Prov. 21:9 -- Edgar Krentz's suggestion

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Tue Jan 28 1997 - 17:02:11 EST

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 28-JAN-1997 16:59:46.42
To: IN%""
Subj: RE: "Perry L. Stepp" <>

Dear Edgar, Perry, and Colleagues:

Differing with Edgar Krentz gives me real pause, but I really think my
suggestion of a few minutes ago is better, at two points:

[Perry Stepp's hesitant suggestion:]
> ("better to dwell in a corner in the open")
> ("than (to dwell?) hypocritically (?) in the same house with a wicked

[Edgar Krentz's proposal:]
I think you should translate something like the following:

"It is better to live (have one's house) in a corner under the sky
than in whitewashed walls with injustice and in a defiled (lit.: common)

The sense is that a house is made ritually impure if the people in it
commit injustice. Therefore it is preferable not to live in a house at all,
since a corner in the open should be ritually pure.

It reminds me of the whitewashed sepulchers in Matthew 23.

[Edward Hobbs:]

I believe "plastered [rooms]" is better than "whitewashed walls", in view
of two things: (a) "plastered" is far the commonest meaning, and (b) it has
a positive sense, which is what you want in this half of the clause.

More importantly, while "KOINOS" can mean, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (only?),
"non-kosher (meat)", this is not a meaning in earlier Greek (I believe--
maybe Edgar will shoot me down here), where "ordinary" or "regular" or the
like is the semi-negative sense. But far more to the point is this: Look
at the Hebrew; LXX translators were trying to render cHeVeR, which surely
means "in common", "shared." Since the KOINOS in LXX can readily also mean
this, it would be better to read it in that way--as a "house shared [with]"
someone or something.

Edward Hobbs

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