85. The Old Testament. The Book of Proverbs.

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.

Favourite lines/passages:

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.



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