PROVERBS 5 KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)
5 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.
This is a beautiful transference of metaphor: lips keeping knowledge compared to the lips of a strange woman. First the obvious, as is a common theme words are powerful. Now of course actions speak louder than words, but the Wisdom of Solomon does not advise one to run their mouth. One must talk as well as one acts. “The lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb…” Clearly Solomon is wise to the temptations of women. “But her end is bitter as wormwood…Her feet go down to death…” The temptation of the “strange woman” is clearly dangerous. This follows the theme of the path and walking into life or death. The temptations of strange women take one away from the words of the father. Because they are a woman’s words they are a meandering path that can never be known. Because they are strange they lead not to life.
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Proverbs 2 King James Version (KJV)
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The verse starts out with “my son” solidifying the theme of imparting Wisdom patrilineally. This translation chooses hide my commandment with thee. It has been translated as treasure or store, but something rings true about hide. To hide something with thee is to carry it with you, but to protect it as well. It avoids the sentimentality or perhaps materialism of treasure while maintaining that both that there is something to loose and something after it. Wisdom may never be truly lost but it can certainly be lost from our lives.
The next two verses remind the son that finding Wisdom is both passive and active. One must first listen, then ask for knowledge when it does not find you, and when there is no one to ask, seek it out. Like silver: is an apt metaphor Wisdom both valuable and, like that hidden in your heart, obscured and protected from the rest of experience. Verses 5 and 6 answer the question of who we are listening for which is the voice of God.
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Proverbs 1 (KJV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
Let us begin with the apparent but important. This passage begins with the naming of Solomon. Not only is it important that we know who’s proverbs these are but who he is, king, and who his father is. What is implicit in this statement is that both station and lineage are important. The speaker has authority not only because of who he is but who his father was. This is something I will remind you which is lost today. Implicit in the assumption of Tabula Rasa is that it doesn’t matter where you came from. While it is true that truth can come in many forms we should be careful to listen to the those who have the lineage to back it up. Knowing where someone came from in today’s day in age is not easy, but a family which can maintain itself through the generations is both something to behold and to value. The chances are always higher that the son of a good family will be able to say something worthwhile, that being said today higher is a low bar.
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