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For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood,

and pressing anger produces strife (byr). Proverbs 30:32-33

The reference to "strife" (byr) above probably indi-

cates that this non-aggression toward one's enemy is prior to any legal contest. A refusal to respond in kind preempts legal recourse. If legal recourse is sought (and is

construes it with v. 32bb and adds, "(watch your step)"; R. Scott, Proverbs Ecclesiastes: Introduction, Transla- tion, and Notes (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co. 1965), , p. 180, agrees regarding v . 32b and adds, “[Beware!]" to the beginning of v. 33. C. Toy, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Proverbs (Edinburgh: T. . Clark, 1899) p. 537, explains “Taken in connection with what follows, the meaning of the v. would be that silence is pacific; but text and sense are doubtful." B. Gemser, Spruche Salomos (Tubingen: Mohr, 1937), pp. 82-83, supplies no verb, but translates, "--die Hand auf den Mund!" and comments, "Cf. Hi. 21;5; Sich geltend machen ist eine gefährliche Sache; man erweckt leicht feindliche Gefuhle; drum gilt es, schweigend seinen Weg zu gehen.” H. Ringgren, Spruche: Ubersetzt und Erklart (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck Ruprecht, 19672) pp. 117-118, translates without supplying a verb just as Gemser does; he comments, "Der Text ist veilleicht nicht ganz richtig uberliefert. Der Sinn ist wohl: es ist besser zu schweigen als stolz und uberheblich zu reden. Ein Wortspiel. . . soll ziegen, da zornige Worte nur Streit erregen und dass es besser ist, sich ruhig zu verhalten.. " The best explanation of the verse is that of W. Oesterley, The Book of Proverbs with Introduction and Notes (London:Thethuen and Co., 1929), p. 280, who remarks, “Usually the verb 'lay' goes with the phrase, e.g., Job 21:5; once in Ecclus. it is as here, simply 'hand to mouth.’" Evidently, he is referring to Sir.

5:12 which reads ryp lf jdy (see I. Levi, The Hebrew

Text of the Book Ecclesiasticus [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1904].). The parallel in Sirach also significant in

that the prase is proceeded by two Mx clauses just as here.


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