Showing posts from July, 2018

Don't boast about tomorrow ... (Proverbs 27:1)

Proverbs 27:1 אַֽל־תִּ֭תְהַלֵּל בְּי֣וֹם מָחָ֑ר כִּ֤י לֹא־תֵ֜דַ֗ע מַה־יֵּ֥לֶד יֽוֹם׃
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Yahweh, you highlight how finite and limited my knowledge of the future is to remind me that I am inescapably dependent upon You. You are the One who determines whether I live tomorrow—and today for that matter. You oppose boasting about tomorrow because I have no control over it, have no capacity to guarantee my boasts, and thus all such boasting is empty. Further it is prideful, and You hate pride because it robs me of my greatest good—dependence upon You—and You of your greatest glory—being seen and savored for who You are—the ultimate provider of all good things for your creatures.
Sometimes boasting is a cover for fear. I rejoice this morning that because of you I’m free from the fear of tomorrow. I can rest happily in each day as your provision.
I gladly acknowledge that I don’t know what today may bring forth…

Yahweh's Perspective: Like snow in summer ... (Proverbs 26:1)

 Proverbs 26:1כַּשֶּׁ֤לֶג׀ בַּקַּ֗יִץ וְכַמָּטָ֥ר בַּקָּצִ֑יר כֵּ֤ן לֹא־נָאוֶ֖ה לִכְסִ֣יל כָּבֽוֹד׃
APB Proverbs 26:1 Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.
Yahweh, your perspective is that snow isn’t fitting for summer, rain isn’t fitting in harvest, and honor is not fitting for a fool. Rain at harvest time is not only unexpected, but it damages. Wet facilitates rot, hinders flour protection, endangers hay storage due to fermentation heat, etc.
Yahweh, if I share your perspective, I will identify fools and avoid honoring them. Not only because honor is incongruous with their character, but also because it is damaging. Honor tends to confirm past behavior. Honor commends present patterns. It certainly doesn’t prompt self-examination and correction. And confirming a fool in his folly is damning.
I rejoice that even a directive to withhold honor shines with your love, Yahweh. Though there is little hope for a fool (Prov. 26:12; 29:20), the little …

Proverbs 25:17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house

WTT Proverbs 25:17 הֹקַ֣ר רַ֭גְלְךָ מִבֵּ֣ית רֵעֶ֑ךָ פֶּן־יִ֜שְׂבָּעֲךָ֗ וּשְׂנֵאֶֽךָ׃
APB Proverbs 25:17 Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor's house, Lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
Translation notes: No textual variants noted in BHS, BHQ, or Fox.The verb yaqar occurs other times with the min preposition, but none share this verses’s semantic features. Literally, “make rare your foot from the house of your friend/neighbor.” The second half uses the verb “be sated, satisfied,” but as HALOT notes, with an object, it can mean “have enough of, have too much of.”
Theological Commentary: Yahweh, what are you teaching me about yourself? 1. From your perspective, I should avoid wearying my neighbor and so come to be disliked.
2. This proverb is an application of the 2nd great commandment: do to others and you would have them do to you. But it also adds in the factor that not all persons have the same preference for social interaction. So from Your perspective, Yahweh, less is …

Red Wine! Don't Look! (Proverbs 23:31)

אַל־תֵּ֥רֶא יַיִן֘ כִּ֪י יִתְאַ֫דָּ֥ם כִּֽי־יִתֵּ֣ן (בַּכִּיס) [בַּכּ֣וֹס] עֵינ֑וֹ יִ֜תְהַלֵּ֗ךְ בְּמֵישָׁרִֽים׃
Proverbs 23:31 Do not look at wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly;

What does this prohibition mean? Solomon gives three features that qualify the prohibition “Do not look [at] wine”:  when (a) it is red, (b) it sparkles in the cup [lit: when it gives its eye in the cup], and (c) it goes down smoothly [lit. it walks about in straightness].

The key question is do these three qualifiers indicate something about the nature of the wine or something about the purpose for the drinking?

The LXX translates/interprets “don’t be drunk with wine” (μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ), which appears to be quoted by Paul in Eph. 5:18 where the exact same phrase occurs.

My best understanding of “do not look upon wine when it is red” is as follows. Contextually, the son is being warned against the destructive consequences that attend drunkenness, both physicall…

Seeing Yahweh through Bread

‎ WTT Proverbs 20:17 עָרֵ֣ב לָ֭אִישׁ לֶ֣חֶם שָׁ֑קֶר וְ֜אַחַ֗ר יִמָּֽלֵא־פִ֥יהוּ חָצָֽץ׃
APB Proverbs 20:17 Sweet to a man is bread of a lie, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
LEB Proverbs 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet for the man, but afterward, his mouth will be filled with gravel.
Yahweh’s perspective: You acknowledge the thrill, the pleasure, the sense of accomplishment that accompanies “getting away with” a lie and benefiting from it. This is the front side of sin. But You want your children to see the back side, the after taste, the consequences. The sweetness is followed by gravel -- gravel in the mouth breaks the teeth (Lam. 3:16), jars the jaw, cannot be swallowed but must be expelled.
In Prov. 9:17 Folly says, “stolen waters are sweet, and bread eat in secret is pleasant.” The allure of the thrill, the secret pleasure are the bait on the barbs of the enemy. His joy is in broken teeth, unrelenting bitterness of soul that accompanies the aftertaste of sin…

Proverbs 21:13 -- Righteous Response to the Poor