Proverbs - 29:13

13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Proverbs 29:13.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.
The poor man and the oppressor meet together; Jehovah lighteneth the eyes of them both.
The poor man and the creditor have met one another: the Lord is the enlightener of them both.
The indigent and the oppressor meet together; Jehovah lighteneth the eyes of them both.
The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD enlighteneth both their eyes.
The poor and the man of frauds have met together, Jehovah is enlightening the eyes of them both.
The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lightens both their eyes.
The poor man and his creditor come face to face: the Lord gives light to their eyes equally.
The poor man and the oppressor meet together; The LORD giveth light to the eyes of them both.
The pauper and the creditor have met one another. The Lord is the illuminator of them both.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Better, The poor and the oppressor. "Usurer," as in the margin expresses the special form of oppression from which the poor suffer most at the hands of the rich. God has made them both and bestows His light equally on both.

The poor and the deceitful man - It is difficult to fix the meaning of תככים techachim, which we here render the deceitful man. The Targum has, "The poor and the man of Little Wealth." The Septuagint, "The usurer and the Debtor." The Vulgate, "The poor and Creditor." Coverdale, "The poor and the Lender." Others, "The poor and the Rich;" "The poor and the Oppressors." I suppose the meaning may be the same as in Proverbs 22:2 (note): "The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all." Where see the note.

The poor and the deceitful man meet together,.... Or "the usurer" (q); who by usury, by fraud and deception, is possessed of the mammon of unrighteousness, and is become rich; he and the poor man meet together; and so the sense is the same as in Proverbs 22:2; See Gill on Proverbs 22:2;
the Lord lighteneth both their eyes; with the light of natural life, and with the light of natural reason, John 1:4; and so is the same as being "the Maker of them all", in the above place; or he bestows his providential favours on both; causes his sun to shine upon the rich and poor, the wicked and the righteous, Matthew 5:45. Or it may be understood of the light of grace; for though, for the most part, God chooses and calls the poor of the world, and lightens their eyes with the light of his grace, when not many wise and noble are called and enlightened; yet this is not restrained wholly to men of one and the same condition of life; yea, God sometimes calls and enlightens publicans, tax gatherers, and extortioners, as Matthew and Zacchaeus.
(q) "vir usurarum", Mercerus; "foenerator", Piscator, Tigurine version; "usurarius", Munster.

Some are poor, others have a great deal of deceitful riches. They meet in the business of this world; the Lord gives to both the comforts of this life. To some of both sorts he gives his grace.

(Compare Proverbs 22:2).
deceitful man--literally, "man of vexations," an exactor.
the Lord . . . their eyes--sustains their lives (1-Samuel 14:27; Psalm 13:3); that is, both depend on Him, and He will do justice.

13 The poor man and the usurer meet together -
Jahve lighteneth the eyes of both.
A variation of Proverbs 22:2, according to which the proverb is to be understood in both of its parts. That אישׁ תּככים is the contrast of רשׁ, is rightly supposed in Temura 16b; but Rashi, who brings out here a man of moderate learning, and Saadia, a man of a moderate condition (thus also the Targ. גּברא מצעיא, after Buxtorf, homo mediocris fortunae), err by connecting the word with תּוך. The lxx δανειστοῦ καὶ χρεωφειλέτου (ἀλλήλοις συνελθόντων), which would be more correct inverted, for אישׁ תככים is a man who makes oppressive taxes, high previous payments of interest; the verbal stem תּכך, Arab. tak, is a secondary to R. wak, which has the meanings of pressing together, and pressing firm (whence also the middle is named; cf. Arab. samym âlaklab, the solid = the middle point of the heart). תּך, with the plur. תככים, scarcely in itself denotes interest, τόκος; the designation אישׁ תככים includes in it a sensible reproach (Syr. afflictor), and a rentier cannot be so called (Hitzig). Luther: Reiche [rich men], with the marginal note: "who can practise usury as they then generally all do?" Therefore Lwenstein understands the second line after 1-Samuel 2:7 : God enlighteneth their eyes by raising the lowly and humbling the proud. But this line, after Proverbs 22:2, only means that the poor as well as the rich owe the light of life (Psalm 13:4) to God, the creator and ruler of all things - a fact which has also its moral side: both are conditioned by Him, stand under His control, and have to give to Him an account; or otherwise rendered: God maketh His sun to rise on the low and the high, the evil and the good (cf. Matthew 5:45) - an all-embracing love full of typical moral motive.
(Note: מאיר has, by Lwenstein, Mehuppach Legarmeh, but incorrectly, since after Legarmeh two conjunctives cannot occur. Also Norzi with Mehuppach Mercha is irregular, since Ben-Asher recognises only two examples of this double accentuation to which this מאיר does not belong; vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 12. That the penultima toning מאיר in several editions is false scarcely needs to be remarked. Jablonski rightly points with Mehuppach on the ult., and Zinnorith on the preceding open syllable.)

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