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It is not good to show favoritism toward a wicked person—
depriving a righteous person from justice. Bible

“show favoritism.” The Hebrew is “lift up the face,” which is an idiom of acceptance and therefore in this context partiality. The sense of the verse is achieved, but without the important reference to the face, by saying that it is not good to show partiality to the wicked.

“wicked…righteous.” Although the Hebrew words are “wicked” and “righteous,” in a legal context, which this is as we can see from the word “judgment,” often “wicked” means “guilty,” and “righteous” means “innocent.” That is why some of the English versions are translated that way. For example, the NLT reads: “It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.” While that translation is certainly true, it seems that the more literal translations, “wicked” and “righteous” are more widely applicable and are true also, which is why most English versions such as the REV translate that way.

“suppress.” This is the meaning given in the HALOT Hebrew-English lexicon for this context.


Commentary for: Proverbs 18:5