Looking in the notes revealed some really interesting aspects of the proverbs attributed to Solomon (Proverbs 10:1-22:16). First, the first half of Solomon’s proverbs (10:1-15:33) are contrasting statements (antithetic parallelism), in which the second line restates the first line in an opposite way and the second half are synthetic statements, in which the second line repeats or extends the message of the first line. Pretty cool. Second, there are many common themes in Solomon’s proverbs: “Along with the more generic wise/foolish and righteous/wicked themes, note the frequency of themes such as wealth/poverty, work/sloth, speech (truth/lying, etc.), relationships (neighbors, family, king), and attitudes (anger, love/hatred, etc.)” (from How to Read the Bible Book by Book).
Proverbs 10: This chapter starts the proverbs from Solomon. According to the notes, we will now see a shift from the talk of Woman Wisdom and the mysterious woman to two-line wisdom sayings called aphorisms. There are a bunch of aphorisms in this chapter and I’m certain all of the other chapters too. Just for my sake, I’m going to single out ones that I like and include them here:
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of those who have understanding,
but there is a rod for the back of those with no sense.
14 The wise store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings on ruin.
18 Lying lips conceal hate,
and those who spread slander are fools.
19 With lots of words comes wrongdoing,
but the wise restrain their lips.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked lacks value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many people,
but fools who lack sense will die.
23 Fools enjoy vile deeds,
but those with understanding take pleasure in wisdom.
24 What the wicked dread will come on them,
but what the righteous desire will be given to them.
31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
but the twisted tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the wise know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked knows only what is perverse.
The ones that stood out to me the most seem to really focus on communication, especially oral communication, and its association with wisdom. This makes sense especially because I’m a teacher.
Here’s a sidebar addressing the wealthy and the poor from page 1021 OT in the CEB Study Bible:
This is interesting information. I especially like the questions close to the end. Definitely thought-provoking. I definitely like the last sentence the best: “According to the book of Proverbs, neither poverty nor wealth is given high status in God’s eyes, except as they have to do with one’s pursuit of wisdom.”
That’s one of my favorite parts of Proverbs, the emphasis on wisdom. This is something I’ve always valued.
Proverbs 11: Here’s the phrases I find the most interesting from this chapter:
2 When pride comes, so does shame,
but wisdom brings humility.
3 Integrity guides the virtuous,
but dishonesty ruins the treacherous.
4 Riches don’t help in the day of wrath,
but righteousness rescues from death.
9 The godless destroy their neighbors by their words,
but the righteous are saved by their knowledge.
13 A slanderer walks around revealing secrets,
but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
14 Without guidance, a people will fall,
but there is victory with many counselors.
17 Kind persons benefit themselves,
but cruel people harm themselves.
24 Those who give generously receive more,
but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy.
25 Generous persons will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Still an emphasis on communication seems the most prevalent. But also some focus on kindness and helping those in need.
Proverbs 12: Here are the ones I’m most interested in for this chapter:
3 No one is established by wicked acts,
but the roots of the righteous can’t be disturbed.
6 The words of the wicked are a deathtrap,
but the speech of those who do right rescues them.
8 A person is praised for his insight,
but a warped mind leads to contempt.
13 The wicked are trapped by the transgressions of their lips,
but the righteous escape from distress.
14 From the fruit of their speech, people are well satisfied;
their work results in reward.
15 Fools see their own way as right,
but the wise listen to advice.
17 Those who state the truth speak justly,
but a false witness deceives.
18 Some chatter on like a stabbing sword,
but a wise tongue heals.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only for a moment.
22 The Lord detests false lips;
he favors those who do what is true.
23 The shrewd conceal their knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims their stupidity.
Communication is still important to me. This includes remaining truthful. But as with chapter 11, other trends emerge, especially the importance of listening. This is something that I always feel I need to work on.
Matthew 4: Jesus fasts for 40 days and 40 nights and is tempted by the devil in the beginning of this chapter. Jesus fends off the temptations. Jesus then moves to Galilee following this time frame and after he hears that John was arrested. The chapter ends with Jesus calling his first disciples. He first sees two brothers, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew. They immediately leave their fishing nets and follow him. He then calls on the brothers James and John, who were helping their father. They immediately leave and follow Jesus.