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What does it mean that "whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass"?


Proverbs 16:30

ESV - 30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 02 2013 Mini ismael tonido

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Mini Shanna Duck "Let a search be made in the royal archives..." Ezra 5:17 NIV
When you read the Bible, you have to remember that you're dealing not only with a foreign language(s), but also with ancient languages.

There are idioms- figures of speech and word-plays- in the ancient languages that we may still not be able to completely understand and that even the best translators struggle with. Idioms are still very common today. For instance, where I come from, if I say that my cow "kicked the bucket," I probably mean that the cow died. That's a common idiom; it's meaning isn't literal. Similarly, people in the past had their own ways of expressing things in non-literal ways. 

When you come upon a confusing passage such as this, consult many translations and the context around the verse. Other verses around this one talk of men devising evil schemes and trying to hurt their neighbors with gossip and violence.

 In general from what I found, the "wink" could be translated either as a wink-perhaps to another criminal or conspirator- or "shutting the eyes"- perhaps to dream up a scheme. 

Pursing the lips (compressing or puckering the lips) is apparently another idiom. In some translations it seems to mean concealing something- perhaps evil plans- or being deeply in thought devising evil. 

Proverbs is about how to live a wise lifestyle and avoid wrongdoing. To me, what we can basically gather from this is that it's wrong to make wicked plans and dream up evil schemes to hurt others.

December 03 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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