As the name suggests, this chapter of the Old Testament comprises largely a collection of proverbs on human virtues and vices, mostly ascribed to Solomon, with the fear of the Lord seen as the beginning of wisdom a recurring theme.
My thoughts: I won’t try to analyze the meanings of the more obscure and even contradictory proverbs – there are hundreds of bible study sites on the net which would do a far better job than I could. I will simply share the highlights I enjoyed.
Wisdom is personified in some of the Proverbs, which immediately brought to mind some of Plato’s Socratic dialogues which I had just been reading.
Some of the Proverbs have survived as proverbs in common English usage.
|A soft answer turneth away wrath Proverbs 15:1|
|Pride goeth before destruction Proverbs 16:18|
|Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise Proverbs 17:28|
|Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord Proverbs 18:22|
Others I particularly enjoyed were less familiar
|Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise; which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8|
|For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired, are not to be compared to it Proverbs 8:11|
|He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind Proverbs 11:29|
|It is better to dwell in a corner of the house-top, than with a brawling woman in a wide house Proverbs 21:9|
|As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly Proverbs 26:11|
|Hell and destruction are never full ; so the eyes of man are never satisfied Proverbs 27:20|
Diversions and digressions: I discovered a new word from this read : frowardness, which is used a lot in this Book, which I think means perversity of nature, compared to following the way of the Lord. Not something I will probably use in everyday conversation much.
Personal rating: For the gems I discovered, this was an enjoyable read, but there was a lot of repetition of virtue and vice pairs which soon became wearisome from a literature point of view. A 4 overall.
Kimmy’s rating: I did ask Kimmy about this vomit thing, and she gave me the slightly embarrassed big-eyes stare which means I should not enquire further.
Next : The next two Old Testament books are very short, so I will finish those next. Firstly Ecclesiastes (of which I know absolutely nothing) and then The Song of Solomon.