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Proverbs 22:29 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; He shall not stand before mean men.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men].
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men].
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Hast thou seen a man diligent in his work? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before the mean.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Seest thou a man prompt in his business? before kings, shall he stand, he shall not stand before men who are obscure.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Hast thou seen a man speedy in his business? Before kings he doth station himself, He stations not himself before obscure men!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Hast thou seen a man swift in his work? he shall stand before kings, and shall not be before those that are obscure.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Seest thou a man diligent in his businesse? hee shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before meane men.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— It is fit that an observant man and [one] diligent in his business should attend on kings, and not attend on slothful men.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men].

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Seest 2372
{2372} Prime
חָזָה
chazah
{khaw-zaw'}
A primitive root; to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically to have a vision of.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
thou a man 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
diligent 4106
{4106} Prime
מָהִיר
mahiyr
{maw-here'}
From H4116; quick; hence skilful.
in his business? 4399
{4399} Prime
מְלָאכָה
m@la'kah
{mel-aw-kaw'}
From the same as H4397; properly deputyship, that is, ministry; generally employment (never servile) or work (abstractly or concretely); also property (as the result of labor).
he shall stand 3320
{3320} Prime
יָצַב
yatsab
{yaw-tsab'}
A primitive root; to place (any thing so as to stay); reflexively to station, offer, continue.
z8691
<8691> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 533
before 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
kings; 4428
{4428} Prime
מֶּלֶךְ
melek
{meh'-lek}
From H4427; a king.
he shall not x1077
(1077) Complement
בַּל
bal
{bal}
From H1086; properly a failure; by implication nothing; usually (adverbially) not at all; also lest.
stand 3320
{3320} Prime
יָצַב
yatsab
{yaw-tsab'}
A primitive root; to place (any thing so as to stay); reflexively to station, offer, continue.
z8691
<8691> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 533
before 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
mean 2823
{2823} Prime
חָשֹׁךְ
chashok
{khaw-shoke'}
From H2821; dark (figuratively that is, obscure).
[men].
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Proverbs 22:29

_ _ Success rewards diligence (Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 21:5).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Proverbs 22:29

_ _ Here is, 1. A plain intimation what a hard thing it is to find a truly ingenious industrious man: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? Thou wilt not see many such, so epidemical are dulness and slothfulness.” He is here commended who lays out himself to get business, though it be but in a very low and narrow sphere, and is not easy when he is out of business, who loves business, is quick and active in it, and goes through it, not only with constancy and resolution, but with dexterity and expedition, a man of despatch, who knows how to bring a deal of business into a little compass. 2. A moral prognostication of the preferment of such a man; though now he stands before mean men, is employed by them and attends upon them, yet he will rise, and is likely enough to stand before kings, as an ambassador to foreign kings or prime-minister of state to his own. Seest thou a man diligent in the business of religion? He is likely to excel in virtue, and shall stand before the King of kings.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Proverbs 22:29

Before kings — He is fit to be employed in the affairs of princes.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
a man:

Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth [with] a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
1 Kings 11:28 And the man Jeroboam [was] a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

he shall stand:
That is, he shall have the honour of serving kings; as the phrase denotes.

mean men:
Heb. obscure men
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1K 11:28. Pv 10:4; 12:24. Ec 9:10. Mt 25:21, 23. Ro 12:11. 2Ti 4:2.

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This verse is misinterpreted by most of Bible commentators:

Two years ago I was in my office when a word came to me speedly (I felt in my spirit) from an angel of God saying in french as a question :

« Do you see someone skilled in his works where does he stand? »
I answered in french: He will stand before kings
And He asked me : «who are the kings? »
I opened my mouth to answer and at the same moment the word was given to me : Those who will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Dear Brothers in Christ, and Bible commentators, it’s the lack of understanding of the word kings that lead to wrong translation of the second part of proverbs 22:29.
The hebrew word translate as Unknown, mean, obscure, low rank, ordinary, not important
חֲשֻׁכִּים; chashok; which means dark so the right translation is men of darkness (sinners, ungodly): those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God but are reserved for the lake of fire.

It can be also translated by mean men but the meaning of mean in english dictionnary has been hackneyed. English dictionnaries must define dark or obscure men as sinners or ungodly.

There is no contradiction in the Bible.

Psalm1 explains better Proverbs 22 :29.

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of YAHVEH, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the jugement,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For YAHVEH Knows the way of the righteous ,
But the way of the ungodly brings to destruction.
The righteous in Psalm 1 is the kings in Proverbs 22:29 as was reveled to the Prophet Zechariah:
‘‘In that day the one who is feeble among the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be like David‘‘
Zechariah 12:8

And Apostle John to say:
‘‘Christ Jesus has made us kings and priests to His God and Father‘‘ Revelation 1:6

And Apostle Peter to say :
‘‘ You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation’’ 1Peter 2 :9

The dark men or men of darkness state in proverbs 22 :29 are the ungodly, the sinners and the scornful define in Psalm 1.

I would prefer to stand before unknown, low rank, ordinary or not important men who are righteous rather than ungodly kings on the earth.
David was persecuted by king Saul.
Daniel was cast into the den of lions by king Darius
If the Hand of YAHVEH wasn’t upon them they would have been killed.

The bad interpretation and translation of proverbs 22:29 is killing a lot of people mainly christians.
Please do any diligence to correct this situation which leads to death. King Salomon said:
‘‘ Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard‘‘
proverbs 21:13.

Moreover Apostle John said:
‘‘ For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book : If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
If anyone takes away from the words of the the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his Parts from the Book of Life, from the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book‘‘ Revelation 22:19

Should there be any query please don’t hesitate to contact me.
John Thierry Tchiakpe
Email : jtchiakpe@gmail.com

- John Thierry Tchiakpe (11/27/2015 7:31:13 AM)
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