Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 23, Pro 30-31

Today’s readings are Proverbs 30-31.

Pro 30 deals with godly wisdom and the temptations of the world, a fitting follow up to Solomon’s story.

In Pro 31, we find the “words of King Lemuel” which actually come from his mother (31:1). This is one of a few passages of Scripture that, while not necessarily authored by a woman, contains teachings that are clearly attributed to them (compare Exo 15:21; Jud 5, Luk 1:46 ff).

Those in authority should not use their power for self-indulgence and depravity (Pro 31:2–7). Instead, they should devote themselves to defending the poor and the powerless (Pro 31:8–9).

This poem is an acrostic, a poem whose lines start with certain letters that, when viewed separately, form words on their own. This is hard to see in English but is readily apparent in Hebrew. Nonetheless, the poem is powerful.

The one being praised is a woman, but the audience is a young man. The opening question in Pro 31:10 implies that the reader ought to find such a wife for himself. The woman is trustworthy (Pro 31:11), industrious (Pro 31:13–19), intelligent (Pro 31:16, 18), and kind (Pro 31:20). She adds dignity to the family (Pro 31:23, 25) and has much foresight and prudence (Pro 31:21, 26). For all this, she is much loved by her family and is the real center of the home (Pro 31:27–29). Above all, she fears God (Pro 31:30). The final verse speaks eloquently against the tendency to regard her role as of inferior significance.

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