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If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not abandon

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your post,

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for a passive composure

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the punishment of many sins.

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If the one in authority over you is caused to get very angry at you deep down inside [because of something you did wrong], do not run from your place or drop your responsibilities; a passive composure that does not argue back will often reduce the punishment for the wrongs you have done.


1: “abandon”

This Hebrew word means “to deposit, to lay down, set down, or allow to stay.” It comes from a root, or is related to a root, meaning “to rest,” hence the meaning “allow to rest, or leave alone.” How does this end up meaning “leave or abandon”? The connect is that when you drop something off or deposit something, you lay it down and then you walk away, you leave that place and you leave that thing behind. The text is saying, “don’t abandon your post and leave your responsibilities behind.”

2: “post”

The emphasis of this word is always on a physical space, a location, or station, and by implication, its accompanying responsibilities. The word picture it was intended to evoke was likely that of a watchman on the city wall; the post and the responsibilities of the one at that post were inseparable, even though the word itself focused on the location.

3: “passive composure”

This word usually means “to heal or cure.” By extension it also means “a healthy and sound mind, or a composed disposition, placidity, or wholesomeness.” I have tied together the ideas of placidity and being composed.

4: “calms”

This is the same word used just prior to this which I translated “abandon.” It comes from a root meaning “rest” and it means “to deposit, to lay down, set down, or allow to stay.” From “rest” we get the ideas of “to pacify, or bring to rest,” or also “to calm.”


This is the word for “a sin, an offence, a fault or the punishment for sin.” The offence and the punishment for it are closely tied together in this word.