There are two dimensions to the argument offered in this article, both of them pertaining to methodological issues. The first is that of distinguishing textual criticism from redactional criticism, especially with recourse to the critical apparatus of the Stuttgart Hebrew Bibles. Secondly, the danger of over-emphasising the sound distinction between so-called �literary� and �historical� exegetical modes into an unsound separation between them. Proposals for the emendation of the text in Proverbs 2:18 are used as an example of both issues at once. It is advanced that a historical enquiry into the origin of the text can shed light on an analysis of the text �as it stands�, which undermines the reading of the �final text� as an exercise that can, and may, have nothing to do with enquiry into the growth of that text. This article endeavours to advance its argument by means of a practical contribution to solving the perceived textual problems of the crux interpretum, rather than indulging in the kind of theoretical skirmishes that characterised South African debates at the end of the previous century.