Sunday, December 29, 2013

Proverbs 27:1-29:27


Today's reading concludes the fifth collections of sayings in the book of Proverbs. Here's what I've gleaned:

Proverbs 27: 13 repeats the advice of Proverbs 20:16.

Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
   hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider. 

Proverbs 20:14 made me chuckle. Proper behavior is at least party contextual.

 If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,
   it will be taken as a curse

Please don't bless me loudly early in the morning. Proverbs 20:17 is quoted frequently among certain Evangelical males.

As iron sharpens iron,
   so one person sharpens another. 

Although I love the sentiment, it seems to me that rubbing two dull people against one another just makes them duller.

 Proverbs 20:23-27 declare the value of taking care of one's flocks and fields. Don't have flocks and fields? Extrapolate!

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
   give careful attention to your herds; 
for riches do not endure forever,
   and a crown is not secure for all generations.
When the hay is removed and new growth appears
   and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
the lambs will provide you with clothing,
   and the goats with the price of a field.
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
   and to nourish your female servants.

Proverbs 28:1a was quoted at the beginning of the Coen brother's movie True Grit. (Great movie, by the way).

The wicked flee though no one pursues....

 Proverbs 28:6 repeats the idea that wisdom is preferable to wealth.

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
   than the rich whose ways are perverse. 

Proverbs 28:21 could have been quoted at the beginning of Les Miserables.

To show partiality is not good—
   yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread. 

Judgment, like behavior, is colored by context.

Proverbs 29:2 is just one saying that links the fortunes of the people to the character of their ruler.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
   when the wicked rule, the people groan. 

And if you want to know how those righteous rulers behave, look to Proverbs 29:7.

  The righteous care about justice for the poor,
   but the wicked have no such concern. 
Proverbs 29:13 reminds those who would oppress the poor that they share a common humanity under God.

The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
   The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both. 

Next: Proverbs 30-31

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