|Prior Book | Prior Chapter | Prior Verse | Next Verse | Next Chapter | Next Book | Viewing NASB and Amplified 2015|
|NASB||Proverbs 6:31 But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
He must give all the substance of his house.
|Proverbs 6:31 But when he is found, he must repay seven times [what he stole];
He must give all the property of his house [if necessary to meet his fine].
|Bible Question: Proverbs 6:31 immediately follows Proverbs 6:30. I don't know of any practicing Christians who would demand a sevenfold return from someone who stole food because he (or she) was hungy. That would seem very much out of step with the teachings of Jesus! But what if "the thief" did not steal food, but scammed people out of large amounts of money (such as retirement savings)? What does the KJV Bible mean by "if the thief be found"? Found by whom or by what means? If the thief is not "found" (by humans), does that mean the thieves do not have to repay what they stole, nor the specified multiples thereof? God, being omnicient (sp?) always finds all thieves, rendering the condition "if the thief be found" rather meaningless, wouldn't you agree? Finally, some translations word this Bible verse as "the thief shall restore" (implying it's a done deal, and the thief has no choice in the matter), as opposed to "the thief must restore" (implying the thief has to make his own decision about restoration); "fat chance" if the thief has no remorse about the thefts! Can anyone out there shed some light on this subject, for the benefit of those who were robbed years ago, without any sort of compensation to date?|
Bible Answer: I think you may have a misunderstanding of the nature of the book of Proverbs:
As brief maxims, the verses in Proverbs are distilled, to-the-point sentences about life. They boil down, crystallize, and condense the experiences and observations of the writers. The brief but concentrated nature of the maxims cause their readers to reflect on their meanings. They tell what life is like and how life should be lived. In a terse, no-words-wasted fashion, some statements in Proverbs relate what is commonly observed in life; others recommend or exhort how life should be lived. And when advice is given, a reason for the counsel usually follows.
Many of the proverbial maxims should be recognized as guidelines, not absolute observations; they are not iron-clad promises.
- The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty