Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Commentary on the Book of Jonah – Haimo of Auxerre

September 4, 2015

I’m grateful to translator Deborah Everhart (and in general the consortium for the teaching of the Middle Ages) for providing a very readable translation from the original Latin of Haimo of Auxerre’s Commentary on Jonah. Haimo died around A.D. 875. So this is not an “early church” commentary, but it is part of Western church history.

Haimo provides a very fluid set of interpretations of the text – proceeding from the literal to various non-literal interpretations (trological, analogical, spiritual, etc.). Haimo treats Jonah as a type of Christ in a way that would fit extremely well in today’s Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic.

The commentary is quite short, naturally, in view of the short length of the book being discussed. Still, it is a nice addition to any collection of commentaries on the minor prophets.

Here a few quotations that I found interesting, without any suggestion that these are representative of the work as a whole (footnotes omitted):

And the mariners were afraid, and the men cried to their god, and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them (Jonah 1:5). The mariners, not knowing the one and true God, invoked gods, knowing that nothing is done without the providence of God. From this we understand that He is feared and perceived by all men, although they may be seduced by false religions from the one and true God to many gods.

(p. 11 – at Jonah 1:5)

The above quotation fits quite nicely with a presuppositional viewpoint. Haimo is saying that people not only know that God exists, but that He is in control of everything that happens.

Moreover, they sacrificed victims, not animals, which, according to the literal level, they would not have had on the waves, but spiritual victims, that is, thanksgiving and praise. The Psalmist says, “Offer to God the sacrifice of praise” (Psalm 49:14), and the prophet says, “Take away all iniquity and receive the good, and we will render the calves of our lips” (Hosea 14:3).

(p. 17 – at Jonah 1:16)

The importance of recognizing spiritual sacrifice as distinct from animal sacrifice becomes important in understanding a variety of these minor prophet allusions to sacrifice.

All thy billows, and thy waves have passed over me” (Jonah 2:4). The billows and waves are the temptations and the beatings, which never happen without the permission and will of God.

(pp. 20-21 – at John 2:4)

Once again, note Haimo’s seemingly high view of divine sovereignty.

I went down to the lowest parts of the mountains: the bars of the earth have shut me up for ever” (Jonah 2:7) … The soul of the Redeemer descended to the abyss, not so that He might be held there, but so that He might snatch away his own men. These bars of the earth, as it were the door bars of the final prison and punishment, wish always to hold these souls once they have accepted them. The Lord is shut up by these bars; but, just as it was predicted in Isaiah, He broke the brass gates and burst the iron bars (Isaiah 45:2).

(pp. 22-23 – at Jonah 2:7)

While Haimo does not seem to make the direct connection, this explanation fits very well with a proper understanding of “the gates of hell shall not prevail.”

But I with the voice of praise will sacrifice to you: I will pay whatsoever I have vowed for my salvation to the Lord” (Jonah 2:10). The prophet is animated with good hope, and now secure about his liberation, he promises that he will sacrifice thanksgiving and that he will fulfill all vows.

(p. 25 – at Jonah 2:10)

Once again, Haimo recognizes the category of spiritual sacrifice.

And the older generation begins, the younger follows, because no one is without sin, not even the infant whose life upon the earth is but one day.

(p. 29 – at Jonah 3:5)

Haimo’s acknowledgement of the universal sinfulness of men, infants included, is not tempered with any caveat about certain particularly righteous people.

But in the Church, just as in a great house, there are vessels, and some are for honor and some are for insult; some are carnal and some are spiritual …

(p. 38 – at John 4:11)

I found this seeming application of Romans 9 to the church itself an interesting observation. It seems as though Haimo is acknowledging the mixed nature of the New Testament assembly.


"Twice Dead" in Jude 12

June 23, 2010

What does the expression, “twice dead,” in Jude 12[fn1] mean? According to a friend of mine, some non-Calvinists have tried to argue that it refers to folks who were once saved, but are saved no longer. That explanation misses the point, because it is attempting to force a view onto the verse that the verse does not intend.

The sense of the expression is most clear when the expression is read in context:

Jude 11-13

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

There is a natural structure to this passage:

The first is set of three parallels:

“for they

  1. have gone in the way of Cain, and
  2. ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and
  3. perished in the gainsaying of Core”

There are differences among these three. The first is an apostate from the covenant family. Cain was outwardly a god-fearing man who sacrificed to God. However, he slew his brother. This showed him to be a hypocrite. Balaam was a man who had a prophetic word from God, but nevertheless in his greed to get paid told Israel’s enemies how to harm her. Finally, the third example is Korah, who rebelled against Moses’ authority and the Earth swallowed him and his family up.

Next, there is a bridging passage: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear”

The point here is obvious: these men ought to be afraid to feast with believers, and they are a blemish on such feasts. Whether Jude means the Lord’s Supper here, or whether he simply means other meals [fn2] does not appear to be central. The point is that these men shamelessly mix in with believers, and this a bad thing.

Finally, there are a series of descriptions of the men:

  1. clouds they are without water, carried about of winds;
  2. trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
  3. raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;
  4. wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever

The description here uses a variety of analogies. They are like airy clouds that the wind readily carries about. They lack the good of water, and they are unstable. The second description will address below. The third description is of raging waves – waves that produce foam (I presume the white caps on breaking waves are meant here, as opposed to the sea foam that is sometimes found on beaches). The point is, either way, that the people reveal their shame. The final description is of the wandering stars, heavenly bodies that do not have a fixed relation to the other stars, but move instead like a person walking in the darkness, sometimes one way, sometimes turning back another way.

The second description itself has a series of items:


  1. whose fruit withereth,
  2. without fruit,
  3. twice dead,
  4. plucked up by the roots”

There is a progression here [fn3]. The first description is one of a tree whose fruit has essentially died on the branches, it is sickly. It has little or no edible fruit. The second description is of a tree that has no fruit. It does not bear any fruit at all, being sterile, any even more severe sickness for a tree.

The third description is of a tree [fn4] that is completely dead [fn5]. Those familiar with certain varieties of trees will recognize that if one cuts down a living tree, leaving only a stump, new life can spring from the stump. A tree cut down is not always a tree that has been completely killed. But a tree that is twice dead would be one whose root lacks any reserves, such that it could sprout again. It is completely and thoroughly dead.

The final description takes it a step further. A tree that is plucked up by the roots is absolutely hopeless. No matter how dead a stump may look, and even if there are no sprouts yet, one might hope that while the root is in the ground there is some hope. There is no hope for these, their root is out of the soil – they have been uprooted.

The point of the series of descriptions is the result of the progression. There is no hope for these on whom Jude is pronouncing woe. The blackness of darkness – one of several images of hell – is reserved for them forever, just as the elect have heavenly mansions awaiting them.

Woe indeed!


[1] Yes, I mean “Jude 12” not “Jude 1:12.” One should try to avoid using the chapter number for books that have only one chapter. It is easy to forget this rule – I’m sure a careful study of my blog would find me making that error myself.

[2] The Geneva Bible’s notes state: The feasts of charity were certain banquets, which the brethren who were members of the Church kept altogether, as Tertullian sets them forth in his apology, chap. 39.

[3] To my shame, it was only in assembling these footnotes, that remembered to check what Manton had already stated this:

We go on with the verse. Trees whose fruit withereth, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. This is the second similitude; here are four properties of evil trees reckoned up by way of gradation.

and again:

Obs. 1. Now, in this description you may observe a gradation:—(1.) ‘Whose fruit withereth;’ (2.) ‘Without fruit;’ (3.) ‘Twice dead.’ First bad fruit, and then leaves, and then rottenness. Note, that deceivers and hypocrites ‘grow worse and worse.’ You have it from the apostle Paul also, 2 Tim. iii. 13, ‘But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.’ They deceive others, and the devil deceiveth them. The two states are not at a stay; wicked men grow worse and worse, and godly men grow better and better. Observe, then, which way is your progress and growth. The glory of the Lord, in Ezekiel, departed by degrees: first from the holy place, then from the altar of burnt-offering, then the threshold of the house, then the city, then the mountain which is on the east side of the city; it stood hovering there, as loath to be gone. So the Spirit of God doth not all at once depart from men, but by degrees. First men suspect duties, then dispute against them, then shake them off, and then come to beastliness and profaneness. Or, if you will, take the gradation thus:—First, God is cast out of the closet, private intercourses are neglected; then out of the family; then out of the congregation, and public ordinances seem useless things; and then blasphemies and a profane vertiginous spirit ensueth. First, men begin to wrangle, and sceptically to debate matters of religion, and within a while to oppose the truth: ‘The beginning is foolishness, and the latter end is mischievous madness,’ Eccles. x. 13.

[4] To this sense of taking the expression as a whole to be about the tree agrees Calvin (whose agreement, I must confess, I discovered only after the fact):

Peter adds the similitude of a dry and empty fountain; but Jude employs other metaphors for the same end, that they were trees fading, as the vigor of trees in autumn disappears. He then calls them trees unfruitful, rooted up, and twice dead; as though he had said, that there was no sap within, though leaves might appear.

Likewise Manton agrees, as can be seen at footnote [3] above.

[5] To this sense of “twice dead” agree:

Matthew Poole:

Twice dead; wholly dead; dead over and over; dead by nature, and dead by that hardness of heart they have contracted, or that reprobate sense to which God hath given them up.


John Gill:

Twice dead; that is, entirely, thoroughly, and really dead in trespasses and sins, notwithstanding their pretensions to religion and godliness; or the sense may be, that they were not only liable to a corporeal death, common to them with all mankind, but also to an eternal one, or to the death both of soul and body in hell. Homer calls (d) those διθανεις, “twice dead”, that go to hell alive: or rather the sense is this, that they were dead in sin by nature, as all men are, and again having made a profession of religion, were now become dead to that profession; and so were twice dead, once as they were born, and a second time as they had apostatized:

(d) Odyss. l. 12. lin. 22.


Thomas Manton:

The next evil property, taken from trees and applied to men, is δὶς ἀποθανόντα, twice dead. If you apply this to the trees, they may be twice dead, either in regard of fruit, as a barren thing is said to be dead, as ‘the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ Rom. iv. 19; or, in regard of substance, rotten and like doaty trees, growing worse and worse; or ‘twice dead,’ by a Hebraism, ‘very dead,’ as double is put for much. But now, if you look to the reddition of this similitude, these seducers are ‘twice dead,’ both in regard of their natural estate, ‘dead in trespasses and sins,’ and their apostasy, or decay of that life which they seemed to have by the grace of the gospel, wilful defection making their case incurable, Heb. vi. 5, 6, 2 Peter ii. 20.

And again:

Obs. 2. Again, I observe, men that fall off from the profession of the truth are twice dead. To natural they bring on judicial hardness; when they seemed to make some escape from the misery of nature they relapse into it again, and then their chains are doubled; as a prisoner that hath once broken prison, if taken again, is laden with irons. Two ways do natural men come to be twice dead—by custom in sinning, and by a revolt from God after they had given their names to him. By custom in sinning, for by that means they are hardened in their way, and ‘given up to a reprobate mind,’ so as to lose all sense of sin, Rom. i. 26-28; and by revolt from God; those that will, after trial, forsake him, no wonder if God leave them to their own choice, to be held under the power of the devil, by a dark and foolish heart.

(I commend Manton’s entire discussion, which may be found here.)

But compare:

Matthew Henry writes:

The text speaks of such as were twice dead. One would think to be once dead were enough; we none of us, till grace renew us to a higher degree than ordinary, love to think of dying once, though this is appointed for us all. What then is the meaning of this being twice dead? They had been once dead in their natural, fallen, lapsed state; but they seemed to recover, and, as a man in a swoon, to be brought to life again, when they took upon them the profession of the Christian religion. But now they are dead again by the evident proofs they have given of their hypocrisy: whatever they seemed, they had nothing truly vital in them.


Clement of Alexandria:

“Woe unto them!” he says, “for they have gone in the way of Cain.” For so also we lie under Adam’s sin through similarity of sin. “Clouds,” he says, “without water; who do not possess in themselves the divine and fruitful word.” Wherefore, he says, “men of this kind are carried about both by winds and violent blasts.” “Trees,” he says, “of autumn, without fruit,”— unbelievers, that is, who bear no fruit of fidelity. “Twice dead,” he says: once, namely, when they sinned by transgressing, and a second time when delivered up to punishment, according to the predestined judgments of God; inasmuch as it is to be reckoned death, even when each one does not immediately deserve the inheritance.

Proverbs 3:21-35

November 3, 2009

Proverbs 3:21-35
21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. 27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

This passage is the fourth parental lecture of the book.

The opening parallel of the lecture is the same general theme we’ve seen in the last few lectures:

let not them [wisdom and understanding] depart from thine eyes || keep sound wisdom and discretion

That is to say that the pursuit of wisdom is the principal thing. It is what we should be focused on.

The next few parallels focus on the benefits of wisdom/discretion, particularly with respect to safety.

So shall they be life unto thy soul | grace to thy neck.

This concept of “grace to thy neck” is the basic idea that they keep you from breaking your neck, an equivalent concept to maintaining one’s life.

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely | thy foot shall not stumble.

One way that your neck can brake is if you trip and fall. Continuing this kind of metaphor, the parallel indicates that wisdom shows the safe way to walk.

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid | yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Not only does wisdom give you safety when you are walking, but when you are sleeping as well. Imagine the troubled sleep of one who is not right with God, for if he is to die in his sleep (as many have done), he will awake in hell for eternity. But the man who has taken hold of wisdom will not fear death in his sleep, but will enjoy his rest.

Be not afraid of sudden fear | neither [be afraid] of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

There is no need for one who has followed wisdom to be afraid of the judgment day, when the wicked will be destroyed. It is not because that person has saved himself by his wisdom, but rather, as the next parallel explains, it is all of God:

For the LORD shall be thy confidence | [the LORD] shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Notice how the parallel links back with the previous discussion of stumbling. Confidence in the Lord is the way to be sure footed. Of course, the spiritual sense of this parable relates not to simply the preservation of one’s physical life but of one’s soul. It is by confidence in the Lord and him alone that we are preserved from hell.

The next few parallels are practical implementations of wisdom/discretion.

The first parallel is positive encouraging good deeds to one’s neighbor:

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it | Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

There is a small difference between the two. The first of the parallels deals with a neighbor to whom something is owed. The second is more general, about procrastinating assistance for your neighbor. This is the moral law of God and it is also practical. Get rid of your obligations when you can, particularly when your creditor is asking you to do so.

The second parallel is negative discouraging evil deeds toward one’s neighbor:

Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. | Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

The first part of this parallel emphasizes our duty to secure our neighbor in his welfare, and the second part of the parallel emphasis the injustice of striving with those who have been peaceful toward us.

The final parallel of this set is a general discouragement to those who wish to have the riches that come with being an oppressor:

Envy thou not the oppressor | choose none of his ways.

It is easy to wish to have what those who oppress the poor have. We are not to do that. We are not to admire or imitate them. Instead, we are to eschew them and their deeds.

The final sets of parallels relate to the benefits of following the parental advice in this lecture – more specifically the bad things that happen to the bad are contrasted with the good things that happen to those who do good.

For the froward is abomination to the LORD | but his secret is with the righteous.

The Lord hates wickedness and loves righteousness. This basic principle seems to be absolutely foreign to the modern mind. The modern mind seems to see righteousness as a tedious task to gain merit or as mere legalism. Properly understood, it is neither. It is doing what God likes, because we like God. God shoves away the wicked, but holds the righteous close to him.

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked | but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

This is simple enough to understand: God curses the bad and blesses the good. Houses are used here, but we should understand it to be speaking of the people generally. The house doesn’t necessarily mean the wooden structure in which they live, but rather their family.

Surely he scorneth the scorners | but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

Scorn and grace are opposites, and scorning and humility are opposites. The humble man does not scorn, and he who wishes the favor of God rather than the reproach of God humbles himself before God.

The wise shall inherit glory | but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Again, the contrast is plain: glory for those who are “wise” – namely those who seek after the heavenly wisdom. In contrast to glory stands shame, which is what those who fail to seek after the heavenly wisdom will receive.

Proverbs 3:11-20

February 14, 2009

Proverbs 3:11-20

11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

This passage is the third parental lecture of the book.

The first segment of the lecture is a pair of parallels, the first pair is exhortation and the second pair is encouragement.


despise not the chastening of the LORD || neither be weary of his correction


For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth || even as a father [correcteth] the son in whom he delighteth.

Life can be full of troubles. They are not always God chastening us (see the book of Job) but sometimes they are brought upon us to discipline us. These verses should encourage us in times of trouble, because even then God is showing his love for us. It is not the sort of love that ignores our mistakes, but the kind of love that – in essence – gives us a good spanking so that we get back to what we should be doing. It’s not pleasant to receive a spanking, or the LORD’s correction, but we are told not to get frustrated by it.

It’s interesting to note that the author just assumes and takes for granted that fathers are going to be disciplining their sons, if they love their sons. I have heard more than a few people who hate their own sons and yours speak out against corporal discipline. I say they “hate” your sons, and this may seem a bit strong. After all, many are simply those who have been led astray by the spirit of this age, which sees physical discipline (such as spanking) as an evil.

Nevertheless, when one despises parental discipline (whether God’s discipline of his children or a man’s godly discipline of his children) one is despising the God who gives or authorizes it. It may well be a sincere desire to be kind to the children, but it is actually worse for the children.

Why is the discipline a good thing? Because it teaches and instructs. It gives wisdom and understanding. Thus, it is not pleasant itself, but it leads to true happiness. The lecture explains with a parallel:

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom || and [happy is] the man that getteth understanding

This parallel of the happiness of the man who finds/gets wisdom/understanding is explained in extreme terms to show that it is the best and highest happiness, using five parallels to describe the blessings that flow from wisdom, and a sixth parallel to associate wisdom and the divine.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver || and the gain thereof than fine gold

This is a figure of speech, of course. The metaphor is that it is better to have wisdom than to have silver of gold. There are no precious metals more valuable than wisdom. Wisdom here is being treated as though it were money or products.

She is more precious than rubies || and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

This is similar to the previous metaphor (in the first half of the parallel), and perhaps we could have included it in the previous parallel. That, however, was more related specifically to commercial comparisons.

In this parallel, the comparison is being taken to a loftier height. Rubies would be one of the most (or perhaps the most) expensive and precious gem stones in the ancient world. We may think of diamonds as the most expensive jewel stones today, but while they were known in ancient Israel, rubies received the primary attention.

And in case someone might not care so much for rubies, the second half of the parallel cleans out and exhausts the rest of the possibilities. “All the things you can desire” are incomparably less valuable than wisdom.

Just in case one might think these “things” are material things, the lecture continues:

Length of days is in her right hand || and in her left hand riches and honour.

The idea of this metaphor is that wisdom has, as accessories, long life, riches, and honor. If you get wisdom, those things are included with it. And that’s not all!

Her ways are ways of pleasantness || and all her paths are peace

The idea conveyed by these metaphors is that being associated with Wisdom leads to pleasantness and peace. This is good, since a long life without peace can be worse than a short but peaceful life. Likewise, riches without pleasantness is just unsatisfying.

This metaphor is of “ways” and “paths” conveys a sense of affiliation. If you go in the “way of Wisdom” you are hanging out with Wisdom, following Wisdom, and being guided by Wisdom. Recall that a similar metaphor is used twice in Psalm 1:

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In this case, of course, the metaphor is negative. The “counsel of the ungodly” is the opposite of wisdom. Being the place of the wicked (“sitting in the seat of the scorner”) is a similar metaphor. Here, instead, we should follow Wisdom and be her friend.

The encouragement continues:

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her || and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Recall the “tree of life” in the garden of Eden. It was by eating of the tree of life, that one could live forever. So too, when we obtain wisdom, we will live for ever. This life forever will be in happiness and righteousness, not in sin and misery, as in the present life we now live, where we receive the discipline referenced above.

We should “lay hold upon” (i.e. grab) Wisdom and retain (i.e. not let go of) her. What is this “Wisdom”? It is the Messiah – the Logos – it is Jesus, as we now know in the New Testament era. This can be seen in a veiled way through the next two parallels, which show the divine connection that Wisdom has:

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth || by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Recall that John explains that “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3) Jesus is the true Wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Of course, there is a sort of double-meaning. Jesus is the Logos – but the World was made by God speaking, saying “Let there be light” etc. Even so, Jesus is the Wisdom, but the world was wisely made. This same double meaning is seen in providence and the relationship of the Power of God, Jesus, to it:

By his knowledge the depths are broken up || and the clouds drop down the dew.

This expression “depths are broken up” is interesting. I would refer this to the Mid-Atlantic rift, but I’m not sure that’s what it means. It may simply refer to all rift-producing earthquakes. It may even, especially in contrast to the second half of the parallel, refer to springs/geysers.

Supporting this view is the similar expression in Genesis 7:11

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Regardless of which reference is intended, the point is that God, in his Wisdom, not only created the world but provides for it. God provides water for all that needs water:

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

The whole world is governed by God – He is both the Creator and the Provider.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The divine Wisdom (the ever-wise Son of God) is what made and governs the world, so we should seek wisdom and not let go of it. Be wise: seek the only wise God! (Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.)


Proverbs 3:1-10

February 6, 2009

Proverbs 3:1-10
1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

This passage is a second parental lecture. The first two verses essentially restate the fifth commandment.

First they declare the command using a parallel:

forget not my law || but let thine heart keep my commandments

Then they declare the promise:

For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

What is particularly interesting here is the use of the term “peace.” This provides a parallel to the phrase “that it may go well with thee,” in the second giving of the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5). A blessed life is one in which peace and longevity are combined.

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:”

Here “mercy and truth” are an internal parallel to speak figuratively of Scripture. They are speaking of Scripture in its essence and its reward. Recall that the Psalm tells “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:10) These two concepts are often found paired in Scripture – in Samuel’s blessing (2 Samuel 15:10) and in Psalm 85 (Psalm 85:10 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”) to give two examples. Lord willing, we will see it again later in these very proverbs.

We can see more clearly that these refer to the commands of God, because the parallels to “let not [them] forsake thee” are “bind them about thy neck” and “write them upon the table of thine heart.” To bind them about your neck or write them on your heart, is to put them in a secure place where you won’t lose them. If something is around your neck, it won’t come off unless you lose your head. If something is engraved into the tablet of your heart, it’s a permanent record that goes with you wherever you go.

Furthermore, we see that we are speaking of them as to their result, for the result is described as:

“So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

The commandments of God are universally beneficial to you. If you live a life of following them, not only will God look favorably upon you, but men will recognize your morality as well.

Solomon then draws a distinction between God’s ideas and our ideas, with a repetition of promised favor:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart // lean not unto thine own understanding
In all thy ways acknowledge him || he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes // fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Notice the elegant structure of this section of the proverb. There is a positive command, a parallel negative command, a positive command and its parallel positive result, and finally a negative command and a parallel positive command.

Trusting in the LORD with all of one’s heart is contrasted with leaning on one’s own understanding. We must be careful to commit ourselves wholly to God. If we only think of God on Sundays (or worse yet, only on Sunday mornings), we are not trusting in the LORD with all of our heart.

Notice how we are to acknowledge God in all our ways, and as a result he will direct our paths. This is just a natural result. When we do what he says, he is guiding our paths. If you read the instructions, you are being led by the author of the instructions. If you want to know how to live your life, read the Bible.

The proverbs continues to point out the absolute necessity of humbling ourselves before God’s Word. If we are wise in our own eyes, and think we can do it on our own, we are not following God. This contrasts with the person who fears God and stays away from evil and sin.

And the proverb goes on to explain that doing so is in our best interest:

“It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

Obviously there is a bit of cultural reference there, which is lost on folks today, but the basic idea is that you will be comfortable and provided for. Your bones will be comfortable, not dried out and aching. Your stomach will be full, not empty.

Is this the “health and prosperity” message? No, not really. This is just an encouragement to obedience. God does not promise everyone that they will have a 100 camels, but enough to eat, with peace, is an enormous blessing.

The next parallel is one that is, of course, constantly used in those “prosperity” calls:

Cause: Honour the LORD with thy substance || [Honor Him] with the firstfruits of all thine increase
Effect: thy barns [shall] be filled with plenty || thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

The point is that God does reward obedience. If we give to God, he will give to us. It’s not rigid formula, and its not an absolute promise. God is not an ATM from which we demand money. We need to honor God with our physical possessions. That means giving to the church, to the poor, to widows and orphans as God gives you the ability. It also means showing hospitality as you are able.

Look at all the things that come from obedience as set forth in this paternal lecture! Long life, peace, favour and good understanding, health and wellbeing, and more than enough food and wine. But we should be humble, realizing that even if God were like an ATM, and even if we could “demand” these things for having done what we were commanded, we would be unable to demand, because we so inadequately obey.

Nevertheless, whether drawn by the “carrot” of this lecture, or the “stick” of the one that is about to follow, let us seek to learn what God has commanded by reading His Word, memorizing it, and following it diligently.


Proverbs 2

October 8, 2008

Proverbs 2
1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: 16To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. 20That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. 21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 22But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

The entire chapter of Proverbs is a parental lecture explaining the value of listening to the parental advice.

Condition Precedent

The parent exhorts listening using an “if … then …” formulation. For the “If” portion, the parent provides four related parallel couplets:

1) If thou wilt receive my words || [if thou wilt] hide my commandments with thee
2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom || [so that thou] apply thine heart to understanding
3) If thou criest after knowledge || [if thou] liftest up thy voice for understanding
4) If thou seekest her as silver || [if thou] searchest for her as for hid treasure

The first couplet emphasizes possession of the information. “Receive my words” is placed in parallel to “hide my commandments.” Notice the much deeper and yet clear sense that “hide my commandments” has. If it stood alone, one might wonder whether it referred to ignoring the commandments, but in parallel with “receive my words,” we see that it refers to planting the seed of Scripture in one’s heart.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

The second couplet emphasizes the acquisition of the information. “Incline thine ear” and “apply thine heart” are actions taken by the listener. It is not simply a passive reception of the Word of God, but an active pursuit. One is not only the flowerbed for the seed of God’s word, but one tries to help plant it there in the first place.

The third couplet emphasizes the intensity of pursuit for the information. “Criest after” and “liftest up thy voice.” The picture is of someone shouting to get attention. It’s like the man calling “TAXI!” because he’s running late for the airport. It’s like a broker shouting out “BUY BUY” from the floor of the exchange. It’s the voice of someone who wants to be heard, and who is seeking to make his request clear.

The fourth couplet emphasizes the valued placed on the information. “Seekest her as silver” and “searchest for her as for hid treasure.” This is not a casual search that one might make, but a search into which one will put all of one’s effort. Jesus provided the same kind of analogy to make a different point:

Luke 15:8-9
8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

The reward for this search energetic search for the acquisition and possession of precious information is spelled out as the “then” part of the “if … then …” format of this lecture.

The short version of this bounty is expressed in a parallel couplet:

thou shalt understand the fear of the LORD || [thou shalt] find the knowledge of God

The reward for the search is that one gets one is looking for, an understanding of the fear of the LORD and a knowledge of God. This is theology: to understand the fear of the LORD and to know God. The fear of the LORD here stands for a proper reverence of God, and the associated worship of our Creator and Provider. Likewise, the “knowledge of God,” is not simply intellectual knowledge, but it is an intimate knowledge, a true love of God.

As the Apostle John explains:

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

And the Apostle Paul states:

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And Jesus said:

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Obviously, our knowledge and love of God is a reflection of God’s love for and knowledge of us, and consequently is never as strong as his, especially since we are merely creatures created in his image.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

And again:

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

And further:

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

But contrast:

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The lecture itself provides a great deal of explanation of what is involved, using essentially the “because … therefore …” form presented as “for … then …”.

In the “for” section, it is explained how/that the Lord brings us this this knowledge using three couplets:

1) the LORD giveth wisdom || out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding
2) He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous || he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
3) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

The knowledge of God comes from God, he gives it. This is the first point to be seen. The second point is related. Not only does he give it, he puts it in firmly. He “layeth up” the wisdom and is a “buckler” or shield for the person who is following God’s law. The shield or buckler is a defensive weapon – it guards from attacks. The third point is that God goes beyond protecting from external attacks, and also even essentially guides the feet of his people: keeping them on the path.

This last couplet is, of course, one of the classic proofs for the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. God is the author of our faith, he is the one who puts wisdom into us, like someone hiding something important.

The word translated “layeth up” here is the word צפן (tsaphan) which is the same word used, for example, to speak of how Moses’ mother “hid” him three months after he was born. God takes his word and puts it in us in a secure place.

Proceeding to the result of this activity of God, we see the “then” clause:

Then shalt thou understand:
righteousness || judgment || equity || every good path

These four concepts are generally of overlapping scope. Judgment and equity are specific examples of righteousness, and “every good path” is a catch-all for righteous behavior. What is interesting that each of the examples is behavior: it is doing what is right. What will be understood by the person whom God blesses with Wisdom is the way in which he should live.

The lecture continues by providing more detail regarding this blessing:

When wisdom entereth into thine heart || [when] knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul

[then] Discretion shall preserve thee || [then] understanding shall keep thee

Notice emphasis on the preservative effect of wisdom. When you obtain wisdom – when it enters your heart, when it becomes pleasant to your soul, then you are preserved. It’s a bit like salt that entering into meat preserves it. But the corruption preserved against is not only rotting – but also the corruption of falling, tripping, or stumbling.

This preservation is explained further negatively and positively. Negatively, a set of parallels is used:

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man || To deliver thee from the strange woman

The evil man is described with the following parallels:

from the way of the evil man || from the man that speaketh froward things || who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness || who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked || whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

Notice how there are even further parallels within the parallels. This is a most beautiful and complex structure. We’ve noted above that the whole description of deliverance from the evil man is parallel to deliverance from the strange woman. Within that parallel are the descriptions of the evil man. Within those, in three instances there are further internal parallels:

a) leave the paths of uprightness || walk in the ways of darkness
b) rejoice to do evil || delight in the frowardness of the wicked
c) ways are crooked || froward in their paths

Notice that the first and last of these three are focused on staying on the figurative straight path of righteousness. Furthermore, for these wicked men, the second parallel emphasizes that they love to do evil – their departure from the straight path is something they love. Having God’s word in one’s heart preserves one from those sorts of desires.

The second negative image is that of deliverance from the strange woman. Again, multiple parallel images are used:

from the strange woman || from the stranger which flattereth with her words || which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God || For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead || none that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

Notice that the picture of the strange woman here, is essentially that of a prostitute or even simply an adulterous woman who lures in men through flattering words. If the evil man is simply someone who loves wickedness, the adulterous woman is a step further: she loves wickedness in a way that destroys not only herself but others. As with the pictures of the evil man, three of the depictions of the strange woman have internal parallels:

a) which forsaketh the guide of her youth || [which] forgetteth the covenant of her God
b) her house inclineth unto death || her paths unto the dead
c) none that go unto her return again || neither take they hold of the paths of life

Here, the latter two parallels focus on the ultimate demise of her and those who accompany her. The former parallel emphasizes the fact that her wickedness is a departure. Those raised in Christian homes should take this warning particularly to heart.

Having presented these negative warnings, a positive presentation is finally provided with a single parallel:

That thou mayest walk in the way of good men || [that thou mayest] keep the paths of the righteous

This is no surprise. One is being protected against going off the path and from following the prostitute to destruction. So, naturally, the positive characteristic of the word of God in one’s heart is to keep on on the path of righteousness.

Finally, the lecture is concluded with a pair of contrasting parallels, positive, then negative using a “for … but …” layout:

Positive (For): the upright shall dwell in the land || the perfect shall remain in it
Negative (But): the wicked shall be cut off from the earth || the transgressors shall be rooted out of it

Notice the contrast, the righteous man lives, but the wicked dies – the perfect remains, but the transgressors are plucked out by the roots, completely removed. It is a very stern warning to be righteous.

Furthermore, it is essentially the same warning/promise we see in the fifth commandment:

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Ephesians 6:2-3
2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Thus, the parental lecture of this chapter can be seen as an elaborate, beautiful argument for and explanation of the 5th commandment.

Original (Hebrew)
Proverbs 2
1 בני אם־תקח אמרי ומצותי תצפן אתך׃
2 להקשׁיב לחכמה אזנך תטה לבך לתבונה׃
3 כי אם לבינה תקרא לתבונה תתן קולך׃
4 אם־תבקשׁנה ככסף וכמטמונים תחפשׂנה׃
5 אז תבין יראת יהוה ודעת אלהים תמצא׃
6 כי־יהוה יתן חכמה מפיו דעת ותבונה׃
7 וצפן לישׁרים תושׁיה מגן להלכי תם׃
8 לנצר ארחות משׁפט ודרך חסידו ישׁמר׃
9 אז תבין צדק ומשׁפט ומישׁרים כל־מעגל־טוב׃
10 כי־תבוא חכמה בלבך ודעת לנפשׁך ינעם׃
11 מזמה תשׁמר עליך תבונה תנצרכה׃
12 להצילך מדרך רע מאישׁ מדבר תהפכות׃
13 העזבים ארחות ישׁר ללכת בדרכי־חשׁך׃
14 השׂמחים לעשׂות רע יגילו בתהפכות רע׃
15 אשׁר ארחתיהם עקשׁים ונלוזים במעגלותם׃
16 להצילך מאשׁה זרה מנכריה אמריה החליקה׃
17 העזבת אלוף נעוריה ואת־ברית אלהיה שׁכחה׃
18 כי שׁחה אל־מות ביתה ואל־רפאים מעגלתיה׃
19 כל־באיה לא ישׁובון ולא־ישׂיגו ארחות חיים׃
20 למען תלך בדרך טובים וארחות צדיקים תשׁמר׃
21 כי־ישׁרים ישׁכנו־ארץ ותמימים יותרו בה׃
22 ורשׁעים מארץ יכרתו ובוגדים יסחו ממנה׃

LXX (Greek)
Proverbs 2
1Υἱέ, ἐὰν δεξάμενος ῥῆσιν ἐμῆς ἐντολῆς κρύψῃς παρὰ σεαυτῷ, 2ὑπακούσεται σοφίας τὸ οὖς σου, καὶ παραβαλεῖς καρδίαν σου εἰς σύνεσιν, παραβαλεῖς δὲ αὐτὴν ἐπὶ νουθέτησιν τῷ υἱῷ σου. 3ἐὰν γὰρ τὴν σοφίαν ἐπικαλέσῃ καὶ τῇ συνέσει δῷς φωνήν σου, τὴν δὲ αἴσθησιν ζητήσῃς μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ, 4καὶ ἐὰν ζητήσῃς αὐτὴν ὡς ἀργύριον καὶ ὡς θησαυροὺς ἐξερευνήσῃς αὐτήν, 5τότε συνήσεις φόβον κυρίου καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν θεοῦ εὑρήσεις. 6ὅτι κύριος δίδωσιν σοφίαν, καὶ ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ γνῶσις καὶ σύνεσις· 7καὶ θησαυρίζει τοῖς κατορθοῦσι σωτηρίαν, ὑπερασπιεῖ τὴν πορείαν αὐτῶν 8τοῦ φυλάξαι ὁδοὺς δικαιωμάτων καὶ ὁδὸν εὐλαβουμένων αὐτὸν διαφυλάξει. 9τότε συνήσεις δικαιοσύνην καὶ κρίμα καὶ κατορθώσεις πάντας ἄξονας ἀγαθούς. 10ἐὰν γὰρ ἔλθῃ ἡ σοφία εἰς σὴν διάνοιαν, ἡ δὲ αἴσθησις τῇ σῇ ψυχῇ καλὴ εἶναι δόξῃ, 11βουλὴ καλὴ φυλάξει σε, ἔννοια δὲ ὁσία τηρήσει σε, 12ἵνα ῥύσηταί σε ἀπὸ ὁδοῦ κακῆς καὶ ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς λαλοῦντος μηδὲν πιστόν. 13ὦ οἱ ἐγκαταλείποντες ὁδοὺς εὐθείας τοῦ πορεύεσθαι ἐν ὁδοῖς σκότους, 14οἱ εὐφραινόμενοι ἐπὶ κακοῖς καὶ χαίροντες ἐπὶ διαστροφῇ κακῇ, 15ὧν αἱ τρίβοι σκολιαὶ καὶ καμπύλαι αἱ τροχιαὶ αὐτῶν 16τοῦ μακράν σε ποιῆσαι ἀπὸ ὁδοῦ εὐθείας καὶ ἀλλότριον τῆς δικαίας γνώμης. 17υἱέ, μή σε καταλάβῃ κακὴ βουλὴ ἡ ἀπολείπουσα διδασκαλίαν νεότητος καὶ διαθήκην θείαν ἐπιλελησμένη· 18ἔθετο γὰρ παρὰ τῷ θανάτῳ τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς καὶ παρὰ τῷ ᾅδῃ μετὰ τῶν γηγενῶν τοὺς ἄξονας αὐτῆς· 19πάντες οἱ πορευόμενοι ἐν αὐτῇ οὐκ ἀναστρέψουσιν οὐδὲ μὴ καταλάβωσιν τρίβους εὐθείας· οὐ γὰρ καταλαμβάνονται ὑπὸ ἐνιαυτῶν ζωῆς. 20εἰ γὰρ ἐπορεύοντο τρίβους ἀγαθάς, εὕροσαν ἂν τρίβους δικαιοσύνης λείους. 21χρηστοὶ ἔσονται οἰκήτορες γῆς, ἄκακοι δὲ ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ, ὅτι εὐθεῖς κατασκηνώσουσι γῆν, καὶ ὅσιοι ὑπολειφθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ· 22ὁδοὶ ἀσεβῶν ἐκ γῆς ὀλοῦνται, οἱ δὲ παράνομοι ἐξωσθήσονται ἀπ᾿ αὐτῆς.

Vulgate (Latin)
Proverbs 2
1fili mi si susceperis sermones meos et mandata mea absconderis penes te 2ut audiat sapientiam auris tua inclina cor tuum ad noscendam prudentiam 3si enim sapientiam invocaveris et inclinaveris cor tuum prudentiae 4si quaesieris eam quasi pecuniam et sicut thesauros effoderis illam 5tunc intelleges timorem Domini et scientiam Dei invenies 6quia Dominus dat sapientiam et ex ore eius scientia et prudentia 7custodiet rectorum salutem et proteget gradientes simpliciter 8servans semitas iustitiae et vias sanctorum custodiens 9tunc intelleges iustitiam et iudicium et aequitatem et omnem semitam bonam 10si intraverit sapientia cor tuum et scientia animae tuae placuerit 11consilium custodiet te prudentia servabit te 12ut eruaris de via mala ab homine qui perversa loquitur 13qui relinquunt iter rectum et ambulant per vias tenebrosas 14qui laetantur cum malefecerint et exultant in rebus pessimis 15quorum viae perversae et infames gressus eorum 16ut eruaris a muliere aliena et ab extranea quae mollit sermones suos 17et relinquit ducem pubertatis suae 18et pacti Dei sui oblita est inclinata est enim ad mortem domus eius et ad impios semitae ipsius 19omnes qui ingrediuntur ad eam non revertentur nec adprehendent semitas vitae 20ut ambules in via bona et calles iustorum custodias 21qui enim recti sunt habitabunt in terra et simplices permanebunt in ea 22impii vero de terra perdentur et qui inique agunt auferentur ex ea

Proverbs 1:20-33

October 7, 2008

Proverbs 1:20-33

20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

This is the first appearance of Wisdom – in anthropomorphic representation. Wisdom is pictured as a woman, calling out something like a preacher. This makes sense, because Wisdom’s message is in essence the gospel. The Greek name is especially beautiful here Σοφία (Sophia) but perhaps some will say that the Hebrew name (חכמות – Chakmoth) is also beautiful. This Hebrew name for Wisdom is used only one place in the Bible, outside of the book of Proverbs, in a Psalm for the sons of Korah:

Psalm 49:3-4
3My mouth shall speak of wisdom (חכמות – Chakmoth); and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. 4I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Now, in our present book of proverbs, Solomon is speaking of Wisdom, and providing her sermon.

The first point to be seen is in respect to this sermon is that Wisdom’s message is delivered publicly. The following parallels are presented:

Wisdom crieth || she uttereth her voice || She crieth || she uttereth her words

without (outside) || in the streets || in the chief place of concourse || in the openings of the gates in the city

Wisdom’s message is vocal and public. She doesn’t just send forth her message in some back alley or hidden away in a closet, but in the “chief place of concourse” and “in the openings of gates in the city” the busiest places in the city. Today men spend less of their time outdoors, but still Wisdom calls out publicly – where everyone can hear, whether that be in the marketplace, in the factory, or on the Internet. Wherever there are people, Wisdom proclaims her message.

The message is a simple, though not particularly complimentary one:

How long,

ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? ||the scorners delight in their scorning? || fools hate knowledge?

How long will this go on? In other words, stop. Stop loving simplicity, stop delighting in scorning, stop hating knowledge. These things are all the same. The fool of Proverbs loves ignorance, “Ignorance is bliss,” is perhaps his unofficial motto. He hates knowledge and wallows in his ignorance like a pig wallows in the mud. He is the same one who heaps scorn on what he doesn’t understand. He loves mocking and he mocks what he should believe.

Wisdom offers knowledge. She declares that if the fool repents, he will receive the spirit of knowledge: that she will make known her words unto him. (Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:) We are sometimes mocked by the enemies of the Gospel, as suggesting that we have only Wisdom’s words. We have also that spirit of Wisdom by which the words of Wisdom are made known unto us.

Wisdom continues by explaining what the response to her preaching has been:

I have called, and ye refused || I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; || ye have set at nought all my counsel || [ye] would none of my reproof

The fool ignores the preached word of wisdom. She says, “come here and learn,” and he declines. She beckons to him, but he rebuffs it. He ignores her advice as though it were worthless and blows off her criticism.

Wisdom then points out what she will do in view of this failure to heed the warnings given:

I also will laugh at your calamity || I will mock when your fear cometh

There is coming a time when the mockers will be mocked and when the scorners will be scorned. I listened today to a Muslim comedian mocking Christianity. He clearly thought himself enormously funny. If he continues to ignore wisdom, however, there is coming a day when he will face calamity and fear: in that day, when it truly matters, he will find himself the subject of ridicule.

Wisdom continues:

When your fear cometh as desolation || [when] your destruction cometh as a whirlwind || when distress and anguish cometh upon you

The time of fear, distress, anguish, and destruction will come. There is not a question about whether it will come – it certainly is coming.

At that time, Wisdom indicates:

Then shall they call upon me, || they shall seek me early,

but I will not answer || but they shall not find me:

The fool will not remain foolish forever. Eventually he will try to call upon God, but God will not answer him – he will try to seek God, but will be unable to find him. It will be too late to repent at that time, though if the fool now turned from his folly, God would answer and those that seek God now, will find him.

Wisdom continues by essentially reiterating the previous point:

For that (because)

they hated knowledge || [they] did not choose the fear of the LORD || They would none of my counsel || they despised all my reproof


they shall eat of the fruit of their own way || [they shall] be filled with their own devices.

Knowledge, the fear of the LORD, his counsel, and his reproof are all roughly synonymous. They are all alike despised by the fool. The result: they get what they deserve – what is coming to them for doing what they did. Destruction is the fruit of the tree of folly. The concept “be filled with” is basically the idea of them be stuffed with this fruit that they cultivated (Latin is lovely here: “saturabuntur” – cognate for “saturated”). They’ll be richly rewarded with what they have earned by their folly.

Finally, Wisdom summarizes here message:

Negatively the message is:

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them || the prosperity of fools shall destroy them

It is the rejection of wisdom that, in essence, is the reason the fools reject wisdom. Likewise, their current prosperity (whether gained by avarice – as in the previous parable – or otherwise) destroys them, by blocking them from turning from their foolishness.

But there is a positive side to Wisdom’s message, as well:

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely || [he] shall be quiet from fear of evil

The person who hears Wisdom’s cry and repents, will be saved from the coming destruction. It is really that simple. It is the gospel message: Repent and believe, for the kingdom of God is at hand.

Original (Hebrew)
Proverbs 1:20-33
20 חכמות בחוץ תרנה ברחבות תתן קולה׃
21 בראשׁ המיות תקרא בפתחי שׁערים בעיר אמריה תאמר׃
22 עד־מתי פתים תאהבו פתי ולצים לצון חמדו להם וכסילים ישׂנאו־דעת׃
23 תשׁובו לתוכחתי הנה אביעה לכם רוחי אודיעה דברי אתכם׃
24 יען קראתי ותמאנו נטיתי ידי ואין מקשׁיב׃
25 ותפרעו כל־עצתי ותוכחתי לא אביתם׃
26 גם־אני באידכם אשׂחק אלעג בבא פחדכם׃
27 בבא כשׁאוה פחדכם ואידכם כסופה יאתה בבא עליכם צרה וצוקה׃
28 אז יקראנני ולא אענה ישׁחרנני ולא ימצאנני׃
29 תחת כי־שׂנאו דעת ויראת יהוה לא בחרו׃
30 לא־אבו לעצתי נאצו כל־תוכחתי׃
31 ויאכלו מפרי דרכם וממעצתיהם ישׂבעו׃
32 כי משׁובת פתים תהרגם ושׁלות כסילים תאבדם׃
33 ושׁמע לי ישׁכן־בטח ושׁאנן מפחד רעה׃

LXX (Greek)
Proverbs 1:20-33
20Σοφία ἐν ἐξόδοις ὑμνεῖται, ἐν δὲ πλατείαις παρρησίαν ἄγει, 21ἐπ᾿ ἄκρων δὲ τειχέων κηρύσσεται, ἐπὶ δὲ πύλαις δυναστῶν παρεδρεύει, ἐπὶ δὲ πύλαις πόλεως θαρροῦσα λέγει 22Ὅσον ἂν χρόνον ἄκακοι ἔχωνται τῆς δικαιοσύνης, οὐκ αἰ σχυνθήσονται· οἱ δὲ ἄφρονες, τῆς ὕβρεως ὄντες ἐπιθυμηταί, ἀσεβεῖς γενόμενοι ἐμίσησαν αἴσθησιν 23καὶ ὑπεύθυνοι ἐγένοντο ἐλέγχοις. ἰδοὺ προήσομαι ὑμῖν ἐμῆς πνοῆς ῥῆσιν, διδάξω δὲ ὑμᾶς τὸν ἐμὸν λόγον. 24ἐπειδὴ ἐκάλουν καὶ οὐχ ὑπηκούσατε καὶ ἐξέτεινον λόγους καὶ οὐ προσείχετε, 25ἀλλὰ ἀκύρους ἐποιεῖτε ἐμὰς βουλάς, τοῖς δὲ ἐμοῖς ἐλέγχοις ἠπειθήσατε, 26τοιγαροῦν κἀγὼ τῇ ὑμετέρᾳ ἀπωλείᾳ ἐπιγελάσομαι, καταχαροῦμαι δέ, ἡνίκα ἂν ἔρχηται ὑμῖν ὄλεθρος, 27καὶ ὡς ἂν ἀφίκηται ὑμῖν ἄφνω θόρυβος, ἡ δὲ καταστροφὴ ὁμοίως καταιγίδι παρῇ, καὶ ὅταν ἔρχηται ὑμῖν θλῖψις καὶ πολιορκία, ἢ ὅταν ἔρχηται ὑμῖν ὄλεθρος. 28ἔσται γὰρ ὅταν ἐπικαλέσησθέ με, ἐγὼ δὲ οὐκ εἰσακούσομαι ὑμῶν· ζητήσουσίν με κακοὶ καὶ οὐχ εὑρήσουσιν. 29ἐμίσησαν γὰρ σοφίαν, τὸν δὲ φόβον τοῦ κυρίου οὐ προ είλαντο 30οὐδὲ ἤθελον ἐμαῖς προσέχειν βουλαῖς, ἐμυκτήριζον δὲ ἐμοὺς ἐλέγχους. 31τοιγαροῦν ἔδονται τῆς ἑαυτῶν ὁδοῦ τοὺς καρποὺς καὶ τῆς ἑαυτῶν ἀσεβείας πλησθήσονται· 32ἀνθ᾿ ὧν γὰρ ἠδίκουν νηπίους, φονευθήσονται, καὶ ἐξετασμὸς ἀσεβεῖς ὀλεῖ. 33ὁ δὲ ἐμοῦ ἀκούων κατασκηνώσει ἐπ᾿ ἐλπίδι καὶ ἡσυχάσει ἀφόβως ἀπὸ παντὸς κακοῦ.

Vulgate (Latin)
Proverbs 1:20-33
20sapientia foris praedicat in plateis dat vocem suam 21in capite turbarum clamitat in foribus portarum urbis profert verba sua dicens 22usquequo parvuli diligitis infantiam et stulti ea quae sibi sunt noxia cupiunt et inprudentes odibunt scientiam 23convertimini ad correptionem meam en proferam vobis spiritum meum et ostendam verba mea 24quia vocavi et rennuistis extendi manum meam et non fuit qui aspiceret 25despexistis omne consilium meum et increpationes meas neglexistis 26ego quoque in interitu vestro ridebo et subsannabo cum vobis quod timebatis advenerit 27cum inruerit repentina calamitas et interitus quasi tempestas ingruerit quando venerit super vos tribulatio et angustia 28tunc invocabunt me et non exaudiam mane consurgent et non invenient me 29eo quod exosam habuerint disciplinam et timorem Domini non susceperint 30nec adquieverint consilio meo et detraxerint universae correptioni meae 31comedent igitur fructus viae suae suisque consiliis saturabuntur 32aversio parvulorum interficiet eos et prosperitas stultorum perdet illos 33qui autem me audierit absque terrore requiescet et abundantia perfruetur malorum timore sublato


Proverbs 1:17-19

October 6, 2008

Proverbs 1:17-19
Pro 1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
Pro 1:18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
Pro 1:19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

This parable may be seen as a continuation of the previous one, or perhaps as a separate parable. The “they” in verse 17 is still the wicked. The format of this parable, however, is to show the foolishness of the wicked.

The “net” mentioned is a snare net used to catch birds in the era before shotguns. The point of verse 17 is to simply point out that if you set a trap for a bird while the bird is watching, it is not going to do any good. It’s pointless or vain to waste your time on such an activity.

This foolishness is then compared to the even greater foolishness of the wicked. They are described as ambushing themselves. Not only do they know of the net that they are about to be snared in, they themselves set in place! This is the sort of activity that makes the Dodo look brilliant.

Notice how poetic paralleling is again used to reinforce the point of what it is that the wicked are doing:

they lay wait for || they lurk privily for

their own blood || their own lives.

Both laying wait for, and lurking privily for are descriptions of an ambush, and both “their own blood” and “their own lives” indicates murderous intent. They are their own assassins.

The parable concludes by identifying the wicked people mentioned. These are people who are “greedy of gain.” In general, these are people who have avarice: they desire material wealth that is not already theirs, and this is their driving force. It’s a suicidal urge.

We know that it is a suicidal urge, because of the way that the parable concludes: “which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” Material wealth can be like a poison. One doesn’t normally see headlines like, “Man killed by wealth,” and yet that is the effect that wealth can have on man.

In reading this verse in English, it seems like the verse may be speaking of people who are so greedy for gain, they kill people in order to get wealthy. This would go well with the idea that the previous parable and this parable are all one parable. Nevertheless, it seems that this is not what is intended, but instead the connection is to gain itself (את – eth) taking away the life of its owner.

In any event, the warning is clear: it is foolishness to listen to the call of avarice and greedily seek after wealth. A bird has the sense to avoid a trap that it sees being set for it, so also a man should have the sense to see that his quest for wealth is a trap for his own soul.

Original (Hebrew)
Proverbs 1:17-19
17 כי־חנם מזרה הרשׁת בעיני כל־בעל כנף׃
18 והם לדמם יארבו יצפנו לנפשׁתם׃
19 כן ארחות כל־בצע בצע את־נפשׁ בעליו יקח׃

LXX (Greek)
Proverbs 1:17-19
17οὐ γὰρ ἀδίκως ἐκτείνεται δίκτυα πτερωτοῖς. 18αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἱ φόνου μετέχοντες θησαυρίζουσιν ἑαυτοῖς κακά, ἡ δὲ καταστροφὴ ἀνδρῶν παρανόμων κακή. 19αὗται αἱ ὁδοί εἰσιν πάντων τῶν συντελούντων τὰ ἄνομα· τῇ γὰρ ἀσεβείᾳ τὴν ἑαυτῶν ψυχὴν ἀφαιροῦνται.

Vulgate (Latin)
Proverbs 1:17-19
17frustra autem iacitur rete ante oculos pinnatorum 18ipsique contra sanguinem suum insidiantur et moliuntur fraudes contra animas suas 19sic semitae omnis avari animas possidentium rapiunt


Proverbs 1:10-16

October 5, 2008

Proverbs 1:10-16
10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

The main point of this proverb is to be careful who you befriend. As James wrote:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We need to be careful who we become friends with, particularly when we are young. Innumerable old men can testify of foolishness and crime in which they were involved as young men, because they were hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Notice the way in which the warning is presented: when sinners entice you, don’t consent. The English word “entice” may be a bit softer than the sense of the Hebrew word here, but it conveys the general sense that what is happening is soft coercion, not hard coercion. It’s not when sinners “force” you or “compel” you, but when they “entice” (KJV) you or “lure” (MKJV) you. This same Hebrew word (פּתה – pathah) is used in Exodus 22:16 to describe a young unmarried woman who is seduced and in 2 Chronicles 18:19-21 to describe the lying spirit sent to deceive Ahab.

The parable includes a specific example. In the specific example, the allurement of the sinners is, in essence, “let’s become bandits.” What is involved? Kill some people, steal what they have, and become rich.

It’s presented this way, one presumes, for shock value. This is not the way in which the young man is likely to get ensnared, for one’s conscience informs one that killing innocent people is bad. Instead, the actual presentation tends to focus on the money: “you’ll be rich,” is the temptation posed.

And furthermore, there is some camaraderie thrown into the mix. Notice how they “cast in your lot with us.” The sense is “try your luck with us” or simply “let’s seek our fortune together.” It’s an alluring call, because the idea is not only one focusing on the temptations of “chance” and “luck,” but also on the fact that like friends, they are going to be in it together.

This is reinforced by the partnership proposed: “let us all have one purse.” The purse here is simply a bag of money. It’s as though they are saying, “let’s all share the same bank account.” It’s a way – in economic terms – for parties to bond their willingness to be partners together, to share money without division among the group.

It should be noted that this same practice (one bag for the group) was practiced not only among some of the early Christians (Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.) but even within the band of disciples that followed Jesus continually (John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.).

This sort of friendship can be good, and is alluring to those who want friends, but is dangerous and destructive when one becomes partners with thieves and murderers.

To remind us of that, the parable concludes with a restatement of the same point, using the poetic parallelisms form we saw earlier:

“walk not thou in the way with them;” || “refrain thy foot from their path:”

The point should not be thought of as literally not walking on roads owned by sinners, or on sidewalks where sinners are currently walking. Instead, the point is not to become part of their group of friends. Don’t hang out with them. Right now the walk may simply seem like an innocent jaunt about town, but that is not where it will end up.

“For their feet run to evil,” || “and [their feet] make haste to shed blood.”

This simply the way that the wicked go. They tend to do that which is sinful in God’s sight. Whether it is the general category of “evil” or the specific example of “shed[ding] blood” their path is taking them to that activity, and fast.

As the Apostle Paul writes:

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Even so, let us not be deceived, but let us seek out friendship among the brethren. That does not mean cutting ourselves off from the world, and never interacting with those around us who are lost. It does, however, indicate that those people who are living in wickedness should not be the same people we consider our friends – those with whom we will cast in our lot, and with whom we will seek our fortune.

Original (Hebrew)
Proverbs 1:10-16
10 בני אם־יפתוך חטאים אל־תבא׃
11 אם־יאמרו לכה אתנו נארבה לדם נצפנה לנקי חנם׃
12 נבלעם כשׁאול חיים ותמימים כיורדי בור׃
13 כל־הון יקר נמצא נמלא בתינו שׁלל׃
14 גורלך תפיל בתוכנו כיס אחד יהיה לכלנו׃
15 בני אל־תלך בדרך אתם מנע רגלך מנתיבתם׃
16 כי רגליהם לרע ירוצו וימהרו לשׁפך־דם׃

LXX (Greek)
Proverbs 1:10-16
10υἱέ, μή σε πλανήσωσιν ἄνδρες ἀσεβεῖς, μηδὲ βουληθῇς, ἐὰν παρακαλέσωσί σε λέγοντες 11Ἐλθὲ μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν, κοινώνησον αἵματος, κρύψωμεν δὲ εἰς γῆν ἄνδρα δίκαιον ἀδίκως, 12καταπίωμεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὥσπερ ᾅδης ζῶντα καὶ ἄρωμεν αὐτοῦ τὴν μνήμην ἐκ γῆς· 13τὴν κτῆσιν αὐτοῦ τὴν πολυτελῆ καταλαβώμεθα, πλήσωμεν δὲ οἴκους ἡμετέρους σκύλων· 14τὸν δὲ σὸν κλῆρον βάλε ἐν ἡμῖν, κοινὸν δὲ βαλλάντιον κτησώμεθα πάντες, καὶ μαρσίππιον ἓν γενηθήτω ἡμῖν. 15μὴ πορευθῇς ἐν ὁδῷ μετ᾿ αὐτῶν, ἔκκλινον δὲ τὸν πόδα σου ἐκ τῶν τρίβων αὐτῶν· 16οἱ γὰρ πόδες αὐτῶν εἰς κακίαν τρέχουσιν καὶ ταχινοὶ τοῦ ἐκχέαι αἷμα·

Vulgate (Latin)
Proverbs 1:10-16
10fili mi si te lactaverint peccatores ne adquiescas 11si dixerint veni nobiscum insidiemur sanguini abscondamus tendiculas contra insontem frustra 12degluttiamus eum sicut infernus viventem et integrum quasi descendentem in lacum 13omnem pretiosam substantiam repperiemus implebimus domos nostras spoliis 14 sortem mitte nobiscum marsuppium unum sit omnium nostrum 15fili mi ne ambules cum eis prohibe pedem tuum a semitis eorum 16pedes enim illorum ad malum currunt et festinant ut effundant sanguinem


Proverbs 1:8-9

October 4, 2008

Proverbs 1:8-9
8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

The first commandment of the second table of the law is “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12) (Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.)

To God, this is of enormous importance. Recall Jesus’ own summary of the law in this regard: “For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” (Matthew 15:4) Failure to honor father OR mother was a capital crime under the Old Testament civil law, and that was just because it is dishonoring to God when we dishonor our parents.

But notice the more specific instruction in this parable. The commands/instructions of one’s parents are compared to ornaments on the head and chains around the neck. The picture is essentially one of the commands and instructions being jewelry. Something of incredible intrinsic value as well as beauty.

The word “grace” here is also significant. These are not just gaudy baubles or priceless treasures, they are good for you. The commandments of one’s parents are for one’s good. By following the instructions, one benefits. This is not only clear from the proverb, but also from the commandment itself, “that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee ….” Of course, this should be understood as a general rule, not an absolute promise, and certainly not as an algorithm for longevity.

This couplet provides a few additional interesting points from a grammatical view. Notice that “hear” and “do not forsake” are paralleled, just as “instruction” and “law” are paralleled, and just as “ornament … unto thy head” and “chains about thy neck” are paralleled. These parallel constructions help us understand what is meant.

On the one hand, if it simply said, “chains about thy neck,” we might be unsure whether that was referring to golden chains (like a necklace) or to iron chains (like a slave collar). The use of two similar statements together can help to make the intended concept clearer.

It should be noted that not only the father, but the mother is mentioned. Partly this is for the sake of make an elegant parallel, but at the same time it indicates that a young man needs to honor not only the law of his father, but also the subordinate law of his mother. Husband and wife are not equals within the family, but both are over the children, and both must be obeyed (Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Colosians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.).

Furthermore, such a parallel structure can give us insight into the meaning of the words involved. “Instruction” (מוּסר – musar) and “law” (תּרה – torah) have a similar sense to one another. In some cases, finding parallel structures like this can help to illustrate the overlapping semantic ranges of the words used.

The same principle applies to “hear” (שׁמע – shama) and “forsake not” (ואל־תטשׁ – al natash). The point is not just not to fall asleep when you parents are talking but to obey. Do what is commanded of you by your parents.

Ultimately, this proverb is not only generally commending the instructions of all parents to their children, but is commending the Word of God in Scripture to the child of God.

Recall the parallel that Jesus made:

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

So then how much better is it for us to follow the law of our Heavenly Father than to follow the law of our earthly fathers. They may mean us well, but they are fallible humans. Sometimes they make mistakes, and they may not always know what is best for us (even though they desire to give us the best).

Our Father in heaven, however, is able to give good commands and laws to us. Let us then seize for ourselves these divine ornaments of grace by hearing not forsaking the instructions and laws of God – for the communication of the law of God to us is favor, and it is to our benefit to obey.

Original (Hebrew)
Proverbs 1:8-9
8שׁמע בני מוסר אביך ואל־תטשׁ תורת אמך׃
9כי לוית חן הם לראשׁך וענקים לגרגרתיך׃

LXX (Greek)
Proverbs 1:8-9
8ἄκουε, υἱέ, παιδείαν πατρός σου καὶ μὴ ἀπώσῃ θεσμοὺς μητρός σου· 9στέφανον γὰρ χαρίτων δέξῃ σῇ κορυφῇ καὶ κλοιὸν χρύσεον περὶ σῷ τραχήλῳ.

Vulgate (Latin)
Proverbs 1:8-9
8audi fili mi disciplinam patris tui et ne dimittas legem matris tuae 9ut addatur gratia capiti tuo et torques collo tuo


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