Consensus is that the Authorized translation of the first part of this verse, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly," is off. Way off. So what were the translators thinking when they wrote this?

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It's not like any of the other translations are in consensus.

http://biblehub.com/proverbs/18-24.htm

So what's going on here? Better question: What do the Jews say it means?

Look at the JPS or Aramaic. I don't know where that aramaic comes from tho.
That Aramaic on BibleHub comes from 1-3rd century Targums used by the Syriac Churches. A strict rendering 'There exists those with mercy. There exists a merciful one in excess of a brother.'

The Jewish Targums from the same period: 'There exists those who are comrades. There exists those beloved as brothers.'

Here's the 1998 JPS:
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

And Rashi's commentary:
A man who acquires friends for himself [will find] that the day will arrive when he will need them, and they will befriend him. Now, if you ask, “What of it?” there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, for he will befriend him more than his kin and his brothers.

I'm not sure how Aramaic would be useful as the Tanakh was written in Hebrew. I don't know biblical Hebrew, but I can get back as far as the Latin Vulgate. Interestingly, there is no Greek (Septuagint) translation of this particular verse.

So here's what the Latin says: vir amicalis ad societatem magis amicus erit quam frater.

"A man who is friendly to community will be a better friend than a brother."

One key point seems to be the phrase "ad societatem," which only occurs twice else in Latin literature. Once by the historian Sallust in the context of an alliance: "he sought ambassadors of the Allobroges in order to impel them into an alliance of war" (legatos Allobrogum requirat eosque ... inpellat ad societatem belli). The other is Cicero in a more general context as he outlines the Stoic philosophy in preparation for arguing against it: "we are born well-disposed to social life with other humans and towards the community and fellowship of human kind" (natosque esse ad congregationem hominum et ad societatem communitatemque generis humani).

Here's an online discussion of the Hebrew by some apparently knowledgeable amateurs, but I have no way of evaluating how good it is: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/663/synthesizing-d...

Interestingly, they point to a pun in the Hebrew between two verbs--to come to ruin, and to behave in a friendly manner. This leads to a conclusion that the JPS translation is best: "There are friends that one hath to his own hurt; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." But another participant thinks it's better as "A man with friends comes to harm...".

Six paragraphs of nothing.

Not nothing and WAY better than four words not contributing to anything but your own sniping. You were doing fine with your own responses, what was the point of this one? 

Yeah? What substance is there? Consultation of a language using concepts the original didn't use? Appealing to arguments with no conclusions asking the same questions OP did? Six paragraphs of nothing.

Thank you for your kind words, Liam.

Even the Jews acknowledge that Esther wasn't originally in Hebrew.  I'm not sure about Proverbs.

What's the source of the Cicero?  I'm too lazy to google or pull out a reference book.

The Cicero is De Finibus 4.2.4. Proverbs certainly was originally composed in Hebrew.

A collection of Egyptian, Akkadian, and Jewish wisdom sayings was composed in Hebrew? Did you mean "transcribed"?

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