These verses return to the dominant theme of righteous-wicked in this chapter, and may be closely related to each other: neither the “dread” of the wicked nor the “stormwind” that destroys them is defined, but it is hard to avoid taking them as mutually referential in one sense. However, there is a limit to how much these two may be identified since the stormwind may be envisioned as overtaking both the wicked and the righteous, the contrast being the sustainability of the righteous in the face of the stormwind and not the avoidance of its onslaught. It is clear in any case that the general conviction of the ends of the wicked and righteous is affirmed in these verses.

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